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Transpennine Electrification : Manchester/Leeds


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Also noted the reference to Port Salford - that'll be the big container terminal to replace everything in Trafford Park - removing the last freight traffic on the Oxford Road corridor freeing up some capacity especially after the new chord brings in more trains that used to arrive from the East into Piccadilly to reverse and exit West to the Airport. Of course it won't happen like that with the extra passenger trains coming down that corridor long before Freightliner and DB get anything moved to Port Salford.

 

I don't think Woodhead is in anyone's plans so those yearning re-use of that tunnel will have to keep on dreaming.

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Port Salford doesn't replace Trafford Park, though it is possible it may take some freight away from it. Part of the Northern Hub scheme is supposed to double the number of paths via Oxford Road to Trafford Park from one an hour to two (off-peak only I think). That's part of the reason why extra platforms are still needed at Piccadilly. Western access from Trafford Park has been looked at, but it's a bit pointless because the CLC line doesn't connect with anything else until it gets to Allerton, and then the trains would have to run round somewhere.

 

The freight from Port Salford only has to get to Earlestown area before it turns off the Chat Moss route onto the WCML either north or south, and this will of course be electrified throughout. There are far fewer intermediate stations which is why it's easier to timetable fast trains via Chat Moss than on the CLC route, and I would hope they've left enough paths for freight as the idea has been kicking around for some time now so should have been allowed for in the timetable work.

Edited by Edwin_m
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All of these schemes displace DMUs which can be transferred elsewhere to meet growing demand and perhaps push the Pacers out. The policy appears to be to carry on doing this for a while to avoid building any new DMUs. The ROSCOs won't buy new DMUs, partly because they are worried about having them on their hands if they are displaced by electrification. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy really.

 

There's an interesting bit in the current MR which suggests that the government intends *all* current DMUs to remain in service "indefinately" (yeah, I know!) - and that there are detailed assesments out there to get all current DMU types DDA compliant (or at least acceptably close) by the 2020 deadline for that reason - investing that much in them I think ties them into at least another 10 years of use. The DDA compliance also means less seats per unit so that will increase demand for DMUs slightly at the same time.

 

I think more newbuild diesel trains (DMUs or long distance) are off the table from both sides, so electrifying and cascading as needed is a solid plan.

 

I agree with your assesment of MML as well, a 'partial' electrification could work well with bi-mode Meridiens. How does Sheffield stand signalling-wise? If they went that far from Chesterfield it would also make sense to connect to the ECML at Wakefield & Doncaster for XC.

 

Okay it doesn't help the HST fleet much but maybe that also gets Gov.UK off the hook with regard to IEP, where they have committed to a product and builder but now seem to be doing a low-key U-turn and letting TOCs choose whether to get them or not...it'd be embarrasing if nobody signed up...

 

And Cross Country then starts looking interesting. You'll have a fleet of largely AC capable trains, running on electric north of Derby, Bromsgrove to Birmingham, and Bristol Parkway-Temple Meads...and in the other direction wired Birmingham to Manchester, plus Oxford to Reading.

 

It's noticeable that most of the 'complicated bits' are all wired...

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I don't think Woodhead is in anyone's plans so those yearning re-use of that tunnel will have to keep on dreaming.

 

The Achille's Heel of any plan to rebuild the Woodhead route is, in my opinion, the station arrangement at Sheffield;

Would trains reverse at Nunnery Jc and serve Sheffield Midland, incurring a time penalty ?

Would trains serve a re-opened Victoria, saving time but increasing construction and operating costs, and having no connection to the rest of the rail network ?

Or would trains serve both Victoria and Midland ?

 

I do believe that if there had been a direct connection between Victoria and Midland, this would have been electrified with the rest of the route which might then still be open today.

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Site work starts big time from 1st April 2012 (no joke) when both the goods lines and the existing bay platform are signed out of use to allow construction work to start. At the end of Oct 2012, Stalybridge Signal Box will close and we end up with a station that has 2 west facing bay platforms and 3 through platforms, 1 of which is bi-directional for through traffic.

