Metrolink coming to Bolton (?) - Shapps

Howardh

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TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Shapps will today signal that Manchester’s Metrolink is finally coming to Bolton.

He said that if the Conservatives win the December 12 General Election they will provide the millions of pounds needed to extend the tram network to the town and Stockport.
https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/new...apps/?action=success#comments-feedback-anchor

Scnapps? Think he's been on them. I suppos eit IS possible to link Bolton to the Metrolink, but raises many questions.

1. If it's instead of the current rail then what's the point of upgrading the current line (and all the subsequent through traffic)?
2. If it runs over the existing lines trains/trams will hold each other up, and who would really prefer the trams over larger trains that would be quicker and have more facilities (toilets?)
3. There's an argument for street running from town to Highfield where it could then be built over the old lines to Monton - then street running to Eccles to join the Metro there (but what a long-winded way round but does cover areas without a train link)
4. Or simply turn the Atherton line to Metrolink?

Thoughts?

Of course nothing to do with the forthcoming election!
 
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yorksrob

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But the Atherton line doesn't go to Bolton ?!

My guess would be as a reinstatement of the line from Bury (in the event this comes to anything).
 

tbtc

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I don't know the logistics of it but there are some intermediate stations on the line from Bolton to Manchester that have fairly poor services for "urban" stops - not the kind of "turn up and go" frequency at Farnworth etc - I think that conversion of the Atherton line to Metrolink would be better though (given how poorly it serves the urban populations along that corridor).

I don't know about Bury - Bolton but it sustains a frequent bus service so I guess it must be viable for Metrolink conversion - it may be that the plans to connect "Bolton and Stockport" isn't to central Manchester but to existing bits of Metrolink (Bury and the Airport)
 

Howardh

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But the Atherton line doesn't go to Bolton ?!

My guess would be as a reinstatement of the line from Bury (in the event this comes to anything).
Think Atherton is in the Bolton West constituency! Daisy Hill is in Bolton so technically the line would "come to" Bolton. That line is ripe for metrolink; however what would happen at the Manchester end where it joins the "main" line? If the frequency were increased and the trams running on the main line then wouldn't that simply add to congestion between Salford Crescent and Victoria?
With a bit of development in Walkden it could be possible for a line from Highfield, Farnworth (south Bolton) to link to that Atherton line with the aim of extending it by road-running from Highfield into Bolton centre adjacent to the station. In the great scheme of things, that might not be so expensive...but how many would use it??
Think the priority for Bolton residents is getting a fast dedicated 24hr bus link to the airport (via Trafford Centre I suppose) so we can avoid central Manchester.
 

Howardh

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I think the most useful way of connecting Bolton would be with a line from Bury
Some of the old railway line has been developed on, so if that were to be used then there would be compulsory purchase of land - some of which has newbuild on. But these old lines countrywide should never have been built on and kept mothballed, but what price hindsight?
 

yorksrob

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Think Atherton is in the Bolton West constituency! Daisy Hill is in Bolton so technically the line would "come to" Bolton. That line is ripe for metrolink; however what would happen at the Manchester end where it joins the "main" line? If the frequency were increased and the trams running on the main line then wouldn't that simply add to congestion between Salford Crescent and Victoria?
With a bit of development in Walkden it could be possible for a line from Highfield, Farnworth (south Bolton) to link to that Atherton line with the aim of extending it by road-running from Highfield into Bolton centre adjacent to the station. In the great scheme of things, that might not be so expensive...but how many would use it??
Think the priority for Bolton residents is getting a fast dedicated 24hr bus link to the airport (via Trafford Centre I suppose) so we can avoid central Manchester.
Well, I would dispute that the Atherton line is 'ripe for metrolink'. It's far too long for a start.

If the Minister is saying Bolton, I would have thought he'd mean Bolton the town, otherwise we could advertise Rochdale as being on trans-pennine by way of having a a station at Greenford.

