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Old 15th June 2013, 13:56   #1096
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How many years ago has it been since the Arriva (X3 ?) bus from Manchester Airport ran non-stop via the M56 to Preston Brook then ran limited stop via Ellesmere Port to Chester ?
I can't recall precisely, but I do remember it was not long after First acquired the bus operations in Chester & the Wirral (now Stagecoach).

The main reason for the demise of the X3 was that First claimed it was anti-competitive on the section between Chester & Ellesmere Port (a subsidised service "competing" against commercial services). Given the threat of legal action, Cheshire CC withdrew the subsidy.

The only part that still operates today is the 36 between Ellesmere Port & Runcorn & that goes via Helsby and Frodsham, not the M56.

There was also a short lived extension to the Cymru Coastliner X1 service that operated to the airport too.
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Old 15th June 2013, 14:07   #1097
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Originally Posted by sheff'd victoria View Post

Great pictures thanks for sharing
Can you unquote the pictures because it makes the thread unnecessarily long
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Old 15th June 2013, 23:51   #1098
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presumably you based your calculations on the 52 seater M5000s not the 58 seater ones?
Different numbers of seats? I've never noticed anything different between individual units when I've been on the trams, except for the difference between mrk3s and mrk1s/2s (which seem the same, I saw 1007 today though which was different as I've been told on here before, but didn't get a ride on it). How many seats do the old trams have?

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Originally Posted by sheff'd victoria View Post
As a Sheffield resident we can only envy the new routes that are now in place around Manchester.
There's a few things that don't cause me to be envious of Metrolink. Take today, I arrived at the stop to find a tram pulling in, by the time the machine had spat out my ticket the tram was gone. 12 minutes wait on a windy platform is not much fun (ok, I think the line I was using was supposed to have a 6 minute frequency but I think I waited more than that before giving up and going back to the flat to wait for 20mins after deciding I'd miss the hourly frequency train I was aiming for if I waited any longer for the next tram). Would be handy if they had waiting rooms, or ticket-purchase facilities were available on board so you can just jump on the tram (although, as I've said on this topic before, the Piccadilly fridge needs sorting regardless).

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The only down side with the new trams are the seats, after 20 minutes it was num bum time
For me the main downside (followed closely by lack of ticket-issuing) is the lack of seats. Not nearlly enough alot of the time in my experience.

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A route was chosen about ten years ago for an extension from East Didsbury to Stockport town centre, but it does not seem likely to happen in the near future or perhaps ever. It would involve some expensive bridgeworks. Also I gather Stockport council have never been keen on it, I'm not sure why, others may know better.
Another gripe I have is having to go all the way into MAN to link up with National Rail. The cost seems high compared to going to Stockport via ALT, but the heavy-rail frequency at ALT is only one an hour. I apprieciate that paths into Piccadilly would be a problem, but could frequency from Knutsford/Northwich to Stockport be improved with the extras teminating at Stockport (or reversing towards Crewe)? Mind you, lack of rolling stock would probably put a stop to that anyway. As it is capacity on my trip today was inadequate, the service provided by single pacers (think I saw a single 150/2 going in the other direction though). Would be nice if you could buy through tickets from Metrolink to heavy rail stations (rather than only the other way round, although I don't think you can do that with a railcard anyway).

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Originally Posted by jcollins View Post
New overhead gantries have been installed at Altrincham station: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...ostcount=24336
Why? There were wires there before, what was wrong with whatever held them up?

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your going to have a 650vDC system on the tram meet a 25kvAC system on the trains ?
How much would have to be different to make a tram able to run on heavy-rail infrastructure (I'm not sure how close a tram-train is to either extreme, and whether there are multiple ways to strike that balance)? The Navigation Road single track seems to be one hell of a bottleneck and I've thought that if the trams were dual-voltage and could run on heavy-rail infrastructure they could have just electrified that section as a 25kv AC double-track line shared by National Rail and Metrolink services.
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Old 16th June 2013, 00:05   #1099
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The final 20 M5000s will have an additional 8 seats. These units are not currently in service.