 

F

 

If both goods loops are being signed OOU, how will the binliners run? At present the morning one (from Bredbury?) usually sits in the eastbound loop from about 1115 to 1130.

 

I was told at a recent party 'do' that the signalbox is going next October.

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Whilst the decision is to be applauded the cynic in me cant help feeling a tad suspicious about this. For a start funding is mainly dependant on getting pensions schemes to invest in Infrastructure rather than the quicker and often more lucrative wins of the bond market. Now would someone who has a stake in a private pension be happy about that? worth thinking about, they haven't invested in this sector before, why would they now?

 

Pension funds (particularly foreign ones) have a long history of investing in infrastructure as it is often viewed as "safe". Much of the dreaded PFI funding comes directly or indirectly via pension funds. So I don't see that as being a barrier in itself, though what return they will want may be more tricky!

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There's a lot still undecided about all this. As my name's been mentioned in connection with the story (in a positive way - thanks guys!) a couple of times I thought it might be worth passing on what I know as of 4pm on Wednesday. If this gets too long or tedious I'm sure the Mods will do their stuff, so here goes: The BBC broke this story on Monday morning. I had a tip last week and the story firmed up late on Sunday evening. An advice note put out by the Treasury's PR people spoke about 'Leeds-Manchester' electrification. No mention of York. But later, the same note spoke of creating an electric railway from Newcastle to Liverpool, with a saving of 45 minutes of current journey times. Clearly, taken together, these two statements are a nonsense - you can't do Newcastle-Liverpool without doing Leeds-York. And that is exactly what is going to happen according to DfT's PR people, speaking today. This will create an electric route from Newcastle to York, Leeds, Stalybridge, Manchester Vic to Liverpool. The confusion has arisen because different Government departments have been putting out different stories. Only this morning I had sight of an email from the DfT that specifically EXCLUDES Leeds-York from the project! Well, I suppose it is all outside the M25 so the confusion is understandable. :scratchhead: What DfT is also saying is that Network Rail has been asked to produce a report looking at the feasibility of extending the OLE to Hull, Scarborough and Middlesbrough. That report will be delivered in July 2012. In ordinary times none of them would be remotely viable - they're all based around one train an hour. But we're not in ordinary times. The only reason the core North trans-Pennine is being wired is because the Government's desperate to get people back to work and this is seen as a quick win. The Treasury advice note spoke about work possibly starting 'next year'. Well. Normally we think about an electrification scheme for a few years, do a feasibility study, think about it and then do another one just in case and then - years later - put spades in the ground. So starting next year is an indication of how desperate things are. And it'll happen quickly because it'll piggyback off the 'Lancashire triangle' electrification, extending East from Manchester Vic, and, as someone on here - Edwin, I think - has remarked, all the complex bits - across Leeds, and York for example - are already wired. So, for the sake of keeping the electrification teams together and in work, it might be that it'll be seen worth the implicit subsidy involved to keep on wiring. My guess is that Hull would be favourite followed by Middlesbrough because of potential wider network benefits. Look North showed Class 319 units because it's a reasonable guess (and my script said as much) that ex-Thameslink trains will be the likely rolling stock. Add them onto the fleet needed for the Lancashire lines and you'd need fewer than a stand alone fleet and they could all be maintained at the same place by the same team of people. Looking at some of the other comments made here, I can confirm that there are currently NO plans to electrify the Calder Valley Line, though west Yorkshire Metro floated a plan a couple of years ago to electrify the route from Halifax to York as a Leeds cross-city line. Given that this would now only involve doing Leeds to Bradford and Halifax, this may become a viable scheme. So could the Harrogate line, but at this stage all this is no more than speculation. Looking a little further afield, one effect of wiring Leeds-York is that you create an electric railway all the way from Glasgow via Edinburgh to Wakefield. That seems to me to make the idea of a Voyager pantograph coach a lot more likely. And as Jamie (who did a cracking job of 'outing' me to a colleague the other day!) remarks, Midland Main Line has to be seen as an early candidate for electrification. At which point you extend the wires to Derby (you'd need at least one Sheffield/Leeds route electrified to get stock to and from Neville Hill). It's hard to imagine that Derby-Birmingham would not be wired as an add-on at which point Voyagers would be spending at least half their time running as electric trains. Won't stop the smell, but will stop the throbbing diesel 18 inches under you backside. Sorry this has been such a long post, but I hope you find it helpful.

