Working to re-establish the rail link to Kemble
How many University Towns have not got a railway station? Cirencester used to have three stations, but the 'Beeching' cutbacks in the 1960's closed the last one. Now we have to get to Kemble, Swindon or Cheltenham by road.
We can reduce our carbon footprint, save cost and time, and put Cirencester back on the map by re-opening the old line to the outskirts of the town.
The route is only about 7km - less than 5 miles long, and is very level most of the way, so it's a lot easier than many of the routes that are under discussion around the UK.
It's time we had a connection to the main line railway system again!
Clearly we can't put back the line along the old route to end near Tetbury Road - the dual carriageway and housing have occupied that route. We need to bring the line as near to the town centre as possible - an easy walk from the Market Place.
So we're going to follow the old route some of the way, but branch off to pass the entrance of the RAU, the run alongside Tetbury Road down the hill, to halt opposite the Station Car Park - very near to where the station used to be!
We plan to put our new Main Station on open land opposite the RAU, so there's lots of room for a car park, and it will serve the proposed Chesterton Development. We'll also put in a College Halt convenient for Deer Park school, Cirencester College and Chesterton Lane.
We propose using a battery electric railcar - quiet, efficient and eco-friendly.
We have drafted a Scheme document to help explain the details, options and some solutions. It is still a work-in-progress and doesn't have all the answers, but you can read and download the latest version of the Scheme here.
The track has been removed, but the path is still clear almost all the way up to the point where we head off across the fields. It would take up some of the car park at Kemble Station, but they won't need to park so many cars there and more space is available at the new Station!
There are some bridges which will have to be re-built or checked, and of course a lot of track to lay. There is a new type of track under development suitable for Very Light Rail, called 'slab track'. This is made as a concrete slab in a factory, with drains, conduits and grooves for the rails, and simply brought on site and positioned. This makes the process of building the tracks much faster and potentially cheaper. Our Feasibility Study will consider this option.