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An idea for the Ordsall Chord

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Philip

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In order to run a reliable service across the Ordsall Chord, which isn't affected by delays in other parts of the country, could a half hourly shuttle between Victoria platform 3-6 and Oxford Road platform 1 or 3 work well, with nothing else allowed across?

It maintains the current frequency and should nearly always keep to time, but also cuts the number of services at Piccadilly 13/14. The truncated TPE services could either terminate in a Victoria through platform (or one of the eastern bays?), or divert to Piccadilly platforms 1-12, or possibly run through to Liverpool if there are spare paths on the Chat Moss.
 
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Bletchleyite

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In all seriousness I'd mothball it until the Castlefield work is done. It's nothing but a nuisance, and if you want to go from Vic to Picc you can take the tram.
 

Purple Orange

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Some people might well disagree, but I would do the following:
  1. Terminate TPE Airport services at Piccadilly main train shed, via Guide Bridge
  2. Terminate EMR Nottingham-Liverpool services at Picadilly
  3. Send all TfW services to Victoria (Cardiff via Chat Moss too). Perhaps sending them on to Stalybridge, Rochdale or Bradford
  4. Send TPE Glasgow/Edinburgh to Victoria if possible to terminate there.
  5. Only allow Northern stoppers to run over the chord to one or a couple of Airport/Crewe/Stoke/Buxton.
This would concentrate all Scotland, Wales & Liverpool fast services at Victoria. It doesn’t deal with having Leeds services split between two stations, but nothing will do that until NPR is delivered.
 

Ianno87

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In order to run a reliable service across the Ordsall Chord, which isn't affected by delays in other parts of the country, could a half hourly shuttle between Victoria platform 3-6 and Oxford Road platform 1 or 3 work well, with nothing else allowed across?

It maintains the current frequency and should nearly always keep to time, but also cuts the number of services at Piccadilly 13/14. The truncated TPE services could either terminate in a Victoria through platform (or one of the eastern bays?), or divert to Piccadilly platforms 1-12, or possibly run through to Liverpool if there are spare paths on the Chat Moss.

Nobody actually wants to travel (really) between Oxford Road and Victoria; that's never been the point of the chord.

Airport-Victoria seems to have become relatively popular flow (pre-Covid), as does accessing Piccadilly / Oxford Road from the Yorkshire direction.
 

Purple Orange

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Nobody actually wants to travel (really) between Oxford Road and Victoria; that's never been the point of the chord.

Airport-Victoria seems to have become relatively popular flow (pre-Covid), as does accessing Piccadilly / Oxford Road from the Yorkshire direction.

I think that would only happen if there was a metro frequency in place, but it would be useful if it was there.
 

RHolmes

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Can’t really use Platform 1 at Oxford Road due to a lack of accessibility. It’s only used in disruption to get trains out of the way of Piccadilly 13/14 and the Up/Down oxford road viaducts to prevent damage to the timetable
 

Bletchleyite

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I think that would only happen if there was a metro frequency in place, but it would be useful if it was there.

It's quite possible people would want to do that journey if they're going to/from the uni area and their destination is only served from Vic, but a bus to Picc Gardens and a short walk isn't really much worse.
 

Bigman

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Why not just terminate all services from the Airport at a reopened Mayfield station and build a new interchange concourse over to the main station? Heathrow Expresses all terminate at Paddington, so why wouldn't it work for Manchester. This would then reduce the amount of stuff going through 13/14 which would in turn ease the Castlefield Corridor. Right, tin hat on.
 

Ianno87

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Why not just terminate all services from the Airport at a reopened Mayfield station and build a new interchange concourse over to the main station? Heathrow Expresses all terminate at Paddington, so why wouldn't it work for Manchester.

...why do you think Crossrail will serve Heathrow? Only going to Paddington isn't satisfactory for onward passenger distribution.
 

Bigman

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Good point. Forgot about Crossrail. Still, it would reduce the conflicting paths at the throat of Piccadilly.
 

Ianno87

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Good point. Forgot about Crossrail. Still, it would reduce the conflicting paths at the throat of Piccadilly.

Well, that was the point (partly) of the Ordsall Chord; so cross-Manchester services could be retained *and* conflicting moves avoided in the throat.
 

Bletchleyite

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Why not just terminate all services from the Airport at a reopened Mayfield station and build a new interchange concourse over to the main station?

