Thursday, 12 April 2018

MP Backs Case to Replace Flat Crossing

The MP for Newark, Mr Robert Jenrick, has thrown his weight behind aspirational plans to replace the last railway flat crossing of its kind in Britain with a flyover.
Network Rail has suggested the flyover at Newark will not be built for more than a decade because of the finances involved.
The project was among investment options in Network Rail’s Route Study into the East Coast Mainline.

Newark flat crossing is north of Northgate Station, where the East Coast Mainline crosses the Nottingham to Lincoln line.
The crossing slows trains on the Nottingham to Lincoln route meaning any increase in east-west services is limited.
Flat crossings are railway junctions that have a track configuration in which merging or crossing railroad lines provide track connections with each other that require trains to cross over in front of opposing traffic.
Trains have to wait for each other, costing time and capacity on the line.
Mr Jenrick wrote to Network Rail’s chief executive, Mr Mark Carne, as part of what he described as active campaigning for grade separation at Newark.

The organisation responded to Mr Jenrick saying: “Initially can I acknowledge that Network Rail accepts that the crossing of the East Coast Mainline and Nottingham to Lincoln line at Newark is a well-known and significant limitation on regional growth in the East Midlands.
“As a result, aspirations for an infrastructure option to deal with this limitation on the network are highlighted on pages 28 and 32 of the draft East Coast Route Study.
“There has been a consultation taking place in respect of this document and I have shared your correspondence with our strategic planning team managing that so it can be considered as part of that process.

‘A high anticipated cost’

“Newark Business Club have made similar representations on the Route Study and my colleagues are also in dialogue with them about it.

“Specifically in respect of the possible infrastructure solution, as part of preparing the future strategy for the East Coast Main Line, Network Rail and our industry partners have looked at what options are available in order to remove the crossing.
“As referenced in your correspondence, the likely optimal solution is to grade-separate the two railway lines with a flyover.
“This is a very significant intervention that would attract a high anticipated cost.
“You may be aware that the way in which Network Rail carries out enhancements is changing.
“We now work with stakeholders, including local authorities, businesses, train operators and devolved transport bodies, to help develop compelling business cases that can attract the scale of funding needed to pay for improvements.
“In the case of grade separation at Newark, Network Rail is already engaging with stakeholders to help shape a business case for the scheme.
“As part of this work different approaches are being considered, ranging from a stand-alone scheme to one which is part of a wider package of main line upgrades, which would drive greater benefits.

“These are outlined in the draft ECML Route Study and we welcome the opportunity to continue to engage on these options.”
The report comes after Network Rail announced a £16.8m upgrade to the Nottingham to Newark line as part of a multi-billion-pound plan to renew the lines nationwide.