Media picks up on transport disparity between London and "the North"

DynamicSpirit

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The capacity issues were thought of and pfms 13/14 were an integral part of the scheme, but a kind caring man in London decided that it wasn't necessary to allow it to proceed. After all, how could Manchester possibly need both enhancements? He must have thought they were a greedy lot up there, wanting 2 upgrades at the same time. We're only building one Crossrail in London!
You're not really helping yourself by linking two completely separate projects in a way that reads a bit like 'if we can't have X they shouldn't have Y'. I'm pretty sure you'll find that almost everyone here would agree that the new Piccadilly platforms ought to be built. Personally I think the decision not to proceed was an awful decision. And at the same time I fully support Crossrail. In the end, both Crossrail and the extra Manchester Piccadilly platforms are projects that will help a lot of people, and make a big difference to public transport in their respective areas. Crossrail obviously is a bigger project, costing more, and with correspondingly bigger benefits. Both ought to be built. And both ought to be argued for independently on their own merits. But saying something along the lines of 'we should have X just because the other people have Y' or anything along those lines is not a sound argument.
 
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Bletchleyite

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The capacity issues were thought of and pfms 13/14 were an integral part of the scheme, but a kind caring man in London decided that it wasn't necessary to allow it to proceed. After all, how could Manchester possibly need both enhancements? He must have thought they were a greedy lot up there, wanting 2 upgrades at the same time. We're only building one Crossrail in London!
What was more stupid about this was that 15/16 were an essential part of making the Ordsall Chord useful, that without them the overall effect of the Chord is negative, and that if only one of the two was fundable 15/16 would have been preferable. The whole thing was idiotic.
 

cactustwirly

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What was more stupid about this was that 15/16 were an essential part of making the Ordsall Chord useful, that without them the overall effect of the Chord is negative, and that if only one of the two was fundable 15/16 would have been preferable. The whole thing was idiotic.
And 15/16 would be completely useless without quadruple tracking the route through Oxford Road, or else you're just moving the bottleneck along
 

bramling

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I'll have to check when I get home, but I'm pretty sure the figures I was comparing showed less spend per head in Yorkshire than in other regions in England and the South East.
Somewhere like Yorkshire having a lower spend per head would surely be in line with what one might expect, considering most of Yorkshire (Leeds area excepted) is very sparsely populated, and in parts also fairly easy terrain. Compare the cost and complexity of upgrading the A1 through Yorkshire with a section like Welwyn to Huntingdon, just to pick something which immediately springs to mind. One would expect every £ per head to go further.

The main issue with rail is lack of rolling stock, and I’m not sure this is simply a “lack of investment” issue, but more a case of planning blight with diesel trains over the last decade, and a misjudgement of growth levels back when the last franchises were specified.
 

bramling

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And 15/16 would be completely useless without quadruple tracking the route through Oxford Road, or else you're just moving the bottleneck along
And presumably there would also need to be extra turnback capacity at Manchester Airport station, considering the root cause of a lot of this is a desire to send as many trains as possible there.

It’s a matter of conjecture how different Manchester’s rail service might look now had the PiccVic scheme materialised.
 

Bletchleyite

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And 15/16 would be completely useless without quadruple tracking the route through Oxford Road, or else you're just moving the bottleneck along
That is false. A double-track line can take a train every minute or two (depending on signalling) - for instance the Merseyrail Loop Line was signalled for 30 second headways when built, though I believe when resignalled this has been reduced slightly, and most LU lines are signalled for that sort of throughput.

The primary benefit of 15/16 is that one train can be leaving as another is arriving, and that a problem with the train or a passenger on it does not block the whole corridor.

4-tracking the whole corridor is neither necessary nor likely to be financially viable. The only other necessary changes are at Oxford Road (lengthening, primarily, though 2 islands would be nice were it viable to reduce the impact of a platform alteration) and closure of Deansgate.
 

bramling

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As the tunnels would basically have taken what is now the Metrolink service, I'd imagine they'd have had no effect at all on the Castlefield issues.
But would a heavy rail service across the city (presumably nowadays it would include a service to Manc Airport although of course that wasn’t part of the scheme at the time) mean it would be more acceptable for less through working between the Piccadilly and Victoria sides of the network?

A tunnel from Victoria to Piccadilly could also in the right circumstances have rendered the Ordsall chord unnecessary if it could take services straight from the Miles Platting direction straight through to Longsight, avoiding Castlefield completely. I realise the proposed scheme didn’t quite do this.
 

