Manchester Recovery Taskforce (timetable) consultation

peters

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If you're talking Chinese and US tourists, they aren't going to be flying to Manchester in huge numbers. They'll fly to Heathrow, "do" London* first, then use Avanti West Coast (or HS2) to get to their preferred bit of the North West. Meanwhile, European tourists wanting to visit Liverpool will just use sleasyJet or Eireflop to fly to Speke instead.

UK regional airports are more for British people flying other places than tourists coming in.

* And Oxford, Stratford etc.
US and Aussie tourists sometimes do multiple European countries in the same trip. Liverpool to Europe flights are popular with US tourists.

The list of destinations which have direct flights from Liverpool changes all the time. At one point you could fly to Cologne and Berlin from Liverpool but couldn't from Manchester, now it's the other way around.
 
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Glenn1969

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I think direct Airport services are a "nice to have" but given that the aim of this is relieving Castlefield are a luxury that the network can't afford. Especially given that from Chester and North Wales the train can't compete on speed of journey with the car
 

Bletchleyite

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I think direct Airport services are a "nice to have" but given that the aim of this is relieving Castlefield are a luxury that the network can't afford. Especially given that from Chester and North Wales the train can't compete on speed of journey with the car

I suspect Chester/North Wales to the Airport has far less demand than Chester/North Wales to Manchester city centre, to be honest. Yes, there's a Southport style argument about which side of Manchester people want, but with regard to getting to the airport a connection is fine for the small numbers involved.
 

Glenn1969

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I suspect North Wales- Manchester is a much smaller market than Chester- Manchester . The latter has alternative direct services and political clout from the Welsh Govt is irrelevant if it gets in the way of relieving Castlefield. I fail to see why "via Northwich" is an issue if the associated problems can be solved because any direct service is better than a connection
 

Old Yard Dog

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Chester - Manchester via Northwich takes forever since they diverted the trains via Stockport - particularly if there are multiple stops or if fast trains get held up behind slow ones. And intermediate stations on the Warrington line are generally in more populous areas than those on the mid-Cheshire line, some of which are very rural (e.g. Mouldsworth, Delamere, Plumley, ...). But both routes used to suffer from overcrowding in more normal times.
 

peters

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Chester - Manchester via Northwich takes forever since they diverted the trains via Stockport - particularly if there are multiple stops or if fast trains get held up behind slow ones. And intermediate stations on the Warrington line are generally in more populous areas than those on the mid-Cheshire line, some of which are very rural (e.g. Mouldsworth, Delamere, Plumley, ...). But both routes used to suffer from overcrowding in more normal times.id-Cheshirs
The plan was for a diverted TfW service to skip all towns and villages smaller than Knutsford. Knutsford gets up to around 500,000 journeys per annum, that beats Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East that are all calling points on the existing TfW service. It's also possible some people would use Knutsford station instead of using Wilmslow, Chelford and Alderley Edge if there was a better service.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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And lots of single points of failure, literally as it were .... a few years back there was such a service and I think there was a period during which it had to reverse at Gresty Lane or somewhere similar because of a points failure on the normal route from platform 6 to Manchester.
The Chester-Crewe-Airport service was introduced by NWT in about 2000 as compensation for cancelling their plans at privatisation for through services from Chester/North Wales to Euston.
For several months after launch they could not reach P6 at Crewe from Chester because the diamond crossing was out of use, so used P11 and then set off south towards Shrewsbury and reversed at Gresty Lane to come back through Crewe to take the Manchester route.
The service didn't survive the cutbacks during WCRM and ATW did not bring it back.
Always a Pacer and waited outside the Airport for ages for a platform.

I suspect North Wales- Manchester is a much smaller market than Chester- Manchester . The latter has alternative direct services and political clout from the Welsh Govt is irrelevant if it gets in the way of relieving Castlefield. I fail to see why "via Northwich" is an issue if the associated problems can be solved because any direct service is better than a connection

Chester/North Wales is no smaller a market than Lancaster/Cumbria, and has much the same tourist pull, yet no-one tries to cut Cumbria's links to Manchester and the Airport.
The WG does have clout in the debate, and can't just be elbowed aside by DfT and Andy Burnham.
The TfW TOC has as much right to Castlefield as, say, EMR with 1tph.
If the only practical solution is via Northwich, there would need to be infrastructure improvements to obtain a competitive journey time to the Warrington route.
It wouldn't have been an issue if the Airport station had been linked to the CLC at Mobberley.
 

