Railway cycle tracks

tonich
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Joined: 31 Jan 2018, 6:52pm

Railway cycle tracks

Postby tonich » 31 Jan 2018, 7:10pm

As we all know. In the 1960s the Beeching report lead to the closure of about one third of Britain's rail network. As a result there are now hundreds of disused railway lines which now make fabulous, safe walking and cycle routes.
All well and good but we have missed a trick. Rather than the mindset (as great as it is) of making use of old railway lines, why have we never made use of current railway lines?
This would involve having a 'parallel' track, separated by the current fencing but running alongside our railways. This could also be used as a service line.
We would then have an extensive off road cycle network, reasonably flat and linking all major cities as well as many towns and villages.
As I say, we may have missed this opportunity with regards to our current rail network but current legislation which includes cycle lanes for some of our new roads (which can end up poorly connected and just as dangerous) could be created for new railway lines and who's to say, if it is popular then other rail networks may add cycle tracks as budgets become available.

tatanab
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby tatanab » 31 Jan 2018, 7:22pm

Who would pay for the land?

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Cyril Haearn » 31 Jan 2018, 7:41pm

+1
There are plenty of lines that were double-track and are now single, there must be many chances there
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Cavemud
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Cavemud » 31 Jan 2018, 8:51pm

Bizaarely this is something I have been talking about a lot recently.

There are lots of lines with parallel redundant track beds or access tracks that are rarely used.

Right next to our property there is a rail line with a maintenance access track. That track would provide an off road cycle route almost into the city centre. The benefits to cycle commuters would be huge.

I work in the rail industry an appreciate there are in fact some reasonably significant challenges to be overcome, particularly where lines are electrified, but in most scenarios I'm sure it could be done.

In many cases NR would want to use the route for maintenance access, but much of that access would be at night, and if they needed to take a vehicle down during the day that could be managed safely.

Network Rail would strongly oppose such suggestions I imagine, but with enough political will surely it could be done?

Cavemud
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Cavemud » 31 Jan 2018, 8:57pm

And NR are publicly owned....so it's our land.....

landsurfer
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby landsurfer » 31 Jan 2018, 9:09pm

I suspect it's not as simple as we think.
It's about land ownership.
Railway Tracks are sited on the "Permanent Way". (PW)
The PW has defined boundaries and additional tracks could be placed in suitable areas within the PW.
I understand that the PW is not the area defined by the Cess, the 4 foot, the 6 foot, the 4 foot and the Cess, but by the area within the trackside fences ?
Feel free to put me right on this one as i cannot find a modern definition of the PW that matches the asset defined by Network Rail as "their asset".
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Cyril Haearn » 31 Jan 2018, 9:35pm

Many rail lines are on embankments or in cuttings, these could be used for cycleways if walls were built to save space
+1, no 'new' use of land
Not sure about cycling next to hs2 mind

Motorways are not as flat as railways, but they could be narrowed to make space for cycleways too
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Bonefishblues
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Bonefishblues » 31 Jan 2018, 9:42pm

I'd rather cycle next to HS2 than the M40.

landsurfer
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby landsurfer » 31 Jan 2018, 9:53pm

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 ....
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pwa
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby pwa » 31 Jan 2018, 9:58pm

My former employer, a Groundwork Trust, leased a former rail track from Network Rail on a peppercorn rent. Cost nothing but, of course, you take on all the responsibilities and liabilities.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Bonefishblues » 31 Jan 2018, 9:59pm

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 ....

I'm rather assuming that if a path was built then I would be a safe distance away, otherwise it might not be a particularly well-used facility, or rather, we might run out of cyclists quite quickly!

Apropos of the M40 I did, many years ago see someone cycling on the hard shoulder where it turned into the A40. This was before it was extended to Birmingham.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Cyril Haearn » 31 Jan 2018, 10:13pm

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 ....

Had a problem with the Thueringer Wald U-Bahn in Germany, the up and down lines share a tunnel, one can imagine the pressure waves :( so there is a lower maximum speed limit
Separate up and down tunnels are better but more expensive
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atlas_shrugged
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby atlas_shrugged » 31 Jan 2018, 10:17pm

+1 with this thread - completely agree.

The ownership of the land is not required. NR can keep the ownership. All that is required is to have permitted access to this land. NR would from time to time want to withdraw that access perhaps for essential maintenance. But I would settle for 90% of something good.

The rail tracks were especially chosen to avoid steep hills. As a cyclist bad at hills I can agree with that.

landsurfer
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby landsurfer » 31 Jan 2018, 10:18pm

: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 !
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby Cyril Haearn » 31 Jan 2018, 10:22pm

The railway over Stainmore would be great to ride, the Waverley Line, Moat Lane to Aberhonddu, Hereford to Glasbury, Sennybridge..

As road traffic declines such lines could be reopened for trains AND as cycleways, then it would be dead easy to get home if one had a breakdown
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies