Metrolink coming to Bolton (?) - Shapps

apk55

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I really appreciate your trust in human nature where car owners would willingly forsake the use of their car (that offers transport "from their front door") than considering other modes of transport from their home address, thinking of days when the rain is "lashing down" or when the snow "lies deep and crisp and even".
If the only local transport is an infrequent slow local bus that does not go to Manchester so involving a change and the nearest Metrolink stop is 2 miles away then I would park and ride. Put a tram stop half a mile away with a frequent service to Manchester and I would probably walk to the tram stop
 
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Xenophon PCDGS

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The ELR sells tourist experiences, Metrolink sells public transport. They might both do so using similar principles of railway operation, but that's where the similarity ends. There is almost no overlap at all between their businesses.
How many other "tourist experiences" are noted features of Bury (besides the iconic Bury Market) that will attract visitors from far and wide to the town, whereas (in case you are unaware of this fact) there are already bus services from Bury bus station to the Rawtenstall area that pass through areas where, to use the oft-cited Captain James T. Kirk phrase, Metrolink trams will "boldly go where no tram has even been before".
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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If the only local transport is an infrequent slow local bus that does not go to Manchester so involving a change and the nearest Metrolink stop is 2 miles away then I would park and ride. Put a tram stop half a mile away with a frequent service to Manchester and I would probably walk to the tram stop
I admire your healthy view of walking, but I do feel there are numerous other people who most certainly do not.
 

edwin_m

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I admire your healthy view of walking, but I do feel there are numerous other people who most certainly do not.
Many people will walk for 10-20min to catch a train or tram every day. Not everyone is totally wedded to their cars, some will see it as good exercise and there is a worthwhile financial saving if for example it allows a family to get by with one car instead of two. I suggest you take a look into the phenomenon of "Elite Projection" as applied to transport planning.
https://humantransit.org/2017/07/the-dangers-of-elite-projection.html
Elite projection is the belief, among relatively fortunate and influential people, that what those people find convenient or attractive is good for the society as a whole.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Just a general query addressed to those qualified to answer. If steam engines on a heritage railway emit the type of dark smoke from their chimneys when running on the same lines as a Metrolink tramway with OHLE, would this said smoke cause a type of coating to be applied to the OHLE wires that the pantograph collects power from?
 

Bletchleyite

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Many people will walk for 10-20min to catch a train or tram every day. Not everyone is totally wedded to their cars, some will see it as good exercise and there is a worthwhile financial saving if for example it allows a family to get by with one car instead of two. I suggest you take a look into the phenomenon of "Elite Projection" as applied to transport planning.
https://humantransit.org/2017/07/the-dangers-of-elite-projection.html
You might want to look at Merseyrail, being a similar concept to Metrolink, for this. People will and do walk to their nearby local station, many of which don't have any parking or have very little.
 

Bletchleyite

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How many other "tourist experiences" are noted features of Bury (besides the iconic Bury Market) that will attract visitors from far and wide to the town, whereas (in case you are unaware of this fact) there are already bus services from Bury bus station to the Rawtenstall area that pass through areas where, to use the oft-cited Captain James T. Kirk phrase, Metrolink trams will "boldly go where no tram has even been before".
I'm not sure I understand the point there. People go to preserved railways for a ride on a steam (or very old diesel) train, or for an event the railway is putting on like a Santa Special. What else is or isn't there is of little consequence, really.

They are very occasionally useful for public transport, but not often. You might get people who are in Bury saying "let's go for a ride on the train" but not many - most people will plan the journey in advance and will drive there.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Many people will walk for 10-20min to catch a train or tram every day. Not everyone is totally wedded to their cars, some will see it as good exercise and there is a worthwhile financial saving if for example it allows a family to get by with one car instead of two. I suggest you take a look into the phenomenon of "Elite Projection" as applied to transport planning.
https://humantransit.org/2017/07/the-dangers-of-elite-projection.html
It may be of interest to you that about eight years ago, I was one of those who were collecting information from about the very subject above and I recently came across the total survey results from the area surveyed that contains the rail stations of Bramhall, Poynton, Adlington (Cheshire) and Prestbury. The figure of those with car ownership who would NOT consider walking to the railway station was 94.6%. Admittedly these are "better-heeled" area where two, three or four cars per household surveyed were seen as the norm.

