Electrification North-West

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Pyreneenguy

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Logically, electrification should be an on-going process: when one project is completed, another is undertaken. The truth is somewhat different, but we don't live in an ideal World !

The North-West electrification is a huge improvement, but there are some heavily used commuter lines that would bebefit hugely, if they could be included. One that immediately springs to mind is Wigan Wallgate- Manchester Victoria, via Atherton, or an even shorter section via Bolton. At the risk of being called a dreamer, you could even add Southport Chapel Street- Wigan for good measure !

Seriously, has the Wigan Wallgate-Manchester Victoria line ever been considered for electrification ? Another option would be conversion to Metro.
Would passenger figures justify this ?
 
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aformeruser

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Logically, electrification should be an on-going process: when one project is completed, another is undertaken.
Is that not the current plan? North TPE following on from North West electrification and Great Western mainline following on from Thames Valley.

Seriously, has the Wigan Wallgate-Manchester Victoria line ever been considered for electrification ? Another option would be conversion to Metro.
Would passenger figures justify this ?
It's being considered for tram-train not full conversion. During recent WCML disruption the Atherton line saw a couple of Voyagers running along it which backs up the case for not converting it fully to Metrolink. It does have some very badly overcrowded Pacers on it currently.
 
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MidnightFlyer

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It hasn't been considered officially, however, in future, it wouldn't surprise me if the line via Westhoughton was converted afterwards, more for diversionary purposes, as you can also access the line from Wigan North Western / the WCML northbound; however electrifying the line to Wigan alone would only mean 2tph of the 5 ex-WGW could be converted, as the rest run onto Kirkby or Southport, unless you convert them to OHLE too. Then again, on Sundays Southport trains run ex-Chester via Altrincham, which is unelectrified, and during the week some trains that start from Wallgate run on from Manchester directly to Rochdale, which has no electrification plans.

Wigan Wallgate-Manchester Victoria ... Another option would be conversion to Metro.
Would passenger figures justify this ?
No it wouldn't! I've heard that bounced about before and it is an absolutely idiotic idea, plus both trains per hour via Atherton run on to either Kirkby or Southport, so then you'd be forcing them via an already very busy Bolton corridor.
 

aformeruser

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Then again, on Sundays Southport trains run ex-Chester via Altrincham, which is unelectrified
I don't think that is a major concern. Trains to Southport from the Altrincham line is something that was a regular occurrence before Manchester Airport-Southport services started then the Sundays only service was only reinstated in 2008.

In the next 30 years both Manchester-Chester lines may finish up being electrified. Both lines are set to see extra services as a result of the Northern Hub. Additionally, Manchester Airport-Piccadilly will be at maximum capacity post-Northern Hub and Network Rail have said they will look at extending the Airport spur to the Mid-Cheshire line again in the 2019-2024 CP.

I think more immediate options in the North include Manchester-Warrington-Liverpool and Calder Vale. While outside the North the diesel part of Southern and LO.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The Atherton Line that was constructed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was to assist in a fast route to Southport, via Wigan Wallgate. This had fast line sections in four-track sections, all of which is now gone and is a two-track layout throughout. All the line as far as its connection with the Westhoughton line at Crow Nest Junction is within the TfGM administered area of Greater Manchester. That part of Greater Manchester still is seen as a "railway backwater" in some circles and it was good to see that a Sunday service was reinstated to evaluate passenger usage.

It is noticeable that the Leigh Guided Busway project, so beloved by TfGM, is in that same south-west part of Greater Manchester.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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The Blackpool branch lines are popular and if the Merseyrail system is electrified, Merseyrail electrify Ormskirk-Preston and take over from Northern, combined with Blackpool freed stock and if TPE get more 350s, we have a much faster Blackpool service which would be extremely welcome. Northern could sell the DMUs for EMUs but still run a few DMUs (158s) for Leeds/York-Blackpool or put then on the South Branch which won't get electrified due to disuse.
Thoughts?
 

OxtedL

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The Blackpool branch lines are popular and if the Merseyrail system is electrified, Merseyrail electrify Ormskirk-Preston and take over from Northern, combined with Blackpool freed stock and if TPE get more 350s, we have a much faster Blackpool service which would be extremely welcome. Northern could sell the DMUs for EMUs but still run a few DMUs (158s) for Leeds/York-Blackpool or put then on the South Branch which won't get electrified due to disuse.
Thoughts?
Do you actually know how anything works?!
 

