St Mary's Stadium Could Get A New Train Station
Friday, 6th Apr 2018 09:34
If the Conservatives win the upcoming City Council Elections they want to build a railway station for St Mary's Stadium, but why should this be a political issue.
I understand why political parties want to tempt voters into electing them, however using Southampton Football Club for leaverage is something that has rarely been done and to be blunt should not be, Saints are an asset to this City and should not be used as a political football.
The Tories are proposing to build a rail station for St Mary's under the auspice of cutting down pollution and cleaner air,
In their manifesto, the city’s Tory leader Jeremy Moulton earmarked improving air quality as one of the party’s major pledges.
He said: “There are huge pollution and traffic problems and having this new station would help stop this. It would get lots of cars off the road and get people in the ground easier.
“It could improve policing as well as officers would be able to get people from the train into stadium in a more simpler way.”
He added: “Hopefully something like this would not cost a huge amount of money as I feel we just need a platform point where be can get on and off safely and that can be managed.
“We need to stop the level of pollution in Southampton because there are finite amount of spaces on the road as it is.”
The party holds 19 of the 48 seats and they are clearly hoping to swing a few Saints fans in May and they also earmarked an idea to build another station at the docks, potentially at the old Southampton Terminus railway station, to increase transport for people using cruise liners and the area.
So far Cllr Moulton has been in talks with organisations such as the Three Rivers Rail Partnership – a group of local authorities, local people and the rail industry – who are working to promote train and local bus services across the city.
This is not the first time this idea was mooted, when the stadium was being mooted at the turn of the century, one of the rail companies wanted to open a route up between the Old Terminus Station area and London having identified that many who lived in the upmarket Ocean Village area communted to London daily and this would be a more attractive route than having to get to Central Station around 1 1/2 miles away at an early hour.
A station for St Mary's was also mooted then, although whether that would have depended on the exact location of the new docks station in proximity to the old one.
The plans failed because of the costs of building the stations, if I am correct the rail company wanted the City Council to foot the bill and the cost was too high to build what was essentially just a platform(or two).
Long afterwards sharp practices were discovered in the rail industry where the construction companies were changing far too high a price and that the Council might well have funded it at what the price should have been, but certainly not at the quoted level.
The issue at St mary's Stadium though is where to put a station, the first question is whether it could be on the main line, in which case it could be served by normal service trains, perhaps the most viable spot for this or indeed any station near the stadium would be just north of Northam Rail road bridge, there is space on the upside for a platform, but not on the downside ie towards the City as there is a train washing depot there and on such a busy line you would need two platforms, something that you would not need on the quiet branch line to the docks that runs past the back of the Kingsand Stand.
There used to be a station at Northam situated roughly where the rail footbridge steps come down on the stadium side of the tracks but to position it there could be impractical because of that bridge.
The obvious site would be right next to the Stadium itself, but that would be impractical due to the close proximity of the Stadium to the track itself, there just would not be enough room for a platform on the stadium side, although perhaps on the other side.
Thre also used to be a Spur on the opposite side that took trains from Terminus Station to Central on the main line, that Spur is closed but could be reopened and a station built a little further towards the Docks and there could be room near the Chapel Road crossing.
All in all though this is not a simple problem to solve and it looks like this is more of an attempt to get votes than something that could actually be delivered in a relatively short period of time given all the factors involved not least the need for a rail company to run a train service..
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