Crewe to Alsager single line section

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by railnerd, 28 Aug 2015.

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  1. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.
    Random question: Why is the first few miles of track to the east of Crewe towards Alsager singled?
    Was it just a cost cutting excercise back in the day?

    I know i should know the answer but i dont! :D
     
    Last edited: 28 Aug 2015
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  3. Buttsy

    Buttsy Established Member

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    Simple answer - yes!
     
  4. railnerd

    railnerd Member

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    Hi.

    Right. Now i have my in depth answer, did they regret singling it and do they wanna double it again?
     
  5. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

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    With two trains an hour, probably not needed. I was on the line today. A new road is being built under the single track section near Crewe - I wonder if the bridge is to double track standard?

    What is the prospect of either of the services using this line being extended to Manchester Airport, to provide a link with Stoke? Trains could use platform 1 at Crewe in both directions without joining the WCML.
     
  6. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    I think there used to be an hourly service to Manchester Airport this way from Derby in Central Trains days using 170 Turbostars, can't remember when it finished though.
     
  7. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    It was singled during the Crewe remodelling in 1985.
    They had no thought of services increasing, and Stoke was only 1tph.
    I travelled on it last week and the single line uses the northern track throughout, with the southern track bed empty but seemingly usable.
    Currently, a new link road is being built just east of Crewe and it's going to need some sizeable engineering to get under the Stoke line.
    There is also what I think is a weak embankment around there which might have played a part in the singling decision.
    I should think everything about Crewe is currently in the melting pot for HS2.
    The remodelling simplified the station layout too much anyway.
     
    Last edited: 28 Aug 2015
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Skegness, for a time at least.
     
  9. Senex

    Senex Established Member

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    Wasn't this another of the 1980s schemes that was reduced beyond the point of common sense in order to bring down costs to a level where authorisation would be given (like Leicester MAS, etc)?

    I certainly understood that the original plans were for a significantly faster Manchester junction amongst other things. (It could never be fast, of course, but I heard that 40/45 could have been got rather than the present 20 which is actually significantly more restrictive than the former layout.)

    Incidentally, does anyone know if anything has been done to improve the run in from the down fast to platform 6, for which the 1980s scheme provided some nicely restrictive approach control?

    Also, wasn't it intended that the speed on the up and down fast lines through the station should be 100, but then someone discovered that the pillars supporting the roofs were too close to the tracks to allow that?
     
  10. jfollows

    jfollows Member

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    It gets interesting today when there are something like 8tph (passenger) plus maybe 1tph freight using the single line!
     
  11. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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    In the 80s, single stretches of line to save money although the line that remained had twice as much wear and tear, in addition to additional pointwork at start/end of single track sections or crossing points. I did read somewhere that it was to give the Government of the day the impression steps were being taken to reduce costs.
     
  12. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Another example of what you say during the late 80s was the singling of the Heaton Norris - Guide Bridge line between Ash Bridge, through Reddish South to Denton, when a new bridge was required to take the line over the M60 motorway that was under construction near Denton at the time. The reason of course was to save money by only installing a single track deck, although it does appear when travelling on the motorway below that the supports would take a twin track deck if in the future it was decided it was warranted.
     
  13. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    No, and its the same from Wilmslow and it is a killer. The up end of 6 could do with speeding up from 20 too. As said, nothing will happen until the HS2 plans are sorted.
     
  14. onlinespotting

    onlinespotting Member

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    It ran from Skegness to Manchester Airport, then was shortened from Nottingham, now just Derby to Crewe
     
  15. Morgsie

    Morgsie Member

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    I do not know the history of this line but the line should have been doubled as part of the WCML Modernisation programme.

    Redoubling should considered as part of the HS2 proposals.
     
  16. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Ah, cheers for that, I thought it may have come from beyond Derby, but couldn't remember where, do you know when it finished? IIRC it was lack of paths between Crewe and Wilmslow that was cited.
     
  17. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Lack of people more like. Usually almost empty (a single 153) to the Airport.
    I think it died when the WCRM upgrades were in progress and never came back.
    A lot further back under BR, it was never more than a Crewe-Derby shuttle, apart from a few through summer workings from Derby to North Wales.
    Central extended it east first to Nottingham, then Skegness/Cleethorpes, and also north to Manchester Airport.
    The SRA then reduced it to Crewe-Derby again to "improve reliability" around Derby and Nottingham.
    Northern added a Crewe-Manchester Airport service.
     
