Consultation on preferred route of Esso jet fuel pipeline

It’s certainly a lengthy consultation on the route of Southampton to London Pipeline Project. Earlier this year the Project began consulting on possible pipeline routes. At the end of May they announced the preferred route, and now they’re beginning consultation on the preferred route options [click on image to expand].

Among the consultation events, are these local locations,

  • 28 September, 14:00-20:00: Deepcut and Lightwater, Heatherside Community Centre, Martindale Avenue, GU15 1BB
  • 29 September, 11:00-17:00: Chobham, Chobham Parish Pavilion, Recreation Ground, Station Road, Chobham, GU24 8AJ
  • 3 October, 14:00-20:00: Frimley, Lakeside Continental Hotel, Wharf Road, GU16 6JR
  • 10 October, 14:00-20:00: Farnborough, Farnborough Exhibition and Conference Centre, ETPS Road, GU14 6FD

All the consultation events, route options, and feedback forms, are contained in the Replacement Pipeline Route Consultation Brochure. [see below – to expand, click on upward facing arrow at bottom right]. There are other public documents to be found HERE, including detailed maps containing a wealth of information.


Rail investment means half of all rolling stock to be new within two years

Here’s a good news story about UK rail that’s contrary to the currently widely held view that the UK rail industry is a disaster.

Notwithstanding the debacle of new time table introduction by some train operators, more than 50% of the rolling stock – engines and carriages – will be new by March 2021.

In the report on the Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry sixth edition March 2018 by the Rail Delivery Group, is this, which I’ve taken from the excellent blog post The new trains dilemma (what to do with the old ones) by Paul Bigland.

” The number of new vehicles committed for delivery in the five-year period that commenced in April 2014 (CP5) and in the early years of CP6 is now 7,187 – more than 50% of the current in-service fleet of 14,025. These new vehicles have a capital cost of more than £13 billion, and around 50% will be built in Britain. The average age of the national fleet is estimated to fall from 21 years to 15 years by March 2021, while the numbers of vehicles in service will grow by 6% next year and by a further 5% to 13% by 2024″

For you edification, The Rail Delivery Group ‘is formed of representatives from rolling stock owners, train operators, Rail Delivery Group and infrastructure owner Network Rail, and endeavours to provide an up-to-date, balanced and well-informed perspective on the long term outlook for passenger rolling stock in the UK.’

The Rolling Stock Strategy report is over 50 pages, densely packed with a situation analysis, tables, and conclusions. In the report there are a few of things of interest,

  • In paragraph 90 of the report states – Beyond the commercial risks and issues arising from the displacement, there are also a number of operational issues the industry must address and manage, including: Storage: To place c.4000 displaced vehicles in storage would require over 52 miles of storage sidings – a resource no longer available on the UK network. Owners will manage the handling of their vehicles once they come off lease, but this figure gives scope to just one facet of that task. It is clear that owners will need to balance options including disposal, sale or storage in accordance with their business plans, but there are significant logistical as well as commercial challenges.
  • Electrifying the whole rail network is not now considered an aim in England and Wales, see para 51.
  • In paras 67 and 68 the report discusses alternative power options coming from hydrogen cells, batteries, and bi-mode operation [electric and diesel engines].
  • All British Rail rolling stock will be superceded within two years.
  • There’s a move to having self powered rolling stock rather than having engines.

So, all in all, the scene for the UK rail industry is positive, as long as the train operators can sort out timetabling issues.

A clamour coming for other roads to be rebuilt

I promise, really, really promise that this is the last post on the Ambleside Road rebuild [….he hopes so].

Having yesterday driven down Ambleside Road, I’m pleased to report that it’s open, and the surface is a major improvement on what went before.

It’s highlighted to me, and no doubt to many other residents, the poor state of other roads in Lightwater, notably Macdonald Road. The clamour increases for rebuilding it too.

The saga of Ambleside Road rebuild nears the end

This may well be my last article on the rebuilding of Ambleside Road in Lightwater, for in my visits on Tuesday and Wednesday this week I’ve noted significant progress.

On Tuesday I took photos of the base layer middle part of Ambleside Road that was nowhere near as bad as upper part, which I noted had been prepared for it’s final layer of tarmac.

I also spent time chatting to one of the supervisors while the road gang were awaiting the arrival of tarmac. In the conversation he said he’d been in the team that resurfaced the road three years ago, and knew that the surface wouldn’t last long as they’d found the underlying surface was so poor.

He told me that in the rebuilding of the road in parts they’d dug down 450mm to find a solid surface, and also that the finished road surface would have 150mm of tarmac.

Yesterday, I walked along the road and a couple of the photos show the excellent result of their work. I imagine the final shortish stretch of road will be completed in a few days, and so the saga may come to and end. Along with a resident who joined our conversation, we thought vehicles would speed on the new surface, and before long there’d be road humps.

The Waterloo Station upgrade is no quick fix

From almost the same vantage point on the upper concourse at Waterloo Station I’ve taken photos of the progress of the redevelopment of the former International Station into platforms 20 – 24 for domestic rail services. I’ve been taking photos of the construction work since December 2015. This redevelopment is no quick fix to the need for more capacity at Waterloo.

Network Rail’s Wessex Improvement Plan states that the work on bringing the former International Station back into use will end in December 2018. From what I’ve seen in visits over the last few months this looks an impossibly tight target. The Rail Engineer website describes the extent of the work involved – mostly not obvious from my photo vantage point.

I’ve put my photos into a slide show, beginning in February 2017, and ending in August 2018.

The plans include a new concourse with three floors of retail and restaurants. The artists impression of the new concourse shows stairs down to the new concourse. I hope there’s an escalator, and lift planned in the work, because I can’t see it in the artists impression below, or in my photos.

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Hoping not to bore, here’s another update on Ambleside Road

Hope you don’t mind more photos of the ongoing saga of the Ambleside Road rebuild. My, yesterday, walk home from Lightwater’s village centre, in which I previously commented on house prices, took in the diversion to walk the length of Ambleside Road.

My update on the road rebuild is is that the road base appears to have been completed, and now awaits three – I think it’s three – layers of tarmac. There wasn’t anyone working on the road – at around 2.0 pm – for me to ask questions. I suspect it’ll be almost another week before they complete.


Seeing the Esso jet fuel pipeline uncovered

As is my wont, yesterday I walked from Lightwater to the Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Deepcut. I can tell you I was totally pooped at the end of the walk. I didn’t meet any else on my walk, obvious really, as it was a bit too hot [lift home from my wife who was volunteering in the museum].

What I did encounter on my walk was a section of the Esso jet fuel pipeline that had been uncovered on the track alongside the Bisley & Pirbright Ranges. If your keen to know exactly where, it was on the downside of Hangmoor Hill before it leads up to the Maultway.

I stopped and chatted to a pipeline engineer. I really should have found out more about their work, but ended up talking about football – me a Wolves supporter, the engineer, a Sunderland supporter. Interestingly, you might be able to see in a photo that the pipeline has a concrete cover.

I’ve written before about the renewal of the pipeline from Southampton to Heathrow, which you can read in – Preferred fuel supply pipeline corridor announced, and when I previously encountered the uncovering of the pipeline – Uncovered Esso pipeline at Colony Gate on The Maultway in Camberley. Click on images to expand.