Watford to St ALbans tram link could open in 2012

Trams could be running regularly between Watford and St Albans by 2012, a new report suggests.

Hertfordshire County Council, which wants to convert the Abbey Flyer line between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey to a tram route, carried out an extensive public consultation earlier this year – the full findings of which were released by the Department for Transport (DfT) last week.

The report answers numerous questions posed by potential service users and describes a clear time-line for the project, which will allow the running of two trams at half-hourly intervals, instead the current one every 45 minutes.

HCC, which will be granted ownership of the land by the government, will sign a 22 year lease agreement with one of four shortlisted contractors early next year.

If all goes to plan, construction work on a depot and passing loop will begin late in 2011, with the full tram conversion opening the following year.

Those passengers who responded to the consultation made several requests, including upping the frequency of services to three per hour, increasing passenger capacity at peak times and running services later into the night.

HCC explained in the document that each was possible and would be viewed positively if included in the tender document.

Suggestions that the line be extended to include street running in Watford and St Albans, however, were rejected for the time being.

The council explained that funding was fixed to include only the immediate conversion project but did not rule out extensions in the future – should funding become available.

An extension of the line to London Euston, however, has been ruled out.

Comments (5)

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2:37pm Wed 3 Nov 10

The Rover says...

Just like the Croxley Rail Link that was supposed to open in about 1990!

I'll believe it when I see it
Just like the Croxley Rail Link that was supposed to open in about 1990! I'll believe it when I see it The Rover
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Wed 3 Nov 10

sunrise says...

A friend of mine who works at Network Rail tells me plans to convert the Watford - St.Albans branch line to a tram line been 'shelved' for the foreseeable future.
He also says Network Rail are intending to carry out an extensive track renewals programme on the line in the next year.
Watch this space !.
A friend of mine who works at Network Rail tells me plans to convert the Watford - St.Albans branch line to a tram line been 'shelved' for the foreseeable future. He also says Network Rail are intending to carry out an extensive track renewals programme on the line in the next year. Watch this space !. sunrise
  • Score: 0

11:34am Thu 4 Nov 10

busbee says...

The 724, 321 and 655 buses should be allowed to run up and down this route. I know there is only room for a single carriage way road, but with imagination, signaling and computerised control systems, I do not believe that it can't be done.

These routes suffer quite badly at the moment from congestion, which can only get worse: eg at the entrance to Park St and at the King Harry.

They should be able to divert to Chiswell Green and London Colney along the way, creating virtual 'passing loops'.

Fast reliable bus links to these locations south of the City would provide a HUGE 'green' dividend.

However HCC has no green credentials of any kind. The CONdem coalition is turning it a kind of muddy grey/brown, the colour of the smog that threatens to engulf our City.
The 724, 321 and 655 buses should be allowed to run up and down this route. I know there is only room for a single carriage way road, but with imagination, signaling and computerised control systems, I do not believe that it can't be done. These routes suffer quite badly at the moment from congestion, which can only get worse: eg at the entrance to Park St and at the King Harry. They should be able to divert to Chiswell Green and London Colney along the way, creating virtual 'passing loops'. Fast reliable bus links to these locations south of the City would provide a HUGE 'green' dividend. However HCC has no green credentials of any kind. The CONdem coalition is turning it a kind of muddy grey/brown, the colour of the smog that threatens to engulf our City. busbee
  • Score: 0

11:46am Thu 4 Nov 10

TRT says...

I second busbee. I've always felt a LRT system, extending to St. Albans City along the disused branch line and along the Croxley Line into the business parks, would benefit South-West Hertfordshire enormously. By using LRT instead of rail-based systems, the services could be extended to London Colney, Chiswell Green, Rickmansworth, Maple Cross, even Uxbridge, providing an East-West public transport link.
I second busbee. I've always felt a LRT system, extending to St. Albans City along the disused branch line and along the Croxley Line into the business parks, would benefit South-West Hertfordshire enormously. By using LRT instead of rail-based systems, the services could be extended to London Colney, Chiswell Green, Rickmansworth, Maple Cross, even Uxbridge, providing an East-West public transport link. TRT
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Fri 5 Nov 10

busbee says...

TRT's ideas are vastly more ambitious than my suggestion. There is some urgency as I believe there is a deadline for keeping the funding open for the Croxley line. I guess that the 'disused branch line' is the current 'Alban Way', and using that would enable through public transport to bypass the Peahen, but cyclists would have to accommodated on a route at least as good, and preferably better.
TRT's ideas are vastly more ambitious than my suggestion. There is some urgency as I believe there is a deadline for keeping the funding open for the Croxley line. I guess that the 'disused branch line' is the current 'Alban Way', and using that would enable through public transport to bypass the Peahen, but cyclists would have to accommodated on a route at least as good, and preferably better. busbee
  • Score: 0

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