T68s have 84, T68As have 82

What line were you on? Remember there are planned engineering works today on the Bury line. Altrincham had 6 minute service, as did the Eccles line up to media city. Other than that everything was running 12 minutes.

There's more capacity on the new trams so that there's more space for people to get on. I'd rather get on the first tram that arrives and stand than wait for the next.

Tram stops don't need a waiting room. All stops have shelters and seats and the maximum waiting time is 15 minutes which isn't in operation for most of the time.

It's part of the Altrincham station upgrade.
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Old 16th June 2013, 09:32   #1100
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The final 20 M5000s will have an additional 8 seats. These units are not currently in service.
Why are the final 20 different?

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T68s have 84, T68As have 82
Wow, that's alot more seats than the new trams. The new trams are a big step backwards in seating capacity terms then.

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What line were you on?
Altrincham line. There definately seemed to be 6 minute service later on when waiting for the train at Altrincham, must have just come along at an unfortunate time when the service had been disrupted somehow.

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Tram stops don't need a waiting room. All stops have shelters and seats and the maximum waiting time is 15 minutes which isn't in operation for most of the time.
15 minutes is more than enough to get really uncomfortably cold in the Piccadilly fridge, and as I'm always saying bus-shelter-type-things are very rarely any good at sheltering you from wind.
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Old 16th June 2013, 10:45   #1101
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Originally Posted by Manchester77 View Post
T68s have 84, T68As have 82
Isn't there an exception with one T68 that got replacement seats or has that one been withdrawn?

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Tram stops don't need a waiting room. All stops have shelters and seats and the maximum waiting time is 15 minutes which isn't in operation for most of the time.
Isn't the new Airport line going to get 2 or 3 trams per hour in the very early hours in the morning.

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Originally Posted by Rhydgaled View Post
Another gripe I have is having to go all the way into MAN to link up with National Rail. The cost seems high compared to going to Stockport via ALT, but the heavy-rail frequency at ALT is only one an hour. I apprieciate that paths into Piccadilly would be a problem, but could frequency from Knutsford/Northwich to Stockport be improved with the extras teminating at Stockport (or reversing towards Crewe)?
They took away the turn back facility and signal box at Knutsford many years ago.

There are proposals for extra Greenbank-Stockport services as part of the Northern Hub. Network Rail are also looking at a Stockport-Denton-Victoria service and say the two could be a through service to prevent reversals at Stockport.


Quote:
Mind you, lack of rolling stock would probably put a stop to that anyway. As it is capacity on my trip today was inadequate, the service provided by single pacers (think I saw a single 150/2 going in the other direction though).
Most Saturdays recently there's been one diagram that's been 2x142s and one diagram that's been a 142+150, a single 150 diagram and 2 single 142 diagrams. On Sundays and weekdays there's usually less Pacers.

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Why? There were wires there before, what was wrong with whatever held them up?
The existing footbridge is being replaced by a new accessible one so some of the gantries needed repositioning but they've decided to erect newer more basic ones opposed to the ex-BR ones they currently use.

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How much would have to be different to make a tram able to run on heavy-rail infrastructure (I'm not sure how close a tram-train is to either extreme, and whether there are multiple ways to strike that balance)? The Navigation Road single track seems to be one hell of a bottleneck and I've thought that if the trams were dual-voltage and could run on heavy-rail infrastructure they could have just electrified that section as a 25kv AC double-track line shared by National Rail and Metrolink services.
Not possible with T68s or M5000s they are not permitted to run on heavy rail infrastructure as they don't meet NR crash standards. If all Altrincham trams became tram-trains then sharing the tracks through Navigation Road would be a possibility.

Note that dual-voltage tram-trains would cost a lot more than DC only trams.
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Old 16th June 2013, 11:27   #1102
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1007 still has 84 seats on,y to a different design.

The final 20 are different because they had complaints about lack of seating.

Yes but nothing in terms of frequency has been published
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Old 16th June 2013, 13:03   #1103
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Originally Posted by jcollins View Post
They took away the turn back facility and signal box at Knutsford many years ago.

There are proposals for extra Greenbank-Stockport services as part of the Northern Hub. Network Rail are also looking at a Stockport-Denton-Victoria service and say the two could be a through service to prevent reversals at Stockport.

