CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Post Powderhall (coming soon??)

(194 posts)

  1. Klaxon
    Member

    I almost added this to the end of my other topic, but it deserves a thread of it's own.

    I'd love to talk to some people about getting a post-powderhall railway closure action plan together. There is so much potential when it goes for a direct link into the NEPN from Abbeyhill and quiet feeder routes running the length of Leith Walk / Easter Rd and beyond into Leith Links.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I'd like to be involved - where the railway passes under Marionville Road is just round the corner from us and would provide great traffic-free route for us and the little one to the cycle paths. As it is Marionville and London Road are barriers to getting anywhere directly with the baby on board and we normally go round the houses by the best least sh*t route via Lochend Park, Crawford Bridge, Easter Road, Brunswick Road and Mcdonald Road.

    Given the final development of the "Butterfly", now branded URBANEDEN (which reads as Urbane Den the way they've designed the signs), there's now a big increase in housing in the area with a no-brainer way to provide traffic free access to the wider cycle network.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. chdot
    Admin

    I am confident that there is a 'plan' to turn this into a 'vital link'.

    I am not confident that there will have been much 'planning' or any budget allocated.

    Powderhall has been 'closing' for 'a long time', seems it might actually do so 'soon'.

    It would be nice to think that there is a special fund somewhere full of Section 75 money from all the developments along the route, but...

    I think it's unlikely that the section behind Meadowbank will be 'released' because of hopes for reviving the Abbeyhill loop.

    However that would just be an add-on with extra complications.

    NEPN to Lochend (Butterfly and Park) is a must.

    Powderhall to Lochend Active Network?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. wingpig
    Member

    "or any budget allocated."

    When Network Rail abandons/relinquishes tracks and trackbeds does it always take away its hardware and leave a gravelly surface, perhaps with a few broken or non-re-usable sleepers here and there, or would any budget have to include track-removal?

    There shouldn't need to be much heavy engineering, as the bit at the Powderhall end is still level with the wee T-spur off the WoL, though some eventual attention to the surface is required all the way to the join opposite the Chancelot section. If the Meadowbank section is still required, would conversion of the remainder be able to be started, with a Network Rail-approved megafence somewhere around Marionville Road and a DDA-compatible access somewhere up through the Lochend Whatever beside Sainsbury? Any other existing/previous slope-access points, or just steep steps? As it's all below-ground-level north of Bonnington Road you'd really want some nice shallowly-sloped well-lit escape-routes to make it attractive to all potential users.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. chdot
    Admin

    Costs would be about 1.3 miles of 3 (or more) metres tarmac plus lighting.

    Plus various ramped accesses.

    May or may not have to buy the land too.

    I assume Sustrans would be involved and deal with (at least) half the cost.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Well the new rubbish depot and recycling plant at Millerhill is fairly complete, a facility to be shared by Edinburgh, East and Mid Lothian I believe. When that's up and running I believe the Powderhall Compactor can close, at least for the purposes of being a rubbish sorting and rail dispatch depot. Council might of course keep it on for other reasons but assume they'd be falling over themselves to sell it for flats.

    I would assume that any Powderhall to Lochend path could provide access at;

    St. Marks's Park, Broughton Road (or Blandfield), Dryden Terrace, Leith Walk, Easter Road, "Urbane Den".

    Realistically any access to Leith Walk and/or Easter Road might not be direct to those roads, it might be in the nearest conveinient side street. e.g. Shrub Place lane for Leith Walk, Harrismith Place or Sunnyside for Easter Road.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    "Realistically any access to Leith Walk and/or Easter Road might not be direct to those roads, it might be in the nearest conveinient side street. e.g. Shrub Place lane for Leith Walk, Harrismith Place or Sunnyside for Easter Road."

    We need a site visit.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. HankChief
    Member

    Ooh. This is a good idea. One of the newbies I was talking to yesterday wanted to cycle from Abbeyhill out to the West. To be honest I was flummoxed as the best way to do it avoiding the centre of town.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. wingpig
    Member

    "from Abbeyhill out to the West"

    [normal roads] - Lochend Park - Restalrig Path - Leith Links - [awaiting connection] - WoL path - NEPN.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    For those who don't know where it is -

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/8572694

    Can't be ridden (or walked).

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    Of course 'we' could just buy it -

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-33170692

    (Scotland's first toll cycle path?!)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Can't be ridden (or walked).

    Legally.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. robyvecchio
    Member

    Any chance to branch that path south under London Road to Abbey lane?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. PS
    Member

    Any chance to branch that path south under London Road to Abbey lane?

    Some folks have ambitions to reopen the Abbeyhill station, so possibly not.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Any chance to branch that path south under London Road to Abbey lane?