Because platform 12 could be used (and potentially dedicated to it), it's barely used at all now. Or perhaps better 11 due to better access to 13/14.
 

JonathanH

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Because platform 12 could be used (and potentially dedicated to it), it's barely used at all now. Or perhaps better 11 due to better access to 13/14.
The reasons why platform 12 (and 11) aren't used have been explained numerous times on this forum. It is obvious from the track layout at Piccadilly that trains to the Airport in an ideal world would run solely to / from platforms 13 and 14 - the difficulty is that they go to numerous places West and North of there.
 

RHolmes

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Why not just terminate all services from the Airport at a reopened Mayfield station and build a new interchange concourse over to the main station? Heathrow Expresses all terminate at Paddington, so why wouldn't it work for Manchester. This would then reduce the amount of stuff going through 13/14 which would in turn ease the Castlefield Corridor. Right, tin hat on.

Mayfield station has been sold, it’s currently home to ‘frieght island’ a food, drink and entertainment venue and is due to be developed into a city park.
 

Bletchleyite

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The reasons why platform 12 (and 11) aren't used have been explained numerous times on this forum. It is obvious from the track layout at Piccadilly that trains to the Airport in an ideal world would run solely to / from platforms 13 and 14 - the difficulty is that they go to numerous places West and North of there.

9, 10, 11 and 12 join the line from 13 so are neither better nor worse than using 13/14 other than that arriving trains have to cross the southbound line from 13.

e.g.: https://traksy.uk/live/M+22+MNCRPIC+-1

5, 6, 7 and 8 are "connected to" the Stockport lines.
 

RHolmes

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Because platform 12 could be used (and potentially dedicated to it), it's barely used at all now. Or perhaps better 11 due to better access to 13/14.

Platform 12 can only accommodate a 3 car train due to its signal position. The exit from 11 and 12 blocks platform 13, and can cause trains to be stopped at the 13B mid signal, which causes further issues for traincrew as passsngers attempt to alight and dispatchers MUST walk with the train along the platform at a reduced speed
 

JonathanH

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9, 10, 11 and 12 join the line from 13 so are neither better nor worse than using 13/14 other than that arriving trains have to cross the southbound line from 13.

e.g.: https://traksy.uk/live/M+22+MNCRPIC+-1

5, 6, 7 and 8 are "connected to" the Stockport lines.
Other than, of course, that a train going into platform 12 conflicts both with departures from 9, 10 and 11 and with departures from platform 13 whereas parallel movements are possible for an arrival into 14 and a departure from 13.
 

RHolmes

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Perfect for a Class 323 on an Airport shuttle, then.
I’d agree on that so long as the service continues along the Styal line from the Airport replacing Wilmslow services.

I’m not too familiar with platform 12 myself as the trains I work usually won’t fit into the platform, but I believe Network Rail do NOT like using it unless they have to for passenger services for another reason (unknown to myself).

I don’t know if the platform is smaller in width than the others, or if there’s a lack of train ramps which might be where the issues lie, or if it’s more to do with the fact that only the area to the platform is ‘paved’. Beyond the signal (which like I said earlier is about the length of a 3 car train) the area is pretty much rough concrete and station storage which again might be why Network Rail don’t like using it, or the fact you can get VERY close to the offside of platform 13.
 

Ianno87

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9, 10, 11 and 12 join the line from 13 so are neither better nor worse than using 13/14 other than that arriving trains have to cross the southbound line from 13.

The "other than" part of your post is a pretty big deal.
 

Ianno87

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It's a smaller deal than running through 13 and 14, because doing that blocks 13 and 14 for each train (in the respective direction).

And if it was that big a deal 9 and 10 wouldn't be used either.

You can use Platform 9 and 10 because that maxes out possible use of the moves across the southbound 13 flow. It's done for some trains. Doesn't mean there's capacity for any more.

Any more moves are worse for capacity. A train arriving into 12 (say) takes a path from 13 *and* 14 on arrival, and then a path from 13 on its departure, i.e. 3 theoretical paths.

Straight moves through 13/14 consume only 2 - one per direction.
 

Senex

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You can use Platform 9 and 10 because that maxes out possible use of the moves across the southbound 13 flow. It's done for some trains. Doesn't mean there's capacity for any more.

