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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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helpineedsomebody added 10:35 - Apr 6
about time

Nidger added 11:16 - Apr 6
This won't happen. Cost is too great and no one wants to pay for it.

SanMarco added 11:32 - Apr 6
There are better uses for public money. Keep care homes and youth clubs etc open. If Saints want a station they can pay for it. Feck the Tories has been my motto for over 50 years and they are not going to buy me with this.

davenbennett added 11:39 - Apr 6
Until start of the year I worked for a railway trade union. A station as part of a light rail system could be possible, but costly. A major problem for heavy rail is that the usual services from London, for e.g., do not terminate here. So, a station would have to be build on the main line. As has been pointed out already, that is not easy or cheap. I remember saying at the time that Siemens have built the depot in the wrong place. That is where a main line stop should have been. The depot should have been at the old Eastleigh rail works. A short time solution could be to going back to having free bus tickets in with the match ticket. It would be far cheaper to then also subsidise new electric buses, which can be used all week not just on match days. The idea of investing in electric car charging points etc should also be a cross party policy.

davenbennett added 11:40 - Apr 6
And just to point out, I would not vote Tory to get any of this either!

bstokesaint added 12:21 - Apr 6
I thought the whole idea of politics was to give people what they wanted in order for votes. Not sure that that makes Southampton a political football. If it happens it would be great and a certain improvement for fans who come in from further afield. I'm sure the police would have the same viewpoint. That said I'm not sure crowd numbers increasing are going to be an issue to be concerned about any time soon.

bstokesaint added 12:21 - Apr 6
I thought the whole idea of politics was to give people what they wanted in order for votes. Not sure that that makes Southampton a political football. If it happens it would be great and a certain improvement for fans who come in from further afield. I'm sure the police would have the same viewpoint. That said I'm not sure crowd numbers increasing are going to be an issue to be concerned about any time soon.

BuyEastleighFC4aBtea added 13:10 - Apr 6
This typical blackmail nonsense from the tory's even if they got to run the council they wouldn't deliver the said station for at least 8 years due to costing issues as would always be a project part funded by public tax payer they then no doubt begin to offer more public money the rail company involved plus the engineering company that would build the station itself. Thus the pubic would end up funding around 70% of the total cost overal plus we tax panders should also remember two more important aspects about this proposal. These are the final costing will no doubt up five gold due to the time scale issues and the final fact in around eight years time there will be many more Electric cars on the road thus we will clearer air! anyway... then the tory' s will be charging us tolls to use the roads as they won't receieve our tax via petrol. So I'm afraid we need a revolution in our politic's in the form of internet voting on every issue.

landerwal added 13:57 - Apr 6
Politicians would promise Saints would stay in the Premiership and win the FA Cup if they thought it would win them votes. It won't happen.

SaintBrock added 14:26 - Apr 6
Brilliant idea about twenty years too late. Find the money, get it done! No brainer.

saintmark1976 added 14:51 - Apr 6
Last time I looked at the calendar today is April the 6th,not April fools day.

Perhaps local( and national ) Tories would be better employed in spending their time trying to sort out the current N H S and care crisis? I am certain that any success in these areas would get them far more votes than dubious (non funded) promises of proposing to build fantasy railway stations.

ItchenNorth added 15:32 - Apr 6
Good idea. Should have happened years ago.

aceofthebase added 15:49 - Apr 6
It looks like you have brought politics to TUI Nick, shame.

redwight added 16:40 - Apr 6
Never understood why it wasn't done at the time. Always seemed a no brainer to me.

SanMarco added 19:30 - Apr 6
The station is a good idea - it is the funding that is the issue. Football is a multi-billion pound business but the likes of Wet Spam and Spuds seem to think that tax payers should help them with their infrastructure. If our club want a station they can build one - maybe stop the wages of the outfield players at Wet Spam last week - that would probably cover it.

Ace - how can politics be kept apart from football given the money involved? Hospitals etc are under-funded while even average footballers earn millions. Even if you say 'so what' that viewpoint itself is highly political. And, anyway, surely Tory voters don't think public money should be given to Premier League football clubs?

bstokesaint added 21:00 - Apr 6
Personally I don’t see it as giving money to the football club. It’d be for the people of Southampton. Footballers are rich, your average fan isn’t. And it certainly wouldn’t be the difference between an underfunded health service or not. That’s an entirely different issue.

aceofthebase added 08:49 - Apr 7
Excuse me SanMarco but you do not read my mind or have a clue about my politics and please do not suggest your views as mine. Incidentally, the suggested station would not be the property or responsibility of the football club. Your poorly thought out ideas are the reason why politics should be kept off this site.

Jesus_02 added 22:32 - Apr 7
I wont believe this is going to happen until I see it on the side of a bus.

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