Jump to content


Photo

High Speed Rail - Thro' Amersham?


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
427 replies to this topic

#1 David P

David P

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,748 posts

Posted 27 December 2009 - 07:08 PM

I had assumed that the planned high speed link to the north would follow the Chiltern Line through Wycombe. However, today's Sunday Times has an article on it, which says that it has already been planned to within 25 yards and shows a map of the expected area through which it 'will slice'. The area starts just north of Wycombe and extend to just south of Berkhamsted, with Amersham right in the middle.
There is also expected to be a stop just north of the M4 for Heathrow.
David P

#2 Zoom

Zoom

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 832 posts

Posted 27 December 2009 - 08:42 PM

I think the problem is that there are several groups all lobbying for their preferred route.... and they're all issuing their plans to journalists who them publish them as "the" route...

The published routing report
http://www.greengaug...ts/GG21_HS2.pdf
is based on a route that follows the Chiltern Main Line/M40 through High Wycombe to Princes Risborough and then up to Bicester etc...

No route has been decided and a route won't be decided for a long time... I'd treat all of these stories with a pinch of salt at this stage... I think that the story in the Sunday Times was actually to have a stab at the PM because it mentined Chequers several times... and personally I'd prefer to believe published reports rather than Murdoch journalists.

#3 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 27 December 2009 - 10:57 PM

The area starts just north of Wycombe and extend to just south of Berkhamsted, with Amersham right in the middle.

Until I looked at the Sunday Times, I misread that and imagined a bizarre route from Wycombe to Berkhamsted (all the hills!). For anyone else equally slow on the uptake, the "area" is a swathe, broadly East-West and Amersham is in the middle, though given the gradients, if that route was chosen, I presume it would be more likely to go along the valley, near the A413. Anyway, here's the article, unfortunately without the map: Sunday Times article (note that you have to click near the bottom to see the second page).

The published routing report
http://www.greengaug...ts/GG21_HS2.pdf
is based on a route that follows the Chiltern Main Line/M40 through High Wycombe to Princes Risborough and then up to Bicester etc...

But that report is 2.5 years old; surely there is something more recent?


No route has been decided and a route won't be decided for a long time... I'd prefer to believe published reports rather than Murdoch journalists.


According to the BFP (not necessarily any more reliable than Murdoch's gang), the operating company will submit a preferred route in January 2010, though obviously a final decision would take much longer (lots of public enquiries). See BFP article.

According to Lord Adonis (and note the first word) " if the Government decide to pursue proposals for high-speed rail, we will publish a White Paper setting out plans by the end of March 2010. This would include route proposals, timescales and associated financial, economic, and environmental assessments. The White Paper would be followed by a full public consultation in the autumn of 2010, giving all interested parties an opportunity to comment before proposals are finalised". See House of Commons website article.

#4 Zoom

Zoom

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 832 posts

Posted 28 December 2009 - 10:36 PM

All that is true... in terms of the published timelines... but it is going to end up being delayed and delayed and delayed.... especially as there is no money to pay for it any more...

And all the materials from HS2 (who are the company putting together the proposals) talks about the line following the Chiltern Line MAIN LINE and the M40... ie the Chiltern Line route that goes through High Wycombe....

I suspect people are confused by the Chiltern Line having two separate routes and have confused the line through HW with the line through Amersham.

Anyway, whatever plans are proposed or published... they WILL end up being delayed and bogged down in wrangles... because twas ever thus.

#5 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:54 PM

And all the materials from HS2 (who are the company putting together the proposals) talks about the line following the Chiltern Line MAIN LINE and the M40... ie the Chiltern Line route that goes through High Wycombe....


That's plausible.

#6 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:14 PM

And all the materials from HS2 (who are the company putting together the proposals) talks about the line following the Chiltern Line MAIN LINE and the M40... ie the Chiltern Line route that goes through High Wycombe.....

Unfortunately that's not what has been proposed. The plan is to go near our bit of the Chiltern line, but not alongside it.

In fact, the proposal would go between Old Amersham and the rest of the town, running behind Tesco, though with a tunnel for that stretch.

After the Tesco tunnel disaster in GX, I'm not sure if that's a good omen.



#7 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:22 PM

You beat me to it.Could be quite an impact for the town.It could possibly benefit the town to.Cant open the maps as the site seems very slow.Maybe the idea was to keep quiet as long as possible so that the public wouldnt be able to obstruct the decisions.

#8 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:26 PM

You beat me to it.Could be quite an impact for the town.It could possibly benefit the town to.Cant open the maps as the site seems very slow.Maybe the idea was to keep quiet as long as possible so that the public wouldnt be able to obstruct the decisions.

I've opened the maps several times without problems, so keep trying.

I can't see any benefit for the town because there won't be a station nearby.

