EMR and Liverpool-Norwich (from Dec 2021)

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CTS1990

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Hello all,

I have searched the forums and other rail sites, but haven’t found any recent news on what the proposed Liverpool-Norwich split is going to look like.

Am I right in thinking it is definitely going ahead for the December 2021 timetable change...or still TBD?

Thanks
 
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43055

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I don't think anything has been set in stone yet but planning for the December 21 and May 22 timetables (Certainly ECML on the latter) will have begun. The regional changes was planned for December but I wouldn't be surprised if it was pushed back to May 2022 like the Intercity changes.

As for the split I think it was proposed:
Liverpool - Nottingham (could be going to another operator?)
Norwich - Nottingham (- Derby - possibly Matlock?)
 

swt_passenger

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I don't think anything has been set in stone yet but planning for the December 21 and May 22 timetables (Certainly ECML on the latter) will have begun. The regional changes was planned for December but I wouldn't be surprised if it was pushed back to May 2022 like the Intercity changes.

As for the split I think it was proposed:
Liverpool - Nottingham (could be going to another operator?)
Norwich - Nottingham (- Derby - possibly Matlock?)
It isn't going to another operator now, and maybe never will. Hence it having been a fairly regular topic in the various EMR rolling stock threads, as EMR will still need suitable rolling stock for the Liverpool <> Nottingham leg.
 

Llandudno

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It isn't going to another operator now, and maybe never will. Hence it having been a fairly regular topic in the various EMR rolling stock threads, as EMR will still need suitable rolling stock for the Liverpool <> Nottingham leg.
Pleased to hear that it is unlikely to be switched to another operator, imagine if it was allocated to Northern....!
 

CTS1990

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Thank you all for the updates, I suppose it’s a case of ‘watch this space’ then!

I assume the split is highly likely to be in Nottingham, rather than Sheffield, when it does happen.
 

swt_passenger

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Thank you all for the updates, I suppose it’s a case of ‘watch this space’ then!

I assume the split is highly likely to be in Nottingham, rather than Sheffield, when it does happen.
I’ve been looking for previous discussions, there must be a few but they’re not in any obvious places. I’ve a feeling the extension from Norwich through to Derby got canned, but I just can’t find any justification for that belief.

For example there was a significant discussion back in February about a new Liverpool EMR traincrew depot, conclusion being that EMR were digging in for a long haul: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/emr-various-driver-roles-liverpool.214366/
 

Jamesrob637

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Pleased to hear that it is unlikely to be switched to another operator, imagine if it was allocated to Northern....!

2-car all the way knowing them! At least EMR are predominantly booked 4-car. Though a mate who used the Manchester to Liverpool line every weekday pre-COVID says that the 19:45 from Oxford Road to Liverpool was still booked 2-car even in February 2020.
 

Llandudno

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2-car all the way knowing them! At least EMR are predominantly booked 4-car. Though a mate who used the Manchester to Liverpool line every weekday pre-COVID says that the 19:45 from Oxford Road to Liverpool was still booked 2-car even in February 2020.
Yep, a 2 car class 150 with 3+2 seating!

Plus widespread weekend cancellations because of a lack of train crew!
 

MikeWM

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Oddly enough, the Network Rail consultation for Ely that I just got a leaflet for today in the post, has 'Norwich-Liverpool' 1tph running after Ely works are done, whenever that may be.

(see networkrail.co.uk/Ely).

It does say 'subject to change' and I suppose they may be keeping the same destinations as in the 'before' list to minimise confusion - but nevertheless this seems interesting.
 

CTS1990

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Oddly enough, the Network Rail consultation for Ely that I just got a leaflet for today in the post, has 'Norwich-Liverpool' 1tph running after Ely works are done, whenever that may be.

(see networkrail.co.uk/Ely).

It does say 'subject to change' and I suppose they may be keeping the same destinations as in the 'before' list to minimise confusion - but nevertheless this seems interesting.
Interesting indeed, thanks for this. Do we know what the new service is?
 

MikeWM

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Interesting indeed, thanks for this. Do we know what the new service is?

At one point there was planning for a second Norwich-Cambridge each hour. I'm not sure if that has been abandoned entirely now that there is more capacity on the existing service.

Additionally I think there were once plans for the Birmingham-Leicester cross-countries to be extended to Cambridge/Stansted. Again, not sure what status they are now at.

Maybe those are two ideas, and there isn't a decision which is better yet? Or maybe something more exciting is in the works :)
 

43055

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2-car all the way knowing them! At least EMR are predominantly booked 4-car. Though a mate who used the Manchester to Liverpool line every weekday pre-COVID says that the 19:45 from Oxford Road to Liverpool was still booked 2-car even in February 2020.
Possibly a 2 car due to:
The second set off the previous Norwich service (1627 arr Nottingham) then forms a Derby service before working the 1742 to Crewe.
In the current timetable at least it looks like it joins with the following service at Liverpool before returning to Nottingham.