Ivo

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The ... South Branch which won't get electrified due to disuse.
If by "disuse" you mean "disuse" then you need a reality check. This line is struggling owing to its capacity issues. What it needs is a better service (and passing loops), not disuse. If anything the South line serves more than the North line; it just happens to terminate too far out.
 

Pyreneenguy

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The Atherton Line that was constructed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was to assist in a fast route to Southport, via Wigan Wallgate. This had fast line sections in four-track sections, all of which is now gone and is a two-track layout throughout. All the line as far as its connection with the Westhoughton line at Crow Nest Junction is within the TfGM administered area of Greater Manchester. That part of Greater Manchester still is seen as a "railway backwater" in some circles and it was good to see that a Sunday service was reinstated to evaluate passenger usage.

It is noticeable that the Leigh Guided Busway project, so beloved by TfGM, is in that same south-west part of Greater Manchester.
I well remember Hindley North and the six tracks that headed west towards Wigan ! There was a most impressive signal-gantry controlling the access towards Standish Jnc and the WCML and the Wigan avoiding line to Pemberton.

Trips from Southport towards Manchester and beyond were always interesting: the Burscough curves, then passing over the line to Wigan Central, then the line to Bolton Gt Moor St ! If it was a train going via Bolton, there was Agecroft and the colliery/power station tank engines. Happy days indeed !
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Blackpool South station was opened in 1909 as Waterloo Road and it its zenith, only ever had four platforms. The line commenced through there to the largest station in Blackpool, Blackpool Central, which was a fourteen platform station and at the time of the Beeching cuts, was the station with the largest number of platforms to be closed in the country.
 

Pyreneenguy

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Do you actually know how anything works?!

One of the most enjoyable things about this site is that it allows dreams !
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Blackpool South station was opened in 1909 as Waterloo Road and it its zenith, only ever had four platforms. The line commenced through there to the largest station in Blackpool, Blackpool Central, which was a fourteen platform station and at the time of the Beeching cuts, was the station with the largest number of platforms to be closed in the country.

Blackpool Central was closed to make the site of the station and storage sidings available for construction, as was the re-sited Blackpool North.

The direct line from Kirkham to Blackpool South is now the M55 motorway !
 

OxtedL

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The Blackpool branch lines are popular and if the Merseyrail system is electrified, ...
It is already...?
...Merseyrail electrify Ormskirk-Preston and take over from Northern,
This is an interesting idea that has been bounced around before. It has been suggested that extending Merseyrail to Preston might not be such a great idea in it's own right, as it's a commuter network, not a regional affair. We'll see what happens in the future. Maybe some joint thing could work. Ormskirk isn't likely to be high in the electrification priorities for a while yet in it's present form though.
combined with Blackpool freed stock and if TPE get more 350s,
I'm a bit confused at this point with what you are trying to say...
we have a much faster Blackpool service which would be extremely welcome.
But not as confused as I am now. Blackpool North is already in the process of getting wired. Where does this "freed stock" come into it? How does "freed stock" lead to faster Blackpool services?
Northern could sell the DMUs for EMUs
No they can't.
but still run a few DMUs (158s) for Leeds/York-Blackpool or put then on the South Branch
Hopefully most people had realised that since not everywhere is getting electrified, some DMU's would be needed.
which won't get electrified due to disuse.
:roll:
It is widely agreed that Blackpool South et al need improving.


I'm not sure whether you expect a sarcastic answer or not.
I haven't yet seen where sarcasm comes into this thread.
Of course the South branch recieves many a train, and it serves more destinations.
That's utterly meaningless as a sentence. Yes, it has trains, and they stop at stations.

There's your sarcasm.
The main problem is single tracking for a few miles which puts low capacity on the line so double-tracking
Loops are more likely than double tracking I imagine.
and more services to Blackpool Airport would be the best move if that could possibly happen.
Is Blackpool Airport likely to generate lots of demand in the near future?

The "disuse" factor is because of the obvious lack of capacity and I agree with the rest of your post. 2 lines where possible could be a step, but I'd rather trust you over my own knowledge even if I'm more local to the line!
What you've done here is skilfully say absolutely nothing that makes any sense at all, in two sentences. At least as far as I can see.

I hope this is helpful.
 
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One of the most enjoyable things about this site is that it allows dreams !
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---



Blackpool Central was closed to make the site of the station and storage sidings available for construction, as was the re-sited Blackpool North.

