Camp Hill, Moor Street and Chiltern Train reconnection

Birmingham City Council Councillor Martin Mullaney's blog has reported that work has begun on the first phase of re-opening Moseley and Kings Heath railway stations in 2018 with Centro, the West Midlands Public Transport Authority, working on designs for the south-west Bordesley Chord.

The initial 3 month study will look at the options for track and structure layouts on the Bordesley Chord and the estimated costs. Once a Preferred Option for the Chord has been selected, it will then be developed further by Network Rail. Network Rail have been successful in getting money from the Department for Transport for this work. It is intended to build the Bordesley Chord between 2014 to 2019.

Centro have allocated £125,000 for the initial feasibility study (i.e. up to selection of Preferred Option).

It is estimated that the cost of the Bordesley Chord will be approximately £35million. The cost of building stations at Moseley, Kings Heath and Stirchley would be £1million each.

The diagram below from my earlier post in April 2008, Network Rail Strategic Business Plan Update, shows the Chords connected to the Camp Hill line. The second diagram below is from a 2007 Birmingham City Council Camp Hill Line Study.

The Camp Hill line runs from the St Andrews Junction near Bordesley through Sparkbrook, Moseley, Kings Heath, and Cotteridge to Kings Norton. Local services were withdrawn in 1941 with the closing of stations including Moseley and Kings Heath as a 'wartime economy measure'. The line was retained however and is still used for freight and some Cross Country passenger services.

Centro undertook feasability studies for reopening the line for local passenger services in 1999 with the recommendation being to proceed with six trains per hour on the Cross City Line and further investigation was approved in 2005 as part of the Local Transport Plan to support the reinstatement of the line. Exisiting congestion at New Street was a key constraint in the 1999 consideration. With the refurbishment of Moor Street Station and the terminal platforms options changed with the availablity of a connecting line or chord between Camp Hill and Snow Hill line west of Bordesley linking the line into Moor Street Station. The ability of passenger services to be moved from terminating at New Street Station to Moor Street Station instead with the chords would reduce congestion to New Street Station and increase the transport hub offered by Moor Street Station.

The proposals for the route following a number of service scenarios were a 20-minute frequency Moor Street to Kings Norton service calling at new stations Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell. This would allow travelling time of 6 minutes for Moseley to Moor Street and 9 minutes from Kings Heath and 10 minutes from Hazelwell. The estimations of a regular service would generate over 1 million new rail tripsper annum.

The plans are part of a 20 year vision by Centro to move one million car drivers from road to rail with ambitions to make Moor Street station rival New Street as a commuter hub and new stations at Fort Parkway, Castle Bromwich together with the services connecting Moseley to Birmingham City Centre.

“Rail traffic has increased by 43 per cent in the last ten years – and we have not even built a new station. Imagine what could happen if we could do the things we’re proposing? We are committed to delivering a world-class public transport service for the West Midlands.”

Further details on the proposals and what is needed to achieve them will be published in the West Midlands Region Rail Development Plan which is due to be finalised in mid-April.

Moor Street terminus platform reconnection

Meanwhile, keen observers of Network Rail's Track Access section of their website will have spotted the application to cover the reconnection of two of the three bay platforms at Moor Street Station and the provision of two sidings with Chiltern Trains aiming to terminate one train per hour off peak at Moor Street Station,\Track%20Access\1%20Current%20Consultations\2009.02.27%20Chiltern%20Railways%2063rd%20Suplemental%20Agreement%20-%20closing%20date%20for%20responses%2026%20March%202009&pageid=4591&root=.

A picture I've taken in February of one of the unconnected bay platforms.

In the Track Access documents Chiltern Railways explain that they are pursuing the scheme firstly it is a requirement of the franchise agreement signed in February 2002 and secondly that the costs of the scheme will be exceeded by the revenue it will produce together with cost savings of centralising their traincrew and overnight stabling and cleaning of the trains.

The scheme, the 63rd Supplemental Track Access Agreement (STAA) is to facilitate Phase Three of the redevelopment of Birmingham Moor Street station which involves re-opening two terminal platforms and the creation of two carriage sidings.

The reopening of the line from Moor Street to Snow Hill in 1987 saw the closure of the terminal platforms following the creation of these through platforms. Their closure saw the connections to the terminal platforms removed with the adjoining concourse gated off and left derelict.

The redevelopment of Moor Street station is taking place in three phases of which this proposal is the third stage. The development stages of the station are shown below.

Phase One:
As a condition of the construction of the shopping centre, Hammersons were required to restore the old concourse area – and initially envisaged creating a small railway museum. The work to restore the concourse area was completed in 2001. As part of Phase One the majority of the length of the terminal platforms were cosmetically restored, and additional passenger facilities (toilets and a waiting area) were created. However, the tracks in the terminal platforms remained disconnected from the network. The restored concourse area and terminal platforms remain the property of Hammersons, but are operated by Chiltern Railways pursuant to a licence to occupy. Chiltern do not believe there is any need to change the licence to occupy
during construction.

Phase Two:
Chiltern were the sponsors of Phase Two of the Moor Street restoration, which was completed in 2005. It involved:
(i) the construction of a new footbridge with lifts linking the restored concourse and platform 1 (the platform accommodating trains travelling towards Snow Hill) with
platform 2 (the platform accommodating trains travelling towards Stratford upon Avon,
Leamington Spa and London Marylebone)
(ii) the removal of the unsightly 1987 built corrugated metal walls and canopies on
platforms 1 and 2 and replacement with walls and canopies created in an Edwardian
heritage style
(iii) the construction of a new waiting area on platform 2
(iv) the construction of a retail unit.

Phase Three:
Phase Three is the subject of this proposed 63rd STAA. Phase Three is the final part of the restoration of Moor Street and involves:
(i) the connection of two of the three terminal platforms to the network, each of which will be capable of accommodating 8x23 metre cars
(ii) the creation of two carriage sidings over the viaduct towards Bordesley, each to be capable of accommodating 8x23 metre cars with associated staff walkways
(iii) the track, signalling and structures work required to facilitate the above – including repairs to the currently disused part of the viaduct south of the station to make it capable of carrying trains.

The reuse of the two bays will allow Chiltern to change their use of Moor Street and Snow Hill Stations. Chiltern currently operate two trains per hour between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill. Chiltern is seeking to divert some of the trains to terminate at the bay platforms at Moor Street, Mondays to Fridays off
peak, 10 Up and 11 Down; Saturdays 9 Up and 11 Down; and Sundays 10 Up and 10 Down. During peak times two services an hour would continue to run through to Snow Hill. This Chiltern believes would support the use of Snow Hill for commuters at peak time, being near the business and law office environment, and Moor Street at off-peak time, being near the bullring for shoppers and visitors.

A diagram of the proposed track layout with phase three is shown below:


Roadman said…
Network Rail put their West Midlands Route Plan on their website in May 2009. The Plan mentions the new chords but does not mention new stations on the Camp Hill Line. NR have no evident intention to have stopping trains.
Thanks for sharing these & very well explain post. Some thing new to learn from this helpful post.

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