Railway cycle tracks

Bonefishblues
Posts: 8982
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Bonefishblues »

landsurfer wrote::lol: The safe distance away from the HS2 route is about ..... another County .... :lol:

I'm "on the Rail" .. i believe that HS2 is nothing to do with faster times to London .. or Leeds or anywhere ..
It's about traffic freedom ...
All the people on the the HS2 trains are not on the infrastructure now in place ...
The infrastructure is over loaded.
Suddenly the will be space for freight, for sub 60 mph commuter traffic, for sub 40 mph local eco trains ....
The infrastructure now in use will breath a great sigh and start to serve communities ....

But be under no doubt ... HS2 is not for the rail ... it is for the multi-national concrete pourers ..Civil's .... no one else !

Oh that it were a county away. Keep taking the sensitivity pills :wink:
User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16995
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by mjr »

I think it's a good idea. There's often a maintenance track which could be reused but I bet NR would want to put up fences.

Disused lines seem an obvious choice. If the railway returns, it's likely to be mostly single-track, so it's really easy to share, then even double-track would benefit from a maintenance track. Norfolk County Council is planning on spending £350k investigating this in the next year, with Lynn to Fakenham and Hunstanton being among the first routes. I was on the radio on Monday saying how great an idea was for a change :-)

landsurfer wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:I'd rather cycle next to HS2 than the M40.


Doubt you would ...
HS2 Train, x 2 locomotive .. EACH ..9,300 HP, 7000 KW of Traction Power + 12 passenger units >= 1.5 bar over pressure external to portals .... You would not want to be any near this pressure wave as it hits you ....

Personally i would feel safer riding in the outside lane of the M40 ....

External to tunnel portals, is that? Likely to be lower in open air, isn't it?

There's a bit of cycle route in Kent where you can ride alongside the M2 over the Medway, then close to HS1 but I think there's always trees or a height difference between you and it.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.
landsurfer
Posts: 5307
Joined: 27 Oct 2012, 9:13pm

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by landsurfer »

mjr wrote:External to tunnel portals, is that? Likely to be lower in open air, isn't it?


Trackside cabinets have to be safe to .5 bar over pressure for normal 125 mph traffic .. thats still a hell of a blast !
Good point about tunnel portals .. but still <= to 1 bar ...
Find your nearest high speed line .... and a remote level crossing and stand there as a class 43, 91, Voyager etc comes past you .... about 2 metres away ....
Scary .... very scary .....

Most frightening of all is the total silence ... until it passes you ... you never hear them coming ,,, see them, but never hear them ..
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever
Cyril Haearn
Posts: 15029
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Cyril Haearn »

Seems they are much too fast already
I read that the catenary would be interrupted under a bridge at Steventon, so the trains to Bristol have to lower their pantos, is that right?
Seems very hazardous
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies
User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16995
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by mjr »

landsurfer wrote:Most frightening of all is the total silence ... until it passes you ... you never hear them coming ,,, see them, but never hear them ..

The tracks chirp on conventional lines. I don't know if HS1 and LGVs do too.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.
User avatar
gaz
Posts: 14195
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by gaz »

mjr wrote:There's a bit of cycle route in Kent where you can ride alongside the M2 over the Medway, then close to HS1 but I think there's always trees or a height difference between you and it.

There are some treeless bits but few opportunities to be "at grade" with HS1.
HS1
HS1

I can't say I've ever noticed the "chirp", I think the route is too far from the the track to hear it. The Javelins and Eurostars give very little warning of their approach but are certainly noisy as they pass. The noise is short-lived, unlike the near constant drone of motorway traffic. Riding in relative proximity to HS1 is a joy compared to riding similarly close to the M2.
Missing, presumed fed.
Bonefishblues
Posts: 8982
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Bonefishblues »

gaz wrote:
mjr wrote:There's a bit of cycle route in Kent where you can ride alongside the M2 over the Medway, then close to HS1 but I think there's always trees or a height difference between you and it.

There are some treeless bits but few opportunities to be "at grade" with HS1.
DSCN1771.JPG
I can't say I've ever noticed the "chirp", I think the route is too far from the the track to hear it. The Javelins and Eurostars give very little warning of their approach but are certainly noisy as they pass. The noise is short-lived, unlike the near constant drone of motorway traffic. Riding in relative proximity to HS1 is a joy compared to riding similarly close to the M2.

The point I was making earlier.
Cyril Haearn
Posts: 15029
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Cyril Haearn »

gaz wrote:
mjr wrote:There's a bit of cycle route in Kent where you can ride alongside the M2 over the Medway, then close to HS1 but I think there's always trees or a height difference between you and it.

There are some treeless bits but few opportunities to be "at grade" with HS1.
DSCN1771.JPG
I can't say I've ever noticed the "chirp", I think the route is too far from the the track to hear it. The Javelins and Eurostars give very little warning of their approach but are certainly noisy as they pass. The noise is short-lived, unlike the near constant drone of motorway traffic. Riding in relative proximity to HS1 is a joy compared to riding similarly close to the M2.

The noise is sudden and loud but not unexpected
How many trains are there per hour?
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies
ThePinkOne
Posts: 226
Joined: 12 Jul 2007, 9:21pm

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by ThePinkOne »

I've spent a fair chunk of time on or near the line (Network Rail infrastructure) during my career, although thankfully I rarely do so these days since I moved to more depot-based activity. In the not-too-distant past, I've held Sentinel CoSS and IWA competences (allowing me to set up safe systems of work for trackworkers and to work out on the line alone), and done my share of open line working with Lookouts. In spite of what it may seem like from the train, there's a significant proportion of the railway where it's "red-zone prohibited" i.e. you cannot work there when trains are running because there is not enough room in the cess for a place of safety whilst a train is passing.

