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Helsby to Ellesmere Port

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John55

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The turnround time is currently 12 mins, more than enough to get to Cheshire Oaks and back. It was longer when the debate took place, the timetables having changed fairly recently.

I was told straight from the horse's mouth by the chairman of the (now defunct) E. Port PTLC that he had been told by the chairman of Merseytravel that they would not provide any funding or support for a Cheshire Oaks extension.

It is also sad that Ellesmere Port has no PluBus tickets to encourage passengers to travel to Cheshire Oaks by train and bus.

It is not sufficient just to be able to go to the shopping centre and back but it is necessary to have adequate time to turn the train round and have some recovery time in the timetable. If you don't do this you end up with the situation which prevailed on the Chester line for many years were it was not possible to run the service reliably because of insufficient turn round times at Chester. At Chester there was a service which ran Chester - Chester in 86 minutes and had 4 minutes at Chester then set off again. Result was punctuality on the Chester service was 75% rest of Merseyrail >95%. However if there was a 20 minute turn around (and I do not have not every timetable) then that would probably work.

I wouldn't expect Merseytravel to pay to build a new railway to Cheshire Oaks. But I am sure if someone else built it then a deal to run a service would be negotiable. As far as I am aware Merseytravel can invest in schemes outside their area but only if the benefits are seen inside their area as well as outside. This was the case with the electrification to Ellesmere Port in 1994 as it reduced the cost of providing the overall train service. At £10s of millions of pounds per mile to build a railway, even if it can be squeezed in along the side of the motorway, I cannot see how it could be funded. The developers were clearly not interested in anything other than road access in the early 1990s when Cheshire Oaks was planned.

The Chester line must be one of the better performers for Merseyrail as there are traffic objectives at both ends whereas Ellesmere Port isn't such a draw but I am sure Merseyrail would be quite happy to have any additional passengers on the Hooton-EP stretch.

Re Plusbus; a bigger problem is the 10 minute walk from the station to the bus station to catch the bus for Cheshire Oaks.
 
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Mutant Lemming

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Even when the Lime Street-Chester service provided a through train where the alternative involved change at Rock Ferry most preferred the latter rout to get to Chester, E.Port etc.
As I mentioned previously on a similar E/Port-Helsby thread, there just isn't the poulation or demand and if Merseytravel were going to spend money electrifying track beyond it's boundaries, then Preston-Ormskirk would be a ar more deserving case.
 

34D

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There are many other "ghost" lines like this in the North:
Moorthorpe - Sherburn-in-Elmet via Pontefract Baghill
Knottingley - Goole
Clitheroe - Hellifield
Stockport - Stalybridge direct
Retford - Barnetby via Brigg
Morecambe - Heysham Port
(Have I missed any)

It is a shame but Helsby-Ellesmere Port is just another one of these lines, all deserve a better service, and when the pacers are replaced lets hope enough stock is ordered to give them all a better service.

Arguably Hellifield-Morecambe could be included too (5 services a day I think).

It's a pity that money couldn't be found for a short extra bit of line from about where this line goes under the M53, to Cheshire Oaks. That would give the line a sizeable destination that would attract people from further afield than the immediate locale.

If also plugged into the Merseyrail network, it would be a major boost for that TOC too.

It's about 2.5 miles from Ellesmere Port station to Cheshire Oaks.

Just a thought?

A good idea in theory, but there are plenty of shopping centres that don't have rail stations. Example the Trafford Centre doesn't have a heavy or light rail line yet.
 

Penmorfa

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I wouldn't expect Merseytravel to pay to build a new railway to Cheshire Oaks. But I am sure if someone else built it then a deal to run a service would be negotiable. As far as I am aware Merseytravel can invest in schemes outside their area but only if the benefits are seen inside their area as well as outside. This was the case with the electrification to Ellesmere Port in 1994 as it reduced the cost of providing the overall train service. At £10s of millions of pounds per mile to build a railway, even if it can be squeezed in along the side of the motorway, I cannot see how it could be funded. The developers were clearly not interested in anything other than road access in the early 1990s when Cheshire Oaks was planned.

