Impact of platform staffing arrangements on performance of the 'Castlefield Corridor'

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Bald Rick, 27 Sep 2019.

  1. Mogster

    Mogster Member

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    Installing a west facing central bay at Oxford Road does seem to be quite a change from the original plan. There’s also no options if either of the 2 through platforms are blocked.

    I was surprised by the original plan not having any bay platforms at Oxford Road as turning services round there would seem to take pressure of the double track section at the Oxford Road bridge. I’ve got used to the idea of 4 through platforms now though.

    I assume any change to the original plan would take more time?
     
    Last edited: 4 Oct 2019
  2. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I'm not sure how far into the future that is, but I hope the opportunity for 15/16 isn't missed that time round.
     
  3. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Platform 3 certainly is. I've used Atherton trains terminating in there when Victoria's been closed.
     
  4. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Personally I can't see any operational benefit over the present main layout, with three main through platforms, the middle one being reversible.

    There is at least the possibility of a train leaving one through platform, with another in the same direction entering the next. Two through with one bay would be a huge loss of flexibility (even without referencing 1 and 5 which, if nothing else, provide the ability to park something out of the way for a bit).
     
  5. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    But the 'flexibility' is only used because it's there. The two most common reasons for parking something at Oxford Rd are:

    1) Late running train to Manchester Airport/Liverpool/whereever

    Solution: Find somewhere else to deal with it, or (as per this report) make it run late less often in the first place

    2) Train crew not showing up.

    Solution: Do a Thameslink and shift train crew depots/ strategy to the ends of the route and change crews here, not on the core Castlefield section.

    Definitely is a shift. If (big "if") wider area changes mean that there is a far better chance of on time presentation into the corridor, then the capacity of the corridor becomes (at least in the medium term) a signalling one (with modest infrastructure optimisation), not a 'big infrastructure' one.
     
  6. Amstel

    Amstel Member

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    As a regular user of Deansgate I'm still convinced that all the stopping trains there add to the blockage
    and there's some mileage in reducing their number. Some stations with twice the passengers have far fewer trains.
    Instead of the 5 trains an hour in one direction and 4 in the other, what's needed is only 2 in each direction (satisfying the
    obligation of the north south stoppers between Stockport and Bolton, speeded up by being electric) and not the CLC diesels. I say this even though I would be affected.
    PS On a separate point, all this talk of S-Bahn in Berlin is nostalgic to me, I was taken off one at the border stop in Friedrichstrasse by Russian solidiers in 1969.
     
  7. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Not ideal, as on departure it's a conflicting move with the next train into 4 from the Deansgate direction. Practical during amended timetables, not for a future peak service.
     
  8. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    One of the headaches of Deansgate is that, if an eastbound train is in the platform, I don't think (IIRC) a second train can clear Castlefield Jn. Problem is Deansgate is already so close to Oxford Rd, shifting the platforms eastward doesn't make sense!
     
  9. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    The real solution is to be found by closing the station completely, and connecting it by travellator to Manchester Oxford Road to preserve the exits.

    Of course, that would require a lot of money and be totally pointless if not done as part of a reconstruction of Oxford Road.
     
  10. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Even if you could shift opportunistic terminations elsewhere, you would still lose the ability to have trains leaving and entering the station simultaneously in the same direction. For little benefit as far as I can see.

    I would be in favour of altering the layout at the west end of the station so that a train leaving 3 westwards could avoid the Eastbound line. This must surely be easier than remodelling the whole station.
     
  11. Mogster

    Mogster Member

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    It is 600m from Deansgate to Oxford Road.
     
  12. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Yes, precisely.
     
  13. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    But if there's only one platform each way at Piccadilly, two platforms each way only at Oxford Rd doesn't materially benefit the throughput of trains (compared to a signalling solution on a single platform each way)

    A simpler layout at Oxford Rd as the capability to be slightly faster, and have signalling better optimised for throughput, not fitting around S&C.

    Looks very tight between the platforms and viaduct..and would preclude a westward platform extension without some pretty hefty viaduct work. Definitely no chance of a clear overlap for an eastbound train entering P2 simultaneously.
     
  14. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Well, if we're ever to get 15 and 16 at Pic, they're likely to be less value without this possibility at Oxford Road.

    Also, if you have two overcrowded single platforms in succession, you have the potential for a long loading time at one, followed by another long loading time at the next. By having two platforms at one, yes, you still have the bottleneck at Piccadilly, but at least there's less scope for an additional delay at Oxford Road.

    I admit it is quite tight on the viaduct, but perhaps slewing the whole alignment south at the west end a little could provide the room, even if platform 1 had to be sacrificed.
     
  15. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    I believe that this is exactly what the report is advocating. Just an additional crossover between the P3 and P2 lines at the west end of the station. No need to disconnect the eastern end of P3, nor to lose P1 and the P5 bay, which could still be used during disruption. The relevant para. in the report says:
    "Turnback", not bay.

    The Northern Hub Oxford Road remodelling scheme, linked with Piccadilly P15/16, is on a much larger scale, extending the platforms westwards over a widened viaduct and removing the P5 bay.
     
