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HS2 Crewe-Wigan: would it have made more sense to land it Weaver Junction ?

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miami

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What's the benefit of the HS2 branch from Crewe to Wigan?

Currently there's

Euston-Glasgow fast
Euston-Liverpool fast
Euston-Birmimgham Blackpool/Scotland
Birmingham-Liverpool Stopper

And freight

Post HS2 we'll have

HS2:
London-Scotland
Birmingham-Scotland

But on the existing Acton Bridge we'll still have

HS2-London-Crewe-Warrington and north
HS2-London-Crewe-Liverpool
Birmingham-Liverpool Stopper
And freight

So that's just one dropped service, and only 2 tph on the High Leigh to Haydock leg

Wouldn't it have made more sense to land it near Weaver Junction - with one leg onto the to-Runcorn leg, and the other onto the to-Warrington leg, bypassing Hartford and Winsford, and thus allowing the Warrington and Liverpool trains to also be removed, leaving 3 extra trains per hour through Winsford?
 
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TheGrew

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I have often too wondered thus (though I am biased as I live halfway between Warrington and Wigan). I know Warrington is a source of Freight traffic though so I wonder if there is concern about the two track capacity sections between Weaver and Acton Grange Junctions and Winwick and Golbourne Junctions.
I would ideally like to see a parkway station where the route intersects either the M62 (which is just east of Junction 11) or the A580/East Lancs as that would be a great deal more useful for most locals for whom getting to Warrington Bank Quay (which had such a problem with drop off and pick ups that kissing got banned!) or Wigan North Western Stations is a bit of a pain.
That section of the track though does broadly follow an old alignment (though I notice it is slightly further away from the affluent Culcheth than the original railway alignment (now Culcheth linear park).
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I'm sure they know what they're doing
I'm not sure about that.
The Manchester leg is now in the parliamentary loop, but the Rostherne-Golborne leg isn't yet, as I understand it.
The future of the WCML north of Golborne is still shrouded in mystery (tilt/non-tilt/by-passes/upgrades etc).
There's the NPR route (Liverpool-Rostherne) to fit in to the plan somewhere.
Warrington could possibly miss out significantly if through trains are routed via HS2 and NPR misses the town.
HS2 Ltd have never explained their plans for the north-west generally (other than Manchester), and how HS2 trains will interact with classic services.
The HS2 rolling stock base has also moved from Golborne to Crewe.
 

JamesT

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How much slower would going through the WCML alignment North of Weaver be compared to the effective bypass that the HS2 route will take to Wigan?
If we hope to extend HS2 further North, would we end up having to build the section to Wigan anyway?
Isn't NPR likely to handle trains to Liverpool and Wigan by coming off at the branch for Manchester and heading in the opposite direction?
 

miami

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HS2 webpage currently puts post-stage-2 timings from london as

1h20 to Warrington
1h31 to Wigan

It's only 10 minutes from Warrington to Wigan now.
 

hwl

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I have often too wondered thus (though I am biased as I live halfway between Warrington and Wigan). I know Warrington is a source of Freight traffic though so I wonder if there is concern about the two track capacity sections between Weaver and Acton Grange Junctions and Winwick and Golbourne Junctions.

There certainly was.
Isn't NPR likely to handle trains to Liverpool and Wigan by coming off at the branch for Manchester and heading in the opposite direction?
Bingo
 

Ianno87

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HS2 webpage currently puts post-stage-2 timings from london as

1h20 to Warrington
1h31 to Wigan

It's only 10 minutes from Warrington to Wigan now.

If I'm remembering the HS2 service pattern correctly, HS2 Euston-Scotland trains do not stop at Wigan.

Wigan is proposed to be served by the Euston-Preston/Lancaster service that also served Warrington; so that explains why the journey time is different by 11 minutes; all Wigan's Euston services remain on the WCML via Crewe, and onto HS2 from there.
 

miami

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Wigan is proposed to be served by the Euston-Preston/Lancaster service that also served Warrington; so that explains why the journey time is different by 11 minutes; all Wigan's Euston services remain on the WCML via Crewe, and onto HS2 from there.