Bletchleyite

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If that's possible in Manchester, why is it not possible at the lower reaches of the WCML when that isn't possible even with 6 lines?
Because of mixed stopping patterns, primarily. You could probably operate something like 30tph Euston-Northampton all stops on the slow lines, but people travelling to/from places like Bletchley would not really appreciate it. It'd be like (to give a Northern example) the CLC all stations service being the only Liverpool-Manchester service.

Add to that that your sections need to be rather longer for 125mph than they do for 20mph.
 

yorksrob

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Somewhere like Yorkshire having a lower spend per head would surely be in line with what one might expect, considering most of Yorkshire (Leeds area excepted) is very sparsely populated, and in parts also fairly easy terrain. Compare the cost and complexity of upgrading the A1 through Yorkshire with a section like Welwyn to Huntingdon, just to pick something which immediately springs to mind. One would expect every £ per head to go further.

The main issue with rail is lack of rolling stock, and I’m not sure this is simply a “lack of investment” issue, but more a case of planning blight with diesel trains over the last decade, and a misjudgement of growth levels back when the last franchises were specified.
I would have thought that with a more dispersed population, you would need a greater public transport spend per population.

I can understand planning blight to an extent, but if the trans-pennine network had been electrified during the last twenty years, this would have solved any such issues long ago.
 

The Ham

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Public transport is NOT the solution to this problem. Putting money into the "bad" schools to make them not bad schools is the solution.

All kids should attend their local school (thus avoiding unnecessary journeys), and all local schools should be good enough that nobody has an issue with this.
The problem is that there's times when a town of 9,000 has no secondary school and to access the "local" school involves a 2.5 to 3 mile walk to a village with a population of 4,500.
 

Bletchleyite

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The problem is that there's times when a town of 9,000 has no secondary school and to access the "local" school involves a 2.5 to 3 mile walk to a village with a population of 4,500.
In that case they need to build another school (or move it)!

The point is that education has a high (and consistent) enough demand that it should be possible for the majority of people to attend one within walking distance (for a non-disabled schoolchild, up to about 30 minutes walk, so about a mile and a half), another tranche within cycling distance (again up to about a 30 minute cycle journey, so perhaps 2-3 miles), another tranche by public transport, then only a tiny few in very rural areas by car.

It's not like employment where there might well be a factory up the road but that's no good for an IT consultant. It's a service that needs providing everywhere in the country at a consistently high standard (and with a consistent product).
 

The Ham

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What would be the theoretical issue in a fleet of 2 car emus that could be joined/split as required to form 4 cars? Does the stock serving the Lymington branch ever leave the branch during its daily diagram?
Given that until not that long ago the Lymington Branch was still served by slam door units (and subsequently the 158's), which were only used on the beach line. As such, chances are the amount of off the branch running is still fairly limited for the units running the services.

A couple of 230's (in addition to some for the Isle of Wight) could work well and free up a 450 for use elsewhere. Given that there's 4/5 (as well as longer trains too) coach trains which are running off peak or contra flow during the peaks which are full and standing (during normal operations, it gets a LOT worse when there's problems) any extra unit would be welcomed by those who benefit from it.

That's not too say that the North shouldn't be getting more investment, but looking to isolated examples isn't going to win any arguments.
 

The Ham

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In that case they need to build another school (or move it)!

The point is that education has a high (and consistent) enough demand that it should be possible for the majority of people to attend one within walking distance (for a non-disabled schoolchild, up to about 30 minutes walk, so about a mile and a half), another tranche within cycling distance (again up to about a 30 minute cycle journey, so perhaps 2-3 miles), another tranche by public transport, then only a tiny few in very rural areas by car.

It's not like employment where there might well be a factory up the road but that's no good for an IT consultant. It's a service that needs providing everywhere in the country at a consistently high standard (and with a consistent product).
The problem is that the assessment of if a child can get to school is that they are expected to walk up to 3 miles each way with no requirement for cycling. Nor is public transport considered, in the above example there's an hourly bus service whilst there's currently over 400 secondary school children.
 

hwl

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As a reminder on subsidy:
The London and South East commuter TOCs have total subsidy level including direct NR grant components allocated to operators between -8% and 17% (the highest average TOC subsidy per passenger being £1.20 for Anglia which induces the rural branch lines)

For TPE the total subsidy is 41% or an average of £5.74 per passenger
For Northern the total subsidy is 70% or an average of £6.46 per passenger

The current Northern and TPE franchises are about addressing the previous under investment during the no growth franchise and seeing how much the economics can be turned around.
Both Northern and TPE have shown they aren't resourced enough to cope with change.

