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Re: Happy Middlesex day
Seaxe_man1 26 July, 2020 19:08
Spot on Freddy. Unfortunately there was not the Twitter type lobby then where the punters could bend ears. I don't think today they would get away with it. The Somerset and Dorset to Bournemouth another which left large areas with only the car. The Master Cutler and South Yorkshireman passed my school in Harrow ex Marylebone. As I posted. Not admitted but HS2 an expensive replacement for past mistakes. In the main will serve same places via the Y.

Re: Happy Middlesex day
Seaxe_man1 27 July, 2020 18:09
The last crackpot scheme for Marylebone Freddy in 1984 was to turn it into a coach station. Run buses on rails to northolt change to road wheels and drive on. This plan was dreamt up by a Professor Peter Hall. It was also planned to shoot everyone into 4 platform Baker Street. Met was to stop at Harrow while Ricky to Aylesbury became part of CrossRail. Chesham was a problem. 36 years later CrossRail now more sensibly Maidenhead to Shenfield still ain't happened. Where do they find these people and take them seriously. A schoolboy would larf that outa class.

Re: Happy Middlesex day
adelaide 27 July, 2020 19:22
SM

I remember the proposal but I think you have overplayed its scope. My recollection was that the idea would have been to get coaches to the M1 quickly so probably only the Marylebone to Finchley Road chunk would have been nicked. I do not think there was every any proposal to convert the Met lines to Harrow to coachways; indeed passengers using Baker Street or Paddington instead was an integral part of the plan. Nor do I think there was any threat to turn the outer sections into Crossrail, not least because Professor Hall was a road fanatic and would never have proposed a new rail link across London. Apparently he even proposed turning Liverpool Street into a bus way too.

I don't think the proposal had any chance of success but it was certainly possible that Marylebone could have closed without a coach link happening. By the mid 1980s it was a pale shadow of itself - neglected, only commuter services and so on. Whatever you might think of rail privatisation, it has coincided with a complete reversal in the use made of the railways, something nobody was expecting at the time of the proposal. Marylebone is now buoyant, with services to Birmingham.

Closing the Great Central under Beeching looks like a huge mistake now. However, from what I recall, there was far more fuss being made about the rural branch lines than about a main line route to the Midlands and beyond.


Adelaide

Re: Happy Middlesex day
Seaxe_man1 28 July, 2020 09:46
Adelaide. I was an objector to the Marylebone closure and received the paperwork. My recall was they wanted the coaches to follow the cut off route to Birmingham which would call for the switch at Northolt. One of my points was the narrowness of the GCR was likely to impinge on the Met trackbed. Anyway opposition from lineside councils like Harrow and Brent knocked that on the head. They said correctly that Met wouldn't cope. I support rail privatisation as it gives more choice fares etc. As you say Marylebone is the old adage. A Phoenix rising from the Ashes. Services to Kidderminster and Oxford added and when Oxford Cambridge completed to Milton Keynes. Ten miles at Sandy to be realigned. Before pandemic usage was up from Five to Fifteen million per annum. Given time it will return. A good way to Lords for myself from Harrow Met. One stop about 12 minutes. The CrossRail plan was by someone else not Hall to include Aylesbury. Didn't make much sense to get to Essex and was dropped.

Re: Happy Middlesex day
adelaide 28 July, 2020 19:14
SM

Ah, I get it, so the aim was to use the Northolt line through Wembley rather than to follow the Met up to Harrow on the Hill or beyond.

There is a bit of an irony about rail privatisation. I don't think its supporters in government saw it as anything beyond managing an inevitable ongoing decline of the railways, any more than they did for bus deregulation. Sure enough, bus use continued to decline in most places outside London but rail use started to go the other way. I think the the Secretary of State at the time was Nicholas Ridley, who would probably have been highly receptive to anything remotely practicable which converted rail infrastructure to road. Its rejection probably confirms that the Marylebone scheme was anything but.


Adelaide

Re: Happy Middlesex day
Seaxe_man1 31 July, 2020 18:50
Correct Adelaide. The Hall scheme would have ended in shambles. To make that anywhere near work would require taking over the Met trackbed. A point I made. In the meantime a train facility has been built at Wembley replacing the steam sheds area now warehouses. The Aylesbury CrossRail scheme required from Riickmansworth to Amersham Met closed to rip out the lul third and fourth rails. Riickmansworth station was to be moved. Difficult. The Watford branch would stay but Chesham was a problem as small station. A lot of money and inconvenience to get someone from Aylesbury to Essex. Can't think many. Aylesbury to Marylebone if still open would have to run via Princes Risborough. Single track. Or if Marylebone part of Halls coach station to Paddington. Hall would have upped global warming a touch as Beechings close of 8000 miles of track has. Even better was Beeching Two. A bloke called Serpell. His report suggested closing the entire network bar Euston to Glasgow. It thankfully gathers dust. Another case of lunatics running the asylum.

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