Lancaster to Morecambe Line

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by rishton82, 19 Aug 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rishton82

    rishton82 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Joined:
    6 Aug 2014
    Would any one know if there is any freight on the Morecambe to Lancaster line. Also at Morecambe there was a third line which extended beyond the station towards the coast, am I correct in thinking that this allows freight trains to access the line to Heysham.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. crispy1978

    crispy1978 Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Scarborough
  4. driver9000

    driver9000 Established Member

    Messages:
    3,763
    Joined:
    13 Jan 2008
    The only freight is the flask traffic to Heysham. When BR built the new Morecambe station they provided a headshunt and run round loop for the flask trains but this is no longer used as DRS top n tail the train now.
     
  5. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

    Messages:
    2,603
    Joined:
    11 Jun 2014
    Location:
    Chapeltown, Sheffield
    It's a mixed use line to Heysham Port- there is also a limited passenger service.
     
  6. HLE

    HLE Established Member

    Messages:
    1,258
    Joined:
    27 Dec 2013
    Believe it's just one passenger train per day to Heysham to connect with the ferry.
     
  7. crispy1978

    crispy1978 Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Scarborough
  8. TB

    TB Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2013
    1 passenger train a day to/from Heysham and 1 top and tailed nuclear train. Rest of the service is passenger to/from Lancaster with some through to Leeds or Barrow.
     
  9. Condor7

    Condor7 Member

    Messages:
    924
    Joined:
    13 Jul 2012
    Location:
    Penrith
    I think this is the only line when twice as many passenger trains run on a Sunday as they do in the week. (Two on Sunday) :D
     
  10. Buttsy

    Buttsy Established Member

    Messages:
    1,364
    Joined:
    20 May 2011
    Location:
    Oxford
    Indeed it is. I rode it in early July and on the late Sunday train to Heysham, I was the only passenger to Heysham, but a lady did get on for the return trip.

    There has been a bit of house building up to the line in the Heysham area, so my thinking is that if a cheap platform (in the style of Humphrey Park with a ramp down from the overbridge) could be provided by one of the overbridges (Meldon Road area perhaps) and also one by the Westgate overbridge that a regular service down the line could recoup costs within a few of years once more DMUs are available to run it or the route is, once again, electrified.
     
  11. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,566
    Joined:
    27 May 2013
    As the others have said there is the DRS trains to Heysham Power Station as freight and the rest is passenger trains. There is also 1 passenger train per day which uses the northern chord at Hest Bank an thus avoids Lancaster. If I remember correctly as well there is no cross over between Bare Lane and Morecambe which in effect means the 2 platforms and line are independent of each other at Morecambe.
     
  12. crehld

    crehld Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    1,994
    Joined:
    1 Nov 2014
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Two actually. Weekdays it's 05:46 Lancaster to Windemere and 16:05 Lancaster to Leeds.

    Indeed.
     
  13. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    12 Apr 2012
    As I recall, Network Rail did look into the possibility of running a few commuter trains along the line some years ago. They rejected the idea on the grounds that the line didn't go near enough to where many people lived to be worth it. Perhaps if there has been house-building near the line, that could be worth looking into again?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yep. It's effectively not a double track, but two independent single tracks from Morecambe to just east of Bare Lane - only the southernmost track leads to Heysham. I'm not sure why such an apparently odd track arrangement was chosen. It must be confusing for passengers at Bare Lane since it means little consistency of which platform trains depart from - and if I recall correctly, if you get it wrong, the only access between platforms is via the level crossing.
     
  14. Buttsy

    Buttsy Established Member

    Messages:
    1,364
    Joined:
    20 May 2011
    Location:
    Oxford
    My understanding is that it is only the Heysham service that ever uses platform 2 at Bare Lane in normal circumstances and so it means you might miss 1 train a day by being on the wrong platform (except Sundays).
     
  15. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,566
    Joined:
    27 May 2013
    I think it before Morecambe was re-sited in 1994 there was a cross over at the former station which was slightly further on from where the current station presently is. I think it was just laziness that new cross-over wasn't put in when the station was re-sited although given the present station opened just after Railtrack PLC came into existence I am not sure if it was the fault of Railtrack or British Rail. Its a nice little branch though the Morecambe branch line.
     