With the other regional changes next week it looks like the second set off the 1627 arrival at Nottingham will now form the second set on the 1747 to Liverpool (1945 in Manchester). On arrival in Liverpool the following service returns to Nottingham empty so it looks to be a 4 car now.
 

swt_passenger

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Any idea what stock will be used on this? Still 158s?
I don’t think anyone knows for certain.

Clearly EMR were proposing a 170 only fleet at one time, but Nottingham - Liverpool was then assumed to be going to another TOC, and 171s from SN were going to be converted. Neither seems to be happening yet so I’d also put my money on 158s for now…
 

greatvoyager

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I don’t think anyone knows for certain.

Clearly EMR were proposing a 170 only fleet at one time, but Nottingham - Liverpool was then assumed to be going to another TOC, and 171s from SN were going to be converted. Neither seems to be happening yet so I’d also put my money on 158s for now…
158s would be a logical solution on an interim basis, but it depends what happens with Uckfield ultimately.
 

swt_passenger

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158s would be a logical solution on an interim basis, but it depends what happens with Uckfield ultimately.
Yes, but I also think it’s still a two stage process. AIUI the 171s from Southern might only make the numbers up to the total required without the retention of the Nottingham to Liverpool service. So we could even end up with Norwich to Nottingham using 170s, and Nottingham to Liverpool with 158s.
 

greatvoyager

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Yes, but I also think it’s still a two stage process. AIUI the 171s from Southern might only make the numbers up to the total required without the retention of the Nottingham to Liverpool service. So we could even end up with Norwich to Nottingham using 170s, and Nottingham to Liverpool with 158s.
True, but weren’t they only going to take 12 of the 20 171s? Is there no way that this could change to all of them in the future?
 

swt_passenger

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True, but weren’t they only going to take 12 of the 20 171s? Is there no way that this could change to all of them in the future?
I don’t know, I thought that SN still had a diesel route that would have needed the others. Then there’s the question of whether just 8 more units would be enough, I suppose the Liverpool leg would be expected to keep 4 car trains.

That’s probably why there’s been so many forum suggestions to transfer 185s I suppose, but that would be going over old ground…
 

greatvoyager

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I don’t know, I thought that SN still had a diesel route that would have needed the others. Then there’s the question of whether just 8 more units would be enough, I suppose the Liverpool leg would be expected to keep 4 car trains.

That’s probably why there’s been so many forum suggestions to transfer 185s I suppose, but that would be going over old ground…
When you put it like that, 8 units does seem too few to convert to purely 170 operation.
 

TheBigD

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True, but weren’t they only going to take 12 of the 20 171s? Is there no way that this could change to all of them in the future?

EMR were to have a total of 11 x 3 car, and 33 x 2 car 170s.

They have 5 x 3 car ex Scotrail, and will be getting 23 x 2 car from West Midlands.
That leaves 16 units from Southern's 171s, reformed in to 6 x 3 car and 10 x 2 car 170s.

Will be interesting to see what happens now they are keeping Nottingham-Liverpool which will require a minimum of 6 units, or 12 if doubled up, in service everyday.
So around 14 x 158 (2 units extra for maintenance etc) if the service is run as it is currently.

At one point there was planning for a second Norwich-Cambridge each hour. I'm not sure if that has been abandoned entirely now that there is more capacity on the existing service.

Additionally I think there were once plans for the Birmingham-Leicester cross-countries to be extended to Cambridge/Stansted. Again, not sure what status they are now at.

Maybe those are two ideas, and there isn't a decision which is better yet? Or maybe something more exciting is in the works :)

The EACE (Ely area capacity enhancement) scheme proposes up to 11 paths per hour over Ely North Junction. 2 to Norwich, 2 to Lynn, 3 to Peterborough and the remaining 4 paths for freight.

The planned extension of the Leicester-Birmingham service through to/from Cambridge every other hour was planned for December 2008 if I remeber correctly. They even made it in to the timetables but never ran after the 2008 financial crisis put paid to that and it's not been progressed since. The paths were crap as they had to fit around the existing freight and the extra platforms at Peterborough hadn't been built.
The planned XC 2018? plans would have seen an extra 0620 ex Cambridge (0818 from Leicester) and the 1752 ex Birmingham extended through to Cambridge.
 
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ALEMASTER

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Last I read was still going to be Norwich-Derby (with some possibly extended to Sheffield) and seperate Nottingham-Liverpool, the change being EMR are now going to run the Liverpool service rather than TPE. Recruitment for EMR's new train crew depot at Liverpool has already started. I've not really seen anything rolling stock wise, 170s running in pairs wouldn't be ideal, perhaps 185s cascaded from TPE?
 