Ahh, that makes sense

In that case phase 1/2a only will be 1h31 to Wigan and presumably 1h44 to Preston

In that case phase 2b only will be 1h18 to Preston, saving 26 minutes.
 

edwin_m

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The double track north of Weaver is certainly a constraint. Having said that, so is the double track north of Wigan, which won't be bypassed. If they aren't avoiding the latter (probably by continuing HS2 to Coppull area and restoring the two removed WCML tracks from there to Balshaw Lane) then it's more difficult to make a case that the former needs avoiding.
 

DynamicSpirit

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If I'm remembering the HS2 service pattern correctly, HS2 Euston-Scotland trains do not stop at Wigan.

Wigan is proposed to be served by the Euston-Preston/Lancaster service that also served Warrington; so that explains why the journey time is different by 11 minutes; all Wigan's Euston services remain on the WCML via Crewe, and onto HS2 from there.

In that case, perhaps the question should be, what's the point in having the HS2 tracks rejoin the WCML South of Wigan: If the HS2 trains on those tracks won't be stopping until Preston anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to have them rejoin the WCML further North - nearer Preston? Particularly because the WCML is 2 tracks at Wigan but splits to 4 tracks between Wigan and Preston: If HS2 joined the WCML in the 4-track bit then you could avoid all track-sharing and conflicts between the HS2 trains and the stopping trains between Wigan and Preston.
 

Bald Rick

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The Manchester leg is now in the parliamentary loop, but the Rostherne-Golborne leg isn't yet, as I understand it.

The Bill for the Phase 2b Western leg has yet to be lodged in Parliament; this is planned for early 2022. However it does include for the link to the WCML near Golborne.


The future of the WCML north of Golborne is still shrouded in mystery (tilt/non-tilt/by-passes/upgrades etc).

Not really. The position is:

HS2 trains won’t tilt.
Some work has been done to investigate raising the non tilt linespeed, but no work confirmed yet.
Warrington, Preston and Carlisle PSBs are all due for resignalling in the next decade, and will almost certainly be done with ETCS.


The area of ‘mystery’ was a comment in the media when the interim Union Connectivity review was released about potentially reducing journey times (beyond what HS2 realises) between London and Scotland. That implies further high speed line construction somewhere north of Golborne. But then you get into cost benefit arguments about spending a few billion to save 10 minutes, or alternatively not stopping at Lancaster / Penrith Etc.
 

WatcherZero

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In that case, perhaps the question should be, what's the point in having the HS2 tracks rejoin the WCML South of Wigan: If the HS2 trains on those tracks won't be stopping until Preston anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to have them rejoin the WCML further North - nearer Preston? Particularly because the WCML is 2 tracks at Wigan but splits to 4 tracks between Wigan and Preston: If HS2 joined the WCML in the 4-track bit then you could avoid all track-sharing and conflicts between the HS2 trains and the stopping trains between Wigan and Preston.

They considered it during the initial route sift (HS2 line bypasses Wigan town centre to the east with a new classic rail/P&R interchange station to be built in Hindley (not the existing station) then gradually swings to the west side of the existing WCML, P&R station on the western edge of Preston urban area (at Lea on the A583 or Bartle on the M55) with no rail interchange before re-joining the WCML north of Preston), it added £2bn to the cost.

There were also some route options from the Manchester through route passing through Westhoughton to pass either east or west of Preston urban area but the Manchester through route didnt get very far through the sifting process.
 
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Ianno87

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In that case, perhaps the question should be, what's the point in having the HS2 tracks rejoin the WCML South of Wigan: If the HS2 trains on those tracks won't be stopping until Preston anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to have them rejoin the WCML further North - nearer Preston? Particularly because the WCML is 2 tracks at Wigan but splits to 4 tracks between Wigan and Preston: If HS2 joined the WCML in the 4-track bit then you could avoid all track-sharing and conflicts between the HS2 trains and the stopping trains between Wigan and Preston.

The Birmingham-Scotland HS2 service will be first stop Wigan.

