Hope Valley Line

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Invincibles, 27 Feb 2011.

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  1. Invincibles

    Invincibles Member

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    Are there any simple things that can be done to increase capacity on this route?

    Some ideas I think could work:

    • Double tracking through Dore (already happening?)
    • Double track the junction at Hazel Grove
    • Four tracks from New Mills to the Buxton line junction

    I believe that the second track at Dore is already planned to make the short single section for joining the MML less of a bottleneck (particularly given Northern stop at Dore and Totley station and so clog the single track section even more)

    The junction at Hazel Grove is also a bit of a problem, although I do not know if it would be possible to squeeze a third train per hour through there without changing it.

    The bit that I am most interested in is the section from the junction near New Mills down to where the freight line diverges to Buxton. What I would like to see happen there is for the line to be 4 tracked (there is definitely space) so that the "fasts" were on the outside and did not touch Chinley station, while the "slows" were on the inside and would allow calls at Chinley). These would also serve as freight loops.

    The thinking here is that Buxton trains could be taken out of Stockport - Manchester and made to be extensions of the New Mills terminators. This would give Chinley a much better service to Manchester and with the slows being in the middle should not cause too many obstructions to paths on the fast.

    As far as I know the big problem is then at the Buxton end where the station is not accessible from the freight loop. Could this be changed or would a new Buxton station be necessary. The latter would certainly be expensive.

    Finally the current route to Buxton would be handed over to tram-train, which would enable an increased frequency if demand suggested it, and remove 1tph from Manchester to Stockport by terminating at Stockport platform 0 (There was a single line laid and then never plumbed in on the east side of the lines on the southerly approach. I would bring this into use).

    The path of the Buxton train would then be available for a third Sheffield train, or a train operating to the East Midlands via the south curve at Dore.

    The main winners would be Chinley and passengers between Manchester and Sheffield.

    The main losers would be those on the current Buxton to Manchester route, but I believe their new service would actually be just as good as an old 150.
     
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  3. mallard

    mallard Established Member

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    Of course, the better way to achieve extra capacity and reduce journey times between Manchester and Sheffield would be to reopen the Woodhead route...

    Of course, that would be expensive. Was a bit of a stupid decision for BR to close it, even if they couldn't justify renewing the electrification they could have de-electrified it, there were plenty of powerful enough diesels around in the 80s.
     
  4. Welshman

    Welshman Established Member

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    IIRC, the line through Chinley used to be four-tracked in the days when you could go from Manchester Central through the Peak to Derby and St Pancras.

    So whilst there may be space to restore the lines, I think that may result in lower line speeds, as I suspect the remaining lines were slewed across the trackbed to improve the speeds [the same problem facing any proposals to re-quadrify the route from Marsden down the Colne Valley to Huddersfield.]

    I would much prefer to see the Woodhead line re-opened. As Mallard says, it was an incredibly short-sighted decision to close it. Re-electrified and modernised, it could offer journey times of 45-50 minutes between Manchester and Sheffield, and also allow a faster Huddersfield-Sheffield service [Penistone to Sheffield Victoria was only 15 minutes or so].

    The problem would be what to do at Sheffield - build a new station on the site of the old Victoria [if land exists], or a link down to the remaining[ex Midland] station?
     
  5. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    I doubt loops at Chinley would do much for capacity - in terms of stopping passenger trains, it's so close to New Mills anyway (where Up trains can be regulated and Down trains get out of the way). The problem is surely the long, long way east of there without anywhere to stick a stopping passenger inside, and only a goods loop in one direction at Earles. Not sure you'd get away with tram-trains running into busy Stockport either. Passengers via Peak Forest into Buxton would work, but would require quite some resignalling and use of the former Midland station. Not sure how much demand on the Buxton line relies on its intermediate stations though.

    Finally, Dore's definitely a worthwhile investment. Not sure the short spur at Hazel Grove is buckling under the strain of a couple of trains an hour (remember there's nowhere to practically stand them out of the way on the main line at Dore if they're waiting for something to come off the single line).
     