 

Alan Whitehouse

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Thanks Alan.

 

I should think NR can report back quickly on Hull/Scarborough/Middlesbrough as they've all been covered in their 2009 electrification strategy. If they don't do these routes then they'd probably have to run all four Transpennines to York (due to capacity constraints at Leeds) but terminate three of them there, with perhaps the Blackpool-York diverted to Hull and diesel shuttles from York to Scarborough and Middlesbrough. For a project that is supposed to be helping the economy, that would leave three highly depressed places very upset.

 

Wasn't me that commented about the complex bits but I do agree with whoever did!

 

Sheffield-Leeds electrification isn't essential to Midland Mainline, though it probably makes sense for other reasons. Only the HSTs run there and if these were no longer used their electric replacements could just as well be based somewhere else.

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likely. And as Jamie (who did a cracking job of 'outing' me to a colleague the other day!) remarks, Midland Main Line has to be seen as an early candidate for electrification. At which point you extend the wires to Derby (you'd need at least one Sheffield/Leeds route electrified to get stock to and from Neville Hill). It's hard to imagine that Derby-Birmingham would not be wired as an add-on at which point Voyagers would be spending at least half their time running as electric trains. Won't stop the smell, but will stop the throbbing diesel 18 inches under you backside. Sorry this has been such a long post, but I hope you find it helpful.

 

Alan Whitehouse

 

Sorry about that Alan, I presumed that as a pub;ished author you were already well and truly out of the closet. We also had Len Tingle round the show later in the weekend. In fact it seems that a large part of BBC Leeds has sensible hobbies and I was most impressed that Jake Yapp could tell an Alco from an EMD.

 

However back to more serious things.

 

Wires can be put up quickly. Witness the double quick wiiring of Crew to Kidsgrove a few years back as part of the WCML moderniston as a diversionary route. I think it was all done and dusted in 6 months, though I would be happy to be corrected.

 

As an aside, I have done a lot of research in to the elctrificaton at Lancaster for my model of Green Ayre. It appears that the initial board approval ws given in August 1906 before the electrification system had been chosen. This was done in early 1907 and the first trains ran on 19th January 1908. Service running started on 24th May 1908. In June 1909 a paper on the subject was presented to the Institution of Civil Engineers and the delay attribution chart (Yes they did have them then) showed that the whole system, generating station, Overhead,stock, signalling and telecoms was 97% reliable. This I think was not bad for a new system pushing the limits of the technology as the first high voltage AC overhead electrification. I have a signalling plan which was used to survey one of the junctions for the overhead structure layout. the completed drawing for the steelwork was sent to the Butreley iron company 2 weeks later. o if they could do it then with a very new technology, wouldn't it be great if they could show the same pioneering spirit and start puting up masts from Whitehall Junction to Morley tunnel early in 2012.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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Given that part of the statement has halved the Humber Bridge debt, and restructured the rest at a lower interest rate, maybe, just maybe, they are starting to see the Humber area for what it COULD be, rather than the depressed backwater it currently is?

 

Then maybe we will see the wires go to Hull?

 

We could then have hourly electric services to London, alternating with those from Leeds.

 

If they picked up at Stainforth, they would catch traffic from the south bank, there is a large unused carpark there.

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Quote: Sorry about that Alan, I presumed that as a pub;ished author you were already well and truly out of the closet. We also had Len Tingle round the show later in the weekend. In fact it seems that a large part of BBC Leeds has sensible hobbies and I was most impressed that Jake Yapp could tell an Alco from an EMD.

 

No problem Jamie.. I don't make a fuss about it but I don't mind who knows either... but I didn't know about the other two!

 

Quote: Sheffield-Leeds electrification isn't essential to Midland Mainline, though it probably makes sense for other reasons. Only the HSTs run there and if these were no longer used their electric replacements could just as well be based somewhere else.

 

Fair pint Edwin, I hadn't thought about that. But I still think it's reasonable premise that MML electrification would end up in Leeds rather than stopping at Sheffield.

