Wednesday, June 22, 2022

News: Plans for restoring railways in Rotherham chugging along

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Two local projects are still moving forward as part of a Government initiative aimed at bringing underutilised rail routes back to life.

Rothbiz reported in 2020 that a new station at the Waverley development was successful in the second round of the Restoring Your Railway "Ideas Fund" that will progress plans to deliver new routes and improved connectivity, as well as developing plans for new stations to areas poorly served by public transport.

The bid centres on a new Waverley Station on the Sheffield-Worksop-Lincoln Line (which skirts the Southern edge of the Waverley site and also serves Kiveton) and is linked to another bid, which is further developed, for the restoration of passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield, which was successful in this first round of the Ideas Fund.

Whilst Waverley is still at the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) stage, the proposal to re-open the Barrow Hill railway line to passenger traffic is through to the next stage and is being supported to develop further. It will share a slice of £15m with eight other schemes also in development.

Rail Minister Wendy Morton said: "This fund is a great example of how we are committed to helping communities across the country level up and reconnect people and businesses to new opportunities."

The Barrow Hill scheme is described as a "deliverable opportunity to level-up ‘left-behind’ communities currently disconnected from the urban centres of Sheffield and Chesterfield."

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Using part of the "Old Road" services would run between Sheffield Midland or Sheffield Victoria, via the existing Nunnery Square junction, along the existing Sheffield-Worksop-Lincoln line as far as Beighton before transferring to the Barrow Hill line as far as Tapton Junction where they would join the Midland Mainline for a short stretch into Chesterfield.

Two trains per hour, local (stopping) passenger services are proposed, with minimal infrastructure interventions.

The plans, which could cost between £33m and £113m, include a phased re-opening of stations at Eckington / Renishaw, Killamarsh, Staveley / Barrow Hill and Whittington.

As Waverely is on the same line as the Barrow Hill scheme, proponents are discussing the potential to align the business cases, procurement and construction to create efficencies. Adding in Waverley is likely to increase the overall demand for the Barrow Hill service and help with the business case.

Using Tram-Trains, like those that run between Sheffield and Rotherham, has already been discounted as it is anticipated to have a "significant and disproportionate implementation cost due to the electrification requirement and the inability to utilise the standard platforms at existing stations."

A bid to restore passenger services on the South Yorkshire Joint Railway was not successful in any previous rounds.

With regards to a new station for Rotherham on the mainline, which, despite being allocated funding, took a knock back when the Government scaled back ambitions for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), the region is waiting on a study of route options to take HS2 to Leeds led by Network Rail.

Andrew Moss, Interim Head of Transport Infrastructure at Rotherham Council recently told councillors that updates on remaining rail projects such as the Sheffield-Leeds Corridor improvements was now expected in September 2022.

Images: SYMCA

5 comments:

Anonymous,  June 22, 2022 at 11:47 AM  

See basically two lines that have an liitle or no relevance for virtually anyone in Rotherham!

Anonymous,  June 22, 2022 at 1:51 PM  

There are opportunities that have been missed by not using the old industrial routes. E.g. linking Maltby to Sheffield. Even turning down the proposed link from Doncaster to DSA. especially with the amount of housing/industry development going on in that area.

Rod June 22, 2022 at 10:20 PM  

Why not continue it north from Beighton up (or down in railway terminology) to Masbrough where it could meet up with services north from Sheffield... where they could build the new station...?

Anonymous,  June 28, 2022 at 3:29 PM  

That sounds like a sensible suggestion-the council seem hell bent on Parkgate instead of Masbrough though!

Anonymous,  June 28, 2022 at 7:17 PM  

Tbh I'd sooner get off/on a train at parkgate than masborough,don't know if you've been around where old station is in recent years,smackheads and dodgy characters galore,not a nice area!

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