40129

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The Chester-Crewe-Airport service was introduced by NWT in about 2000 as compensation for cancelling their plans at privatisation for through services from Chester/North Wales to Euston.
For several months after launch they could not reach P6 at Crewe from Chester because the diamond crossing was out of use, so used P11 and then set off south towards Shrewsbury and reversed at Gresty Lane to come back through Crewe to take the Manchester route.
The service didn't survive the cutbacks during WCRM and ATW did not bring it back.
Always a Pacer and waited outside the Airport for ages for a platform.



Chester/North Wales is no smaller a market than Lancaster/Cumbria, and has much the same tourist pull, yet no-one tries to cut Cumbria's links to Manchester and the Airport.
The WG does have clout in the debate, and can't just be elbowed aside by DfT and Andy Burnham.
The TfW TOC has as much right to Castlefield as, say, EMR with 1tph.
If the only practical solution is via Northwich, there would need to be infrastructure improvements to obtain a competitive journey time to the Warrington route.
It wouldn't have been an issue if the Airport station had been linked to the CLC at Mobberley.

This (in bold)

The problem with the North Wales - Piccadilly - Airport route is the uncompetitive journey time vs the A55/M56, especially to/from the airport. thus we have the situation that the Welsh Government insists that North Wales retains its airport service so the region can be promoted as having "good airport connections" when in fact few people use them because of the slow journey time caused by having to go via Earlstown and Castlefield.

The only way to provide a competitive journey time between the Airport and North Wales would be via a southern approach to the Airport combined with infrastructure improvements to the Mid-Cheshire line enabling the service to run North Wales - Chester - Airport - Piccadilly.

PS: The uncompetitive journey time to/from Airport also applies from Chester, Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East. I live within walking distance of a starion with a "direct" service to the Airport and have free train travel but I also live within 10 minutes drive of the M56. Guess which option I choose when flying?
 

Bletchleyite

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PS: The uncompetitive journey time to/from Airport also applies from Chester, Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East. I live within walking distance of a starion with a "direct" service to the Airport and have free train travel but I also live within 10 minutes drive of the M56. Guess which option I choose when flying?

The reason I tend to drive to the airport (Luton) is that, if it's a base, flight times tend to be outside the service day of the railway. Journey times have very little to do with it.
 

Purple Orange

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PS: The uncompetitive journey time to/from Airport also applies from Chester, Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East. I live within walking distance of a starion with a "direct" service to the Airport and have free train travel but I also live within 10 minutes drive of the M56. Guess which option I choose when flying?

And that, in a nutshell, is a fundamental problem of the railway. There are so many journey pairs, even between big cities, that are uncompetitive with the road. Plus where they are competitive with road travel, the frequency is too low to make it worthwhile.

Manchester to Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle, the whole of the East Midlands, the south coast, Bristol, Cardiff, North Wales. All services are either equal to or worse than driving. Thankfully HS2 & TRU will assist with some of this.
 

Bletchleyite

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And that, in a nutshell, is a fundamental problem of the railway.

It's a problem with all public transport unless you live near a station on a 125mph mainline and are going to somewhere right near another station on a 125mph mainline. HS2 will help, but I fear the "cram 'em in" approach of the railway fails to sell other benefits of it.

In practice with large cities it's overridden, for many, by the fact that driving in large cities is highly unpleasant and a very large number of drivers won't even entertain the idea.
 
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Purple Orange

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It's a problem with all public transport unless you live near a station on a 125mph mainline and are going to somewhere right near another station on a 125mph mainline. HS2 will help, but I fear the "cram 'em in" approach of the railway fails to sell other benefits of it.