  6. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Dore really needs doing, at least five passenger trains over the single track chord each hour (plus freight)... which means services can't easily stop in the station (as the station is on the single track section, so a stopper there clogs things up)

    Between Dore and New Mills there needs to be a decent passing loop somewhere in each direction (not necessarily at the same place in each direction), because the slow freight and Pacers can clog things up easily

    As far as stopping patterns go, I think more services could run through the Hope Valley if patterns were changed. Maybe give the TPE/EMT services a stop at Dore/ Hathersage/ New Mills (and allow the Pacers to "skip stop" to speed them up a little bit). Should get more than two "fast" trains an hour between Sheffield and Manchester. I'd much rather have four taking 60/65 minutes than the two taking 55 minutes were have at the moment. However, the TPE/EMT services don't have spare capacity to accommodate extra stops/passengers, so this is a non-starter in the short term
     
  7. Invincibles

    Invincibles Member

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    It always feels as if it has not been slewed around Chinley too much. I travel the line a lot and look out at these things sometimes. What is clear though is that the platform could not be restored(?) outside the current running lines and so an island is the only option.

    Woodhead is the ultimate solution but sadly I do not think it is going to happen and Sheffield is a problem.

    The only real reason for creating the long loops at Chinley was to allow the Buxton train to run that way without obstructing fast trains. (necessary to get another path out of Piccadilly to Stockport)

    The aim of any modifications must surely be to create further fast paths between Manchester and Sheffield because that should be a very busy corridor. The current services could be lengthened and that would help but I am thinking that having a better fast frequency would do more for travel on this section.

    As to getting in to Stockport, maybe there is a solution while Hazel Grove is remodelled to get a bay for the tram train to terminate in there (change onto the Hazel Grove to Man Pic / Preston)

    As all these things would take time, maybe there will be one or two pacers knocking about that could simply extend the Hazel Grove terminator on to Buxton. Yes it is diesel under the wires but Hazel Grove is at the moment anyway.
     
  8. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Compare Sheffield with Leeds:

    Sheffield - two "fast" trains an hour to Manchester, plus a bi-hourly slow one (via Marple)

    Leeds - four "fast" trains an hour to Manchester, plus three slow ones (via Rochdale)

    Plus, whilst Leeds has the M62 to Manchester, Sheffield has a single carriageway road for most of the journey (until you get to the M67 "Hyde Bypass"), so there should be more scope for rail to build market share.
     
  9. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    very true. The woodhead should of been opened again, it suggested a while back. but now the tunnels been taken over its almost impossible. At sheffield the land is there for victoria station (correct me i am wrong) Could even extend to lincoln. But acces from victoria to city centre would have to be improved.

    I beleieve dore is to be doubled and the platforms? with passing loops put in at several places along the hope valley line? Part of northern hub to improve train into manchester.
     
  10. bradders1983

    bradders1983 Member

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    A lot of the land Sheffield Victoria used is now built over by the Holiday Inn. No reason why a 2 platform station could reopen though (a lot less grander than the original!)

    The problem remains how the trains get to Sheffield Midland station without reversal (if you wanted then to - they could always terminate at Victoria, of course). The Parkway, a new office block and Derek Dooley Way is in the way of the obvious chord that could be built.
     
  11. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    All you'd need to do is knock down the "extension" to the Victoria Hotel, the rest of the land is there

    For me, it should be done, but the problem I have is how to organise services after that. Ideally I'd want all Manchester services to use the one station in Sheffield, but that can't happen with the stoppers needing to serve Hope/ Dore etc. But, I'd still want all the "fast" trains to serve Victoria.

    This would mean the Liverpool - Norwich train would need to be taken away from Sheffield (running Piccadilly - Stockport - (non-stop through Grindleford) - Chesterfield - Nottingham etc

    You can't run it Piccadilly - (Woodhead route) - Sheffield Victoria - (via Woodhouse/ Beighton) - Chesterfield - Nottingham etc because then you'd have trains for Chesterfield/Nottingham running from different Sheffield stations, which would confuse things...