Tunnelling should, in theory, cause less disruption in both the short and long term than making a cutting, though presumably there will be noise and support vehicles etc during construction.

I still can't get over the idea of building a high speed rail route that goes roughly west out of London, but doesn't go via Heathrow. Mad.

#9 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:27 PM

Ooooh I take that back it looks like it cuts through some housing on London Road and I couldnt see any new station or link to the current. :o

#10 KevinR

KevinR

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 379 posts
  • Location:Chesham Bois

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:27 PM

[size="3"] After the Tesco tunnel disaster in GX, I'm not sure if that's a good omen


From a quick look at the maps it looks like a really really long tunnel. The excavation work is going to be massive and make the GX work look tiny. I've not read all the material, but suspect they would have to use a different tunneling technique due to the tunnel length - maybe this would be more like the Channel Tunnel? However they choose to do it there are going to be vast amounts of material to dispose of somewhere. Whoever lives near where the tunnel excavations reach the surface is in for several years of massive disruption.

#11 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:31 PM

Looking at the general map I can see they opted for the route that goes through the least developed areas,causing as little disruption as possible.

#12 PaulEden

PaulEden

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,710 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:A spaceship

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:46 PM

From a quick look at the maps it looks like a really really long tunnel. The excavation work is going to be massive and make the GX work look tiny. I've not read all the material, but suspect they would have to use a different tunneling technique due to the tunnel length - maybe this would be more like the Channel Tunnel?

GX was an existing cutting roofed over though, wasn't it? It seems that much of the tunnel is over farmland, so 'cut and cover' (how the LU Circle Line was made) might be easiest, though with lots of local disruption. They may consider a tunnel boring machine not feasible in our clay.

#13 Fran

Fran

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,200 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Amersham
  • Interests:Reading, writing about reading, theatre, film, restaurants, walking through woodland, Scrabble.

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:49 PM

It seems that much of the tunnel is over farmland

I like the idea of tunnelling over; it sounds much easier and safer. ;)

Another link: Government consultation document (152 pages).

#14 PaulEden

PaulEden

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,710 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:A spaceship

Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:57 PM

If you squint enough at the map, you can see a UFO.

#15 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 11 March 2010 - 03:43 PM

If you squint enough at the map, you can see a UFO.

I noticed that and there's something waving out the windows! :D
Mel and Co

#16 bigfishjeff

bigfishjeff

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 11 March 2010 - 04:41 PM

Just think of the effect if you are in the middle of buying or selling a house!!

Hello to everyone by the way

jeff

#17 roob_the_doob

roob_the_doob

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 604 posts

Posted 11 March 2010 - 05:52 PM

[size="3"]Unfortunately that's not what has been proposed. The plan is to go near our bit of the Chiltern line, but not alongside it.

In fact, the proposal would go between Old Amersham and the rest of the town, running behind Tesco, though with a tunnel for that stretch.

After the Tesco tunnel disaster in GX, I'm not sure if that's a good omen.

This looks like a seriously long tunnel, from east of the M25 near Chalfont St Peter to just west of the old town, at which point it emerges into a deep cutting. I guess they might cut and fill for some of it, but it's pretty deep and some of it runs straight through residential areas (half of Chalfont St Giles and the bottom end of Station Road). It's marked on the map as "New M25 to Amersham Twin Bore 8.5 Tunnel 9600m", so maybe they will bore straight through.

Interestingly, the map key includes listed buildings, but none of the old town nor High and Over are marked.

#18 Bengley

Bengley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chesham

Posted 11 March 2010 - 06:06 PM

To be fair, it has to go somewhere and if it goes through Amersham, so be it. The trains will be electric, not diesel, so will be quieter than diesel trains. I also think that railway lines add a nice feature to the countryside. Rather than just fields and fields, what's wrong with a 30m stretch of gravel with a few metal slats and some wires above it?

Posted Image

Hardly an eyesore, is it?

#19 Zoom

Zoom

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 832 posts

Posted 11 March 2010 - 07:26 PM

I've downloaded and looked at the detailed maps.

The tunnel is a seriously long tunnel from the M25 which is planned to emerge into a cutting just outside Amersham old town behind the Church Street area (before the roundabout at the far end of the bypass). The line will then continue in quite a deep cutting for another mile and then run along the ridge above Great Missenden (some above ground, some in cuttings) before dropping down past Wendover and Aylesbury.

A few things then...

1. If you look at the detailed plans they show in detail the vertical relationship between the proposed line and the existing landscape (eg where the line will be in cuttings and how deep, where it will be above, bridges and viaducts, etc).