The point of joining at Wigan is at least bypassing all the junctions in the Warrington area.
 

edwin_m

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They considered it during the initial route sift (HS2 line bypasses Wigan town centre to the east with a new classic rail/P&R interchange station to be built in Hindley (not the existing station) then gradually swings to the west side of the existing WCML, P&R station on the western edge of Preston urban area (at Lea on the A583 or Bartle on the M55) with no rail interchange before re-joining the WCML north of Preston), it added £2bn to the cost.

There were also some route options from the Manchester through route passing through Westhoughton to pass either east or west of Preston urban area but the Manchester through route didnt get very far through the sifting process.
That's the route I suggested above, but I would only build as far as the WCML crossing at Coppull. There's little point in bypassing Preston as you can get onto a four-track formation there, and everything will probably stop anyway.
The area of ‘mystery’ was a comment in the media when the interim Union Connectivity review was released about potentially reducing journey times (beyond what HS2 realises) between London and Scotland. That implies further high speed line construction somewhere north of Golborne. But then you get into cost benefit arguments about spending a few billion to save 10 minutes, or alternatively not stopping at Lancaster / Penrith Etc.
I was involved in the North to Scotland review in 2014ish, which looked at broad options to bypass bits of the WCML. I believe at least one of them has had some further development since then.
 

snowball

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The Bill for the Phase 2b Western leg has yet to be lodged in Parliament; this is planned for early 2022. However it does include for the link to the WCML near Golborne.
I take it you're leaking inside information here. The Queen's Speech only said Crewe to Manchester.
 

WatcherZero

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That's the route I suggested above, but I would only build as far as the WCML crossing at Coppull. There's little point in bypassing Preston as you can get onto a four-track formation there, and everything will probably stop anyway.

It was twofold, firstly Preston station and approaches was seen as a bottleneck second they were trying to get as far north as possible as cheaply as possible to tackle the lack of tilt time penalty. Re-joining north of Preston ensured that journey times to Scotland on the remaining classic rail after leaving the HS2 rails would be no slower than the existing tilting WCML services as the assumption at the time was that classic-compatible HS2 stock wouldnt tilt.
 

Bald Rick

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I take it you're leaking inside information here. The Queen's Speech only said Crewe to Manchester.

No - it’s from the HS2 website which says:

“Plans for the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b will see the high-speed rail network extended from Crewe to Manchester, serving new stations at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly.

HS2’s trains will also join the West Coast Main Line and serve towns and cities en route to Scotland.”

And includes a map clearly showing the connection.

 

hwl

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How will Warrington passengers get to Birmingham? HS2 to Crewe then a WMT train to Birmingham?
The Liverpool branch NRPR add on to HS2 would have the new Warrington Station (E-W alignment) with Liverpool services diverted through there
 

JamesT

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Will the Warrington train stop at Brum Interchange?

The HS2 Journey Planner only shows services from Warrington to Crewe and the two London stations. Potentially another option would be to take a legacy train to Wigan, then HS2 direct to Curzon Street. The predicted speed increase for Wigan to Brum (1:22 down to 0:36) should make it faster to do that than the legacy WCML service direct.
 

S&CLER

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In that case, perhaps the question should be, what's the point in having the HS2 tracks rejoin the WCML South of Wigan: If the HS2 trains on those tracks won't be stopping until Preston anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to have them rejoin the WCML further North - nearer Preston? Particularly because the WCML is 2 tracks at Wigan but splits to 4 tracks between Wigan and Preston: If HS2 joined the WCML in the 4-track bit then you could avoid all track-sharing and conflicts between the HS2 trains and the stopping trains between Wigan and Preston.
Only just found this thread, hence delay in replying.

Would there be any realistic possibility of using part of the former Whelley Loop to extend HS2 to Standish, north of Wigan, the start of the former 4-track section to Balshaw (which should be reinstated)? There was a dive-under there. Even if very high speed was not possible, it would be faster and clearer from congestion than the Wigan station area. One other advantage, suggested by today's announcement about Lostock-Wigan, is that it would then be possible to reopen and electrify the very short curve from De Trafford Jn to Hindley, which is overgrown with trees but not otherwise obstructed, and which would offer an alternative route from Preston to Bolton.
 
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