If he means from Bury, one of the benefits of a tram is that it could skirt around the development on the route.
 

trickyvegas

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Some of the old railway line has been developed on, so if that were to be used then there would be compulsory purchase of land - some of which has newbuild on. But these old lines countrywide should never have been built on and kept mothballed, but what price hindsight?
I wouldn't say it has to faithfully follow the old railway line as the route can also utilise roads as well.
 

Howardh

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I wouldn't say it has to faithfully follow the old railway line as the route can also utilise roads as well.
Yes, but the roads are clogged up already without having trams on them! I suppose, with a little on-road diversion around Darcy Lever, the biggest issue would be Bradley Fold where either a very expensive tunnel would have to be built, modern houses demolished or a diversion around the estate back on to the old line. So it's not impossible but I doubt there are any plans and linking Bolton to Manchester is far more important. But regards Bolton/Bury, why trams and not a dedicated bus route using the old railway and on-road running around/through the built-up areas? Also the old Moor Lane - Manchester rail line is available, certainly to the south of Highfield and would make more sense for that to be a dedicated busway where it could road-run into Bolton and meet the Metro at Eccles.

However; it is possible that at Radcliffe the Bury/Manchester line could branch off towards Bolton along that old line thus (a) linking SE Bolton to Victoria and (b) meaning trams on the hard rail aren't getting in the way between Salford and Victoria. And also a curve allowing Bolton - Bury trams. But how much of a demand would there be?? The only benefit would really be those living in Little Lever, those of us in Bolton would find it to be the longer, slower way round to Manchester.

Nope, think we should abandon thoughts of the Metro coming to Bolton and concentrate on guided busways instead, and have trollybusses back to around town!
 
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Ianno87

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The local stations between Bolton and Manchester (Clifton, Kearsley, Farnworth and Moses Gate) are a bit of a nuisance and get in the way of more fast services while themselves receiving a very poor service - could this scheme serve them better?
Most feasible way of doing that would be basically running a tram down the (historic) A666 through the centre of Farnworth, etc. (i.e. basically the number 8 bus route) But that would be a looooong street running tram and would be little better than the bus for journey times.


My money would be on, if this did see the light of day, a route joining with the Bury line at Radcliffe (i.e. re-instating the old railway, just diverting around the built-on bits); probably the lowest cost overall.

(a route joining to the Eccles line via Walkden/Worsley/Plodder Lane etc, whilst probably being better at serving a non-rail served area and location like the Royal Bolton Hospital, and connect Bolton to Salford Quays directly, would be much more expensive *unless* it were done jointly with an Atherton line conversion.)
 

WatcherZero

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Hes probably calling out Bolton because they have a chance of increasing their seats there to two, he also specifically called out Stockport which has been blue in the past. Polling has also put Leigh as going marginal blue.
 

Ianno87

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Hes probably calling out Bolton because they have a chance of increasing their seats there to two, he also specifically called out Stockport which has been blue in the past. Polling has also put Leigh as going marginal blue.
Yes, this is no doubt "vote for us" electioneering, pure and simple.
 

Howardh

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The local stations between Bolton and Manchester (Clifton, Kearsley, Farnworth and Moses Gate) are a bit of a nuisance and get in the way of more fast services while themselves receiving a very poor service - could this scheme serve them better?
They do and the service to them is appalling. Maybe best to scrap Moses Gate and Kearsley and make Farnworth a hub station with better facilities and local buses calling there frequently, and more trains stopping. But on saying that, Farnworth looks tucked away and short of space, could regular buses serve it?
 

geoffk

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Think Atherton is in the Bolton West constituency! Daisy Hill is in Bolton so technically the line would "come to" Bolton. That line is ripe for metrolink; however what would happen at the Manchester end where it joins the "main" line? If the frequency were increased and the trams running on the main line then wouldn't that simply add to congestion between Salford Crescent and Victoria?
With a bit of development in Walkden it could be possible for a line from Highfield, Farnworth (south Bolton) to link to that Atherton line with the aim of extending it by road-running from Highfield into Bolton centre adjacent to the station. In the great scheme of things, that might not be so expensive...but how many would use it??
Think the priority for Bolton residents is getting a fast dedicated 24hr bus link to the airport (via Trafford Centre I suppose) so we can avoid central Manchester.
Re-quadruple the Atherton line as far as Walkden, use two tracks for Metrolink then send it over the old LNWR line through Little Hulton via Royal Bolton Hospital into town. A few snags with that though; part of the route is now a cycle track/footpath and not all the Atherton line will take two more tracks, especially where the M60 goes over. Also where would you connect to the existing Metrolink tracks?
 