2. There will be no benefit at all to Amersham - forget that thought.

3. Even if the line did not cause noise and pollution when in operation (debated by many) there is no doubt that the construction work for the tunnel and the cuttings will be hugely disruptive. Because Amersham is at the end of the tunnel, the town will be the focus for the tunnel construction works. So the Old Town, bypass and A413 will be blighted by noise, dirt and construction traffic for years. And there is likely to be the need for a site to house the contruction workers too.

4. The area where the tunnel emerges and the cutting is slap in the middle of an area that I've always thought would be prime site for future housing development - behind church street on the way out of old town towards the far end of the bypass.

5. The tunnel is so long I don't understand why they didn't extend it half a mile futher to lesson the impact on Amersham. But I guess it is to do with the levels and its route beyond Amersham towards Great Missenden.

6. I cannot fathom how they could envisage a high speed line that does not have a station at Heathrow. This is totally barking mad. For us in Amersham, if they did have a station at Heathrow it would push the line further West and that would probably mean sending it up through High Wycombe area rather than Misbourne Valley.

7. If you think this is bad for Amersham then I think you should feel sorry for Wendover residents. The route is planned to pass within quarter of a mile of Wendover on a raised embankment (!!) and viaduct (passing 10m-15m above the level of the A413 and chiltern line). The noise will seriously damage Wendover.

#20 earlybird

earlybird

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 11 March 2010 - 09:14 PM

Five key points to make:


1. Public consultation, and "further work on mitigating impacts" begins in autumn 2010. Without serious campaigning, this will be a rubber-stamp exercise.

2. The proposed Amersham location for the mouth of the tunnel is just metres away from St Mary's School. This will be horribly disruptive to the children's learning. Perhaps the head (and parents?) could lobby to have it moved 500m further to the west?

3. Building is scheduled to begin in 2017, so plenty of time to kick up a fuss.

4. How odd to route the tunnel to the north of the A413, underneath Amersham, rather than to its south, which is much more thinly populated, and which does not have chalkstream (Misbourne) groundwater - an engineering headache, to say the least. Perhaps the noise and vibration would upset the Howe Estate more than we Amersham folk - after all, we only have schools, the fragile fabric of our coaching town, and houses for several thousand ordinary people to protect.

5. As any fule kno, the Metropolitan railway routed itself through Amersham-on-the-Hill because the Squire Tyrwhitt-Drake did not want to spoil the view from Shardeloes (see point 4). Perhaps the train men will power the line by placing a turbine on his grave? ;)

#21 roob_the_doob

roob_the_doob

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 604 posts

Posted 11 March 2010 - 09:25 PM

If they are going to tunnel that far, they might as well tunnel all the way to beyond Wendover. From just east of Amersham, where the tunnel is approx 50m below ground level, the track rises approx 135m before dropping approx 50m back down to Stoke Mandeville. It would seem to be more sensible to simply keep the tunnel 50m below ground all the way to Wendover, rising gently and then levelling off, emerging at ground level to the west.

That's also a location with better traffic access - the A41 is very close.

#22 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 March 2010 - 09:54 PM

Five key points to make:


1. Public consultation, and "further work on mitigating impacts" begins in autumn 2010. Without serious campaigning, this will be a rubber-stamp exercise.


Is campaigning really going to have any effect.The plans were kept secret before so that they couldnt be objected to.It seems that once central goverment are behind a mass proposed infrastructure development its already on its coarse and that campaigning will if anything maybe have an effect on the fine details.Like Heathrow and crossrail for example.The people who are likely to suffer the most disruption are those who's homes will sitting in the way of the proposed tunnels in London Rd.Even those left near the tunnel site will have the worry of living near a the tunnel,noise,vibration,land movement etc.

On the Amersham map the tunnel proposed is to be a double bore.Is this a double tunnel for change over of trains?Im curious as to how wide this will make the proposed site through Amersham.

If the tunnel stops at Amersham, would there be a dedicated service/emegency hub in Chesham for the railway?

There are so many questions,its hard to know where to start on this one.I just hope it causes as little disruption as possible to residents and doenst spoil the old town.

#23 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:13 PM

If they are going to tunnel that far, they might as well tunnel all the way to beyond Wendover. From just east of Amersham, where the tunnel is approx 50m below ground level, the track rises approx 135m before dropping approx 50m back down to Stoke Mandeville. It would seem to be more sensible to simply keep the tunnel 50m below ground all the way to Wendover, rising gently and then levelling off, emerging at ground level to the west.

That's also a location with better traffic access - the A41 is very close.


Maybe its due to funding or that the goelogy isnt suitable to tunnel all the way.If it comes nearer the A41 then its likely to cut through more villages than the going through the farm land proposed.I suppose running the tunnel near the A413 is more for the transport of tunneling workforce than for access of communters as there no station nearby.If its going to be 50m below ground that is one massive excavation,it would cause mass disruption to the old amersham area.

