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Island Line under threat

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Shaggy, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    When you think of it, look at the advantages, Ryde espanade is very badly laid out as a transport hub, the hovercraft is cut off by the railway, and the council have always wanted to re develop it, removal of the pier , replaced by a cut, would bring the ferries right up to where the busses are, the hovercraft can be connected up via a covered walkway, just a single platform would be needed for trains wouldnt you prefer to jump off your bus, or train, and be able to walk across to the fery, or hovercraft? it would be expensive, but then the cost would be shared .
     
  2. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    Their are 3 parallel piers the vehicle pier which is owned by Wightlink, the disused tram pier and the railway pier which is owned by Network Rail.
     
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  3. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Look, I used to know somebody who gained his doctorate for a study of the coastal drift and erosion of the Solent area. Even in the age of immensely powerful computers it is is a formidable mathematical/intellectual exercise. Just digging a channel without considering its effect on coastal defences would not be "on".

    PH
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Member

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    If there's a market for foot passenger services to Ryde, which there is, you'll either need a short pier, with lot of expensive dredging.... or a long pier, with a replacement needed every (x) years.... or a hovercraft.... and they tried hovercraft.

    Anyone who fancies suggesting a fixed link would be well advised to check their life insurance policy for sharpened pitch-fork related incidents. They'll need it!
     
  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    No, way, those Islanders will be over here in their droves, taking our houses,:( our jobs, :(our women, :eek: no they are best kept where they are ;)
     
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  6. David R

    David R Active Member

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    The Pier obviously needs some expensive ongoing maintenance but I didn't think anyone was suggesting it's imminently in need of replacement - didn't Wightlink recently (3 -4 years ago) comprehensively overhaul their pier. I don't suppose a pacer would fit on the line (now I really do need to check my life insurance policy for sharpened pitch-fork related incidents)

    David R
     
  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    It's more the potential for expense represented by the pier that I had in mind. One hears all sorts of conflicting rumours about the pier and, for that matter, about the condition of the electrical supply arrangements.

    Somehow I don't envisage the Pacers would cope very well with the Esplanade curve!

    PH
     
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  8. 30854

    30854 Member

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    Replacement is a bit of a "Trigger's Broom" exercise, though it stands to reason that much of the underwater structure, dating from the same time, will need attention at around the same time. At some point this must surely become uneconomic or impractical. Ryde Pier more closely resembles the common or garden seaside pier than it does any conventional railway bridge, and a fair few seaside piers have succumbed over the years.
     
  9. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Mostly due to the wooden top bits burning down rand it being uneconomic to replace them - particularly when they only exist as a mini funfair, rather than structural problems with the metalwork itself. Other reasons for their demise including being hit by ships or storm damage not repaired while they are sitting around disused.

    Neither the railway, nor the pedestrian pier fall into those categories - and as has been highlighted the shallow water depths close to the shore more or less guarantee that a pier of some description will be needed so people can actually reach the ferries.

    True there is a risk that the structure might get to a stage where it is not economically viable to replace it - or to keep it in a good enough condition to run trains - in which the link with the ferries could be made using some form of road train which would impose a much lighter loading on the structure.
     
  10. seawright

    seawright New Member

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    The structure that Portsmouth Harbour Station is built on is effectively a pier. Some years ago it was determined that it could no longer safely take the load of all the trains that could be in the station at any one time. The solution then was not the obvious one of strengthening it. That would have been far too expensive but to remove access to platform two thereby reducing the load the pier was subjected to. Perhaps reducing vehicular access to Ryde pier and using lighter trains to replace the ageing rolling stock could prolong the working life of the existing pier without resorting to expensive repairs or reconstruction.
     
  11. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Admittedly that removal was done during the 1980s when 'managed decline' was the order of the day. Were the platforms still in use today, then with the growth in rail travel I suspect NR would have gone for the repair option rather than restrict capacity by removing the platform.

    The problem with putting it back now is that standards have changed meaning its far more expensive to do, plus it would count as an 'enhancement' and thus have to demonstrate a good BCR - and we all know how those turn out when the financial bods have crunched the numbers*.

    *i.e. say its not justified or can only be done if the scheme is paired right back to the bone then act all surprised when revenue projections are way more than their 'model' predicted and finding a more extensive scheme would have been affordable after all.
     
  12. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    I think that it is proposed to reinstate this platform during renovation work shortly. This work was an indirect reason for the removal of the large 1898 clock from the buffer stop area and its donation to the IOWSR where it can be observed working today

    PH
     
  13. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    Next someone will come up with the idea to lay tramway style track on the road bridge to reach a new station at the pier head. The new 'station' being a bus shelter with a single short platform. The accountants will love it as expensive repairs to the rail pier can be avoided.
     