  18. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    I believe if you go back to the 80s and such it was a Crewe to Lincoln St Marks service largely using Swindon class 120s.
     
  19. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    In my experience the lack of passengers was also a factor.

    :D
     
  20. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Yes, i remember it being a single 153 most of the time.
     
  21. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    As others have said it was cost cutting by British Rail in the 1980s although there is still space for a second track if its required.

    The single track was fine with just the local Derby train using it and most of the time its ok with the additional London Midland service although if either of them are delayed it can cause disruption. I remember leaving Crewe once and there was a train going into Crewe that broke down on the single track section going the other way and it took two hours to remove the broken down train so we could proceed.

    The through Manchester Airport trains stopped in 2004 partly because if they were delayed reaching Crewe then it had a knock on effect on other trains because of pathing issues and partly because the paths were now needed for other trains as the WCML upgrade has just been completed. In the other direction the trains to Nottingham and beyond were removed in 2005, most of which ran though to Skegness although some instead ran to Lincoln Central or Cleethorpes. The stock was mostly Class 170s but 153s, 156s, 158s and very occasionally 150s were used on the line. When I was a child I used to have a nickname for each of the trains which sounds rather sad now.
     
  22. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    I'm glad you mentioned 170s had been used because I was 99.9% certain that a friend and I had travelled on one from Crewe bound for Manchester Airport, but I think we bailed at Wilmslow probably in order to take a 309 emu back to Birmingham New St when First NW operated an out and back evening service from Manchester, this must have been around 1999 give or take.
     
  23. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    According to Real Time Trains this section of track is currently used for WCML diversions today, taking 11 coach Pendos as well as the regular services via Alsager must be a fun exercise.
     
  24. causton

    causton Established Member

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    Think that was why the thread was started :)

    Fun enough down here on the southern WCML with only 2 lines open, the people of Watford don't know what's hit them with only 2 trains an hour and no LM past Northampton direct!
     
  25. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    I don't remember anyone reporting that redoubling would involve much expense. Would it?
    Also the redoubling of the Reddish line, mentioned earlier. I see on Street View that crossing the M60 is no big deal, but are there other problems with that one?
     
  26. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    What would the redoubling be for? If we can't deal with 4tph over a short bit of single track then we might as well all go home now.
     
  27. ag51ruk

    ag51ruk Member

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    Redoubling was looked at when the line was electrified in the 2000s but I believe the cost of resignalling/lack of resourcing was the killer then.

    If the Crewe - Manchester Airport trains had been allowed to stop at Wilmslow, that may have helped passenger numbers - the southbound train often had to wait in the station for ages anyway to get a path, but with the doors locked.
     
  28. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Quite. It's only 3 miles after all.

    Bit of a nuisance on weekends like this, but it hardly justifies the expense.
     
  29. Morgsie

    Morgsie Member

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    Improving connectivity

    As I have said in my previous post HS2 is going to Crewe despite Stoke-On-Trent City Council wasting loads on HS2 and redoubling should be considered as part of the proposals regarding Crewe to improve connections etc especially throughout the Potteries as another poster mentioned the Potteries on another thread a while ago. This post expands on my previous post
     
  30. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Right ok, how many trains are you expecting as part of this and where from and to? Come back in 10 years and you might have a shout, but now? If they put the new Crewe station at Basford Hall then the existing line is in the wrong place anyway and there have already been fag packet drawings of diverting it.
     
  31. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    When the line was first electrified in 2003 the only services using the line was the hourly Central Trains service so the cost probably wasn't justified given the that there was still capacity there. After the the line was electrified I think there was a single Virgin Cross Country and an Arriva Trains Wales service that used the line each day. The London Midland service came in 2008.

    I agree about Wilmslow, I often found it strange that Virgin Trains called at Wimlsow but Central Trains didn't. I remember now the through trains were withdrawn in 2003 after the WCML upgrade. For a very short period of time in 2001 there were some through trains to Liverpool Lime Street from Nottingham on Sundays only.
     
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