Ianno87

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They do and the service to them is appalling. Maybe best to scrap Moses Gate and Kearsley and make Farnworth a hub station with better facilities and local buses calling there frequently, and more trains stopping. But on saying that, Farnworth looks tucked away and short of space, could regular buses serve it?
Doubt it - down some quite narrow streets. The 512/513 down there used midi-buses (Optare Solos and the like)

Moses Gate is probably more popular as the South Bolton sort-of 'railhead' being served immediately by bus routes like the 524.

Re-quadruple the Atherton line as far as Walkden, use two tracks for Metrolink then send it over the old LNWR line through Little Hulton via Royal Bolton Hospital into town. A few snags with that though; part of the route is now a cycle track/footpath and not all the Atherton line will take two more tracks, especially where the M60 goes over. Also where would you connect to the existing Metrolink tracks?
Only one that makes sense would be a third city crossing running NW-SE via The Crescent (or similar).

Or joining up with the Eccles line on the former railway via Worsley/Monton, but a slow journey time and need to cross the M602.
 

edwin_m

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Well, I would dispute that the Atherton line is 'ripe for metrolink'. It's far too long for a start.

If the Minister is saying Bolton, I would have thought he'd mean Bolton the town, otherwise we could advertise Rochdale as being on trans-pennine by way of having a a station at Greenford.
It's likely that any tram-train development of Metrolink would use a double-length vehicle with seating that's more suitable for longer distances, rather like the ones in Karlsruhe where the doors, wheelchair spaces etc are all in the end sections leaving the middle to a more train-like environment. Some of them even had bars, though they didn't last very long.

Do you mean Oldham and Greenfield?

(a route joining to the Eccles line via Walkden/Worsley/Plodder Lane etc, whilst probably being better at serving a non-rail served area and location like the Royal Bolton Hospital, and connect Bolton to Salford Quays directly, would be much more expensive *unless* it were done jointly with an Atherton line conversion.)
It would also be too slow for central Manchester due to all the winding round Salford Quays.
 

Bletchleyite

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It's likely that any tram-train development of Metrolink would use a double-length vehicle with seating that's more suitable for longer distances, rather like the ones in Karlsruhe where the doors, wheelchair spaces etc are all in the end sections leaving the middle to a more train-like environment. Some of them even had bars, though they didn't last very long.
Sheffield's layout would seem a good idea for all of Metrolink - and much easier to do in a high floor tram. Perhaps they could extend them all to 4 sections with two sections of airline seating with one door per section in the middle? They are pretty much standee trams as it, er, stands, unlike the originals which had plenty of 2+2 airline seating.
 

edwin_m

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Sheffield's layout would seem a good idea for all of Metrolink - and much easier to do in a high floor tram. Perhaps they could extend them all to 4 sections with two sections of airline seating with one door per section in the middle? They are pretty much standee trams as it, er, stands, unlike the originals which had plenty of 2+2 airline seating.
Unless powered only by 750V which is unlikely, tram-trains have to be longer than standard Metrolink vehicles to provide enough roof space for two sets of power equipment, unless some of it could be re-engineered to go under a high floor. But I agree there are so many existing trams that spend their whole time running in pairs that TfGM's next batch of trams ought to be double length even if they decide not to go for tram-train. As well as a more appropriate seating layout, saving two cabs per pair ought to be cheaper as well as making more passenger space. There are still routes where the demand only justifies singles, but the existing fleet can cover those.
 