 

Alan

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Port Salford doesn't replace Trafford Park, though it is possible it may take some freight away from it. Part of the Northern Hub scheme is supposed to double the number of paths via Oxford Road to Trafford Park from one an hour to two (off-peak only I think). That's part of the reason why extra platforms are still needed at Piccadilly. Western access from Trafford Park has been looked at, but it's a bit pointless because the CLC line doesn't connect with anything else until it gets to Allerton, and then the trains would have to run round somewhere.

 

The purpose of Port Salford is to take traffic away from Trafford Park, it releases the Oxford Road corridor from freight pathing and removes lorries off the roads in the area, clearly it doesn't replace any of the businesses in Trafford Park but it will lead to the closure of container terminals with rail loading because there will be surplus capacity if all stay open - the land is all part of the Peel empire so they are not going to build a massive intermodal terminal and leave the existing cramped terminals in place. DB have already mothballed their terminal leaving just Freightliner and Containerbase, the latter is already giving up space it used to house containers on to the Trafford Centre and I expect they will get favourable terms to move to Salford. Not sure where the metro line is planned but I am sure that having Containerbase out of the way will also make it easier to route the tram track from Lostock under Parkway and onto Trafford Centre land using the existing underbridge.

 

Putting all the container traffic onto Chat Moss is the goal getting trains much faster to the WCML without crossing the city as now and also east to Hull where there is expected to be more traffic over time to transfer containers from the East to West coasts.

 

Whatever the strategy though it's good investment for the area ensuring there will be a modern freight hub within the Greater Manchester region

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What DfT is also saying is that Network Rail has been asked to produce a report looking at the feasibility of extending the OLE to Hull, Scarborough and Middlesbrough. That report will be delivered in July 2012. In ordinary times none of them would be remotely viable - they're all based around one train an hour. But we're not in ordinary times.

 

Just digging around on the possibilities, in terms of Hull, provided it wasn't wired in a penny-pinching fashion (i.e. they didn't just do the absolute minimum needed to get an hourly TPX train to Hull, but also wired logical short fill-in lengths like Selby-Temple Hirst Jcn, Hambleton Jcns and Church Fenton - Gascoine Wood) then you can also convert the York-Hull Northern Rail service, and Hull Trains can stop struggling to make the Adelante's work and go on the hunt for some reliable 125mph AC stock... ;)

 

Not a huge amount of difference, but every little helps...and those bits shouldn't be particularly expensive, minimal clearance work etc...

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I've got a feeling that's an announcement that will be kept under wraps for a fair while. Another "political triumph" locked away safely in the piggy bank, as it were; to be pulled out when the time is right.

They can afford to do that as most pieces of the "jig-saw" are already steadily falling into place.

 

.

 

As you say, most of the pieces of the jigsaw are in place - I'm not sure any further announcement is needed. Paddinton-Reading will be electrified as part of GWML so no new Bill is needed - all that's required is the way the contract's drawn up for the operator as regards timetabling and rolling stock. Even if the DfT only proscribe services to Reading in the operator's contract, with the wires in place, should the operator decide to extend services to Reading, they may well be able to do so off their own initiative.

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The Hull route also gives you a second electric route into Leeds, something GNER National Express East Coast GNER (I think) wanted to do.

 

Musing a bit further on the rolling stock, if Transpennine is to have refurbished 319 or similar on journeys like Liverpool-Newcastle then something similar would probably do for Manchester-Scotland. Makes it more likely they will scrub the add-on order for 350s (one in the eye for Siemens after Derbygate) and perhaps bring the eleven Anglian 317s onto this route as soon as the infrastructure is ready. These were most recently on Stansted Express duties so a bit more comfortable than the normal commuter unit, even with some sort of air conditioning I think, but I'm not sure how well they compare with 185s.

 

On the other hand all this urgency makes it even more likely that in two or three years we will have miles of OLE with no trains to run on it, since apart from the Anglia 11 and probably a few 313s there is no spare AC stock at present. Unrefurbished 319 might do for some of the locals but I don't see them being acceptable on the Transpennine workings, so you have to take the Thameslink fleet introduction date and add at least six months before any higher-quality stock arrives in the north. Something like a 365 off Great Northern might be a bit better, but with first-generation three-phase drives these could run into safety approval difficulties.