TRU should make a good amount of difference. Even just the current planned phase without touching Stalybridge-Huddersfield will bring Manchester-Leeds journey times down to 42 minutes; Manchester-Newcastle journey times down to 120 mins and Leeds-Newcastle down to 78 mins. That will certainly benefit city-centre to city-centre journeys but suburb-city centre on those routes may still be uncompetitive if frequency and the seemlessness of changing train is made difficult. Then we have M62 and M60 congestion to consider on the other side of the coin, but the round the houses Ordsall chord route for TPE needs to be stopped too. Only Northern - or GM Rail ;) - should use the chord.
 

Rhydgaled

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The TfW TOC has as much right to Castlefield as, say, EMR with 1tph.
I disagree; the TfW TOC is able to provide a through services between North Wales and Manchester city centre without using Castlefield whereas EMR cannot provide services to Liverpool without going through Castlefield. I don't place much weight on airport services - we need to be stamping down hard on airport usage anyway; no sector should be allowed to grow its greenhouse gas emissions.

the round the houses Ordsall chord route for TPE needs to be stopped too. Only Northern - or GM Rail ;) - should use the chord.
Terminating all TPE services that can (ie. 5tph - one each from Cleethorpes, Hull, Newcastle, Redcar and Huddersfield/Leeds - although the stopper should in my view be run by Northern) in the main train shed at Piccadilly would seem to make enormous sense from an operational point of view. Unfortunately the TPE WCML service cannot (easily) access the main train shed at Piccadilly and there are no west-facing bays at Victoria so what do you do with that?
 
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Ianno87

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I disagree; the TfW TOC is able to provide a through services between North Wales and Manchester city centre without using Castlefield whereas EMR cannot provide services to Liverpool without going through Castlefield.

This whole exercise needs to be neutral to who-operates-what. It is about identifying the best set of services and connections that can be provided within the capacity of the corridor and central Manchester. Who then operates what as a consequence is a secondary question.
 

Watershed

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whereas EMR cannot provide services to Liverpool without going through Castlefield.
Nottingham-Liverpool could go via Denton, Victoria and the Chat Moss. In terms of the significance of the change, it wouldn't be all that different to rerouting the TfW service via Northwich.
 

Ianno87

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Nottingham-Liverpool could go via Denton, Victoria and the Chat Moss. In terms of the significance of the change, it wouldn't be all that different to rerouting the TfW service via Northwich.

Difference is that the consultation has done the work to prove that pathing via Northwich is feasible (level crossing issues aside), whereas diverting the Notts-Liverpool has not been proven.
 

Rhydgaled

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Nottingham-Liverpool could go via Denton, Victoria and the Chat Moss.
With a reversal at Guide Bridge I assume, or have I missed something?

In terms of the significance of the change, it wouldn't be all that different to rerouting the TfW service via Northwich.
And rerouting the TfW service via Northwich would add significantly to the journey time, decreasing the value of the service by making it less competitive with road?
 

Purple Orange

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I disagree; the TfW TOC is able to provide a through services between North Wales and Manchester city centre without using Castlefield whereas EMR cannot provide services to Liverpool without going through Castlefield. I don't place much weight on airport services - we need to be stamping down hard on airport usage anyway; no sector should be allowed to grow its greenhouse gas emissions.

Terminating all TPE services that can (ie. 5tph - one each from Cleethorpes, Hull, Newcastle, Redcar and Huddersfield/Leeds - although the stopper should in my view be run by Northern) in the main train shed at Piccadilly would seem to make enormous sense from an operational point of view. Unfortunately the TPE WCML service cannot (easily) access the main train shed at Piccadilly and there are no west-facing bays at Victoria so what do you do with that?

Nothing can be done with the Scotland WCML services, but at least from Piccadilly they are taking the most obvious direct route towards Scotland.
 

Watershed

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Difference is that the consultation has done the work to prove that pathing via Northwich is feasible (level crossing issues aside), whereas diverting the Notts-Liverpool has not been proven.
The level crossing issues are likely to require crossing closures or bridge construction if they are to be resolved. In other words, (that part of) option C isn't something that can be delivered within relatively short timescales using the current infrastructure, which was the point of the entire exercise.