    SO, all Woodhead services would run on the Woodhouse line out of Sheffield (including a Huddersfield - Penistone - Deepcar - Sheffield Victoria service, which might run on to Lincoln). Barnsley - Penistone would become a self contained shuttle, which would free up a path each hour for another Sheffield - Barnsley - Leeds train. There's then scope for electrifying the Woodhead route and running London/East Anglia - ECML - Retford - Woodhouse - Sheffield Victoria - Woodhead - Manchester...

    Basically, if you are going to have a separate station at Victoria then you need to beef it up and have relatively frequent departures - no point in building a new station for just a handful of trains each hour. Oh, and extend the FreeBee (free minibus service in Sheffield) to the new station...

    (none of this will happen, I know)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I don't have a picture of where the chord would need to be built, but this is the line just beyond it (towards Woodhouse): http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebustocrookes/4548176376/

    Slotting services into Sheffield Midland is going to be complicated, which is why I didn't suggest it - its pretty full up at the moment already, unfortunately - shame there's no room for more lines at the throat
     
  12. Welshman

    Welshman Established Member

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    I wouldn't be too worried about having services to Nottingham and Chesterfield from both Sheffield Midland and a re-opened Victoria station. After all, the public seem to cope with services from Manchester to Blackpool from both Piccadilly and Victoria stations, Birmingham to London from both New St and Moor St, etc, etc.

    IIRC, it also used to be possible to go from the old Sheffield Victoria to Doncaster via Rotherham Central. If that is still possible, then the south TPE could run via a re-opened Woodhead as well as the EMT Norwich service. And as I said in an earlier post, a new, semi-fast service from Huddersfield to Sheffield would also benefit from such a re-opening, and were it to be extended to Lincoln as tbtc suggests, it would relieve pressure on the existing Sheffield station by removing that service.

    This would then free-up the Hope Valley for extra stopping services.

    Ah, well. We can but dream!!
     
    Last edited: 27 Feb 2011
  13. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    It is possible, but its a single track line (along the back of the Sheffield Supertram route towards Meadowhall).

    This picture http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebustocrookes/5263343292/ shows it (and an out of focus tram in the background). Whilst this was a busy route (and does see scheduled XC services for "training" purposes) it was downgraded to single track to make room for the trams, so you'd need to be careful scheduling services along it. Not impossible, but you'd need to be careful
     
  14. Welshman

    Welshman Established Member

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    That's it, then, tbtc. We've solved the problem between us.
    Now, have you any money? ;)
     
  15. bradders1983

    bradders1983 Member

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    It also misses out Meadowhall Interchange.
     
  16. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    very good point there, that would be the problem with running south TPE down that route.

    I always thought a huddersfield lincoln semi fast and a sheffield huddersfield and sheffield lincoln stopper would free up space in sheffield for extra services. Would give a much better through route to london from huddersfield than the current brighouse version maybe?

    My more realistic plan for the woodhead is a passenger local to sotcksbirdge



    Well some of woodhead may reopen. Don Valley railway dissapeared but i was reliably informed by my girlfriends mother (she reads look local if anyone from that area heard of it) that Don valley railway are looking for volunteers, i would but i now spend half the year in leeds and have commited to KWVR.
     
  17. Invincibles

    Invincibles Member

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    Woodhead clearly has a lot of potential as a re-opening, but my vision for it would be more as a HS link branching north to Leeds and south to Sheffield. This working with 4 tracking from Piccadilly to Guide Bridge.

    (Yes closing the local services through to Hadfield, but maybe something Tram based could be fitted in somewhere through from Ashton)

    I started this thread with a view to the cheaper, easier to implement, ways of getting a more regular and ideally faster service from Sheffield and the East Midlands to Manchester.

    Maybe the only solution is to double up the existing trains, but a 6 car 185 would be overkill, where a 2 car 170 takes things too far the other way. A 4 car 185 is what is needed, but of course they do not exist. (I do know that the number of passengers and number of seats matches for the 3 car, but if we are looking to improve the image of the train, and tempt people out of their cars, spare seats is always good for that)
     
  18. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Would resignalling the Hope Valley line help? I appreciate that this would involve the loss of Midland signal boxes (i have many happy memories of waiting for trains at Edale) but progress is progress eh? Failing that is there any capacity for introducing freight loops between Earles Sidings and Dore?
     
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