Most Saturdays recently there's been one diagram that's been 2x142s and one diagram that's been a 142+150, a single 150 diagram and 2 single 142 diagrams. On Sundays and weekdays there's usually less Pacers.

The existing footbridge is being replaced by a new accessible one so some of the gantries needed repositioning but they've decided to erect newer more basic ones opposed to the ex-BR ones they currently use.
Thanks for the information.

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Not possible with T68s or M5000s they are not permitted to run on heavy rail infrastructure
Thought so.

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If all Altrincham trams became tram-trains then sharing the tracks through Navigation Road would be a possibility.

Note that dual-voltage tram-trains would cost a lot more than DC only trams.
How different is a tram-train from a plain tram? Is it only the enhanced safety or is a tram-train more train-like too? If the latter, how much would the M5000 design (not already built units, as I imagine the alterations would be too significant to retro-fit) need modifying for acceptability on NR infrastructure for a short-distance?

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The final 20 are different because they had complaints about lack of seating.
Thanks. Yet they are still around 20 seats short of the old trams. That doesn't really address the complaints does it? Are the old ones longer, I don't see how they can have 20 more seats otherwise?
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Old 16th June 2013, 16:42   #1104
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No the old trams don't have the large wheel chair areas that make the M5000s DDA compliment
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Old 16th June 2013, 17:16   #1105
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The fewer seats gives the M5000s much more standing capacity. Standing on one on the Altrincham line ought to be much less unpleasant that on the T68, at least if they sort out the rough riding! With journey times of 30min or so the time standing would mostly be within the 20min limit applied on the national network (other routes have longer journeys but probably less standing).

The M5000s could be converted to tram-trains relatively easily, provided the tram-train routes have extra train protection to reduce the risk of collisions between trams and trains which would seriously damage the lighter structure of the tram. Fitting AC traction would be another thing altogether.
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Old 16th June 2013, 18:14   #1106
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The fewer seats gives the M5000s much more standing capacity. Standing on one on the Altrincham line ought to be much less unpleasant that on the T68, at least if they sort out the rough riding! With journey times of 30min or so the time standing would mostly be within the 20min limit applied on the national network (other routes have longer journeys but probably less standing).

The M5000s could be converted to tram-trains relatively easily, provided the tram-train routes have extra train protection to reduce the risk of collisions between trams and trains which would seriously damage the lighter structure of the tram. Fitting AC traction would be another thing altogether.
One could possibly fit a transformer/rectifier in a 3rd and/or 4th vehicle if it where to be added as part of a tram/train conversion, but it would reduce the amount of traction motors available.
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Old 16th June 2013, 18:17   #1107
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Originally Posted by Rhydgaled View Post
or ticket-purchase facilities were available on board so you can just jump on the tram
I think the most obvious reason this does not happen is that whenever the trams are busy (which is most of the time), it would be impossible for them to sell any tickets.
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Old 16th June 2013, 22:53   #1108
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I think the most obvious reason this does not happen is that whenever the trams are busy (which is most of the time), it would be impossible for them to sell any tickets.
They do this in Cologne. We went there for the Christmas Markets a few years ago and used the trams as a park and ride. There was more than one ticket machine and, in spite of heavy loadings, everyine I saw managed to get a ticket.
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Old 16th June 2013, 23:04   #1109
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Would be nice if you could buy through tickets from Metrolink to heavy rail stations (rather than only the other way round, although I don't think you can do that with a railcard anyway).
Well... you can for journeys wholly within GM, by selecting a RailZone ticket, but these aren't valid everywhere. For outer-GM journeys, through ticketing is avialable from national stations to Metrolink stops but it seems to be an add-on to Manc STNS fares, so its really not useful and, no, railcard discounts are not applicable... unless you know where to go...
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Old 17th June 2013, 09:35   #1110
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They do this in Cologne. We went there for the Christmas Markets a few years ago and used the trams as a park and ride. There was more than one ticket machine and, in spite of heavy loadings, everyine I saw managed to get a ticket.
There is no way this would work. Trams are often crush loaded at busy times.
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