Whereas rerouting the EMR requires, at worst, a timetable change on the Chat Moss.
 

Ianno87

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With a reversal at Guide Bridge I assume, or have I missed something?

You can travel on the route between Denton Jn and Ashton Moss Jn (just west of Ashton-under-Lyne); this goes over the top of the Hadfield Road just west of Guide Bridge.

And rerouting the TfW service via Northwich would add significantly to the journey time, decreasing the value of the service by making it less competitive with road?

Losing trains from the Castlefield corridor is inevitably going to negatively impact somebody somewhere. The Options just move around who that is.

Whereas rerouting the EMR requires, at worst, a timetable change on the Chat Moss.

But that not-yet-specified timetable recast will also take time to develop, as it is not one of Options A, B or C, and it has not (yet) been proved workable, and we don't know other consequences of that EMR re-routeing. "Just change the timetable and make it work" is the atttude that got us into this mess.

Level crossing works, depending on the scale needed, might actually be quicker to deliver.
 

Watershed

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With a reversal at Guide Bridge I assume, or have I missed something?
No, you can turn off the Stockport-Guide Bridge line at Denton Station Jn and head directly towards Victoria, joining the Stalybridge-Victoria line just west of Ashton-under-Lyne, at the former Droylsden station. See the Adlestrop map:

1619526556309.png

And rerouting the TfW service via Northwich would add significantly to the journey time, decreasing the value of the service by making it less competitive with road?
Rail would become a less competitive option for Sheffield-Manchester if the fast service were split between Piccadilly and Victoria, and Warrington is a bigger market than Newton-le-Willows/Earlestown etc., so there are downsides to either move.

If it were operationally feasible, diverting the TfW service via Northwich would take around 70 minutes from Chester to Manchester, so the increase in journey time is relatively modest. It's the loss of intermediate stations that is the bigger issue in a sense.
 

Ianno87

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If it were operationally feasible, diverting the TfW service via Northwich would take around 70 minutes from Chester to Manchester, so the increase in journey time is relatively modest. It's the loss of intermediate stations that is the bigger issue in a sense.

Though the intermediate stations (Helsby etc.) would presumably get the Northern service as replacement, running at 2tph to Victoria (and probably more evenly spread than today, and not full of North Wales passengers on arrival).
 

Watershed

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Level crossing works, depending on the scale needed, might actually be quicker to deliver.
They might indeed be deliverable in time for a May (well, December) 2021 timetable change. But it would be dangerous to assume that.
 

Ianno87

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They might indeed be deliverable in time for a May (well, December) 2021 timetable change. But it would be dangerous to assume that.

You just need to know whether they are deliverable for the intended timetable change at or before bidding at D-40 for the respective change. Certainly less risky than relying on a whole alternative timetable concept that has not been tested yet.
 
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Though the intermediate stations (Helsby etc.) would presumably get the Northern service as replacement, running at 2tph to Victoria (and probably more evenly spread than today, and not full of North Wales passengers on arrival).
True enough, though a lot of the commuter traffic from Helsby/Frodsham is/was for Oxford Road.
 

Ianno87

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True enough, though a lot of the commuter traffic from Helsby/Frodsham is/was for Oxford Road.

"For Oxford Road" is not necessarily the same as "final destination Oxford Road". And for passengers who needed that side of the city, a same-platform connection is possible at Newton-le-Willows into the Liverpool-Oxford Road service in Option C.
 

notlob.divad

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Probably going to get shot for this one.

Surely if there is a plan to divert anything away from Castlefield via Denton and through Victoria, surely a local stopping service would be a better option, that way it could make better use of the stations on the line, rather than diverting a longer distance regional service joining up multiple city centres such as Liverpool - Nottingham. Could a Buxton or Hazel Grove service not go that way, I know there are issues with a lack of wires but it does strike me that anyone who really wants Picadilly off those services has the option of changing at Stockport, and they currently have no access to the TPE and Calder Valley services at Victoria.
 

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