Manchester Recovery Taskforce (timetable) consultation

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Glenn1969

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I think it will be the latter and it will be Option A. But who knows if Northern have said they don't have enough stock or enough trained drivers ?
 

Ianno87

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I think it will be the latter and it will be Option A. But who knows if Northern have said they don't have enough stock or enough trained drivers ?

If none of the options are deliverable, the only choice seems to be the current (Covid) train service with some deliverable increments back towards what operated pre-Covid (but not the full pre-Covid pattern)
 

daodao

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It probably leaves it with Option A (the least change). Which is what I thought would happen all along (think only Option C sent the TFW service via Northwich and NR blocked the 2nd Mid Cheshire service in 2015 citing level crossings amongst other things unless I'm mistaken)
I am surprised that the committee did not consider tweaking the options, instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. For example for option C, if the TfW N.Wales service took one of the 2 tph paths between Chester and Victoria allocated to the Northern service from Leeds to Chester via Rochdale:
  • the potential problem with LCs and capacity on the mid Cheshire line would be eliminated; and
  • the number of Northern diagrams required would be reduced.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Would be a bit foolish from DfT to instruct something that they are being advised is undeliverable.

I am surprised that the committee did not consider tweaking the options, instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. For example for option C, if the TfW N.Wales service took one of the 2 tph paths allocated to the Northern service from Leeds to Chester via Rochdale:
  • the potential problem with LCs and capacity on the mid Cheshire line would be eliminated; and
  • the number of Northern diagrams required would be reduced.

I didn't so much mean an undeliverable result, but something tweaked to be deliverable (but not what they want).
 

Ianno87

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I didn't so much mean an undeliverable result, but something tweaked to be deliverable (but not what they want).

I have a horrible feeling at this stage that anything "deliverable" will also be "not acceptable to stakeholders". Basically stalemate.
 

Purple Orange

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No. Because the TfN have no powers so it will be the DfT that takes the decision

Of course that old chestnut. This reminds me of John Prescott storming out that meeting. Just like we have to wait for Whitehall to release the Integrated Rail Plan to give any indication on future rail infrastructure in the north, we have to wait for Whitehall to decide upon the northern rail timetables.

So then the North's rail network will remain an utter mess.

They're not even shouting for the Castlefield improvement works, are they?

Northern Hub work is long gone now - it should be discussed in the same manner as the Pic-Vic tunnel. The NPR route via Bradford will be the same, as will the eastern branch of HS2.
 

Glenn1969

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None of which will happen. Why do you think they delayed the IRP until after the election. Because they know it could cost them votes up north when they reveal how little we are getting?
 

Purple Orange

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None of which will happen. Why do you think they delayed the IRP until after the election. Because they know it could cost them votes up north when they reveal how little we are getting?

There is no way HS2 to Manchester will not happen. TRU will happen and is underway. The one thing for NPR I expect to see is the connection to Piccadilly, given the junction is in the plan. But that is for another thread.
 

Greybeard33

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With empty wallets from consultants rather than actual planners probably
AIUI the Task Force options were developed by Steer consultants under contract to the DfT.
Steer appointed to work with Network Rail’s North West and Central Region | Steer (steergroup.com)
Steer has also been leading and managing the workstream involved as part of the Manchester Recovery Task Force. The newly launched public consultation by DfT focuses on improving performance and punctuality of rail services in and around Manchester post-COVID. The link to the timetable options can be found on the Government website.

Can Rail North block it, or can the DfT just tell them one of the options is what they are getting?
From the discussion in the TfN Board Meeting, it is not a question of the TfN Rail North Committee blocking the Task Force proposals. The Committee meeting was called by the DfT, to be told that further work by the Task Force has shown none of the consultation options are deliverable.
 

Purple Orange

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TRU still hasn't been scoped. I wish Castlefield works was part of it
You’re aware the TWAO has been submitted for the first major section of TRU. Furthermore we are not in a world where diesel running can be continued indefinitely. Electrification has to happen on our mainlines.
 

peters

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It probably leaves it with Option A (the least change). Which is what I thought would happen all along (think only Option C sent the TFW service via Northwich and NR blocked the 2nd Mid Cheshire service in 2015 citing level crossings amongst other things unless I'm mistaken)

I was actually discussing this with a local councillor yesterday and the timetable appeared to be:

Prior to the 2015 general election the government unveiled a specification for the new Northern franchise, the specification required an additional hourly Northwich to Manchester service. Arriva's winning bid included an additional hourly Greenbank to Manchester service to start in December 2017.

The changes were postponed from December 2017 to May 2018 following delays cascading rolling stock from GWR to Northern.

Provisional times were agreed for the new services with Network Rail, including for additional Mid-Cheshire services. However, in the weeks leading up to the timetable change Northern realised they would still not have enough rolling stock for all the additional services so postponed some changes until December 2018.

The May 2018 timetable recast was a total failure and Network Rail barred any additional Manchester services being introduced in December 2018.

Arriva proposed an hourly Chester to Altrincham service instead of the Greenbank to Manchester service but Network Rail came up with excuses why that couldn't happen either.


  • The Taskforce(?) have now said the options are not workable (something about level crossings in Cheshire affecting TfW services among other things).
  • The Taskforce hasn't looked at (in any detail) the option that Transport for Greater Manchester proposed.
  • Castlefield Corridor Infrastructure works won't be ready until at least the early 2030s.

It probably leaves it with Option A (the least change). Which is what I thought would happen all along (think only Option C sent the TFW service via Northwich and NR blocked the 2nd Mid Cheshire service in 2015 citing level crossings amongst other things unless I'm mistaken)

I'm struggling to understand this. @BHXDMT's post makes it sounds like all options as they are have been deemed unworkable. Option C was the only one which proposed an additional passenger service on the Mid-Cheshire line, so level crossing constraints on the Mid-Cheshire line can't be reason for options A or B being unworkable. Even if Option C is the preferred option it would be possible to revise it so that additional passenger trains don't run between Northwich and Chester.

For example, taking GMCA's revised option C (which had Wigan-Hazel Grove and Southport-Oxford Road as all day hourly services):
TfW Rail service goes to Stalybridge, instead of one the Southport services in the original proposal, with no second Chester to Leeds service introduced.
Proposed Southport to Oxford Road service extended to Greenbank
Wigan service runs as shuttle to Oxford Road.

Maybe Mr Burnham could fund it (do TfGM have devolved funding for transport?)

I thought the whole idea was what could be done with existing infrastructure.

From memory, Handforth retains two trains per hour to and from Manchester but loses its through service to Crewe (both trains terminate at Alderley Edge).

It was. However, GMCA proposed it should be revised so stations retain an hourly service to Piccadilly via Stockport, with one of the Alderley Edge services forming the second airport service instead.

Network Rail said they fixed issues relating to level crossings, although I think they were in the Altrincham area, not the southern end. However, if it relates to timings, just put up telephones at the crossings, no?

Not that long ago the Sunday service was suspended on the line with a press release saying drainage issues in the Timperley area were being rectified. I questioned on here why the service was suspended for the whole line if only a couple of miles of track were affected and someone said there were signalling/level crossing upgrades going on between Chester and Greenbank as well, which effectively meant the whole line was closed.
 

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