Not enough thought is given to using railways for freight
I AM led to believe the sidings at Hallen Marsh rail junction and Hallen Marsh fuel depot. have been removed along with rail components. These sidings were used for coal and coke which fed the former Britannia Zinc Smelter works.
This is not the only rail head or marshalling yard that has gone.
For example East depot Brislington just off Emery Road. Hardly any sidings are left.
We have also witnessed the closure of Bristol Bath Road diesel depot, now the proposed site of the new arena.
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At Pyle Hill, most of the sidings are redundant and track has been ripped up.
If the track adjacent to the up relief line is to become a dedicated line for freight trains then investment in new rails, sleepers and ballast will be needed.
If this line was re-laid for freight use, it would free up capacity for the up relief main line.
Luckily the west depot just of South Liberty lane has been revamped and relaid for Freightliner trains carrying wine.
But I have concerns about St Phillip's Marsh maintenance depot.
Will it be kept or will it go the way of Bath Road diesel depot and be closed? It seems to me that too often not enough thought is given to using railways for freight.Take the new Morrison's distribution depot beside the M5 near Bridgwater. It is colossal but it has been built for road transportation only.
Why was no consideration given to moving freight by rail?
We should be designing rail freight wagons which can deliver goods making better use of the existing rail heads instead of putting more freight on our busy roads.
I believe an opportunity was also missed when the Avon Meads shopping complex was being built next to the spine road.
A new station could have been built there opposite the Showcase Cinema. t could have helped to bring people to shops and the cinema and the Hollywood bowl.
This sort of oversight could be avoided if we had an Integrated Transport Authtority.
We need rail-bus interchanges. We need more modern better trains with more seating capacity. We need trains to run more frequently.
We could have a ITA, It needs only needs two councils to agree.
If Bristol City and South Gloucestershire agreed we could set one up.
Rail Maritime and Transport Union
Written in a personal capacity.