Shotton Chord Study
Client: Flintshire CC, Jun 2001 - Dec 2002
The Wrexham – Bidston line crosses the North Wales main line at Shotton without any direct connection being available. Passengers have to change platforms if they wish to make journeys from one line to the other, whilst freight trains have to make a considerable detour via Wrexham. This makes the rail network unattractive, even though the nearby Deeside Industrial Park has 9000 employees and generates significant volumes of freight.
Flintshire CC therefore commissioned The Railway Consultancy Ltd to examine the demand for, and operability of, a North – East chord line linking the two rail lines. Unfortunately, use of the company’s GCOST™ model demonstrated that there was no business case for a through passenger service between Chester and the West Wirral. Construction of an operational simulation demonstrated that through trains would in themselves not cause any operational problems, although it did show a weakness in current signalling arrangements. More positively, local consultation indicated a number of companies who were interested in transferring freight from road to rail, and the Consultancy designed a simple rail freight terminal and calculated potential freight volumes on the basis of specific possible freight train services. This led to a formal decision being taken by members of Flintshire CC as to whether or not a business case should be made to the Strategic Rail Authority and/or the National Assembly for Wales for capital expenditure support.
Last updated: Sunday, 18th December 2016
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