DfT are probably waiting for the spending review this Autumn for funding before signing off on P15/16 as they are skint as well as waiting to see what the introduction of the new stock does for performance on P13/14.
 

RLBH

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The point is that education has a high (and consistent) enough demand that it should be possible for the majority of people to attend one within walking distance (for a non-disabled schoolchild, up to about 30 minutes walk, so about a mile and a half), another tranche within cycling distance (again up to about a 30 minute cycle journey, so perhaps 2-3 miles), another tranche by public transport, then only a tiny few in very rural areas by car.
And demand is totally predictable with at least a 5 year lead time. Families don't tend to move that much, so there's no excuse for not knowing to within a fairly high degree of confidence exactly how many school places will be needed in a certain area well ahead of time. That's less time than it takes to train a teacher or build a school.

I'm generally as much of a critic of London-centrism as anyone, so the gross regional product figures here are quite interesting. North and North-East London (one region) is the 6th least economically developed area in the UK on that scale, but Inner London (West) is far and away the best developed - with Inner London (East) in second place. There are plenty of underdeveloped areas in the south-east, and some areas (Cheshire, North-Eastern Scotland) that are doing very well outside the south-east.

Using the GRP figures and the EU's metric of 75% of the average being severely underdeveloped, though, the worst affected areas really aren't concentrated in northern England. A good number are, but less than half of the total. And, interestingly, Scotland actually does quite well.
 

Ken H

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As a reminder on subsidy:
The London and South East commuter TOCs have total subsidy level including direct NR grant components allocated to operators between -8% and 17% (the highest average TOC subsidy per passenger being £1.20 for Anglia which induces the rural branch lines)

For TPE the total subsidy is 41% or an average of £5.74 per passenger
For Northern the total subsidy is 70% or an average of £6.46 per passenger

The current Northern and TPE franchises are about addressing the previous under investment during the no growth franchise and seeing how much the economics can be turned around.
Both Northern and TPE have shown they aren't resourced enough to cope with change.

DfT are probably waiting for the spending review this Autumn for funding before signing off on P15/16 as they are skint as well as waiting to see what the introduction of the new stock does for performance on P13/14.
Depends how much rail demand is suppressed by the woeful service ooop norf. I wonder if when the new trains arrive they will quickly fill up, because people who have shunned standing on a pacer for an hour may come back to a service where they get a seat in a vehicle that does not cause back injuries.
 

mmh

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As far as OLE connected EMUs go, the problem is that the pantograph would be too close to the driving cab which in icy conditions can reduce the driver's visibility including of signals. Thus since the class 309/1s, there have not been any 2-car sets with pantographs manufactured for UK use.
Why isn't this an issue for locos? Class 395 and 800 have pantographs on the driving cars, also.
 

Bletchleyite

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Depends how much rail demand is suppressed by the woeful service ooop norf. I wonder if when the new trains arrive they will quickly fill up, because people who have shunned standing on a pacer for an hour may come back to a service where they get a seat in a vehicle that does not cause back injuries.
That is very much my concern, and is why I think 5-car is too short for the new TPE stock.
 

Djgr

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Depends how much rail demand is suppressed by the woeful service ooop norf. I wonder if when the new trains arrive they will quickly fill up, because people who have shunned standing on a pacer for an hour may come back to a service where they get a seat in a vehicle that does not cause back injuries.

Typing this on a train from Southampton to Bournemouth which is, perhaps, half full. Just wondering if I have EVER been on a train from Manchester to Leeds which is only half full?
 

Bletchleyite

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Typing this on a train from Southampton to Bournemouth which is, perhaps, half full. Just wondering if I have EVER been on a train from Manchester to Leeds which is only half full?
Though what you're doing there is comparing the outer end of the service with the busiest section of TPE.

If you looked at the loading on the same train as it passed/stopped at Clapham Jn it would look rather different. Or if you looked at that same TPE between Manchester and Manchester Airport it'd be even quieter than the SWR you're referring to.
 