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The issue with the 185s I believe is that a 6 car formation offers either the same or fewer seats than a 4 car 158 formation due to the internal layout
Having said that, the end doors on the 158s produce long dwell times at stations. I would be willing to bet on 158s staying short to mid term.
 

edwin_m

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Yes, but I also think it’s still a two stage process. AIUI the 171s from Southern might only make the numbers up to the total required without the retention of the Nottingham to Liverpool service. So we could even end up with Norwich to Nottingham using 170s, and Nottingham to Liverpool with 158s.
I can't see any prospect of the 171s being released in the foreseeable future. The ORR will oppose an electrification scheme and even if attempts to address the safety issues are successful there's no obvious sign of funding. Nor does there seem to be any move to fit batteries to Electrostars or anything similar, at least that I'm aware of. So EMR will end up with fewer 170s (or 171s) than they originally planned to operate all their regional services excluding Nottingham-Liverpool. I can therefore see the 158s staying as the most obvious solution to this problem.

As to what services they will work, Norwich-Derby and Nottingham-Liverpool remain the longest-distance of EMR's regional bundle, which would make them obvious candidates, and I think the first of those would be a good bet. However there may be pressure to put 158s onto less-used routes in Lincolnshire, so as to run 170s on the Liverpool route and ease congestion caused by the narrow and slow doors on the 158s at the Manchester stations.
 

swt_passenger

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I can't see any prospect of the 171s being released in the foreseeable future. The ORR will oppose an electrification scheme and even if attempts to address the safety issues are successful there's no obvious sign of funding. Nor does there seem to be any move to fit batteries to Electrostars or anything similar, at least that I'm aware of. So EMR will end up with fewer 170s (or 171s) than they originally planned to operate all their regional services excluding Nottingham-Liverpool. I can therefore see the 158s staying as the most obvious solution to this problem.

As to what services they will work, Norwich-Derby and Nottingham-Liverpool remain the longest-distance of EMR's regional bundle, which would make them obvious candidates, and I think the first of those would be a good bet. However there may be pressure to put 158s onto less-used routes in Lincolnshire, so as to run 170s on the Liverpool route and ease congestion caused by the narrow and slow doors on the 158s at the Manchester stations.
I think you’re right, I really only intended to emphasise that the ex Southern units wouldn’t be enough for the latest size of the franchise even if they did arrive. I did write that it didn’t appear to be happening in my original reply…
 

Llandudno

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Last I read was still going to be Norwich-Derby (with some possibly extended to Sheffield) and seperate Nottingham-Liverpool, the change being EMR are now going to run the Liverpool service rather than TPE. Recruitment for EMR's new train crew depot at Liverpool has already started. I've not really seen anything rolling stock wise, 170s running in pairs wouldn't be ideal, perhaps 185s cascaded from TPE?
Interesting to hear that EMR are recruiting for a train crew depot in Liverpool, I guess this should eliminate long distance ECS movements and maybe offer later last westbound trains towards Liverpool.
 

edwin_m

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Interesting to hear that EMR are recruiting for a train crew depot in Liverpool, I guess this should eliminate long distance ECS movements and maybe offer later last westbound trains towards Liverpool.
I hope it also means that a train arriving late in Liverpool can (sometimes) have a shortened turnaround, if it's a Liverpool crew being relieved by another one rather than a Nottingham crew that need a break.
 

MikeWM

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The EACE (Ely area capacity enhancement) scheme proposes up to 11 paths per hour over Ely North Junction. 2 to Norwich, 2 to Lynn, 3 to Peterborough and the remaining 4 paths for freight.

The network rail link I mentioned above agrees, except now that is saying 3 freight paths and one extra, undetermined direction, passenger path.

Still, I don't expect that will be used for a 2tph Norwich-Liverpool service, that's probably the least likely option :)
 

TheBigD

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The network rail link I mentioned above agrees, except now that is saying 3 freight paths and one extra, undetermined direction, passenger path.

Still, I don't expect that will be used for a 2tph Norwich-Liverpool service, that's probably the least likely option :)

If there's an extra path for passenger vice freight then getting Cambridge-Peterborough up to half hourly would be a good use for it.
 

MikeWM

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If there's an extra path for passenger vice freight then getting Cambridge-Peterborough up to half hourly would be a good use for it.

Couldn't agree more - very much needed. Interesting to think where you could extend that to at each end, and who would run it!

Anyhow, apologies for moving the thread rather off-topic. Though if I'm on-topic, I'll get back to moaning about the potential split of the Norwich-Liverpool service again - not sure that will be viewed as an improvement :)
 

Liverpool 507

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2-car all the way knowing them! At least EMR are predominantly booked 4-car. Though a mate who used the Manchester to Liverpool line every weekday pre-COVID says that the 19:45 from Oxford Road to Liverpool was still booked 2-car even in February 2020.

Yep, a 2 car class 150 with 3+2 seating!

Plus widespread weekend cancellations because of a lack of train crew!

I think you’re both getting confused. I travelled on this service daily from Manchester Oxford Road to Liverpool South Parkway and the 19:42 EMR service was always a 2 car 158. If you’re referring to the 19:46 Northern stopping service to Liverpool via Warrington, that was always a 3 car 195.
 
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