Manchester Recovery Taskforce (timetable) consultation

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LNW-GW Joint

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Do they? Are you sure?
There's an interesting situation on UWCs in Wales, following the crash near Welshpool on the Cambrian last year.
Apparently that crossing is getting red/green lights to improve safety, and there are others getting the same treatment in North Wales.
Wales' level crossings need urgent safety changes, report says - BBC News
Christine Booth, its level crossings risk advisor, said: "We are installing red and green lights to some of the highest risk private crossings and public footpath crossings across Wales to make them safer.
"This includes at Smith crossing in Powys and follows safety improvements already made at crossings such as Ty Gwyn and Pen Uchaf on the north Wales coast."

Maybe that is a solution to the problem with the Cheshire crossings.
 

scrapy

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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.
IMO a non starter.

Lack of paths Ashton to Victoria
Lack of paths across Heaton Norris Jn
Single line between Heaton Norris and Denton and current freight and empty stock moves would dent reliability
Diverting this away from Castlefield would mean diverting away from Warrington as well. Warrington Ctl to Manchester already dropping from 4 to 3 per hour, a drop to 2 per hour would be too much and politically very unpopular.
Sheffield to Manchester journey times increased by at least 15 minutes
Ordsall Ln junction almost as congested as Castlefield
 
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The Planner

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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.
There is one level crossing at Plemstall which is a private crossing which has an individual very high risk rating. Another near Hartford is the same as well as another private crossing at Lostock Gralam, the others fall in to the high individual category.
 

adrock1976

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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.

I am in favour with that suggestion.

I would have Rochdale - Airport every 30 minutes, calling all stations.

Also, the CLC route via Warrington Central to be split in two halves, with Warrington Central - Airport every 30 minutes calling all stations, and the present Southport - Hunts Cross Merseyrail extended to Warrington Central every 15 minutes.
 

Ianno87

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There's an interesting situation on UWCs in Wales, following the crash near Welshpool on the Cambrian last year.
Apparently that crossing is getting red/green lights to improve safety, and there are others getting the same treatment in North Wales.
Wales' level crossings need urgent safety changes, report says - BBC News


Maybe that is a solution to the problem with the Cheshire crossings.

Some in the Cambridge area around the 2017 (Cambridge North) and 2018 (Thameslink) timetable changes.

Was things like adding pedestrian signals (Waterbeach/Chesterton), upgrades to full barriers (Shepreth station), that sort of thing. All done in pretty quick timescales.

For farm crossings, that could indeed be things like adding warning lights, that sort of thing.
 

peters

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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.

Strangely while people complain about journey times to and from Manchester on the Mid-Cheshire line, it actually has benefits over the road on the Altrincham to Chester section. Until the A556 link road was built road journey times to and from Altrincham at peak times were noncompetitive with rail, the downside was rail was only hourly in one direction and half-hourly in the other. Chester also has traffic and parking issues meaning 40 or so minutes from Knutsford to Chester on the train is a good time, where the rail isn't as competitive is the cost. The school pupils using the train to get to Greenbank use a service which gets them from Knutsford town centre to the other end of Greenbank Lane from the school in less than 20 minutes, when the designated school buses (which were withdrawn) took around half an hour even when they ran express from Knutsford to St Nicholas High.

The downside is you might live a mile from the town centre so you need to add on over 15 minutes to the door-to-door journey time for any train journey and in the case of Northwich there isn't a centrally located station.

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?

Even if we consider just benefits for North Wales I don't think the journey time to Manchester is the only important consideration.

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).

One of the ideas between option C is to put a consistent half-hourly (or better) stopping service on as many routes as possible, that includes Chester to Warrington Bank Quay. That doesn't include the Mid-Cheshire which doesn't need half-hourly services at stations like Mouldsworth and Ashley but does at stations like Knutsford, which is presumably part of the reason for the suggested TfW diversion.
 

Purple Orange

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I am in favour with that suggestion.

I would have Rochdale - Airport every 30 minutes, calling all stations.

Also, the CLC route via Warrington Central to be split in two halves, with Warrington Central - Airport every 30 minutes calling all stations, and the present Southport - Hunts Cross Merseyrail extended to Warrington Central every 15 minutes.

I think it should be further than that. I’d like to see 6 tph around the chord, but that requires a post NPR situation to come along. However, I see no reason why a 4 tph interval shouldn’t occur initially. That means that whatever central Manchester station your train arrives at, there will be a 15 minute frequency to the airport from that station.

E.g. Cease Leeds-Airport services until NPR/HS2 is ready, but in the meantime those passengers could disembark at Victoria P3 and wait on the same platform for the airport service.
 

