Manchester Metrolink master thread

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by umontu, 4 Apr 2011.

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  1. Andrew Nelson

    Andrew Nelson Member

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    No you didn't.
    It was never a railway line.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    If the depot isn't at the end of each route, than what choice do they have?
    Drivers sitting there from the depot to the terminus, getting paid for hours of un-constructive travel time per day?
     
  2. Rail Bus

    Rail Bus Member

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    its a shame we lost heavy rail via Sale, 21 minutes stopper, 15 minutes express to Oxford Road

    You do well to get as far as Cornbrook in 21 minutes on the metrolink

    Regression?
     
  3. ianhr

    ianhr Member

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    Whatever the virtues of Metrolink in general I have always thought that the Altrincham and Bury lines deserve something better than trams. These were formerly efficiently operated and reliable heavy rail electrified suburban lines of long standing. The tram conversion was just a cheapskate idea to link them across the city centre avoiding the expense of a tunnel. Liverpool, Newcastle & Glasgow got their city centre tunnels at about the same time or earlier. How did Manchester miss out? Was it political ineptitude? What the Bury-Altrincham route really needs is a completely segregated high speed route on the style of Tyne & Wear Metro. trams are fine for developing other routes not previously served by a good rail service.
     
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Other train companies manage to change drivers at locations other than the depot. Metrolink also sometimes change drivers at places other than Old Trafford and Queen's Road. London Underground even have drivers waiting for the train on the platform so that the previous driver doesn't have to walk to the other end of the train, to minimise turnaround times.

    As I said, it does cost money to do it properly.
     
  5. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    The other side of the coin is that, thanks to the Metrolink takeover, we now have a direct heavy rail service from Altrincham to Stockport, taking less than 20 minutes, giving quicker onward connections to the Midlands, East Anglia, London, Birmingham, the South Coast, the South West and South Wales.

    Progression?
     
  6. Shrimper

    Shrimper Member

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    Other TOCs probably have mess/rest facilities at the changeover location too.

    At 20 minutes (ish) from the staff halt to Bury you'd be adding 40 minutes on a duty, and that's assuming the meal break is taken at Bury - what if the driver is operating a different service?

    And what about Rochdale or East Didsbury - both about 40 minutes from Queens Road! And then if things go wrong you have drivers stranded with little chance of bringing in a standby driver.
     
  7. Mojo

    Mojo Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    In August 1994 Metrolink patronage was 12.06 Million, compared to 7.6 Million on the British Rail services to Bury and Altrincham it replaced. In fact at the time the Metrolink 'system' was carrying more passengers than the rest of Greater Manchester's suburban rail network combined. At the time the system actually managed to turn a profit (albeit only £4 Million for the year), but good in comparison to the subsidy of £32 Million for the suburban rail network.

    Metrolink obviously did/does something right.
     
  8. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    Journey time is not the only metric!
     
  9. Manchester77

    Manchester77 Established Member

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    What do you think the Altrincham and bury lines would be like now if they hadn't been converted. Maybe a few extra 323s would have been ordered for the Altrincham line but I'd doubt if it would be as frequent as it is now. The bury lines DC stock was at the end of their life when metrolink came along. I very much doubt BR would have paid for new EMUs with the none standard electrification so the line would have probably been de-electrified ending up being operated by the typical 150s and 142s with maybe the odd 156 thrown in at the peaks.
     
  10. Polo Mint

    Polo Mint Member

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    Hopefully if Train-tram services and proven as viable in the UK then the Met can operate on lines operated by trains assuming they don't slow them down, perhaps with trains operating at only a few stations with the Metrolink on the rest?

    I was not particularly clear, but the busway reference was indeed to the guided busway that will use some of the line on the route. I thought the railway went via Leigh, do you happen to know what route Leigh was connected to?

    There's a fantasy lines thread? It isn't quite as outrageous as an Altrincham to Ashton line, using existing rail infrastructure (if tram-train would work for the Metrolink system)

    The Metrolink seems to be popular with people who previously used other forms of transport, and attracted a large chunk of the population as opposed to the city office worker types. It could be because of the higher frequency service, newer rolling stock, more stations, or better access to Central Manchester

    I keep thinking to myself, is it because Metrolink is a good idea, or that Northern Rail and its predecessors offer 30 year old carriages and not a particularly fabulous service.
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2013
  11. Manchester77

    Manchester77 Established Member

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    - Yes on SCC; why would there be a need for a Altrincham - Ashton Line via heavy rail. Surely if you wanted to get from either of those you could do all metrolink changing at Piccadilly or northern ALT-PIC and then either another train to Ashton or met..?
    - One of the reasons I can see why the mets more popular especially on the Altrincham line is because who wants to queue on Washway Road for hours every morning one a bus/in a car when you can take the tram!
     
  12. Polo Mint

    Polo Mint Member

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    Can you please tell me what an SCC is?

    I was thinking something more along the lines of it appealing to people going from Ashton to Stockport or from Altrincham to Cheadle for example as opposed to people using the entire rout. It may also add more communities to the Metrolink map who could connect onto the network.
     
  13. Manchester77

    Manchester77 Established Member

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    - SkyScraperCity
    - Yeah thats a good point but perhaps a little less drastic would be to integrate the Greater Manchester Suburban rail network showing people clearer connections and also improving interchanges as is being done at Altrincham.
     
  14. Polo Mint

    Polo Mint Member

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    That is a good idea, I can see joint bus/tram/train ticketing scheme being popular.
     