If there's not even enough room to get yourself 4 feet away from the running rail (6 feet at over 90mph), then you're not going to get a lineside cycle path in. OK, in some areas (especially the LNE region), there's more prevalence of lineside paths, but in most of the infrastructure, you'll be hard pushed to go more than a few miles without coming across a tight spot. I've walked (and cab-ridden) enough of the lines in my area to be sure of that.

Oh, and even being in a place of safety i.e. 4 feet away from the running rail when a train passing at 90mph is scary. Say you came out when the Lookout (stood on the apex of a curve) said, in plenty time; then suddenly the train is passing- there's very little noise to warn of approach. Stood in the cess, you're a fair bit lower than the rails, so often your head is about the level with the train floor. Tools need to have been removed to 6 feet away from the running rail and loose clothing is a no-no (coats fastened). The slipstream has to be experienced to be understood.

Can you hear trains coming? Well, the rails often "sing" as it gets close, but you want to be off the track well before then cos if you wait to hear them sing it's usually too late and you'll be hit. Less than 10 seconds in a place of safety before the train passes your location is classed as a near-miss. In some places you may need over a mile of sighting distance to get enough warning to get clear. The thing is, that it's almost impossible to judge how much time you have once you see the approaching train- generally see the high-intensity headlight first- so as soon as the approaching train is sighted, you come out into the designated place of safety and wait for it to pass. If it's a slow freight, you might be in the cess a bit longer than if it's a Class 1 at linespeed- the position of Lookouts is calculated assuming a train at maximum Linespeed, and as soon as it is seen, the gang stands down into the place of safety.

So, I don't think we're going to see cyclepaths alongside railway lines any time soon......

TPO
Cyril Haearn
Posts: 15029
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Cyril Haearn »

The cess is the ditch below the tracks, right?
Seems much too dangerous to work on the lines when trains are running but what are the alternatives? Night work or closing the line. How many workers are killed working on the PW?
Many lines run on banks or in cuttings, by building retaining walls space could be created here

PS
TPO = also Travelling Post Office, that was great, taking up and dropping the mails at speed :wink:
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies
pwa
Posts: 13941
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by pwa »

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5777413 ... 6?hl=en-GB

Llangeinor crossing. The shared use track goes on for miles but at this point, for about 100 metres, the track had to be far narrower than the designer was happy with because of the constraints of the neighbouring property and the minimum distance the path had to be from the closest rail. A heritage railway charity hopes to resume use of trains on the line. Most of the shared use path is wide.

Not sure if the swivel A frame thing is still there. They were initially installed due to heavy motorcycle problems but as the problem receded the barriers started to go.

Shows the problems and possibilities of squeezing a path in beside an existing rail track.
Last edited by pwa on 4 Feb 2018, 5:45pm, edited 1 time in total.
ThePinkOne
Posts: 226
Joined: 12 Jul 2007, 9:21pm

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by ThePinkOne »

Cyril Haearn wrote:The cess is the ditch below the tracks, right?
Yes, and by extension all the area between the bottom of the ballast shoulder and the fence

Cyril Haearn wrote: Seems much too dangerous to work on the lines when trains are running but what are the alternatives? Night work or closing the line. How many workers are killed working on the PW?

Working with trains running is still necessary for some things, but is tightly controlled and minimised, and only done in daylight. If the system of work is set up properly it is safe, but setting up work like that needs more experience and ideally a good knowledge of the location. A lot of maintenance work is done at night in "engineering hours" in the timetable white periods, but the problem there is there's so little time. Most places, only 00:30 to 04:30 available (so maybe 3 hours work time if you need an OLE or 3rd rail too), and if the last passenger train is running late it's less again. Also, freight runs overnight, in some places with 4 tracks you can only ever get a midweek night maintenance block on 2 of the 4 lines, never 4 out of 4. Bigger track renewal jobs are done in 36 or 48 hours all lines closed blocks over the weekend- these are booked 104 weeks in advance, and diversions/rail replacement buses put in place.

Not many trackworkers killed these days, the last trackworker fatality (from trains) was a few years ago, more likely to be killed in a road accident these days. However, it is true that historically there's been quite a few trackworker fatalities.

Cyril Haearn wrote:Many lines run on banks or in cuttings, by building retaining walls space could be created here
Not in cuttings, just not enough space. On embankments- well, maybe- but the engineering required would be significant, better to add Dutch-style facilities to roads. And there is often less space than looks from the train.


TPO
Steady rider
Posts: 2322
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Steady rider »

A starting point could be with the tourist/ steam lines, where the speeds are low. North York Moors railway wrote me a letter back in the about 2000 saying they would consider having a cycle path along side. At the time cold water came from other cyclists saying a high fence would be required. Near Penistone they have a cycle path next to the rail line with a moderate fence
Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1644
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Richard Fairhurst »

There are already a few heritage lines where cycle routes run alongside: NCN 4 runs alongside the Avon Valley Railway near Bristol, NCN 8 alongside the Welsh Highland Railway near Caernarfon, and NCN 27 alongside a line whose name eludes me near Plymouth.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides
Steady rider
Posts: 2322
Joined: 4 Jan 2009, 4:31pm

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Post by Steady rider »

Thanks Richard
Interesting to hear about these lines. Since they were introduced it would be good the know if the heritage lines have gained by having more people near by. If these line have benefitted with cycle path being added alongside, this info could be used to contact others and promote extra paths/tracks. I expect to be in Bristol this year so will have a look.
Post Reply