Bald Rick

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There's an interesting situation on UWCs in Wales, following the crash near Welshpool on the Cambrian last year.
Apparently that crossing is getting red/green lights to improve safety, and there are others getting the same treatment in North Wales.
Wales' level crossings need urgent safety changes, report says - BBC News


Maybe that is a solution to the problem with the Cheshire crossings.

There are loads and loads of things you can do to mitigate level crossing risk. Closing them is one option - usually tricky and takes time unless it is a private crossing and you have a big enough chequebook. But there are other ways, and many are quite simple, quick and cheap.

There is one level crossing at Plemstall which is a private crossing which has an individual very high risk rating. Another near Hartford is the same as well as another private crossing at Lostock Gralam, the others fall in to the high individual category.

That’s a C4, plenty worse than that elsewhere, and the same as Cuddington station barrow crossing. However for Plemstall there is an alternative route via an underbridge. I bet it has substandard clearance for the horseboxes, but I wonder if there is a solution there that involves a bit of digging. Just sorting those two crossings would, I guess, more than halve the crossing risk on the whole line.
 

Bletchleyite

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One of the ideas between option C is to put a consistent half-hourly (or better) stopping service on as many routes as possible, that includes Chester to Warrington Bank Quay. That doesn't include the Mid-Cheshire which doesn't need half-hourly services at stations like Mouldsworth and Ashley but does at stations like Knutsford, which is presumably part of the reason for the suggested TfW diversion.

Though the "Merseyrail argument" is that you serve them anyway, as that keeps it simple. Aughton Park and Town Green don't in any way justify 4tph, but it's easier to stop there as it keeps it all nice and simple.
 

Rhydgaled

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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.
Ah, missed that.

Losing trains from the Castlefield corridor is inevitably going to negatively impact somebody somewhere. The Options just move around who that is.
My point is that removing the north Wales service from the Castlefield corridor by routing it into Victoria has less impact (in my relatively uninformed opinion admittedly) than diverting it via Altrincham or diverting the Nottingham service via Victoria. Sending the north Wales service into Victoria largely only impacts passengers for the airport - sending it via Altrincham impacts airport passengers plus everyone for central Manchester as well. Diverting the Nottingham service via Victoria impacts everyone for Liverpool.

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.
I'm not suggesting routing either Sheffield service into Victoria, personally I think one of them should terminate at Piccadilly and the other should continue to run to Liverpool via Warrington Central.

Even if we consider just benefits for North Wales I don't think the journey time to Manchester is the only important consideration.
What other things should be considered then?
 

peters

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What other things should be considered then?

Numerous things. Most importantly, the final destination of everyone travelling from North Wales. I don't mean the station, I mean the actual address so if they go to Piccadilly and then get a train to Stockport or tram to Old Trafford or Sale then they would be better off with the train being diverted via Altrincham. If they want connections to TPE then they would be better off with the train being diverted to Victoria.

Then there's people from England travelling to North Wales to consider. Where are they coming from and where are they travelling to?

If you're travelling from Rhyl to Leeds the journey time to Manchester has no relevance, there's no point arriving in Manchester 10 minutes earlier if it means a 25 minute connection instead of a 15 minute connection. That might even be a disadvantage on a cold day if the train is on time.

It's mentioned earlier in the thread that Liverpool services will go to Llandudno, Manchester to Bangor while Cardiff will continue to go to Holyhead. Is there any logical reason for that or did someone at a desk in Cardiff decide on that without looking at actual and potential passenger flows? (That may be one for a new thread.)
 
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"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.
As a former commuter I can assure you that is IS Oxford Road they want as a final destination and a swap at Newton of two thirds
of a three car 175 or 195 onto an already full 319 isn't going to be popular.
 

peters

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Though the "Merseyrail argument" is that you serve them anyway, as that keeps it simple. Aughton Park and Town Green don't in any way justify 4tph, but it's easier to stop there as it keeps it all nice and simple.

There is also the argument that the 55 minute journey time from Northwich to Manchester needs to come down. However, while there's people in North Wales complaining that the journey time to Manchester Piccadilly taking 10 minutes longer would be disastrous, I'm not sure that a 10 minute reduction time reduction in the journey time from Northwich to Manchester alone would result in a huge increase in passengers. However, I do think a new faster service with better rolling stock in addition to the current service is likely to result in unhappy passengers becoming happier passengers.
 
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But it wouldn't be two thirds because in the scheme of things Frodsham and Helsby are minor stations
It used to be more than half full leaving Chester. Add all the intermediate stations to Newton and it was standing and full. Two thirds decanted at Oxford Road. Assuming that people return to these services in numbers then things will get very busy at Newton in the Peak.
 