#24 Peter1

Peter1

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:42 PM

I don't believe the Amersham and greater Chiltern community have been well represented on the Media today. Its difficult to avoid NIMBY-ism but all the voices from this area were distinctly underwhelming. Of course we need to progress transport in this country and need high speed rail between urban centres. But a MASSIVE engineering project through the best of the Chilterns! Amersham - a beautiful Domesday town will be forever ruined - the noise alone will see to that. The rail may be electric but the noise will only be worse than the High Speed 1 in Kent which can be heard for miles around. All this a few metres from the centre of the old town.

I cannot understand the arguements in the White paper against running the line alongside the existing track to Birmingham along the M40 corridor. I do not believe that a 10km tunnel is affordable and once these proposals are set in stone, the prospect of above ground rail along the Misbourne Valley is a real possibility to allow cost savings.

I understand that the conservatives are against these proposals (mainly due to cost and lack of Heathrow link) but our local MP must be more vocal. This is potentially the biggest change to the town and its atmosphere for many generations.

#25 Eaton

Eaton

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts
  • Location:Milk Hall Barns, Latimer Road
  • Interests:Animals, Birds, Reading, Crosswords, Suduko and Cross Stitch

Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:51 PM

but our local MP must be more vocal.

No doubt she'll jump in at some stage but as with the potholes it will be a few weeks down the line before she notices that there's a problem.
Mel and Co

#26 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:54 PM

No doubt she'll jump in at some stage but as with the potholes it will be a few weeks down the line before she notices that there's a problem.

No doubt she'll pop up in the local papers, showing how concerned she is.

#27 Bengley

Bengley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chesham

Posted 12 March 2010 - 01:17 AM

It's not going to ruin Amersham. Anyone living by a railway gets used to it eventually, imagine living on the houses by the Chesham branch! ROOOAR! Every 15 minutes. People have to live with it all over the place, and railways are necessary to this country's infrastructure.

Besides, Amersham isn't that fantastic. I can think of better places to live (I live in Chesham which is far worse than Amersham)

#28 chesham321

chesham321

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 45 posts

Posted 12 March 2010 - 05:11 AM

At what point will this government stop encroaching into the Greenbelt??

This plan will totally spoil the Chilterns, Amersham and many surrounding towns and villages. I agree however, that we need a good rail infrastructure, just not built in this location, it should follow existing motorways as far as possible, not cut through an area of outstanding beauty.

But before we add even more to the railway infrastructure, would it perhaps not be best to "Fix" what we have allready? I would dare to suggest that we can barely afford to maintain what we have, especially as we are into Year ?? of weekend railway closures and they seem to show no signs of ending.

#29 PaulEden

PaulEden

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,710 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:A spaceship

Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:33 AM

It's not going to ruin Amersham. Anyone living by a railway gets used to it eventually, imagine living on the houses by the Chesham branch! ROOOAR! Every 15 minutes. People have to live with it all over the place, and railways are necessary to this country's infrastructure.


Not only that, it's going to pressing on at 200 MPH as it comes past us. Any ROOOAR will come and go pretty damn quickly. As it comes out of the cutting west of us, it'll increase speed to 250 MPH.

I've noticed that the emergency access shaft, just south of the Stanley Hill (bottom) roundabout is quite close to the Misbourne's flood plain. I'm no geologist* but I hope that's been taken into account.

*actually, I am. O Level Geology 1982. :)

#30 hyposmurf

hyposmurf

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,500 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 12 March 2010 - 12:48 PM

It's not going to ruin Amersham. Anyone living by a railway gets used to it eventually, imagine living on the houses by the Chesham branch! ROOOAR! Every 15 minutes. People have to live with it all over the place, and railways are necessary to this country's infrastructure.

Besides, Amersham isn't that fantastic. I can think of better places to live (I live in Chesham which is far worse than Amersham)


Do you mean the existing met line in Chesham or are you talking about the proposed new train route that will pass below The Lee in Chesham.The proposed route shouldnt impact Chesham that much at all.Other than extra traffic for the works the Lee is about 5 miles out of the centre of Chesham,most of the are it will effect is farmland.Shame it cant be underground in that location to.Please correct me if Im wrong but I cant see it effecting Chesham that much once the work is complete.Neither towns are fantastic, but they are nice places to live and far better than many towns of a similar size that Ive visited.

Looking at the Section drawing of the railway line where can I find a key indiacting what the green,red & blue stand for?Green I guess is existing terrian and blue/red the proposed train route?Whats the difference between blue and red,also are the red line lines running perpendicular to the route,showing noise or whwere cutting will be carried out?
If that is the case some of the proposed train route passing The Lee will be below some of the highest terrain, limiting some of the noise.