The rail system has a lot of spare capacity – except at pinchpoints. These mainly occur at the points where the lines into a big city converge. Between the pinchpoints there are excellent opportunities for groups of towns along the lines to unite to form a ConnectedCity and plan their growth to enable people to live a sustainable country lifestyle that also has the benefits of the city. Remote working means long commutes to a big city are not daily, but only as required.

Network Diagram

Thickness of line = traffic load Black circle = pinch point

  • Utilising Spare Capacity

Network Diagram

Green lines show opportunities for rail based development

  • Developing between the pinch points

Vision from 2050

Normally, each town within a ConnectedCity is a distinct entity, separated from the others by the rural hinterland. However, where towns coalesced before World War II, the ConnectedCities methodology treats them as separate towns.

Large ConnectedCities tend to have several rail routes converging on the hub town. Their population can vary from around 50,000 to over a million. Some are based on existing cities such as Sheffield or Canterbury, while others have large towns as their hub, eg. Colchester or Crewe.

Small ConnectedCities are often linear, with their hub town and connected towns along a single railway. Their population can be as low as 20,000 but at the higher end they approach 50,000. Examples of their hub towns are Andover and Sudbury.

Although some connected towns are quite large, they are generally much smaller than the hub town. They all have easy access (within 15 minutes) to the hub town by a frequent rail service.

Form: Large ConnectedCities often have more complex forms with several lines but they are still defined by a maximum 15 minutes travel time from the hub town.

Form: Small ConnectedCities are generally on a single rail line