We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

HCC Bid Accepted for Funding to Prepare Detailed Proposals for Re-Building Abbey Line Passing Loop.

May 30, 2020 12:24 PM
Bricket Wood Station showing the Passing Loop (Ben Brooksbank and Wikipedia)Welcome news for south west Hertfordshire.

The proposal to reinstate the passing loop at Bricket Wood was made in a bid written and submitted by the Hertfordshire County Council, and was supported by St Albans MP Daisy Cooper, Watford MP Dean Russell, and local interested organisations. The bid has won financial support for engineering design and financial modelling to produce a fully costed and specified business case.

The passing loop had been removed in the 1960s and the line converted to One-Train Operation. This produced large savings but resulted in the present cumbersome timetable of 1 train every 45 minutes.

The main complication of the project is the need, not only for an additional train and driver but for standard signalling to be installed.

However the increased frequency of 1 train every 30 minutes is expected to greatly increase the use of the line and the modernisation would also re-introduce the possibility of extending the route to connect with the Midland Line, thus permitting access to the more convenient St Albans City Station. This re-establishment of this connection had been last examined by British Rail in the 1980s.

Nick Hollinghurst, Hertfordshire County Councillor for Tring said, "The Abbey Line is a valuable, but underutilised resource along a congested transport corridor. Some years ago I worked for a company in Garston with R&D in Warrington and we much used to the line to get to meetings with customers in London or discussions with colleagues in Warrington. The ability to get straight into Watford Junction Station without needing to use and park a car and then pick up a main line connection was a godsend. For people in Tring, Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead it gives us a convenient car-free way of getting to St Albans - and then of course there is a significant commuter use, morning and evening."

"The big problem for passengers at the moment is having to cope with a 45 minute frequency of service. That's neither convenient nor easy to remember. The passing loop will enable two trains to operate and to provide a 30 minute service. The convenience that will bring to rail travelling will be dramatic, and it will reduce car use along some of the most cluttered roads in the county!"

The picture is taken from Wikipedia and acknowledgement is given to Ben Brooksbank. It shows Bricket Wood station with the passing loop in place before it's removal (together with the signal box and much else) in 1966.