  16. rishton82

    rishton82 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Joined:
    6 Aug 2014
    You may miss the train but surely most people using Bare lane would be locals anyway
     
  17. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

    Messages:
    5,237
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2005
    The current arrangement of two independent single lines was presumably preferred when Morecambe station was relocated because it meant that the signalling could be heavily rationalised on the branch - effectively nothing beyond Bare Lane. It's quite a clever arrangement in that respect, allowing trains to run to Morecambe and back whilst there's a train on its way to Heysham and back, without having to worry about shutting the latter inside the Heysham branch proper.
     
  18. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    12 Apr 2012
    Would that be the case (about not needing signalling beyond Bare Lane)? There are still points at Morecambe to allow access to the Heysham line for reversing trains. I don't know much about signalling, but I would imagine those points would have to be signalled to prevent trains running into points that are set against them.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That does sound very plausible.

    I'm sure you're right that most would be locals, but even most locals are unlikely to have memorized the details of which train goes from which platform (except for any particular trains each person frequently uses). I'd be very surprised if a few people haven't been caught out going to the platform 1 (where I believe most trains will depart from) to discover their particular train is one of the few that goes from platform 2, and they can no longer get to it because the level crossing is closing for the train's arrival. (Although admittedly I'm speculating - I haven't regularly used the station since before the Morecambe got moved - so before the odd dual-single-lines arrangement existed).
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2015
  19. markydh

    markydh Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Platform 2 is actually uses several times a day because there are a few occasions where local and Leeds services are on the branch at the same time. Doesn't help that the service is so irregular!
     
  20. underbank

    underbank Established Member

    Messages:
    1,194
    Joined:
    26 Jan 2013
    Location:
    North West England
    Only one train at a time allowed on the line, so the points will be set right - the previous train leaving Morecambe to Bare, will mean the points are right for the next one leaving Bare to Morecambe, and the same with trains between Morecambe and Heysham.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Which is why there are now departure boards on each platform. Whilst the signal box was there, the signalman would shout across to passengers who were on the wrong platform. When the signalbox was decommissioned, a network rail worker had to sit in the signalbox to do the same job, but eventually the electronic departure boards were introduced. Yes, indeed, it was confusing for locals, many of whom were accustomed to the traditional/standard method of platform directions on double track lines and who were easily caught out if the signalman didn't notice them before the crossing gates closed!
     
  21. Dunc108

    Dunc108 Member

    Messages:
    270
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2013
    Location:
    Morecambe
    Bare Lane station had Electronic Passenger Information Screens installed a year or two back - these could be really useful at Morecambe as well as the ticket office is only open limited hours. I have heard they may be on the cards at some point but when they may be installed I don't know.

    Its a handy branch service but the irregular timetable is probably due to Branch trains having to fit in between fast Virgin services on the WCML. Had the former direct line via Lancaster Green Ayre closed in 1966 still be in situ the service would have been more frequent and with no conflicts with the WCML, but thats another story! :lol:
     
  22. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

    Messages:
    2,603
    Joined:
    11 Jun 2014
    Location:
    Chapeltown, Sheffield
    Some nearly missed it the other day due to that issue when I was on board, but luckily the level crossing barriers went up when the train was in the station so they could cross platform.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The service is great at peak times because of the traffic situation around the Lune bridges/Lancaster town centre making buses take ages.

    I do wonder if it will be less competitive once the long awaited bypass opens.
     
  23. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,566
    Joined:
    27 May 2013
    This may seem a strange question but if the the train is delayed and misses the ferry then does the ferry wait?
     
  24. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

    Messages:
    2,677
    Joined:
    13 Jun 2015
    For want of something better to do, prompted by this thread I looked up the passenger numbers for Morecambe and Bare Lane.

    I was astonished to find the last data puts that at:

    217,000 for Morecambe - 300 on, 300 off per day

    168,000 for Bare Lane - 235 on and off per day.

    Which I thought is quite something.

