Any news on the progress of Manchester - Chat Moss electrification ?

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PhilipW

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A few weeks back someone kindly posted some photos of the gantries just erected at the Manchester end.

How is everything progressing ?
Is there just one team starting in Manchester and working west ?
Is everything being done in Sunday only possessions ?
How far have they got so far ?
When do they expect to reach the WCML ?

All snippets of news always welcome.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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I did a run on the Chat Moss line last week and saw very little new other than the 8-ish OLE masts on the Castlefield viaduct we have already seen pictured.
There was some sizeable groundwork going on at Lea Green (west of St Helens Jn), including platform rebuilding - maybe bridge raising?
A digger was at work outside the fence near Astley.
Otherwise, not a lot to see, but it's easy to miss at speed.
The current weekend possessions finish at the end of the month.

There's also a work site near the M6 bridge at Newton-le-Willows which has been active for a couple of months. I've passed it several times, and still can't work out whether it's electrification-related or not!

I'm assuming it's all bridge-raising and track-lowering at the moment, with the main OLE work next year.
 

Nym

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Lest not forget as well that Signalling Immunisation will be being carried out as well at the moment, and you won't see anything for that short of men in orange changing round relays etc. in grey boxes...

On the more major front, there has been a lot of vegitation clearence.
 

Bevan Price

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Track lowering under bridges in the Whiston / Rainhill / Lea Green area. Two footbridges removed for rebuilding in Rainhill area. Bridge being rebuilt at Roby station. Also started work on Huyton - Springs Branch line, with 2 bridges being rebuilt near Eccleston Park, and some work proceeding on Parr St. bridge next to St. Helens central.
 

John55

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Between Manchester and Parkside there is little evidence of works for electrification, however I think this is due to the cunning deception plan of NR's engineers who have been track lowering under bridges using new ballast which is the same colour as the old ballast so making it rather difficult to detect!

At the Liverpool end it is plain to see the track lowering which has been going on since Christmas as the new ballast is a completely different colour to the old ballast.

At Lea Green the track is/has been lowered under the old bridge nearest the platform and the Liverpool bound platform is being reconstructed presumably to match the new track height. Track lowering has been done under Queens Drive in Liverpool, west of Rainhill and at Lea Green.

There are 4 bridges being reconstructed between Huyton and Wigan at St Helens, Garswood and Eccleston Park (2).

I believe there is a bit of a complication with some work at the Manchester end as there is some redesign required due to the unexpected go ahead for the Ordsall Curve last year requiring some changes.

Also both bridges at Roby are complete now with new apans over the existing (ex fast lines) and the disused trackbed (old slow lines),
 

PhilipW

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At the Liverpool end is 4-tracking between Broad Green and Huyton Junction being done as part of the scheme ?

If not and it is going to be done later, I hope the gantries are going to be put up in such a position as to allow the extra tracks to be re-instated and electrified easily.
 

WatcherZero

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Theyve been using overnight possessions as well, making services finish a little earlier than normal.
 

PhilipW

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Theyve been using overnight possessions as well, making services finish a little earlier than normal.

Network Rail are quite fortunate in having the Warrington Central line as a diversionary route so the Chat Moss route can be closed with minimal disruption to passengers.
 

John55

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Network Rail are quite fortunate in having the Warrington Central line as a diversionary route so the Chat Moss route can be closed with minimal disruption to passengers.

Yes but it is not very convenient for passengers between Wavertree and Wigan or Earlestown in the evening or anytime on Saturdays and Sundays. Saturday is of course the busiest day of the week for travel on these lines so that's a great bonus to the passengers and TOCs.

At the Liverpool end is 4-tracking between Broad Green and Huyton Junction being done as part of the scheme ?

If not and it is going to be done later, I hope the gantries are going to be put up in such a position as to allow the extra tracks to be re-instated and electrified easily.

Other than the replacement of the second span over the unused trackbed at Roby no evidence of 4 tracking yet. The second span probably had to be replaced anyway to avoid an embarrassing step in the road but at least the provision is there. Given the current state of things there will be some digging at Roby and especially Huyton to clear the way for the extra track but nothing difficult.

The embankment between Broad Green and Roby will have to be brought up to modern standards for 4 tracking and I would have thought enough room for simple posts and cantilevers would be found rather than gantries. Whether the junction is designed into the overhead will be interesting..
 

CosherB

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As of yesterday there was no visible progress whatever in Manchester - just the same gantries on Castlefield viaduct that were there a few weeks ago.
 

DavidL

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There are 4 bridges being reconstructed between Huyton and Wigan at St Helens, Garswood and Eccleston Park (2).

Just to add that - in addition to the bridges mentioned - there is some work also going on at the bridge (Manchester Rd, I think?) by Prescot station. Not sure what's happening here as the work doesn't appear as complete as the others from the railway view, but the road did appear shut on one of my many rail-replacement-coach trips over the weekends.

At St Helens Central, to add to Bevan's information, the old (now pedestrianised) Parr St bridge was missing most of its deck when I last looked, and there's also some serious earth moving gone on by the spans over the old line to the Junction - I presume this has been to permit plant/vehicular access rather than an intention to electrify any of the now-disused junction.

