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Midland Main Line Electrification

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Just appeared on Network Rail's Intranet site (extract below)

 

The Initial Industry Plan contains proposals to electrify the line from Bedford to Sheffield and to remodel areas such as Leicester, Derby, Sheffield and Market Harborough.

Next destination

 

Download and read a PDF of the Arup report. (external site)

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And Chiltern might have something to say about the MML being the 'only main line to London not electrified' ;)

 

Yeah, I was surprised Kirkgate was in there too...

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I just sent an email to Ben Still about the GC mainline non-electrification. I might have to wait for my collegue to finish fixing Ben's computer for a reply!

Edited by Talltim

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Thanks for the interesting link. I do wonder just what is that "modern EMU" that appears to be 5.5 times more reliable than the class 315?

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Will this electrification include both Nottingham, a sizeable city, and the Erewash valley line?

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Will this electrification include both Nottingham, a sizeable city, and the Erewash valley line?

 

The report (link in the first post above) contains an outline map of the proposals. North from Nottm the line through Lenton and Radford would be electrified, joining the Erewash Valley at Trowell.

 

It'd be interesting to have some detail about what the track rearrangements in Derby would entail.

 

Regards,

Peter

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Should have done this years ago.

As interesting as it was watching sprinters on test from derby through Kettering as a boy, it would have been better if they were new emus instead.

4 track and OLE from Kettering, that's a mainline

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The schematic shows no electrification from Corby to Leicester - surely this would be needed for the regular MML weekend diversions?

 

 

The infill electrification north of Sheffield looks like it is tacked on to the report, possibly to justify the Erewash electrification by allowing EMUs to be used for the Nottingham-Leeds service (otherwise the Erewash line would only see handful of electric trains a day).

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That surely must hurt: the most reliable trains in Britain...

 

...are build and maintained by the Germans... https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_scratch_one-s_head_mini.gif https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_rofl.gif

 

That surely must hurt: the most reliable trains in Britain...

 

...are build and maintained by the Germans... https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_scratch_one-s_head_mini.gif https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_rofl.gif

 

No pain felt here. Let's have the best solutions for what is probably the most intensively used rail network in the world. If we have to use locos that are built the other side of the pond and multiple units that are built in Europe, so what?

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The infill electrification north of Sheffield looks like it is tacked on to the report, possibly to justify the Erewash electrification by allowing EMUs to be used for the Nottingham-Leeds service (otherwise the Erewash line would only see handful of electric trains a day).

 

I thought that too. Electrification between Sheffield and Leeds is a separate proposal and treating it as part of MML is the tail wagging the dog. The MML Leeds journeys are essentially stock transfer moves, and if the electric HST replacements were based further south then they wouldn't run north of Sheffiled.

 

In my view this report is a series of scraps brought together for lobbying purposes rather than a worked thought through proposal (and could have done with a bit more proofreading). Network Rail's 2009 electrification strategy is the document that demonstrated a positive business case for MML electrification, though that excluded Erewash Valley I think.

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In my view this report is a series of scraps brought together for lobbying purposes rather than a worked thought through proposal (and could have done with a bit more proofreading). Network Rail's 2009 electrification strategy is the document that demonstrated a positive business case for MML electrification, though that excluded Erewash Valley I think.

It really is a bit of a mess, and doesn't put the case across properly. The Network Rail RUS document has the Erewash valley line being electrified as part of a future infill scheme (along with Notingham - Grantham and various other bits of the Norwich-Liverpool route).

 

Having reread the report this morning, the rolling stock side is incredibly sketchy:

  • The only mention of new rolling stock is "an extra13 train units" which would presumably be HST replacements. There's nothing about the Merdiens being replaced with electrics, but the environmental case (and common sense) would imply that they are. If they are being replaced, then surely cascading such modern high speed trains on to other routes is a secondary benefit worth mentioning?

  • The reliability figures showing diesel trains as less reliable than electric are (with the exception of the 158) for types not used on the MML.

  • There's nothing that I can see about the proposed pantograph car for the Voyagers - surely this is worth mentioning as they could run on electric power from Derby to Sheffield (and beyond if the Yorkshire scheme happens).

Edited by pete_mcfarlane

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That surely must hurt: the most reliable trains in Britain...

 

...are build and maintained by the Germans... https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_scratch_one-s_head_mini.gif https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_rofl.gif

 

I am puzzled by this statement. I have just tried to find out what rolling stock is made by the Dutch for their own railways and it appears to be very little.

 

 

Sorry to disagree, but if it's the most intensively used rail network you're after, it's not the UK... The Dutch, Swiss and Japanese are sure ahead of the British...

