Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12300
12300. Do you want to say anything more about
the operational problems arising from an extension to Reading
in so far as the proposed metro service is concerned?
(Mr Berryman) The further out you go the more
chance there is of disruption to services when they get into town,
so the more difficult it is to keep accurate time keeping and
keep trains presenting within the very narrow window we have available
for them to do so.
12301. That is Reading. Let us go the other
way now. Can you just help the Committee with the possibility
of terminating the service before Maidenhead, for example at Slough?
(Mr Berryman) The problem if we went to Slough
would be the difficulty of providing sufficient trains to service
the area beyond Slough, those are the small stations of Maidenhead
and Twyford, which would mean we would have to operate a much
more intense residual diesel service to serve those stations and
it would mean that we would be short of capacity as we would get
into London because we would have our Crossrail trains and in
addition we would have the extra trains required to serve the
demand between Slough and Reading. At the moment we only have
a relatively small number of those trains because we are effectively
servicing only one station, which is Twyford, but if we were to
stop at Slough and have ten more of those that would lead to capacity
problems and also certainly a requirement for additional tracks
as we got into the centre of London.
12302. As the Petitioner mentioned, we have
set out the selection of the western terminus and the process
whereby that was undertaken in Information Paper A6.
I wonder if we could put that up, please. If we could turn to
page five you can see at the bottom of the page the Maidenhead
to Heathrow option and the summary position in relation to that
that begins at the bottom of the page. If we turn to the next
page, page six, the assessment of the option is dealt with in
summary in paragraphs 5.17 to 5.20 and the conclusion in section
6. Do you want to say anything about the point made that there
does not appear to have been any investigative assessment of Maidenhead
in terms of the benefits it would bring to passengers accessing
that station and, indeed, at other stations to the east along
the western section of the route?
(Mr Berryman) Yes. There was a
significant amount of work done on the various options out on
Great Western before we arrived at this decision. Effectively
there were three things looked at together: first of all the options,
how a timetable would work and how sufficient services could be
provided; secondly, the passenger numbers which were based on
analysis using the standard model used for all our passenger analysis;
and, thirdly, the infrastructure and costs required. This is covered
not only in this Information Paper but in the Environmental Statement
there is a short section on this topic.
12303. Thank you very much. If the Petitioners
would like help in that section we can point the relevant section
out to them during the adjournment. I think we have covered points
arising under topic one. The next topic I would like you to deal
with relates to Guards Club Park and island. Can you help us with
the suggestion that the more appropriate means of serving works
at the Maidenhead Bridge would be from a barge located adjacent
to the bridge on the River Thames?
(Mr Berryman) Yes, I can. The reason Mr Mould
has asked me to give evidence on this point is I have had experience
of a similar project. I am sorry to say it was as long ago as
1968 when we were building the M6 motorway when we had a similar
situation with a bridge pier on an island. Regrettably it was
a bridge which had not reached the architectural elegance of the
Maidenhead Bridge, and was never likely to, I am sorry to say.
Using barge access to islands is practical and if the scale of
works is appropriate it is a sensible way to do it, but where
the scale of the works is relatively modest the effort required
to create the barge landings on the island and to handle materials
on and off the barge is disproportionate to the amount of work
that is involved. I think that would be the case in this instance
because the works, as evidence will be given later, on the island
are very minor. We are actually talking about carrying equipment
by hand in maximum 25kg loads. It is just not commensurate with
the effort that would be required to build a landing stage on
the island and to arrange for barges and the inconvenience that
it would involve, which would be very considerable.
12304. I do not think that the Petitioners'
concern was limited to the use of the island, I think the suggestion
was that a barge would be a complete alternative to the need for
a worksite to be located within Guards Club Park itself. Do you
want to say anything about the practicality of that as an alternative
to that part of the construction proposals?
(Mr Berryman) Yes. There are two piers which
will require scaffolding to be erected on them in Guards Club
Park, so even if you have a barge to access the island you would
still have to get into Guards Club Park one way or another, material
would still have to be delivered. I cannot think that it would
be sensible to deliver it other than by road in that location
because you are on the service and you have access to roads. Again,
it is the scale of the works that is important and they are very
12305. I showed the Committee earlier the layout
of the plan which showed four scaffolding towers required just
to the south of Guards Club Park itself on the western bank of
the river, is that right?
(Mr Berryman) That is correct,
yes, two on the north side and two on the south side of the bridge.
12306. In relation to those scaffolding towers,
if you assume for the purpose of this question that proposal for
Maidenhead Bridge stands on overhead electrification, can the
overhead electrification equipment that I showed the Committee
earlier be installed on the bridge without the need for those
(Mr Berryman) Just to make it clear, the actual
installation of the equipment, the delivery of the masts, the
erection of them, the putting up of the wire, will be done from
an electrification train, it will not be done using these scaffolds
for access. The reason for needing to have the scaffold is to
allow manpower access to get at the foundations which will be
required for the masts. It is the construction of the mast foundations
rather than the masts themselves which require this access. We
may have to do some very, very minor works to the parapets, we
are not clear yet because we have got further work to do on that,
but we may need to dismantle a very short section of the parapet
and replace that afterwards with the same materials. We are talking
about access for men only, not delivering any substantial equipment
by this route for the obvious reason that the maximum load they
can carry is 25kg.