Although the pointwork was replaced as the last track relaying, there has been galvanised fencing across the line - blocking off the bridge - for a good while now. I presume that if this short connecting line is ever resurrected, it will also be electrified?

In other St Helens Central news, albeit entirely non-electrification-related, they've finally opened a coffee shop (a Hamilton's) upstairs :)

-David
 

Bevan Price

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At St Helens Central, to add to Bevan's information, the old (now pedestrianised) Parr St bridge was missing most of its deck when I last looked, and there's also some serious earth moving gone on by the spans over the old line to the Junction - I presume this has been to permit plant/vehicular access rather than an intention to electrify any of the now-disused junction.

Although the pointwork was replaced as the last track relaying, there has been galvanised fencing across the line - blocking off the bridge - for a good while now. I presume that if this short connecting line is ever resurrected, it will also be electrified?


-David

Someone told me that the fence at St. Helens was erected because drug addicts had been using the area, sometimes getting there by walking off the platforms at St. Helens Central.

In the St. Helens Junction area, the disused bridge (St. Helens - Widnes line) over the Liverpool & Manchester line has been removed. This was, I believe, the first location where one "main line" railway crossed over another "main line".
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Given the current state of things there will be some digging at Roby and especially Huyton to clear the way for the extra track but nothing difficult.

The current layout at Huyton isn't very good, with the current passenger access via a trench cut through the old slow line route.
That's going to have to be relocated.
 

John55

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It can be covered over relatively easily.

I think the problem is the former island platform (used by east bound trains) has ramp access from the public subway/road which will disappear if the former slow lines are dug out and restored to use.

I don't know if the station subways still exist under the old slow lines at Huyton, or Roby but I expect there will have to be a modern footbridge installed at both with lifts etc. if quadrupling takes place. This will create merry hell with the neighbours if this is the case particularly at Roby.
 

Bevan Price

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Noticed today that there was a temporary platform extension at Thatto Heath. I think that here, and at Lea Green, the height of the old platform needs to be reduced because of track lowering under the adjacent bridge.
 

John55

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Noticed today that there was a temporary platform extension at Thatto Heath. I think that here, and at Lea Green, the height of the old platform needs to be reduced because of track lowering under the adjacent bridge.

The bridge at Thatto Heath is quite modern and I had assumed did not need any work to clear the overhead wires etc.

There has been a programme of platform extensions on the Huyton - Wigan line which included Bryn, Garswood and Thatto Heath which should have been completed for December 2011. When I went through Thatto Heath a couple of weeks ago I assumed it was that work which was running late rather than platform lowering.

However I don't suppose it would be the first time a structure built to give electrification clearance had had the ballast built up too high and needed the track adjusting.
 

Gareth

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According to the Merseytravel website, Huyton to Wigan North Western is closed from this month on Saturdays and Sundays due to the electrification works, every week till some time in May. Rail Replacement Bus services are in place on these days.
 

PhilipW

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I have seen photos of masts up at Wavertree Technology Park. I did not realise they had starting putting them up there already. I had assumed all the effort would be on the Manchester to Parkside Junction section.
 

DavidL

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I have seen photos of masts up at Wavertree Technology Park. I did not realise they had starting putting them up there already. I had assumed all the effort would be on the Manchester to Parkside Junction section.

Philip - I think these might be old masts. There are about 3-4 (?) masts towards Wavertree without wiring that have been there - I would guess - since the Liverpool WCML electrification.
 

DavidL

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Just another update to say that Thatto Heath's temporary platform extension is now fenced off and being dismantled. Looks like the permanent platform has been dropped & resurfaced towards the Thatto Heath Rd (?) bridge end.
 

DavidL

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A few photos of the bridge works taken over the past couple of weeks at St Helens Central if anyone is interested. They've replaced the pedestrian bit with a smart new bridge, but unfortunately, it looks like they might be demolishing the now redundant stone support pillars.

As a sidenote, I think the branch towards Sutton Oak may now be officially out of use what with all the heavy plant that's used it as a roadway ;)
 

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callum112233

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I don't know if this has been mentioned already but last saturday I noticed that overhead cables are in place at castlefield.
 

driver9000

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I was sure I saw cables? Either that or I dreamt it.

No wires in place at Castlefield Junction apart from those round to Trafford Park. The gantries on the Up/Down Bolton towards Ordsall Lane Junction have been given ID plates though.
 
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Viscount702

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I was expecting more progress on this by now. I would have thought that bases for the Gantries would be going up between Ordsall Lane and NLW if nothing else because it had been reported earlier that vegetation was being removed along this section to assist with the bases.

I do have concerns that the Ordsall Lane to Victoria may be late and subject to rethink in light of funding for Chord and because of that what to do in relation to Platforms at Salford Central as well now NTP electrification so far as it may have an impact.
 

callum112233

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No wires in place at Castlfield Junction apart from those round to Trafford Park. The gantries on the Up/Down Bolton towards Ordsall Lane Junction have been given ID plates though.

I must have been mistaken :D..I just thought I saw wires, sorry :lol:
 
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