Farnworth Tunnel Options Report

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by QueensCurve, 24 Apr 2015.

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  1. QueensCurve

    QueensCurve Established Member

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    Donalson Associates listed on the website that they had been contracted by Network Rail to conduct an optioneering study on the work needed to electrify Farnworth Tunnels and upgrade the linespeeds.

    I requested the report through FOI and have now received a copy.

    As far as I can see NR have not published a copy on their website as is usually the case under FOI so I am trying to attach the Report to this message.
     

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    Last edited: 24 Apr 2015
  2. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    Thank you - I haven't read it all yet but it's fascinating so far.
     
  3. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    I was pleased to read that the recommended option 3 had been suggested:-
    Up Bolton.......100mph
    Down Bolton...100mph
     
  4. GRALISTAIR

    GRALISTAIR Established Member

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    I too have not read it all yet but so far fascinating.

    Common sense has prevailed!
     
  5. Joseph_Locke

    Joseph_Locke Established Member

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    Sadly it will never triumph over physics - I doubt Farnworth is far enough from Bolton for trains to get from 20mph (let alone a standing start) to 100mph.

    That said, if you're going to spend that kind of money you may as well built it for a higher speed, just in case ...
     
  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    But if the tunnel is designed so that trains have adequate clearance at 100mph, then they've definitely got 60mph clearance.
     
  7. GRALISTAIR

    GRALISTAIR Established Member

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    I hear what you are saying - I just prefer longer term thinking. The bitterness of poor quality long outlasts the sweetness of a low price.

    I remember the old M63 now part of the M60 at Barton Bridge. They tagged a lane on either side. When they widened the M6 at the Thelwall viaduct they built a whole new bridge -much less disruptive and longer term planning. Perhaps instead of "Common sense has prevailed" I might have been better saying "Wonderful that they have planned for the longer term". :D
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2015
  8. Joseph_Locke

    Joseph_Locke Established Member

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    The minimum clearances to conventional trains are the same at any speed below 125mph - its the huge re-alignment (to the point that the current Up line is on the alignment of the new Down line) that is speed-sensitive, due to rates of gain of cant and deficiency.
     
  9. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    I thought there were some TPE trains that ran non-stop though Bolton in the peaks.
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I thought so too, but had a look on Realtime Trains and it appears that they are all stoppers.
     
  11. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    And in any case nothing goes very fast through Bolton :)
     
  12. thealexweb

    thealexweb Member

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    At the moment all scheduled services halt at Bolton.

    From December 2016 there will be a handful of early morning TPE services that will slow to 15mph for Bolton's sharp corner then accelerate through the station.

    I am glad the 'rumours' of a consistent 100mph between Salford Crescent and Bolton are starting to shape up. In their 2012 West Coast bids Virgin and First both promised Bolton 1tpd to London Euston by 2016. Hopefully in the 2017 franchise we can see something a bit more ambitious. Every third Manchester terminator extended to Bolton maybe?
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2015
  13. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Hmm may have been Scotland trains now diverted via Wigan NW.
     
  14. thealexweb

    thealexweb Member

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    When the Scotland services ran via Bolton Bolton was always a required stop. Chorley was omitted from some late evening services though.
     
  15. Voglitz

    Voglitz Member

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    The Farnworth project is 'fascinating', in a 'WTF??????' way.
     
  16. Darren R

    Darren R Established Member

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    Having read the report I now know why the speed limit through the Down bore is significantly lower than through its neighbour - I had wondered this for some time, especially as I remember it being 70mph in the mid 1980s.

    So that's one question answered, but the report leads me to ask another. Why on Earth is Farnworth Tunnel Listed? :shock: I didn't even know it was! How much of a pain are English Heritage likely to be on this one?
     
  17. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    I didn't know it was listed till I read the report yesterday, so I did a quick Google. Listed building consent has been obtained:

    http://www.ruthjacksonplanning.co.uk/archives/61

    (The video is the same one already linked several times in the relevant threads.)
     