Bletchleyite

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Unless powered only by 750V which is unlikely, tram-trains have to be longer than standard Metrolink vehicles to provide enough roof space for two sets of power equipment, unless some of it could be re-engineered to go under a high floor. But I agree there are so many existing trams that spend their whole time running in pairs that TfGM's next batch of trams ought to be double length even if they decide not to go for tram-train. There are still routes where the demand only justifies singles, but the existing fleet can cover those.
I'm not sure I wouldn't just go the way TfL did and just make everything full length - far simpler, and passengers can enjoy a double seat at quieter times.
 

edwin_m

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I'm not sure I wouldn't just go the way TfL did and just make everything full length - far simpler, and passengers can enjoy a double seat at quieter times.
The fact some trams are single does have a noticeable benefit for route capacity, such as the scope for two services to pull up at the city centre stops.
 

apk55

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While reinstating the line from line from Radcliffe or Bury to Bolton would involve a lot of property acquisition and demolition i would think this route would viable and worth doing. There has been a lot of development along the route at Little Lever etc so a lot of potential traffic. Radcliffe park and ride is huge and very busy and I suspect a lot of the traffic comes from these hosing estates.
 

Ianno87

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The fact some trams are single does have a noticeable benefit for route capacity, such as the scope for two services to pull up at the city centre stops.
The amount of circulation space in side no doubt helps dwell times.

While reinstating the line from line from Radcliffe or Bury to Bolton would involve a lot of property acquisition and demolition i would think this route would viable and worth doing. There has been a lot of development along the route at Little Lever etc so a lot of potential traffic. Radcliffe park and ride is huge and very busy and I suspect a lot of the traffic comes from these hosing estates.
Good point; Radcliffe is currently quite a convenient railhead for a lot of the northern and eastern side of Bolton.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The local stations between Bolton and Manchester (Clifton, Kearsley, Farnworth and Moses Gate) are a bit of a nuisance and get in the way of more fast services while themselves receiving a very poor service - could this scheme serve them better?
Just in case that line is thought of as a new Metrolink route, what about the existing non-stop heavy rail services that already run from Salford Crescent direct to Bolton?
 
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Xenophon PCDGS

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While reinstating the line from line from Radcliffe or Bury to Bolton would involve a lot of property acquisition and demolition, I would think this route would viable and worth doing.
I am sure that owners of houses on that proposed route would be delighted to give up living in existing houses in the area, just so a tram line could be instated...:rolleyes:

Perhaps you may like to visit the proposed properties and put your stated reasons to them for consideration and show proposed areas where they may be relocated. One matter would possibly of worry to them and that is having to source new schools for their children to attend with all the educational disruption that would entail.
 

Bletchleyite

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Just in case that line is thought of as a new Metrolink route, what about the existing non-stop heavy rail services that already run from Salford Crescent direct to Bolton?
I wasn't suggesting they'd run trams up that route, but rather the stations would close (as they rather get in the way of faster services) and be replaced by trams on a different (road?) alignment.
 

Meerkat

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I am sure that owners of houses on that proposed route would be delighted to give up living in existing houses in the area, just so a tram line could be instated...:rolleyes:

Perhaps you may like to visit the proposed properties and put your stated reasons to them for consideration and show proposed areas where they may be relocated. One matter would possibly of worry to them and that is having to source new schools for their children to attend with all the educational disruption that would entail.
the good of the many....
Wouldn’t necessarily have to move far if the offer to buy by Metrolink is far enough in advance that there is a good chance of a neighbour wanting to sell.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I wasn't suggesting they'd run trams up that route, but rather the stations would close (as they rather get in the way of faster services) and be replaced by trams on a different (road?) alignment.
That brings to mind the long road-running sections of the Ashton-under-Lyne Metrolink line and the subsequent disruption to the main travel roads along the route that occurred and the time these took to effect. Have you considered the actual required mileage of road running your scenario would entail and the time needed to fully complete the scheme?
 

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