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Old 18th November 2012, 19:51   #46
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Would Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury be difficult to electrify?
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Old 18th November 2012, 19:54   #47
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Would Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury be difficult to electrify?
Relatively easy.
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Old 18th November 2012, 20:06   #48
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I live in the region of the 159 DMUs and I don't think electrification would be very cost effective - given the 1tph in each direction service. It would be possible to double up the tracks but once again, it would be costly and not worth it, as it would still be un-electrified. I don't think there's much of an option at the moment other than continuing as we are.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 11:06   #49
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Also where you would want both light rail 750v DC overhead electrification and 25kV AC overhead electrification in the same place if technologically feasible.
The most obvious example is Altrincham, but there are others.
Why's that an issue?

The DC electrified Metrolink line in the Cornbrook area runs right next to the AC electrified line between Deansgate and Trafford Park.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Just found a Network Rail proposed concept relating to Chester-Crewe:

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Originally Posted by Network Rail
The Network RUS: Electrification Strategy identified the electrification of the line from Crewe to Chester to enable electric traction on London Euston to Chester passenger services as a further option for which the business case might be improved by the usage of alternative solutions such as discontinuous electrification. This case study considers discontinuities in the OLE infrastructure on the Crewe-Chester route in the form of either:
 extended neutral sections where there is insufficient electrical clearance
 gaps in the OLE where there is also insufficient mechanical clearance.

To traverse these discontinuities the rolling stock might have to be adapted as follows:
 more than one pantograph per train for short discontinuities less than 50 metres, which would mitigate the risk of gapping
 an additional safety critical automatic control system to lower and raise pantographs where there is insufficient mechanical clearance (irrespective of gap length)
 energy storage for longer discontinuities greater than 50 metres. This assumption was made to develop the case study. In reality a risk based approach would be taken to determining the maximum coasting distance based on the factors at the particular location.

Extended neutral sections and gaps greater than 50 metres in the OLE along the route for
structures too complex to gauge clear. This scenario assumes:
 no OLE in Chester station
 pantograph lowering for gaps where there is also insufficient mechanical clearance
 two pantographs per train
 sufficient energy storage (supercapacitors) for trains to depart Chester station
 bespoke rolling stock would be required.

The key drivers of the business case are the energy storage operating costs versus the avoided OLE infrastructure capital expenditure. Costs associated with the avoided OLE infrastructure includes:
 additional extended neutral sections
 contact wire terminations
 providing trains with more than one pantograph
 pantograph control systems where there is insufficient mechanical clearance to raise pantographs.

The concept could become financially feasible with longer life and a lower cost of energy storage.

The point at which this occurs has been assessed through sensitivity analysis.

However, the number and proximity of gaps in the OLE infrastructure mean that the scenario is not thought to be technically feasible over this route. While the number of gaps could have been reduced to make the solution technically feasible this would have reduced the infrastructure savings and
therefore any benefit of using discontinuous electrification
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Old 22nd November 2012, 12:24   #50
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Ewww.

Discontinuous electrification sounds like a clever bodge, but I still feel dirty thinking about it. If the existing Crewe-Chester line really is going to be a nightmare to electrify, I again raise the suggestion of a chord in Hartford and using the MCR to go the rest of the way to Chester. That of course assumes that route would be any easier to electrify, and still doesn't solve the problem if Chester station itself can't be electrified (do we know why this is?)
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Old 22nd November 2012, 13:40   #51
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It is basically not possible to have the same section of track powered by both DC overhead at around 750vDC (like Manchester Metrolink) and also AC overhead (OHLE, 25kV).
But you can use DC third rail.

If Crewe-Chester really is so difficult to convert to OHLE then that brings back a prospect of third rail electrification of Crewe-Chester, with the use of AC/DC rolling stock. New or converted from existing. An advantage is that services from London could be turned back at Hooton parkway or Rock Ferry instead of (or as well as) Chester.

If a new chord at Hartford and OHLE through Delamere is feasible then it would make sense to electrify Chester-Northwich and the existing Hartford Curve as part of the same project.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 13:53   #52
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It is basically not possible to have the same section of track powered by both DC overhead at around 750vDC (like Manchester Metrolink) and also AC overhead (OHLE, 25kV).
But you can use DC third rail.
At Altrincham itself the rail platforms are around the same horizontal distance from the Metrolink platforms as is the amount of space between the DC Metrolink line and the AC CLC line at Cornbrook.

A bit further up at Navigation Road the lines are right next to each other but there are numerous other issues at Navigation Road with the single line Metrolink section and how much time the level crossing barriers spend down, that it would actually make sense to re-route Metrolink to be street running for a section to avoid Navigation Road.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 19:03   #53
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Unfortunately the LSWR route is also a bit of a long way round - iirc half an hour longer in steam days? however there weren't exactly any expresses - just components - going that way so it's hard to really compare. You'd have to buy the bit from the junction to Meldon back off DCC too!
.
Between Exeter St. Davids to Plymouth North Road - the LSWR route was about 6 miles longer, but had nothing as steep as Dainton or Rattery banks, etc.

From 1938 Bradshaw reprint, the best westbound times I can find are 1h 24m by GWR route, calling at Dawlish, Teignmouth & Newton Abbot, and 1h 40m by LSWR route, calling at Okehampton, Tavistock & Devonport. You could probably subtract about 10 to 15 mins from both times if there had been any trains running non-stop between Exeter and Plymouth. (The fastest trains from Paddington to Plymouth / Cornwall had no advertised stops before Plymouth.)
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Old 23rd November 2012, 10:46   #54
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Between Exeter St. Davids to Plymouth North Road - the LSWR route was about 6 miles longer, but had nothing as steep as Dainton or Rattery banks, etc.

