Rail link proposal is moving forward

ON TRACK: A map showing the section of the rail line that could be reinststed.

ON TRACK: A map showing the section of the rail line that could be reinststed.

First published in Evesham

A STUDY of proposals to reinstate a rail link between Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon has found there is a good case for the idea.

Consultants Arup carried out a £70,000 study into the prospects for the reopening of a rail connection from the Cotswold Line, which links Worcester and Oxford to the Warwick-shire tourist hotspot.

Their report says that reinstatement of the railway from Stratford to nearby Long Marston is feasible, along with improvements to the existing freight branch line from Long Marston to Honeybourne, on the Cotswold Line.

The report says that forecasts of potential passenger numbers on trains between Stratford and Worcester and Stratford and Oxford could see services turning an operating profit soon after they start running, should the route be restored.

Trains could also be extended beyond Stratford to Leamington Spa.

The consultants recommend hourly trains on each route, which, combined with an hourly service on the Cotswold Line, would mean trains at least half-hourly throughout the day at stations in the Vale of Evesham.

A report to the cabinet of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, which co-ordinated the study, said it was now up to the rail industry, local enterprise partnerships and the Department for Transport to take the scheme forward.

At a meeting today councillors will consider the study’s findings when drawing up their core planning strategy and to safeguard the former rail route from development that could hamper its reopening. The study said the cost of work to reinstate the missing section of the line, improve the Long Marston branch line and rebuild a triangular junction at Honeybourne to allow trains to run direct to and from Oxford, would be £76 million.

However, an allowance for extra costs, based on advice from Network Rail, could push this figure up to £96.9 million.

John Ellis, the chairman of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, which represents passengers, was a member of the steering group set up by the council to oversee the study.

He said: “I think we have got a very good base from the study, which I am pleased with. We will continue to keep going, referencing the study and looking for further support for the implementation of the scheme.”

The group was among organisations which contributed to the cost of the study, along with Worcestershire County Council , Oxfordshire County Council, developer St Modwen, which is building 500 homes at Long Marston, and train operator First Great Western, which also wants to reinstate Oxford-Stratford trains via Banbury and Leamington.

The connection at Honeybourne allowing direct running between Oxford and Stratford was closed in 1965, while the Long Marston-Stratford section was shut in 1976.

The report can be viewed online at democracy.stratford.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=18911

Comments (2)

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6:26pm Mon 8 Oct 12

brooksider says...

Taking the report at face value, the figures show each train traveling between Worcester and Stratford will carry only 10 passengers with 3 of them from Worcester.

At an operating cost of 1.4 million that an average ticket cost of £28 per journey just to break even.
Taking the report at face value, the figures show each train traveling between Worcester and Stratford will carry only 10 passengers with 3 of them from Worcester. At an operating cost of 1.4 million that an average ticket cost of £28 per journey just to break even. brooksider
  • Score: -1

11:11pm Wed 10 Oct 12

remyremy says...

brooksider wrote:
Taking the report at face value, the figures show each train traveling between Worcester and Stratford will carry only 10 passengers with 3 of them from Worcester.

At an operating cost of 1.4 million that an average ticket cost of £28 per journey just to break even.
They should never have got rid of this route in the Beeching Axe.

I know many people who would use this route. I am currently forced to use my car to travel from Droitwich Spa to Stratford as travelling by train would would take 2 hours each way.

A link to Stratford upon Avon could also provide a faster link to London Marylebone for Worcestershire, and since Stratford, Worcester and Warwick gain a significant proportion of their economies through tourism, a rail link between these destinations would be economically beneficial.
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: Taking the report at face value, the figures show each train traveling between Worcester and Stratford will carry only 10 passengers with 3 of them from Worcester. At an operating cost of 1.4 million that an average ticket cost of £28 per journey just to break even.[/p][/quote]They should never have got rid of this route in the Beeching Axe. I know many people who would use this route. I am currently forced to use my car to travel from Droitwich Spa to Stratford as travelling by train would would take 2 hours each way. A link to Stratford upon Avon could also provide a faster link to London Marylebone for Worcestershire, and since Stratford, Worcester and Warwick gain a significant proportion of their economies through tourism, a rail link between these destinations would be economically beneficial. remyremy
  • Score: 1
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