The direct line from Kirkham to Blackpool South is now the M55 motorway !
I have been told that most of the passenger trains used the Lytham St Annes line. The Marton line was more for freight.
The lack of services / capacity caused by the 12 miles of single track on Blackpool South is now stopping a boom in passengers numbers on this very popular branch line. (The single track is occupied for 50 minutes in the hour)
Improving services by passing loops, or better redoubling the track, would bring huge benefits to South Shore & Lytham corridor.

Sadly the support from Blackpool Council is very negative.
They want to terminate the line at Pleasure Beach, demolish Lytham Road Skew Bridge, and use the released land for a link road and parking etc.
Talks of converting the remainder of the line to trams, and there are still hints of this scheme -
Kirkham becoming a transport hub? Change to train at Kirkham?
Probably be then as quick to get to Preston from BPS on a Stagecoach 68 bus!!
 

Pyreneenguy

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I have been told that most of the passenger trains used the Lytham St Annes line. The Marton line was more for freight.
The lack of services / capacity caused by the 12 miles of single track on Blackpool South is now stopping a boom in passengers numbers on this very popular branch line. (The single track is occupied for 50 minutes in the hour)
Improving services by passing loops, or better redoubling the track, would bring huge benefits to South Shore & Lytham corridor.

Sadly the support from Blackpool Council is very negative.
They want to terminate the line at Pleasure Beach, demolish Lytham Road Skew Bridge, and use the released land for a link road and parking etc.
Talks of converting the remainder of the line to trams, and there are still hints of this scheme -
Kirkham becoming a transport hub? Change to train at Kirkham?
Probably be then as quick to get to Preston from BPS on a Stagecoach 68 bus!!

A short while ago, there was a morning supplementary service starting / terminating at St Annes.

The last time I used the line (holiday in UK a couple of years ago), we were stood up and sqashed like sardines all the way from Preston to Pleasure Beach !
 

Mutant Lemming

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Blackpool Central was closed to make the site of the station and storage sidings available for construction, as was the re-sited Blackpool North.
Wasn't the site of Blackpool Central just a big car park as opposed to there being anything built there?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The North-West, along with most of the country, fared badly in the electrification stakes against the Home Counties, where even insignifaicant and poorly used branches got electrified.
 

aformeruser

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Blackpool Central was closed to make the site of the station and storage sidings available for construction, as was the re-sited Blackpool North.
If Wikipedia is correct Beeching proposed closure of Blackpool North but instead Blackpool Central was pushed for closure due to the likely higher value of the Blackpool Central site.

A short while ago, there was a morning supplementary service starting / terminating at St Annes.
It ran from St Annes on Sea to Greenbank and was booked to be run by 2x156s. It had previously been 158 operated and loco-hauled operated under FNW. It was replaced by a Blackpool to Hazel Grove service in the Dec 08 timetable change (the morning 180 working) which had almost identical timings and calling points between Kirkham & Wesham and Stockport.
 

Midlandman

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You could say that Blackpool was the place that Beeching got right - originally he wanted to keep the Blackpool Central line and the Fleetwood line and close Blackpool North and Layton. Then, the Council, which had long coveted the site of Central Station, made the BR Board an offer they couldn't refuse for the land. BR hastily amended the closure proposal to read Blackpool Central instead of North and closed the most conveniently sited station in town. Far from the ambitious plans that they claimed to have for the site, all Blackpool Council got for their money was a bingo hall and a car park
 

Midlandman

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Ah yes, forgot about the toilets, the only part of Blackpool Central to survive!

On the subject of electrification, is it the intention to do Manchester to Preston via Bolton, or will everything go via Newton-le-Willows? I only ask because I remember a plan to wire the Bolton route in, I think, the 1980s, which got pretty far along towards becoming reality before the money question reared its head. As I recall, a particular stumbling block was the clearance in the tunnel at Farnworth. You could tell that the project was in trouble when people started suggesting, with straight faces, that trains could lower the pans and coast through the tunnel to save the cost of enlarging it for the OHLE! (Nobody ever did explain what you'd do in the case of a train that had stopped at Farnworth)
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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You could say that Blackpool was the place that Beeching got right - originally he wanted to keep the Blackpool Central line and the Fleetwood line and close Blackpool North and Layton. Then, the Council, which had long coveted the site of Central Station, made the BR Board an offer they couldn't refuse for the land. BR hastily amended the closure proposal to read Blackpool Central instead of North and closed the most conveniently sited station in town. Far from the ambitious plans that they claimed to have for the site, all Blackpool Council got for their money was a bingo hall and a car park
This was one reason why I developed the previous Blackpool South line of reasoning onto the fourteen-platform station at Blackpool Central, in order that discussion on the machinations of Blackpool Council at that time and the subsequent lack of success for their hoped-for plans. Thank you for this posting, which has made the matter clear to those younger forum members who would not have been aware of these happenings. Many people these days are unaware of the amount of rail passenger traffic that was carried along the route that Blackpool South is now the terminal station upon.