Any more moves are worse for capacity. A train arriving into 12 (say) takes a path from 13 *and* 14 on arrival, and then a path from 13 on its departure, i.e. 3 theoretical paths.

Straight moves through 13/14 consume only 2 - one per direction.
The problem arose from the way in which the island platform was lengthened, a good few years ago. The cheap and easy solution was chosen, by lengthening the island out into the throat of the station and so causing the problems for the access to the slow-line terminal platforms 10-12. Remember how logical it all was when the station was rebuilt at the end of the 1950s: 1-4 for the East Lines; 5, 8, and 9 as the principal fast-line platforms (I think from memory all for 15 coaches), with 6 and 7 for shorter trains using the fast lines; and 10-12 for slow line terminals, with 13 and 14 out of the slow lines seeing as their only frequent passenger service the electrics to and from Oxford Road. Those were the days when at coffee-time in the morning you could see a full-length "Pines Express" waiting to depart in 5 and the up "Mancunian" in 9, the one to take the UFL to Stockport, the other to cross to the USL and then go via Styal..
 

Bletchleyite

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The problem arose from the way in which the island platform was lengthened, a good few years ago. The cheap and easy solution was chosen, by lengthening the island out into the throat of the station and so causing the problems for the access to the slow-line terminal platforms 10-12.

13/14 you mean? Said extension was fairly pointless, too, because its future was being used by short DMUs and EMUs, with active avoidance of having two trains stacked up.
 

Greybeard33

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13/14 you mean? Said extension was fairly pointless, too, because its future was being used by short DMUs and EMUs, with active avoidance of having two trains stacked up.
The extension was far from pointless, because it enables the P13 and P14 passenger flows to be kept largely segregated, at opposite ends of the island. Imagine the (pre Covid) chaos in the peaks if trains in opposite directions had to stop adjacent to each other on the narrow island!
 

billio

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I think that would only happen if there was a metro frequency in place, but it would be useful if it was there.
What I found useful about trains from Yorkshire was that I could alight at Piccadilly, Oxford Road or Victoria depending on where I wanted to go in the city and board where I wanted to coming back. I suspect travellers from the airport to the city might prefer something similar rather than only being able to go direct to Piccadilly.
Piccadilly to Victoria might be possible on a tram but its a damned inconvenience disappearing into the bowels of Piccadilly and then undertaking a stressful stop/start journey to Victoria.
 

Tomnick

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Platform 12 can only accommodate a 3 car train due to its signal position. The exit from 11 and 12 blocks platform 13, and can cause trains to be stopped at the 13B mid signal, which causes further issues for traincrew as passsngers attempt to alight and dispatchers MUST walk with the train along the platform at a reduced speed
You can get one into or out of platforms 9-12 with another signalled into the full length of 13, so that's not a problem at least - it's only a move from the fast lines to platform 14 that ties up the overlap there. The bigger issue, of course, is the question of where trains from the Oxford Road direction go if they don't go to the Airport, unless it's only a 2tph shuttle to replace the trains that currently come via the chord that'd being proposed here.
 

Ianno87

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13/14 you mean? Said extension was fairly pointless, too, because its future was being used by short DMUs and EMUs, with active avoidance of having two trains stacked up.

Not sure that's necessarily true, with through-working of Intercity Loco-Hauled and HST Cross Country services introduced in the early 90s after the Windsor Link opened; eventually Voyagers (some of which were occasionally doubled up)

It has, of course, been proven useful recently to enable Pendolinos to divert via Castlefield when the WCML is closed.

The extension was far from pointless, because it enables the P13 and P14 passenger flows to be kept largely segregated, at opposite ends of the island. Imagine the (pre Covid) chaos in the peaks if trains in opposite directions had to stop adjacent to each other on the narrow island!

That is definitely the big plus about the length of the platform.

What I found useful about trains from Yorkshire was that I could alight at Piccadilly, Oxford Road or Victoria depending on where I wanted to go in the city and board where I wanted to coming back. I suspect travellers from the airport to the city might prefer something similar rather than only being able to go direct to Piccadilly.
Piccadilly to Victoria might be possible on a tram but its a damned inconvenience disappearing into the bowels of Piccadilly and then undertaking a stressful stop/start journey to Victoria.

"Spreading the load" across several stations does help station crowding and dwell times, and takes passengers closer to where they actually want to go.
 
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