12307. Mrs Riordan: It could be women.
(Mr Berryman) There actually are, yes.
12308. Mr Mould: That is the first phase
of the process I have described, that is the foundation structure
phase, as opposed to the second phase which is where you are installing
the equipment itself.
(Mr Berryman) Yes, that is correct. Actually,
if you like, there is a preliminary phase where there are some
high tension cables on the bridge which will need to be moved.
Most of that operation will be done from within the bridge but,
again, it remains for manpower or womanpower access up to it.
12309. Just a small point. In relation to the
possibility of using a barge at least to serve part of the works,
in practice how would one get men on the barge in order to work
(Mr Berryman) You would have to have a loading
stage somewhere. You would still have the issue of where the barge
was loaded. The scale of the works is such that a single barge
load would probably take everything you need across. I cannot
emphasise enough that we are talking about equipment which is
handled by people, it is not big mechanical plant or anything
of that sort.
12310. That is the fourth issue. The fifth issue
was the question of why gantries at all on the Maidenhead Bridge
and the suggestion was a more appropriate alternative to safeguard
the bridge's sensitive architectural and historic value would
be third rail electrification. Can you help the Committee with
(Mr Berryman) Yes. The third rail electrification
system exists mainly on the old southern region of British Rail.
HMRI have taken the view for many years that new third rail systems
will not be permitted. Extensions of the existing system are allowed
but new third rail systems are not permitted. The reason for this
is to do with the safety of the track workers. It goes without
saying that a third rail system with an exposed high voltage rail
grounded at foot level is intrinsically more dangerous than an
overhead system which can be touched by accident. There was a
Royal Commission in the 1930s which initially decided that there
should be no more third rail. Subsequently in the 1960s there
was a further study which reinforced that decision. I do not think
we would get consent for this even if we wanted to propose it.
It would be extremely dangerous to have a short length of third
rail in the middle of what would otherwise be an electrified overhead
line system because track workers who are working there would
be less familiar with that system. It is a pretty solid rule of
safety that you keep things consistent, and this would not be
consistent. For that reason we would strongly oppose the third
12311. Is there a European dimension to this?
(Mr Berryman) There is indeed. As you mentioned,
there is an Interoperability Directive which does apply to Great
Western Main Line which calls for 25,000 volt electrification
12312. If one was to contemplate seeking to
depart from that standard, what would be involved? How would one
go about that?
(Mr Berryman) These things are ruled by documents
called Technical Specifications and you would have to get a derogation
from that. It is a major operation to get a derogation. It is
usually only granted where there is absolutely no possibility
of complying with the regulations.
12313. I showed the Committee the example of
the Wharncliffe viaduct.
(Mr Berryman) Yes. I think there
is the Royal Border bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed which is a similar
kind of structure, I think it is Grade I listed, where similar
kinds of masts have been used. There are many precedents for this
on Grade I and Grade II listed structures. The key thing is to
try and make the design look as if it is an integral part of the
whole structure, not just plonk it on top but try and treat it
sympathetically and make the appearance of the overall structure,
including the masts, satisfactory. You can see on this picture
they have done it on the Wharncliffe by making sure that the masts
are over piers and give the sort of symmetrical appearance to
it. That is the normal process adopted.
12314. That is what we are proposing in this
(Mr Berryman) It is indeed.
12315. Mr Mould: Thank you very much.
Cross-examined by Mr Cockburn
12316. Mr Cockburn: Dealing with the
question of Reading, if at some stage in the future it is intended
to extend Crossrail to Reading, would it be cheaper to do that
now rather than wait until later?
(Mr Berryman) Not materially. Indeed, it could
be cheaper to do it later because there are re-signalling proposals
for Reading station and the area between Reading and Maidenhead.
If that was done that would reduce the cost of the works to us.
There are no significant savings in doing all this at the same
time, other than those which are caused by not having to mobilise
twice and so on, which are relatively minor.
12317. So it is only Crossrail costs that you
are looking at; it is not anybody else's costs that you are taking
into consideration here.
(Mr Berryman) Well, the costs which will be
incurred for re-signalling are part of the normal re-signalling
process which goes cyclic through the railway network.
12318. Are you aware that Reading is already
a transport hub with all the necessary facilities, services and
connections of a transport hub?
(Mr Berryman) Yes, it is a transport hub. It
has a very, very good service to central London, as you will be
aware, provided by the Intercity trains. It is for that reason
we think that we would not attract very many passengers on to
12319. Are you aware that the people of Reading
are calling for the terminus to be at Reading?
(Mr Berryman) Yes, they are.
24 Crossrail Information Paper A6-Selection Of Western
Termini, billdocuments.crossrail.co.uk Back
Crossrail Ref: P102, Maidenhead Railway Bridge-Compound Locations
Crossrail Ref: P102, Maidenhead Railway Bridge-Wharncliffe Viaduct
and Close up of mast (WINSRB-14604D-007). Back