The Chester line must be one of the better performers for Merseyrail as there are traffic objectives at both ends whereas Ellesmere Port isn't such a draw but I am sure Merseyrail would be quite happy to have any additional passengers on the Hooton-EP stretch.

Re Plusbus; a bigger problem is the 10 minute walk from the station to the bus station to catch the bus for Cheshire Oaks.

A free bus from the station to Cheshire Oaks is a far cheaper alternative than a rail line. A look at Google Earth shows lots of obstacles, probably involving propery demolition. A contribution would also be expected from the owner, MacArthur Glen. This would be unlikely to be forthcoming.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Even when the Lime Street-Chester service provided a through train where the alternative involved change at Rock Ferry most preferred the latter rout to get to Chester, E.Port etc.
As I mentioned previously on a similar E/Port-Helsby thread, there just isn't the poulation or demand and if Merseytravel were going to spend money electrifying track beyond it's boundaries, then Preston-Ormskirk would be a ar more deserving case.

Or Kirkby to Wigan with a station near Skelmersdale.
 
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Old Yard Dog

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Re Plusbus; a bigger problem is the 10 minute walk from the station to the bus station to catch the bus for Cheshire Oaks.
There is an hourly SuX bus service SP1/SP2 from E. Port railway station to Cheshire Oaks but the no 1 from the bus station is more frequent - and also provides a direct link to Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool.

Cheshire Oaks also has direct bus services to Runcorn (36), Queensferry & Mold (SP1/2).

So it's difficult to see much of a role for rail without a new line.
 

Penmorfa

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There is an hourly SuX bus service SP1/SP2 from E. Port railway station to Cheshire Oaks but the no 1 from the bus station is more frequent - and also provides a direct link to Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool.

Cheshire Oaks also has direct bus services to Runcorn (36), Queensferry & Mold (SP1/2).

So it's difficult to see much of a role for rail without a new line.

and even more difficult to find someone willing to pay for it.
 

SprinterMan

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http://www.nwrail.org.uk/nwnews.htm

We had a great day out on Saturday 21 April's 'Waverley Express' organised by the Chester Model Railway Club from Shrewsbury , Gobowen, Wrexham, Bache, Hooton and Frodsham to Edinburgh Waverley - a day which started pretty early for some as the 0Z44 light engine move for 67 027 Rising Star and 67 005 Queen's Messenger from Crewe depot at 03:40! After picking up the stock from Crewe holding sidings, departure for the train (1Z44) was at 06:40 from Shrewsbury, and it kept to its timings more or less throughout the day.


It seems the Ellesmere port line had a railtour over it recently! T&T 67s on mark 2s!

Adam :D
 

frodshamfella

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Thanks for all the last threads, very interesting. Seems the line does have potential, but it needs improvements to attract passengers away from the roads. Thanks for all the detail from Old Yard Dog, Had often wondered how you could ever get to Stanlow And Thornton Station it seems so removed form any public access. I was tempted once to get off there, but thought I might end up getting stuck there for ever !!
 

Holly

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and even more difficult to find someone willing to pay for it.
You have to hold the developers to ransom. Next time they ask for planning permission for a major expansion.
Overhead would be cheaper than third rail though.
 

table38

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Indeed such a bribe agreement can be made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
 

Old Yard Dog

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You have to hold the developers to ransom. Next time they ask for planning permission for a major expansion.
Overhead would be cheaper than third rail though.

The Cheshire Oaks area is far more than the McArthur Glen Outlet Village. There is also the big Colliseum leisure complex and a raft of chain stores on a different site including Boots, Argus, various electrical & record shops, etc. Sadly Borders has closed, but a new Debenham's is planned.

A massive new Marks & Spencers is due to open soon. And there is also the Blue Planet Aquarium, a number of food outlets and pubs and a gym.

All of these businesses would benefit from a rail link, some more than others depending on where exactly the staion was sited. Not sure how you would get all of these to contribute.

Cheshire Oaks has been purposely sited near the M53/M56 junction and is totally geared to the car. All the businesses have large free car parks which make it a major rival to local town and city centres where parking is limited and expensive.
 

merlodlliw

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