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As you say, most of the pieces of the jigsaw are in place - I'm not sure any further announcement is needed. Paddinton-Reading will be electrified as part of GWML so no new Bill is needed - all that's required is the way the contract's drawn up for the operator as regards timetabling and rolling stock. Even if the DfT only proscribe services to Reading in the operator's contract, with the wires in place, should the operator decide to extend services to Reading, they may well be able to do so off their own initiative.

 

It would be essential to take the remaining Reading-Paddington FGW services out of the successor franchise, otherwise competition issues and lack of paths would probably prevent Crossrail reaching Reading. It's something they need to decide on fairly soon, as there are several millions of savings to be had by not building the turnback facilities at Maidenhead, but they would have to increase the rolling stock order. With no Crossrail franchisee in place it would fall to CRL to make the necessary changes, but even as the surrogate operator they certainly couldn't do it on their own initiative.

Edited by Edwin_m
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It's something that seems to have been talked about for ages it seems - but Southern seems to be angling to get more 377s to work towards a more homogenous fleet (and that plan i'm sure would also go down well in Derby!) - that plan is includes being shot of the 456s to SWT for their 10-car programme as an alternative to the Junipers, that would leave the 460s still orphans. Southern have permission for the first 130 cars to replace the ones that now won't come back from FCC in time...

 

Fleet size is 8 units IIRC, not sure whether that's enough, but it would give you some capacious modern EMUs with a comfortable setup (and plenty of bike space!)

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Hello all,

 

I thought that this thread was about the electrification in to Manchester and on to Leeds. Not about Reading and the south.

 

If you think about how the railway is now run. We have two main lines from London to Glasgow & Edinburgh that are electrified, but we still have "vomit comets" running with Diesel engines under the wires. From approx Birmingham to the north.

 

Would it be to much or to costly to have these units as duel type traction i.e. Diesel where no wires are in place and run with electric when the wires are in place?

 

OzzyO.

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Hello all,

 

I thought that this thread was about the electrification in to Manchester and on to Leeds. Not about Reading and the south.

 

If you think about how the railway is now run. We have two main lines from London to Glasgow & Edinburgh that are electrified, but we still have "vomit comets" running with Diesel engines under the wires. From approx Birmingham to the north.

 

Would it be to much or to costly to have these units as duel type traction i.e. Diesel where no wires are in place and run with electric when the wires are in place?

 

OzzyO.

Hi OzzyO,

 

Bombardier are currently evaluating the requirements for a additional vehicle with a pantograph and transformer which would be inserted into the current 220/221 fleet. In theory it should work as the traction propulsion system on the 220/221 is very similar to the class 390.A class 222 7 car set may actually require 2 additional vehicles due to the number of motored vehicles,a transformer on each new car drawing supply from one pantograph as per class 390 (The eleven car 390's have 3 transformers for example). Therefore it would be able to work from the OHLE as you suggest and on diesel were no wires are present.

 

Cheers

 

Simon

Edited by 87023Velocity
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I thought that this thread was about the electrification in to Manchester and on to Leeds. Not about Reading and the south.

 

If you think about how the railway is now run. We have two main lines from London to Glasgow & Edinburgh that are electrified, but we still have "vomit comets" running with Diesel engines under the wires. From approx Birmingham to the north.

 

Would it be to much or to costly to have these units as duel type traction i.e. Diesel where no wires are in place and run with electric when the wires are in place?

 

The south is relevant because it is a possible source of the trains that might be used in the north. We've already discussed dual traction earlier in the thread as well.

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Derek - they are not just third rail options.

 

The 460s are dual voltage units, (albeit with no pantograph fitted at present,) and they are currently sat out of use in storage - whilst there's been a plan to break them up to lengthen other Junipers on SWT for a while now there are other options which would allow them to be used elsewhere. I suspect they may be the only spare AC capable units 'right now' until the Stanstead 317s are released.

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