Djgr

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Though what you're doing there is comparing the outer end of the service with the busiest section of TPE.

If you looked at the loading on the same train as it passed/stopped at Clapham Jn it would look rather different. Or if you looked at that same TPE between Manchester and Manchester Airport it'd be even quieter than the SWR you're referring to.
That's not my experience of Picc to Airport actually. Often standing room only.
 

Bletchleyite

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That's not my experience of Picc to Airport actually. Often standing room only.
I'm going to be blunt - I don't believe you, unless you've only done it in times of disruption or trains arriving Manchester Picc around 0830/leaving it around 1730. There is gross overprovision of capacity on that section and has been for years. I believe from previous threads the average number of passengers per train on that section of route is about 30.
 

Ken H

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I'm going to be blunt - I don't believe you, unless you've only done it in times of disruption or trains arriving Manchester Picc around 0830/leaving it around 1730. There is gross overprovision of capacity on that section and has been for years. I believe from previous threads the average number of passengers per train on that section of route is about 30.
But it is a nice handy place to turn trains round away from Manchester Centre
 

Bletchleyite

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But it is a nice handy place to turn trains round away from Manchester Centre
It is indeed - let's not turn this into another Ringway debate, though.

My point is that there is no sense in comparing a train in the outer reaches of its route with one in its busy core. The South East is different from the North - the former is unicentric and the latter multicentric. That means if you want to compare Manchester-Leeds, you need to look at what a similarly-timed train looks like just after leaving (or arriving at, as appropriate) its London terminus.

You can, after all, board a 12-car train on any day around 1900 going north from Leighton Buzzard with about 50 people on it. But that same train was full and standing leaving Euston, and there's no sensible way to remove coaches along the way without huge delay and cost.
 

hwl

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Depends how much rail demand is suppressed by the woeful service ooop norf. I wonder if when the new trains arrive they will quickly fill up, because people who have shunned standing on a pacer for an hour may come back to a service where they get a seat in a vehicle that does not cause back injuries.
Exactly I can see DfT wanting to see how quickly extra capacity is filled and what the performance though the bottleneck with new the stock with more doors + more stock with 1/3 + 2/3 doors is.
 

Ken H

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Exactly I can see DfT wanting to see how quickly extra capacity is filled and what the performance though the bottleneck with new the stock with more doors + more stock with 1/3 + 2/3 doors is.
The blackpool 319's must be helping. The EMT 158's must be a problem though
 

hwl

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The Blackpool 319's must be helping. The EMT 158's must be a problem though
If the 769s and the CAF stuff are in use before year end then it should be fairly easy to assess by this time next year, and the EMT 158 issue sorted when TPE take over Liverpool - Nottingham.
 

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Why isn't this an issue for locos? ...
There's no choice with locos, - except where two pantographs are fitted, always using the rearmost one.
... Class 395 and 800 have pantographs on the driving cars, also.
I've spent some time searching through likely threads on RUK but failed to find the post. AFAICR, the discussion was on the same subject, i.e. using two-car OLE powered EMUs on branch lines that were connected to electrified mainlines. The same comments as this thread came up like "I've not heard of any 2-car ac EMUs in the UK" to which a similar response to this thread was what about the class 309s, a class that is close to my heart. Sombody posted a comment that they (class 309s) were intentionally marshalled with any 309/1 2-car units' power cars away from either end. Clearly when they were run alone (not very often) that couldn't be so and when OLE contact conditions were poor, some drivers complained about the arcing which would be directly overhead and vivdly illuminated the formation directly in front of the train. I presume that was a member who was or had close links with GEML drivers.
As was the norm for MKI EMUs, the class 309 had a brake van area beneath the pantographs and it was best located at the end of the unit so as you say, it might be possible to use a moden 2-car set with the pantograph at the inner end of the power car. Another consideration is that the class 309s had the pantograph technology of the day, i.e. the Stone-Faiveley AMBR, which was nowhere as stable or stiff as more modern designs such as the Brecknell-Willis types, so maybe there might be a case for a few to be manufactured to enable these last islands of diesel to be eradicated. Of course with the ever increasing number of EMUs being introduced that don't have much compatibility control interfaces, the ultimate goal of their deployment in stand-alone mode and coupled to whatever runs on the mainline. That might be a case for some universal interface at some point in the future, (which the suppliers would probably scream about as being technically impossible).
 

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