  18. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    Line speed increases usually require signal repositioning as well as track upgrades.
    I'm not sure the line is being resignalled along with electrification.
    I wouldn't have thought a higher speed was feasible east of Agecroft.
    The chances of a clear run eastwards to Salford Crescent are very low anyway.
    The route either side of Chorley is probably another awkward section because of curvature and signal sighting, not to mention the approach to Euxton Jn.
    Tellingly, in the tunnel report about 100mph it says that signalling has not been considered.
     
  19. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The redesigned tunnel will still be in use when ETCS reaches 'oop norf' :)
     
  20. Joseph_Locke

    Joseph_Locke Established Member

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    Correct
    It is. :D
    It isn't. :cry:
    Depends on whether a train is in the way. Now, if someone were to add an extra Down platform at Bolton ... ;)
    The 50 through Chorley is probably fair game though? ;)
    Well, they have no part in the wider scheme (see comment at top) :D
     
  21. QueensCurve

    QueensCurve Established Member

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    True, with 2 observations:-

    1. Electric stock is likely to have a better acceleration characteristic - the 350s are quite sprightly
    2. There may be an upgrade to the 20mph limit at Bolton at some time in the future - we can but hope
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I assume this is just temporary pending electrification.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  22. Llama

    Llama Member

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    The 20mph at Bolton West Jn is irrelevant - there are other PSRs further east (40mph / 60mph).

    If the current line speed west of Agecroft can't be increased, something might be able to be fettled with regard to the signalling at Windsor Bridge North on the Up Bolton. I suspect that flashing yellows would be prohibited for routing from the Up Bolton to the Up & Down Bolton due to a restricted overlap at Windsor Bridge South, but surely a platform on the Up Bolton at the Crescent with flashing yellows for the Up Salford isn't beyond the realms of possibility?
     
  23. Joseph_Locke

    Joseph_Locke Established Member

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    Quite, but a better solution would be to tweak the speeds so that the difference between main line and turnout to the platform is 10 mph or less and do away with flashers, approach controls, the lot. Only needs 10mph off the main line (which drops to 40mph 300y later anyway) and 5mph on the crossover and probably saves 30+ seconds.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
     
  24. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Like we need an excuse to try and rip out S&C!
     
  25. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    The signalling isn't all that old, is it? 1990 or thereabouts?
    Unlike Huyton, Preston-Blackpool, Miles Platting-Ashton etc which was or is ancient.
    But maybe if you call it part of the northern powerhouse HMG will tick the box. ;)

    In the last North Wales coast upgrade from 75mph to 90mph (around 2000), they failed to get past 85 in places, and left most of the platform faces, and Saltney-Connah's Quay, at 75.
    Mostly down to signal sighting I believe, though later resignalling at the east end didn't improve things.
    Salford-Euxton is full of platform faces.
     
  26. The Snap

    The Snap Established Member

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    It's worth considering that with electrification often comes re-signalling. Given a Contractor is mobilised to carry out electrification (and has track access booked etc) it often makes sense to re-signal at the same time.

    Also consider that as soon as you erect OLE gantries, portals, cantilevers etc, you will affect the sighting of most signals. As soon as you affect sighting, the signal will need relocating, and if you're going to relocate it, you need to renew it as you can't decommision and remove the old one until the new one is in service.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  27. edwin_m

    edwin_m Established Member

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    Existing signalling will not be immunised against electrification unless that was done at the time it was first installed. Recent signalling equipment is mostly immune anyway so less of a problem, but if the signalling is older it's probably better just replacing it as immunisation is a big task.
     
  28. QueensCurve

    QueensCurve Established Member

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    Apparently Network Rail has a policy of consulting with English Heritage (a Cadw yn Cymru) to assess every structure in an electrification project to identify whether it is, or should be listed. The philosophy apparently is that it is better to know early on that you are dealing with a listed structure than to find it gets listed just before you attach OHLE to it.
     
  29. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    The tunnel has been listed since 1986:

    http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-210514-clammerclough-railway-tunnel-#.VT-d9vD8sY0

    so the listing can't be the result of the current electrification project, which was announced in 2009.

    However, as mentioned at the link in #17, listed building consent has been obtained for the enlargement.
     
  30. driver9000

    driver9000 Established Member

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    According to the February 1985 Sectional Appendix the Down Bolton was 50mph through Farnworth tunnel.
     
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