  15. Manchester77

    Manchester77 Established Member

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    Thats becoming a reality with the new smart card system coming next year - the poles for the readers have already been installed at most metrolink stations!
    [​IMG]
    Smart card Reader by Manchester_77, on Flickr
     
  16. Polo Mint

    Polo Mint Member

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    I didn't realise it got the full approval, I assumed it was just a 'proposal'. It looks pretty good.
     
  17. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    Metrolink vehicles don't meet crash-worthiness standards to work the same line as mainline trains.

    You need special vehicles that are both strong enough to interwork with trains, and light enough with a small turn radius to operate on Metrolink lines (potentially not on street running sections).

    Personally, I'm not convinced that the concept is sound or that the vehicles will be good value for money at all.
     
  18. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    The crashworthiness issue can be mitigated by changes to the signalling, including more TPWS so that a SPAD-related collision goes from highly unlikely to virtually impossible.

    Tram-train isn't a solution everywhere but it has potential on some routes in Manchester. TfGM is developing a strategy on whether and how to take it forward.
     
  19. Manchester77

    Manchester77 Established Member

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    Something I don't get is why the pilot scheme isn't in manchester. Surely it'd be easier with metrolink as it's high floor so you wouldn't have to make the platforms low floor or..?
     
  20. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    You're assuming no wrong-side failures, which is a fallacy.
     
  21. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

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    The London and North Western Railway were particularly strong in this area and quite a number of passenger routes were available, together with many goods trains from the collieries of the South-East Lancashire coalfield.

    I will cite another of the routes (the Tyldesley loop line) used by that company that branched off the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Eccles with stations as being:-

    Eccles
    Monton Green
    Worsley
    Ellenbrook
    Tyldesley
    Leigh
    Pennington
    Kenyon Junction

    That particular one served the railway station of Leigh.
     
  22. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    What about Karlsruhe and Mulhouse?
     
  23. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I did say virtually impossible.

    For such a collision to happen due to failure to observe or react to the signal, it would require a wrong-side failure of the TPWS and a simultaneous wrong-side failure by the driver, ie failing to stop at the signal. Since both these have probabilities somewhere in the per millions, the chances of both happening simultaneously is somewere in the per trillions.

    There remains the risk of a SPAD due to brake failure or loss of adhesion, but (like all safety issues in practice) this is a risk-based not an absolute approach, and experience shows that these account for only a small proportion of serious SPADs.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    They rely on the train protection as I posted above, with minor differences due to the different systems used in those countries. This approach has been accepted by the German and French authorities, and has been accepted in principle in the UK for the Rotherham tram-train pilot.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, but unfortunately there are no existing high-floor tram-train vehicle designs and buying a handful of a custom vehicle would have been extremely expensive as well as having a risk of teething troubles with a new design. The Rotherham vehicles are closely based on a design for Karlsruhe, with minor changes such as the AC system being 25kV not 15kV (this won't be used initially but might be if the MML electrification is extended). If the pilot is unsuccessful then there is the option to sell the vehicles somewhere on the Continent.
     
  24. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Presumably this viaduct has passed (as part of the burdensome estate) to the Highways Agency now?

    Was it painted in 2009 also?
     
  25. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    No it was just stripped of vegetation and rust, was previously planned to recieve a protective coating this year which has obviously failed to occur.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2013
  26. furryfeet

    furryfeet Member

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    Why has this been allowed to happen ?
    And by Whom ? (Dept of Transport ?)
    Also if something does fall off the viaduct and hit someone, who would be now held liable ?
    Or have BRB(R) "got away with it" since the reponsibility has been moved to a different agency ?
     
  27. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    They did the immediate intervention to tackle just such an issue, that a clump of rust would fall and injure someone and they would get sued. They did plan a followup longterm fix but even then they were dubious if it would go ahead because the money was tight (and this was pre-recession). BRB(R) was supposed for pay for maintenence of structures by disposing of assets which had value, however the sheer cost of looking after all these former viaducts, tunnels and other structures is huge so naturally they would have to prioritise. BRB(R) as of a couple of months ago of course is no more, they finished selling off everything of value apart from a few key potential development sites like Manchester Mayfield which were transferred to London and Continental Railways, the owner of the governments non-Network Rail rail infrastructure/investments. The remaining 'Burdensome Estate' was transferred to the Highways Agency Historical Railways Estate so presumably must be funded through the annual highways upkeep. A few bits of land which still potentially had rail use were transferred to Network Rail.
     
  28. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Possibly a question that has been asked many times, but is there any form of timetable (maybe a WTT, maybe something public) available for the Metrolink? As in, something current, I'm not looking for a 5-year-old leaked WTT or anything like that. If not, is there anyone who is likely to have the timetable that is susceptible to FOI requests?
     
  29. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    If you go to

    www.traveline-northwest.co.uk

    and click on 'Timetables', and then enter MET1, MET2, MET3, MET4 or MET5 as the bus number you can see some kind of timetable for each line. Whether this is comparable to the WTT, it would be interesting to know. Regardless, I wouldn't rely on any timetable as the priority is to maintain the 12/15 minute headway.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2013
  30. Manchester77

    Manchester77 Established Member

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    I have the old WTT which was published after Shaw opened (Dec 12) but I've never got hold of any others. The new WTT came out when Ashton ghosting started but I've not seen a hard copy of it
     
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