As I said in my posting, Blackpool Central with its fourteen platforms, was the largest platform capacity railway station to be closed by the Beeching cuts.
 

yorksrob

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Blackpool North would have been quite large at the time as well with the current station (for excursions) and the (I think) 7 platforms of the old mainline station.
 

Viscount702

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Ah yes, forgot about the toilets, the only part of Blackpool Central to survive!

On the subject of electrification, is it the intention to do Manchester to Preston via Bolton, or will everything go via Newton-le-Willows? I only ask because I remember a plan to wire the Bolton route in, I think, the 1980s, which got pretty far along towards becoming reality before the money question reared its head. As I recall, a particular stumbling block was the clearance in the tunnel at Farnworth. You could tell that the project was in trouble when people started suggesting, with straight faces, that trains could lower the pans and coast through the tunnel to save the cost of enlarging it for the OHLE! (Nobody ever did explain what you'd do in the case of a train that had stopped at Farnworth)
Manchester to Preston and Blackpool via Bolton is being electrified as part of the Scheme and should be completed in 2016
 

Welshman

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Many people these days are unaware of the amount of rail passenger traffic that was carried along the route that Blackpool South is now the terminal station upon.
Very true indeed, because not only was the Coast line through St Anne's originally double-tracked, but there was also, of course, the direct Marton line from Kirkham & Wesham which drew alongside the Coast line at Blackpool South to run together to Central.

These lines were normally very busy, but on a summer Saturday during the annual Mill Towns' "Wakes Week" holidays, trains would be running block-to-block almost back from Preston!
 

sprinterguy

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Logically, electrification should be an on-going process: when one project is completed, another is undertaken. The truth is somewhat different, but we don't live in an ideal World !

The North-West electrification is a huge improvement, but there are some heavily used commuter lines that would bebefit hugely, if they could be included. One that immediately springs to mind is Wigan Wallgate- Manchester Victoria, via Atherton, or an even shorter section via Bolton. At the risk of being called a dreamer, you could even add Southport Chapel Street- Wigan for good measure !

Seriously, has the Wigan Wallgate-Manchester Victoria line ever been considered for electrification ? Another option would be conversion to Metro.
Would passenger figures justify this ?
Electrification of Manchester-Wigan-Southport/Kirkby, via both the Atherton and Bolton routes, is precisely what I would be calling for if a North West electrification Phase 2 were to be announced. If I had any say in the matter this would also include the Buxton branch and Marple/New Mills via Guide Bridge.

Of course the less palatable option would be to convert Manchester - Wigan via Atherton to tram-train, as jcollins says, or even full Metrolink operation and then force all the Southport and Kirkby trains through Bolton. It doesn't sound like too bad an idea on paper if more paths could be sought on the Bolton route, but I'm not convinced by that idea. And I'd be dead against any propositions to send tram-trains all the way to Southport and Kirkby.
 

stockport1

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.....reopening matlock buxton with the electrification of the buxton route too! :)

i could see this being almost as important to the north west as HS2 northern section.
i think growth here could be immense as it would allow the east midlands a direct route to stockport and manchester among the freight benefits etc etc.
 

johnnychips

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.....reopening matlock buxton with the electrification of the buxton route too! :)

i could see this being almost as important to the north west as HS2 northern section.
i think growth here could be immense as it would allow the east midlands a direct route to stockport and manchester among the freight benefits etc etc.
I can't see this ever reopening as it is now a popular walking and cycling track, especially with the reopening of the tunnels at Great Longstone, Cressbrook and Chee Tor, which makes it even more convenient for cycles. The route is also very sinuous.

There is a good link from the East Midlands to Stockport - the Dore/Totley curve, though whether pathings are possible is a different matter. Weren't there direct Manchester-St Pancras trains not so long ago - I don't mean the 60s - when the WCML modifications were being done?
 

yorksrob

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I think it would be a good idea. Don't forget, the Hope Valley is already pretty busy, and that route is quite roundabout.

Only Matlock - Buxton would give all the benefits of:

An additional Inter-City Route between London and Manchester, better inter-regional links between the East Midlands and the North West and better local connectivity between Derby, Bakewell and Buxton.

I'm all for putting footpaths up old railway lines, but this infrastructure was built for the railway and the railway should take precedence should it be needed again.
 
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