    I'm not sure exactly how far Network Rail intend to run the overflow trainpark sidings here, it may be that they come up too far for this to be practical.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. crowriver
    Member

    I am currently living adjacent to the line near where it goes under Easter Road. Two trains a day maximum: the noise is incredible when they pass.

    Turning this into a shared use path would make a fantastic urban link to the NEPN. However given the density of housing and the prevalence of anti-social behaviour, vandalism etc. between Easter Road and Leith Walk the siting of ramps and access points would have to be chosen carefully. Also community "buy-in" will be essential.

    We can look at the Restalrig path and see that it has been more successful now that local dog walkers, parents with buggies, etc. see it as "theirs". Vandalism etc. seems to have declined compared top when it was first resurfaced, and certainly compared to when it was rough and gravelly a few years ago.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. Disco Dave
    Member

    I'm in the flats in Pilrig Heights, and when our block was built 10 years ago, Barratt were actively punting the "fact" that Powderhall was about to close and it was already decided the railway was to become a cycle path....

    So I'm not holding me breath on this :)

    If it does go, I'll miss the bi-annual through the night track maintenance when the flood-lighting is so bright it's like a scene from Close Encounters with daylight streaming under the kitchen door at 2am.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Two trains a day maximum: the noise is incredible when they pass.

    I'll miss the bi-annual through the night track maintenance when the flood-lighting is so bright

    The loudest, brightest, most spectacular apparition I've been fortunate to see on the railway in Edinburgh is the railhead grinder train crawling slowly down the ECML embankment through Abbeyhill and Meadowbank at about 1 in the morning, with sparks flying and metal crashing against metal like Thor himself was sharpening his battleaxe on the rails.

    it goes a little something like this, but 10,000 times louder;

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. crowriver
    Member

    Yes, experienced this last month (I think). Couldn't figure out what the noise was: it woke me up. Then saw the lights through the trees. Incredible.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. Fountainbridge
    Member

    Any chance to branch that path south under London Road to Abbey lane?

    Seems to be part of the EGIP (Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme) electrification stuff.

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Video Plugins

    Looks like trains would be parked up in that area.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. Morningsider
    Member

    I think the Abbeyhill turnback might have been scrapped when the EGIP project was de-scoped a couple of years ago. The original plans were for six Edinburgh-Glasgow trains per hour. The revised plans keep it at four trains per hour, but increase the length of the trains. This means there is no immediate need for a turnback/stabling facility at Abbeyhill.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. wangi
    Member

    Would be real good to get it linked up with the Restalrig path...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. Klaxon
    Member

    My FoI from last month came back today;

    1. I would like to ask the estimated closure date of Powderhall Waste Transfer station and what the key milestones towards achieving this are

    The Council is currently in the later stages of procurement of a new waste treatment contract. On commencement of this contact in December 2017 the requirement for Powderhall will be significantly reduced. However at this moment in time the decision has not been made to close Powderhall.

    2. I would also like to ask if any consultation has happened yet on the future re-use of the railway link, and the names of organisations consulted if any.

    No consultation has taken place.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. kaputnik
    Moderator

    On commencement of this contact in December 2017

    I didn't anticipate it was quite so far in the future!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. wangi
    Member

  26. chdot
    Admin

    "However at this moment in time the decision has not been made to close Powderhall."

    That doesn't mean there is any expectation of needing to use the railway - presumably(?)

    "Loaded into the CEC Atlas as a "future potential path route" "

    That's good to know.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. Klaxon
    Member

    In my opinion for as long as Powderhall handles refuse for landfill the rail link will continue to be used. It's a point to point link with Dunbar landfill that handles in a single daily train what would require 25ish HGV round trips. Even if that volume dropped to only needing a train every other day it's still going to be worth it vs completely overhauling how waste is handled there.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

    "as long as Powderhall handles refuse for landfill the rail link will continue to be used"

    Yes, but I'm assuming that 'site will be used' - perhaps for smaller rubbish bin lorries which might be put into those LARGE skip lorries to take to Millerhill.

    Where does glass/paper/packaging recycling go at present?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. nedd1e_h
    Member

    The contract to build a state-of-the-art energy-from-waste plant for Edinburgh and Midlothian was signed today with environmental services company FCC Medio Ambiente SA...

    ...Construction is set to begin imminently, with the plant expected to begin operation in 2018.

    http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/2163/councils_reach_milestone_in_project_to_build_major_sustainable_energy_plant

    So if the new plant is up and running by 2018, we could see the Powderhall line freed up after that...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. Dave
    Member

    By then we'll presumably have a majority SNP council, isn't it pretty unlikely that they'll support a cycle route on the old railbed? Will presumably require cash, and even a few objections from "concerned citizens".

    Posted 1 year ago #

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