    Presumably the Morecambe figures are quite season sensitive, and probably mean something like 450 on/off on summer holiday days, and maybe only 200 a day in winter - or does school travel mean a healthy level in winter too?
     
  25. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    12 Apr 2012
    I've used the line a few times the last few years - generally daytime during the week, and my impression has been that most people travelling on it are locals - and trains seem to be reasonably well loaded. I have a friend who lives in Morecambe and would use the train rather than the bus to Lancaster because she claimed the train was cheaper - I don't know if that's still the case.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Interesting point. I'd expect it to make some difference, but not a huge amount. It will certainly cause some reduction in traffic at the Lancaster end of the A683 and over the bridges. A long time ago at one of the council open events, it was mentioned that the aim was to take advantage of this to convert one of the 3 lanes on Greyhound Bridge to be a dedicated bus lane - I don't know if that's still the intention, but obviously if that does happen, that could help buses quite a bit.

    But on the other hand, the by-pass will only be useful for traffic heading to/from Morecambe from the M6 or from the Caton direction - anything coming from Lancaster itself (which I would imagine accounts for most traffic) wouldn't use it. Also, the very existence of the by-pass is almost certain to attract many more cars, and that could easily lead to existing roads being more, rather than less, congested between Lancaster and Morecambe college (where the by-pass joins the existing network) and Morecambe.
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2015
  26. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

    Messages:
    2,603
    Joined:
    11 Jun 2014
    Location:
    Chapeltown, Sheffield
    There's always been a good number of school children using the line. The 2 car 150 from Leeds I was on last week had every seat taken going to Morecambe/Heysham but then was fairly empty on the way back. They do seem to be either packed or half empty in my experience. There were also lots of suitcases onboard indicating long distance travellers. Morecambe is the traditional holidaying destination from Bradford which is easily accessed on the Leeds train.

    The train is much cheaper- the bus fares in that area are ludicrous in my opinion.

    A lot of traffic, especially lorries go to the ferry terminal from the M6 which currently go through Lancaster (or skirt it), so I think it will make a huge difference. Presumably, the authorities expect it to also considering its a an expensive project that wouldn't be justified otherwise.

    It used to take me 45-60mins to do Lancaster Uni-Morecambe Asda at peak times or ferry times, which is probably only about 5 miles.

    Spurious question- is your avatar in the trough of bowland? I think I recognise it, jubilee tower looking westwards?
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2015
  27. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

    Messages:
    26,233
    Joined:
    17 Apr 2011
    Location:
    A semi-rural part of north-west England
    Is there not information signage on the platforms concerning this matter?
     
  28. KendalKing

    KendalKing Established Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Joined:
    4 Mar 2009
    Location:
    North Lancs
    Train vs Bus between Lancaster & Morecambe.

    Train takes about 10-mins, and cost £3.10p return
    Bus takes about 20-mins+ (depending on traffic), and cost £4.90p return.

    I have always said that this line should never had been closed, what a great pity that a group of enthusiasts, didn't buy the line to preserve.
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2015
  29. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    12 Apr 2012
    Wow, well spotted - that's exactly what it is. One of my favourite places. (Although I have to admit, I don't think it works that well as an avatar picture - I keep meaning to change it but never getting round to it...)
     
  30. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

    Messages:
    26,233
    Joined:
    17 Apr 2011
    Location:
    A semi-rural part of north-west England
    There was a short-lived intermediate station at Scale Hall that was opened as late as 1957 with concrete sectional platforms, but this became a victim of the closure programmes. I think that the site of that station is now partly used by the road which was widened to give a better road traffic access.

    Is the goods yard crane that was preserved on the site of the former Lancaster Green Ayre station still there?
     
  31. Buttsy

    Buttsy Established Member

    Messages:
    1,364
    Joined:
    20 May 2011
    Location:
    Oxford
    The points to Heysham are guard worked and locked with a key on the 'staff' issued on the Heysham service. The points are then locked facing Heysham until the train has cleared them on it's return leg, whence they are locked facing Bare Lane again. This adds a couple of minutes to each trip on the Heysham branch.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page