  16. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    Look at Leeds. It's a much less extensive job. But let's not digress.

    One of the major reasons for not doing 15/16 is the disruption to existing services with live trains and traffic in close proximity. Doing the whole station while trains and trams are operating would be delicate. Seeing how long it takes to plan anything rail related we'd be overtaken by several waves of new needs and redesigns before it would be started. However, the idea has attraction. As long as the new design incorporates provision for at least a trebling of capacity before it's completed.

    We keep talking about taking traffic off roads but to make any significant impact a huge increase in capacity is needed. In 2013 a 56% increase in traffic by 2029 was forecast in the Hope Valley Capacity Improvement Scheme's proof of evidence for Sheffield. That will be well surpassed.

    If that's all that's expected rail's market share of journeys won't increase by more than 1 or 2%, too little to be noticed on most roads. We need to be thinking really big rather than successive applications of sticking plasters in assorted shapes and sizes.
     
  17. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    But only 420m from the east end of the Deansgate platforms to the west end of the Oxford Road platforms. The remodelling scheme would reduce this distance substantially.
     
  18. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    That's good news that they have room for it. Given the current limitations of Piccadilly, I get the impression that the three through platforms come in quite handy.
     
  19. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    The corridor itself was resignalled to the Manchester ROC in association with the Ordsall Chord works. I believe a number of improvements were made to reduce headways and increase flexibility, including the Oxford Road mid platform signals. However, the report points out:
     
  20. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    The modelling in the report assumed no calls at Deansgate, as well as a central turnback at Oxford Road, and still found that the realistic capacity of the corridor is 13tphpd, i.e. 1tphpd less than the current timetable.
     
  21. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    You sure it wasn't just a re-control? there certainly haven't been any improvements that I know of, the headways are no different.
     
  22. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    The old rule we had to follow was 12tph, that got altered to 13tph between Picc and Oxford Road and 15tph for Oxford Road to Deansgate with the extra 2tph terminating at Oxford Road for the May 2018 timetable.
     
  23. jfollows

    jfollows Member

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    It was 5tph (Oxford Road to Piccadilly), one of which reversed at Manchester Piccadilly, when London Road signal box controlled the entire route back in the 1970s per my diagram attached to post 207. Clearly there have been improvements to signalling since then, but they are incremental rather than radical.

    7tph Deansgate to Oxford Road when you add the Liverpool/Warrington stopper and the Chester fast.

    Probably fewer freight trains then too, because Longsight FLT was in use at the time (I believe it closed in 1987). Plus freight trains from Trafford Park could use the Fallowfield Loop if appropriate. For example, 4D51 17:25 Freightliner from Trafford Park to Holyhead went via Gorton and Philips Park No. 2, presumably thence through Manchester Victoria.

    In my 1977 WTT, there are no trains from Trafford Park to/through Oxford Road on a weekday between 0Z00 09:24 MSX LD Trafford Park to Longsight and 4K64 19:35 SX Freightliner Trafford Park to Crewe BHSSM. So nothing during the day versus an hourly path today.
     
    Last edited: 4 Oct 2019
  24. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    The May 2018 timetable, as actually implemented, had 14tph, not 15tph, including 1tph freight and 2tph terminating at Oxford Road. The current timetable is still 14tph, as is the December 2019 timetable. Perhaps the original intent was for 15tph, before the late changes to the May 2018 timetable when Bolton electrification was delayed?
     
  25. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    It was just a recontrol for Oxford Road itself - the mid-platform signals are nothing new. Deansgate, up to and including the signals taking you into Oxford Road in the Up, was resignalled for the new layout but I doubt it’d have done much for headways.
     
  26. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    Thanks, I stand corrected. Did the changes increase the turnout linespeed through Castlefield Jn or was it already 30mph as now? And was the bi-di signalling through Deansgate introduced at that time?
     
  27. Mogster

    Mogster Member

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    Thinking about it some more I can imagine extended platforms and a concourse up on the viaduct connecting what are Oxford Road and Deansgate making 1 station. Travellators connecting the Deansgate and Oxford Road exits.

    It’d be eye wateringly expensive though I’d imagine... It could regenerate what is a bit of a run down part of town though.
     
  28. jfollows

    jfollows Member

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    The turnout linespeed used to be 20mph I believe, according to my old diagram attached.
     

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  29. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    It actually slowed things down a bit. It’s now 25mph in the Down direction towards Water Street Junction, as well as the long-standing TSR to/from the CLC. The bi-di through Deansgate did indeed appear then - you can come bang road all the way through on the Up now, but there’s one signal section missing on the Down leaving Oxford Road (you have to leave on the proper line but can cross back to the wrong line after the signal between there and Deansgate). It’s quite interesting to see how the new arrangements interface with the old stuff that’s just been recontrolled.
     
  30. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    I remember when the picc-deansgate line just had the 304's doing the Altrinchams. 1 from Crewe via Stockport, one from Alderley Edge via stockpot, and two off the Styal line.
    The liverpools via Warrington and the chesters terminated at oxford rd.
    Then there was the centerline bus to Victoria...
     

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