Glenn1969

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Chester passengers would still be able to access Castlefield via the diverted trains. Warrington passengers can go from Central. Earlestown and Newton passengers wouldn't need the change. So it would be just those from Frodsham and Helsby who are the most affected

Plus IMHO it will be some time before a full return to offices because for a lot of people some home working will still be desirable. It may never happen
 

Glenn1969

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Yes plus Runcorn East. The smaller market comment still applies given that combined annual usage of the 3 stations is less than 500,000 a year
 

peters

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Chester passengers would still be able to access Castlefield via the diverted trains. Warrington passengers can go from Central. Earlestown and Newton passengers wouldn't need the change. So it would be just those from Frodsham and Helsby who are the most affected

Plus IMHO it will be some time before a full return to offices because for a lot of people some home working will still be desirable. It may never happen

Yes plus Runcorn East. The smaller market comment still applies given that combined annual usage of the 3 stations is less than 500,000 a year

Should be remembered that Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East currently has 1tph to Manchester, with extra at peak times and Runcorn East only has 1tph to Chester that would change to 2tph in both cases under option C so some people will be better off as a result of the changes, while others may lose out if they need to change for Oxford Road.

I mentioned before that from my limited experience of the route a lot of the Runcorn East commuters seem to travel to Warrington, not to Manchester.

It used to be more than half full leaving Chester. Add all the intermediate stations to Newton and it was standing and full. Two thirds decanted at Oxford Road. Assuming that people return to these services in numbers then things will get very busy at Newton in the Peak.

Until recently Helsby and Frodsham had direct trains to Manchester but you had to change or drive to another station for Liverpool. They now have direct trains to Liverpool and a lot of people have lost their jobs due to COVID so it may well mean in a couple of years time there's fewer commuting to Manchester and more commuting to Liverpool.
 

Rhydgaled

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Numerous things. Most importantly, the final destination of everyone travelling from North Wales. I don't mean the station, I mean the actual address so if they go to Piccadilly and then get a train to Stockport or tram to Old Trafford or Sale then they would be better off with the train being diverted via Altrincham. If they want connections to TPE then they would be better off with the train being diverted to Victoria.

Then there's people from England travelling to North Wales to consider. Where are they coming from and where are they travelling to?

If you're travelling from Rhyl to Leeds the journey time to Manchester has no relevance, there's no point arriving in Manchester 10 minutes earlier if it means a 25 minute connection instead of a 15 minute connection. That might even be a disadvantage on a cold day if the train is on time.
Thanks, that's a very good answer which raises alot of questions I don't have the answers to. What is the relative demand for Sale etc. versus central Manchester? I certainly don't know that - is there anyone who has the necessary data to answer that?
 

krus_aragon

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It's mentioned earlier in the thread that Liverpool services will go to Llandudno, Manchester to Bangor while Cardiff will continue to go to Holyhead. Is there any logical reason for that or did someone at a desk in Cardiff decide on that without looking at actual and potential passenger flows? (That may be one for a new thread.)
It was discussed at length when the TfW franchise was awarded. My interpretation, in a nutshell:

> Cardiff-Holyhead is a politically required route, and has the (increased) First Class provision on it. Birmingham-Holyhead just fills up the alternate hours.
> Bangor is the busiest station on the coast: far more than Llandudno or Rhyl, despite having half as many trains calling. So the new hourly service from Bangor is routed to the established market of Manchester.
> Liverpool services are the "new kid on the block". Linking it with the Chester-Llandudno all-stops service enables faster journey times for Bangor - Manchester along the coast by keeping it semi-fast east of Llandudno Jn.

As I recall, the Welsh Government set out desirable objectives for bidders to consider delivering (e.g. speeding up Bangor-Chester journey times, or at least x trains per day between Wrexham and Chester) but didn't explicitly specify the end-to-end routes required in the majority of cases. So it'd be KeolisAmey's route ideas that were then agreed with by the WG.

This may be subject to future changes (and resolving Castlefield could play a part in prompting that) but I as far as I know they intend to do what they announced back at the franchise award.
 

berneyarms

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Without wishing to digress, I will say that People need to look at the Cardiff-Holyhead services as facilitating shorter journeys along the route too rather than end to end.

They facilitate trips on the North Wales Coast, link Chester and Wrexham with Shrewsbury and Hereford etc.
 

peters

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Thanks, that's a very good answer which raises alot of questions I don't have the answers to. What is the relative demand for Sale etc. versus central Manchester? I certainly don't know that - is there anyone who has the necessary data to answer that?

I expect demand to Sale would be significantly lower than demand for central Manchester but I think the important thing is how many of the people going to Oxford Road or Piccadilly are going somewhere within walking distance of either of those stations? That's the thing the ticket sales data won't tell us.