From 1938 Bradshaw reprint, the best westbound times I can find are 1h 24m by GWR route, calling at Dawlish, Teignmouth & Newton Abbot, and 1h 40m by LSWR route, calling at Okehampton, Tavistock & Devonport. You could probably subtract about 10 to 15 mins from both times if there had been any trains running non-stop between Exeter and Plymouth. (The fastest trains from Paddington to Plymouth / Cornwall had no advertised stops before Plymouth.)
I think that the lower population and two reversals at Exeter and Plymouth were factors, but the main one was that Western Region got hold of it and got themselves shot of the ex-rival's line very quickly. The BR Regions were very parochial about such things. In terms of reopening to electrify, I think I prefer the GWR idea of a short-cut between Starcross and Newton Abbott, to avoid cutting off Torbay while leaving the old line open for local passengers and freight.

Incidentally, most of those non-stoppers would have had slip coaches, so you could probably get a rough estimate from that.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 13:33   #55
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Ewww.

Discontinuous electrification sounds like a clever bodge, but I still feel dirty thinking about it.
I imagine that would mean the Pendolinos would need to be 'upgraded' to have a 'dual pantograph' mode to use where there is discontinuous electrification and that the existing designs of EMU for shorter distances wouldn't be able to run the Chester-Crewe shuttle due to only being fitted with one pantograph in the middle.

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If the existing Crewe-Chester line really is going to be a nightmare to electrify, I again raise the suggestion of a chord in Hartford and using the MCR to go the rest of the way to Chester. That of course assumes that route would be any easier to electrify, and still doesn't solve the problem if Chester station itself can't be electrified (do we know why this is?)
The single track section around Mouldsworth and the sections with 50mph speed limits on sections of the Mid-Cheshire line would need looking at first.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 14:47   #56
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The single track section around Mouldsworth and the sections with 50mph speed limits on sections of the Mid-Cheshire line would need looking at first.
Well, indeed. The MCR could certainly use a bit of TLC. What's the speed limit over Northwich viaduct? That always feels like we're going at a snail's pace. (Not that Northwich matters much for the Chester-WCML junction section). Where along the CTR-WCML section is limited to 50?

As I say, I'm not convinced this idea necessarily has merit, I just know it's a possibility if the existing CRE-CTR line isn't viable to be electrified. Oh, and I'd quite like to see CRE-WSF-HTF-CUD-DLM-MLD-CTR stoppers. That would please me.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 15:02   #57
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The MCR could certainly use a bit of TLC. What's the speed limit over Northwich viaduct?
20mph. Around the turn of the millennium tests a while back found it could be raised to 50mph for Sprinters and 175s with no additional work but would need to remain at 20mph for Pacers and heavy freight. As FNW (at the time) used Pacers on some services the paperwork wasn't completed as they wouldn't have re-timetabled services to take advantage of the faster speed anyway.

MCRUA have reported that some work will be done in a couple of years time to bring the speed up to 50mph for everything but freight, as well as to change the turn back facility at Greenbank to allow a terminating train from Manchester to go in to the Manchester bound platform, which will simplify what happens during engineering works and will help to allow a future additional Greenbank-Stockport service to be introduced.

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Where along the CTR-WCML section is limited to 50?
In the Manchester direction where the line separates from the other Chester-Manchester line at Mickle Trafford there is a 20/50 or 50/20 (I forget which way around) speed sign. The passenger trains all seem to do 50mph on that section.

Every train I've ever been on the Mid-Cheshire line has stopped at Cuddington and Greenbank so I'm not certain know what the line speeds are like if the train is running 'express'.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 15:18   #58
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...and still doesn't solve the problem if Chester station itself can't be electrified (do we know why this is?)
I'm not aware that Chester can't be electrified, but the expense would be hard to justify if only the line to Crewe was being wired. As part of a larger scheme to electrify the NWCL, which already seems to be gaining momentum after success in South Wales, it might be less of an issue.

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Old 23rd November 2012, 16:18   #59
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It is basically not possible to have the same section of track powered by both DC overhead at around 750vDC (like Manchester Metrolink) and also AC overhead (OHLE, 25kV).
But you can use DC third rail.
I'm not convinced that the Merseyrail is what's preventing Chester being wired. I don't see why you wouldn't just dedicate Platform 7 to Merseyrail DC electrics and put OHLE on Platforms 1-6.

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I'm not aware that Chester can't be electrified, but the expense would be hard to justify if only the line to Crewe was being wired. As part of a larger scheme to electrify the NWCL, which already seems to be gaining momentum after success in South Wales, it might be less of an issue.
For sure, wider electrification plans would increase the justification for electrifying Chester, but even it its current state, I'm surprised justifying it is difficult. There are 2tph each way during core hours (Virgin's EUS-CTR and Arriva's CRE-CTR), both of which could be replaced by electric traction. (Do (m)any of the Arriva services run through Chester to destinations beyond?)

Is there something specific about Chester that precludes easy installation of OHLE, compared with installing OHLE at all the stations along the GWML and MML?
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Old 23rd November 2012, 21:45   #60
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For sure, wider electrification plans would increase the justification for electrifying Chester, but even it its current state, I'm surprised justifying it is difficult. There are 2tph each way during core hours (Virgin's EUS-CTR and Arriva's CRE-CTR), both of which could be replaced by electric traction. (Do (m)any of the Arriva services run through Chester to destinations beyond?)
There are a handful of Arriva trains between Crewe & Holyhead, including one each way between Birmingham & Holyhead via Crewe (weekdays).
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