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  14. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    It was reported a couple of years back that the Pier requires £8m in the near future, but in Chris Garnett's report from last year Network Rail - while unable/unwilling to give a comprehensive description of it's condition - didn't suggest any known or imminent threat to it's future.

    The condition of Ryde Pier is not known... however in discussion with NR it appears that work was undertaken on the Pier around 3 years ago. This work involved strengthening the deck of the Pier. This needs to be clarified.
    Mark Brinton's reply gives a bit more background to it's condition:

    With regard to Ryde Pier the superstructure it was last rebuilt in 1963-6 when the entire steel superstructure (above the pile caps) was renewed with the exception of the platform section in Platform 1 at Ryde Pier Head.

    Since this time minimal maintenance has been undertaken. Some track and conductor rail was replaced about 5 years ago. Also some work was undertaken at Ryde Esplanade a few years ago when the former down platform section that was on the pier structure was removed (the section on land was retained). I also recall that about 20 years ago the steel work in Platform 1 at the Pier Head was repaired and painted and other general repairs and painting of the rest of the structure was carried out at that time.

    Given that the pier superstructure is now fifty years old it would generally be considered as life expired. However its duty these days is significantly less onerous than that for which it was designed, so this may have had the effect of increasing its life. The current pier structure was designed to support steam trains. The Class 483 vehicles which operate on the pier now are significantly lighter in overall weight than their older equivalents.
    Not by anyone whose seen it up close I hope, it's not exactly the sturdiest of structures...
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 12:36 PM
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  15. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    It worked for me and those 100+ people on my mid-afternoon train the other day - it's not just a significantly cheaper, quicker and more consistent service than the bus, but provides a direct and reliable interchange with the Catamarans which makes a massive difference when there are connections to be made.

    I'd argue it's perfectly placed - there are only two major population centres on the Island lacking ferry services to the mainland and whereas Newport is large and sprawling, the coastal resorts of Sandown Bay are relatively compact and linear and rely far more on visitors from the mainland.

    To quote the former GNER chief Chris Garnett in his report to the council:

    Although comparatively short, it is recognised that this railway continues to play a very important social and transport role by providing a timetabled, traffic free, reliable and punctual link between the cross Solent connections at Ryde Pier and Ryde Esplanade and the settlements of Ryde, Brading, Sandown.

    The railway gives easy access to these coastal settlements which with Ryde at 30,000, the Bay Area - Sandown, Shanklin and Lake, a further 30,000, together account for almost 50% of the Islands resident population of 131,400 (2011 Census). The Island is a popular tourist destination and the population almost doubles during the summer months. These coastal towns make a large contribution to the Island’s tourist economy and during the summer months the population of the area is increased by staying visitors and day trippers.

    IMO it is undoubtedly the right way to go, none of the issues facing the Island will be helped by making it even harder and more expensive for people to get around and access education and employment on the mainland.

    As for the service frequency, 2 trains per hour is perfectly adequate but when the signalling is renewed the opportunity should be taken to have a single passing place - that would allow a true half-hourly service instead of today's awkward 20/40min split while reducing the infrastructure required.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 8:14 PM
  16. 73129

    73129 Part of the furniture

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    Reading UKRail forum today one of the members asked this question.

    The Class 483 units used on the Island Line are currently owned by Stagecoach SWT. When First/MTR take over the franchise, is it likely they’ll take over the ownership of the units or Stagecoach will lease them to SWR?

    http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=152104


    What do you think will happen?
     
  17. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Well-Known Member

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  18. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Nothing.

    Given the lack of any other suitable 'off the shelf' rolling stock that can be drafted in by the incoming franchise winner, why do you think it will?

    In any case I believe somewhere in all the vast quantities of paperwork relating to franchises are clauses to protect incoming operators from owners of the currently used stock refusing to make arrangements for its continued use by the new franchise at a reasonable cost.
     
  19. stephenvane

    stephenvane New Member

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    It's an interesting question. Island line is a bit of a special case, actually owning rather than leasing it's rolling stock.

    It won't happen, but in theory could stagecoach just sell it off for scrap?

    I'm sure a clause must be in place to stop this. Even if it wasn't, the potential negative publicity and public backlash would be enough to stop Stagecoach doing it.
     
  20. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    Short term, i should imagine First group will simply hire the sets, pending any decision what the future work will be done to the route, once the future is decided and suitable stock identified the 38 stock will be handed back to SWT most likily for scrapping.
     

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