> Cardiff-Holyhead is a politically required route, and has the (increased) First Class provision on it. Birmingham-Holyhead just fills up the alternate hours.

Which I think is an issue. I often hear of people from Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester say they are going to Anglesey for a weekend or a few days, how many people from South Wales travel to Anglesey (by train or road)?
 

Rhydgaled

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Without wishing to digress, I will say that People need to look at the Cardiff-Holyhead services as facilitating shorter journeys along the route too rather than end to end.

They facilitate trips on the North Wales Coast, link Chester and Wrexham with Shrewsbury and Hereford etc.
Yes, but seperate Crewe-Holyhead and Cardiff-Chester services would also do that.
 

Bletchleyite

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Yes, but seperate Crewe-Holyhead and Cardiff-Chester services would also do that.

In all seriousness the old pattern of Manchester-Llandudno, Holyhead-Brum via Crewe and Stafford, and Chester-Cardiff, worked best in terms of North Wales' transport needs, however until HS2 there isn't room to get to Brum via Stafford (though it could run to Crewe) and direct Cardiff services are a political project.
 

Dr Day

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Trying to get back on topic, @Rhydgaled I'd be very surprised if the underlying analysis for the Castlefield options did not include a review of ticket sales data - this will illustrate the ticket origins and destinations of all the journeys/revenue on the relevant corridors coming into Manchester. It won't identify the precise door to door journey but certainly give a good indication of the relative value to the rail network as a whole of say stations west of Chester and stations west of Wigan on the stretch, say, between Deansgate and Oxford Road, including what proportion of journeys are beyond Manchester itself (eg to the Airport).
 

Whisky Papa

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Trying to get back on topic, @Rhydgaled I'd be very surprised if the underlying analysis for the Castlefield options did not include a review of ticket sales data - this will illustrate the ticket origins and destinations of all the journeys/revenue on the relevant corridors coming into Manchester. It won't identify the precise door to door journey but certainly give a good indication of the relative value to the rail network as a whole of say stations west of Chester and stations west of Wigan on the stretch, say, between Deansgate and Oxford Road, including what proportion of journeys are beyond Manchester itself (eg to the Airport).
A slight snag in using the ticket data will be that (unless something has changed very recently?) all longer-distance tickets to Manchester are booked to "Manchester Stations", whichever one of Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Deansgate or Victoria you actually use. Likewise all tickets from within Greater Manchester are booked to "Manchester Central Zone", so the destination station may not be immediately obvious.
 

Ianno87

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Trying to get back on topic, @Rhydgaled I'd be very surprised if the underlying analysis for the Castlefield options did not include a review of ticket sales data - this will illustrate the ticket origins and destinations of all the journeys/revenue on the relevant corridors coming into Manchester. It won't identify the precise door to door journey but certainly give a good indication of the relative value to the rail network as a whole of say stations west of Chester and stations west of Wigan on the stretch, say, between Deansgate and Oxford Road, including what proportion of journeys are beyond Manchester itself (eg to the Airport).

A slight snag in using the ticket data will be that (unless something has changed very recently?) all longer-distance tickets to Manchester are booked to "Manchester Stations", whichever one of Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Deansgate or Victoria you actually use. Likewise all tickets from within Greater Manchester are booked to "Manchester Central Zone", so the destination station may not be immediately obvious.

The consultation does quantify the overall "connectivity" net gain/loss of each of the options, which will be based in part on ticket sales data, and probably run through a modelling tool called MOIRA.

I don't believe it will be granular enough to differentiate reliably between individual Manchester stations - it will treat them as a whole, so (say) from a given route 2tph to Victoria will perform as well in revenue terms as 2tph to Castlefield (presuming the journey times are give or take similar and ignoring any revenue generated by the resulting-cross-Manchester connections, which is a further variable).

It will however, numerate the gain/loss generated by serving/not serving Manchester Airport on various services.
 

peters

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A slight snag in using the ticket data will be that (unless something has changed very recently?) all longer-distance tickets to Manchester are booked to "Manchester Stations", whichever one of Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Deansgate or Victoria you actually use. Likewise all tickets from within Greater Manchester are booked to "Manchester Central Zone", so the destination station may not be immediately obvious.

There have been some ticket barriers in Manchester for a while now so there should be some form of data on which stations people are travelling to. There are also some advance tickets sold only valid via Crewe or Altrincham or only valid on the Northern service to Victoria, so there should be some useful data there as well. One downside might be if some people travelling to Stockport from North Wales buy tickets to Manchester because there are cheaper and Chester-Stockport-Manchester is a valid route then that might distort the data.

It should also be possible to know how many Plusbus and Metrolink add-ons have been sold, even if the people buying separate tickets won't be counted in that.
 

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