1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

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Ruperts Trooper
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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:47

Fenlander wrote:There were some numbers in a piece on the BBC a while back about the opening of a train route from China to Europe (or something like that) and the conclusion was that it was only really of use for time sensitive loads as although sea freight is very slow it is also very, very cheap.
The UK-China railway freight route opened last winter, the first train from China arriving in London in January 2017 and the return trip arriving in China in April 2017.

Cheaper than air freight, quicker than sea freight https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/f ... 27776.html
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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by WHBM » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:51

Fenlander wrote:There were some numbers in a piece on the BBC a while back about the opening of a train route from China to Europe (or something like that) and the conclusion was that it was only really of use for time sensitive loads as although sea freight is very slow it is also very, very cheap.
This was a bit of a joke. the railway gauge changes twice between China and Britain, because Russia (actually a majority of the distance) is different. They didn't use special wagons, the containers were actually taken off twice and sat waiting a subsequent train. Real breach of the Trades Discrimination Act. Incidentally, it's not new railway. It's all been there for a century and more. Freight wagons could even come by special ship across the Channel, which the old British Rail owned, before the tunnel was built.

The issue is that time-sensitive items go by air. There has always been a substantial two-way air freight provision between Europe and the Far East, and pricing is good. Container ships likewise have developed their speed, both on the voyage and at the terminals (they no longer have to stop for fuel along the way), and so rail is squeezed in the middle. About the only thing it is best for is lithium batteries, which are banned by air.

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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by KeithW » Wed Dec 06, 2017 16:24

WHBM wrote:
Fenlander wrote:There were some numbers in a piece on the BBC a while back about the opening of a train route from China to Europe (or something like that) and the conclusion was that it was only really of use for time sensitive loads as although sea freight is very slow it is also very, very cheap.
This was a bit of a joke. the railway gauge changes twice between China and Britain, because Russia (actually a majority of the distance) is different. They didn't use special wagons, the containers were actually taken off twice and sat waiting a subsequent train. Real breach of the Trades Discrimination Act. Incidentally, it's not new railway. It's all been there for a century and more. Freight wagons could even come by special ship across the Channel, which the old British Rail owned, before the tunnel was built.

The issue is that time-sensitive items go by air. There has always been a substantial two-way air freight provision between Europe and the Far East, and pricing is good. Container ships likewise have developed their speed, both on the voyage and at the terminals (they no longer have to stop for fuel along the way), and so rail is squeezed in the middle. About the only thing it is best for is lithium batteries, which are banned by air.
The Russians chose their gauge in a rather odd way. When in the 1840's the first railway from Moscow to Saint Petersburg was planned the engineer Pavel Melnikov wanted to use a 6 ft gauge as he was rather a fan of Brunel's broad gauge. The board was concerned by the cost so hired as a consultant George Washington Whistler, a prominent American railway engineer. Whistler recommended 5 ft (1,524 mm) on the basis that it was cheaper to construct than 6 ft (1,829 mm) while still offering the same advantages over 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) and that there was no need to worry about a break-of-gauge since it would never be connected to the Western European railways. The old Baltic Soviet Republics are slowly converting to standard gauge. Spain and Portugal similarly used a non standard gauge of 1,668 mm but has been building new high speed lines to standard gauge and there is talk of planning a switch of existing lines.

As for freight given how quickly you can move a container from one train to another I dont see the gauge being a big issue. The real problem is the Trans Siberian railways in Russia are congested and slow (40 mph average). However the long term plan - the TransKazakhstan Trunk Railways project will be a standard gauge line via Kazakhstan , Iran and Turkey that will be built for high speed traffic shaving several days of the transit time.

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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by RichardA626 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 21:40

I've heard Russia also chose a non-standard gauge as they were worried about a potential future invasion & wanted to make mobilisation difficult for any enemy.
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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by KeithW » Thu Dec 07, 2017 18:44

RichardA626 wrote:I've heard Russia also chose a non-standard gauge as they were worried about a potential future invasion & wanted to make mobilisation difficult for any enemy.
That I am afraid is an urban legend, however it may have been part of the reason they stuck with it as was the case with Spain. During WW2 the Germans initially would swap the bogies on the train at the border but later rebuilt a lot of the lines in the western USSR as standard gauge.

However since then Variable Gauge rolling stock has been developed for passenger trains. The way it works is the stock has axles with variable gauges. When you pass from one to the other there is gauge changer that unlocks the devices on the axle as it runs through the transition and locks it up afterwards after transition.