 

Note, these are Intercity services, to that regional services are also interleaved to similar intervals. That means there are up to 12 trains per hour per direction of travel... (and another 8-12 going the other way in that same hour https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_blum3.gif) This pattern is supposed to run from ca 6 AM to about 9 or 10 PM-ish. Given the widespread use of double-decker trains (unlike the UK, IIRC there are none due to the restricted loading gauge) most of the Intercity services are run with these and especially in rush-hour traffic, they are full. And I really mean full: 12 DD-carriages, some 320 m of train, that's about 1,700-2,000 people on board (including those standing!)... Imagine 3 or 4 of those (nearly) simultaneously spewing out their loads in Carlisle, Coventry or even Paddington https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif Yet it happens every day at Amsterdam CS... https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_blum3.gif

 

I am equally puzzled by your other statement regarding Amsterdam CS. According to Wikipedia Amsterdam CS has 250000 passengers per day. London Waterloo has 88M per annum equivalent to 241000 per day 7 days a week, so approximately the same. However, these are carried in 12 coach, single deck trains into a terminal station, (as opposed to a through station). I think therefore that you will agree the traffic density in this particular case must be much higher.

 

In fact the Waterloo lines as well as the lines to Victoria pass through the acknowledged "busiest station in the World in terms of rail traffic with an average of one train every 13 seconds at peak times and that station is Clapham Junction.

 

 

Cheers Godders

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I just sent an email to Ben Still about the GC mainline non-electrification. I might have to wait for my collegue to finish fixing Ben's computer for a reply!

Well, despite the fact that his desk is about 10 foot above mine, I've only just had a reply. Apparently the 'Chiltern line is not a main north/south route'

Seems strange that a line that has loco hauled expresses, connects the two biggest cities in the country and has a similar speed profile is considered less main than London-Sheffield, but there you go.

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As some of the stock is maintained at NL in Leeds the minimum extension from Sheffield would be to Donny. I can imagine that as Northern are getting quite a few more EMU's it would make common sense to include the route through Barnsley with yet more 321/322 cast offs to run the local/semi fast services.

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Why would the stock necessarily be maintained in Leeds just because it is now? Only the diesel HSTs are maintaned there, and they would no longer be needed if the route was electrified.

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On a completely different note if they electrify the MML it would mean the end (due to its low height) of my local iconic trainspotting place as a kid. Tapton footbridge. The bridge has been around since adam was a lad and would be a sad day if it goes. I havent dangled a tape measure off the bridge to check the height but it is very close to the train roofs as they pass. If the bridge has to go it would be a shame if someone doesnt take it into preservation.

 

Cav

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quote from the bbc website...

 

Transport Secretary Justine Greening is set to outline plans to complete the electrification of the route from Sheffield to London on Monday.

 

.....doesn't give them much time to finish the job!!

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Guest Belgian

If they are only going to allow £500m to do it they'll spend that by Monday!

 

JE

Edited by Belgian

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If they are only going to allow £500m to do it they'll spend that by Monday!

 

JE

 

I see that they have updated the piece now. That does not seem like much does it.

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Much of the discussion on Radio 4 this morning seemed to be bemoaning the fact that rail passengers will probably have to pay through higher rail fares for an improved rail service. That seems fair to me, user pays. I don't see why taxpayers should foot the bill for increased speed on trains that the majority of them will never see, let alone use.

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Much of the discussion on Radio 4 this morning seemed to be bemoaning the fact that rail passengers will probably have to pay through higher rail fares for an improved rail service. That seems fair to me, user pays. I don't see why taxpayers should foot the bill for increased speed on trains that the majority of them will never see, let alone use.

That seems logical up to a point. But then we all dip into the Government-funded schemes as much or as little as we choose. For example, I don't have kids, yet clearly I have contributed the same % of my income tax to Education as the guy who has 3 or 4. Some people never learn to drive - but still contribute to road construction & maintenance. Rail offers a less-polluting means of transport and helps ease road congestion. You don't need to take the train to get some of the benefits, therefore.
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In many ways the MML makes more sense as an electrification priority than the GW lines.

 

Bedford - Sheffield via Nottingham and Derby, presumably also with the direct Erewash Valley route included, would offer significant benefits to the regions served and effectively fills in a lot of the missing gaps in what should be an electrified railway network. Short infil schemes, which might be funded as add-ons to the main thrust, could then see Sheffield - Leeds and Stoke - Derby wired to provide a significant network and with diversionary routes available without the need for drags.

 

As a fascinating aside this might also raise the possibility of wiring Bedford - Bletchley to add to the operation flexibility and with the forthcoming Oxford - Bedford (and possibly Cambridge) reopening becoming a major electrified freight artery in addition to a trunk passenger route.

 

By contrast the GW electrification still smacks of being half-baked with the main lines effectively being cut in two by available traction. Electrics would run to Cardiff and Bristol but bi-mode is still on the cards to enable Swansea to retain through trains. The operational flexibility of a single fleet (currently of HSTs) which can go anywhere from Paddington to Penzance or Pembroke Dock is in danger of being lost.

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There are also the well documented wider benefits to the economy of rail investment schemes. If nothing else, it should reduce congestion on the M1.

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