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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by RichardA626 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 20:32

KeithW wrote:
RichardA626 wrote:I've heard Russia also chose a non-standard gauge as they were worried about a potential future invasion & wanted to make mobilisation difficult for any enemy.
That I am afraid is an urban legend, however it may have been part of the reason they stuck with it as was the case with Spain. During WW2 the Germans initially would swap the bogies on the train at the border but later rebuilt a lot of the lines in the western USSR as standard gauge.

However since then Variable Gauge rolling stock has been developed for passenger trains. The way it works is the stock has axles with variable gauges. When you pass from one to the other there is gauge changer that unlocks the devices on the axle as it runs through the transition and locks it up afterwards after transition.
OK I was thinking that.

I've heard of bogie changes in certain places where gauges meet, & the Great Western built some later broad gauge rolling stock which could be adapted for standard gauge.
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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Thu Dec 07, 2017 20:44

RichardA626 wrote:
KeithW wrote:
RichardA626 wrote:I've heard Russia also chose a non-standard gauge as they were worried about a potential future invasion & wanted to make mobilisation difficult for any enemy.
That I am afraid is an urban legend, however it may have been part of the reason they stuck with it as was the case with Spain. During WW2 the Germans initially would swap the bogies on the train at the border but later rebuilt a lot of the lines in the western USSR as standard gauge.

However since then Variable Gauge rolling stock has been developed for passenger trains. The way it works is the stock has axles with variable gauges. When you pass from one to the other there is gauge changer that unlocks the devices on the axle as it runs through the transition and locks it up afterwards after transition.
OK I was thinking that.

I've heard of bogie changes in certain places where gauges meet, & the Great Western built some later broad gauge rolling stock which could be adapted for standard gauge.
The Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway was 2'6" gauge and met the standard gauge line at Waterhouses and solved the gauge change differently - the standard gauge wagons to/from the milk factory were simply run onto special narrow gauge trucks and then run off at destination to a standard gauge siding - this meant that lineside clearances are typical of standard gauge rather than narrow gauge - and the passenger coaches for the booming tourist trade were generously proportioned - part of the trackbed is now pubic road through Swainsley Tunnel.
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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by vlad » Fri Dec 08, 2017 20:47

Ruperts Trooper wrote:The Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway was 2'6" gauge and met the standard gauge line at Waterhouses and solved the gauge change differently - the standard gauge wagons to/from the milk factory were simply run onto special narrow gauge trucks and then run off at destination to a standard gauge siding - this meant that lineside clearances are typical of standard gauge rather than narrow gauge - and the passenger coaches for the booming tourist trade were generously proportioned - part of the trackbed is now pubic road through Swainsley Tunnel.
The gauge change was actually filmed - it can be seen at this Youtube link from about 27s on.
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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Fri Dec 08, 2017 20:55

vlad wrote:
Ruperts Trooper wrote:The Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway was 2'6" gauge and met the standard gauge line at Waterhouses and solved the gauge change differently - the standard gauge wagons to/from the milk factory were simply run onto special narrow gauge trucks and then run off at destination to a standard gauge siding - this meant that lineside clearances are typical of standard gauge rather than narrow gauge - and the passenger coaches for the booming tourist trade were generously proportioned - part of the trackbed is now pubic road through Swainsley Tunnel.
The gauge change was actually filmed - it can be seen at this Youtube link from about 27s on.
Brilliant film - a simple solution to the trans-shipment issue.
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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by KeithW » Sat Dec 09, 2017 23:55

Ruperts Trooper wrote:
vlad wrote:
Ruperts Trooper wrote:The Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway was 2'6" gauge and met the standard gauge line at Waterhouses and solved the gauge change differently - the standard gauge wagons to/from the milk factory were simply run onto special narrow gauge trucks and then run off at destination to a standard gauge siding - this meant that lineside clearances are typical of standard gauge rather than narrow gauge - and the passenger coaches for the booming tourist trade were generously proportioned - part of the trackbed is now pubic road through Swainsley Tunnel.
The gauge change was actually filmed - it can be seen at this Youtube link from about 27s on.
Brilliant film - a simple solution to the trans-shipment issue.
Within limits. As a light railway the line was limited to 25mph and it was only used to carry a daily milk wagon. When more traffic needed to be handled the usual practice was to have a dual gauge railway in which you have 3 rails. This was done on parts of the GWR to allow broad and standard gauge to exist and is used quite commonly where you have a mix of metre gauge and standard gauge railways.

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Re: 1920s Lymington to Freshwater proposed railway tunnel!?

Post by 6637 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 15:57

I've just found a recent news article on this old tunnel proposal, with more info. https://www.advertiserandtimes.co.uk/tu ... e-of-wight

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