Incidentally, for those who have known of me on this website under my former username and my current username for many years, may be interested to know that we have just relocated from our former 18th century six-bedroom home on the Prestbury/Mottram St Andrew border area of "The Golden Triangle" to a five-bedroom detached house in the Handforth area of Cheshire East on medical grounds, as my 78 year old good lady wife is now unfortunately in the early stages of a dementia-type affliction and we needed to be more at hand to access medical emergency services. I did make a recovery from the stroke that I suffered in July 2012, but I too have recently been afflicted with a chronic form of dystonia that affected the nerve connections from right hand to my arm and other associated wrist-area problems. I have learnt to wet-shave left-handed.
 

Ianno87

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Just a general query addressed to those qualified to answer. If steam engines on a heritage railway emit the type of dark smoke from their chimneys when running on the same lines as a Metrolink tramway with OHLE, would this said smoke cause a type of coating to be applied to the OHLE wires that the pantograph collects power from?
Can't answer that question, but having Metrolink wires at sufficient height to permit steam engines to run under them will be a pretty significant gauge constraint on the route.

...bi-mode Tram Trains perhaps...?
 

Bletchleyite

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Can't answer that question, but having Metrolink wires at sufficient height to permit steam engines to run under them will be a pretty significant gauge constraint on the route.

...bi-mode Tram Trains perhaps...?
The ELR have, or had, a contract to provide traction for Metrolink engineering trains on the Bury line. On at least one occasion (there is video of it online somewhere) a steam locomotive was provided as the intended diesel had failed. So it's clearly possible.
 

sprunt

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An extension of Metrolink from Bury taking over the ELR seems very unlikely. I'd estimate the probability of an extension directly north from the existing Bury station as zero - it would require a tunnel being bored under Bury town centre to rejoin the line north of the Bury Bolton Street ELR station, it's a complete non-starter.

The alternative would be to bypass Bury station - the junction between the Metrolink line and the ELR is here [google maps link] - and convert Bolton Street station into a Metrolink stop. Which is possible but it's not a great location within Bury for a station, it's right on the other side of the town from the new shopping centre. The stretch of line between the junction and Bolton Street station doesn't look like it's in a great state from the overhead view, but it must be better than I thought as the ELR is providing traction for Metrolink engineering trains I suppose. It does go over a level crossing though - would reintroducing an old level crossing (it was on the Bury-Manchester line before that was redirected into the current station) into regular reuse be acceptable? That said, the road it crosses is very minor, in bad condition and I suspect would be a strong candidate for closure were it a railway line.

It's a nice idea, but I can't really see a sensible way of doing it within the existing infrastructure.
 

Ianno87

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The ELR have, or had, a contract to provide traction for Metrolink engineering trains on the Bury line. On at least one occasion (there is video of it online somewhere) a steam locomotive was provided as the intended diesel had failed. So it's clearly possible.
Presumably with the power switched off, and a tiny tank engine? (I.e. bot Union of South Africa or something).

I know that Class 08s used for such duties have to be reduce gauge versions.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The alternative would be to bypass Bury station - the junction between the Metrolink line and the ELR is here [google maps link] - and convert Bolton Street station into a Metrolink stop. Which is possible but it's not a great location within Bury for a station, it's right on the other side of the town from the new shopping centre.
Firstly, Bolton Street station is quite historical at platform levels, it being built some 174 years ago by the East Lancashire Railway in 1846, and secondly, your statement that "it's right on the other side of the town" does not bear veracity, as my wife and I (78 and 74 respectively) can walk to it from the bus/tram interchange in a matter of minutes.

However, this thread concerns Metrolink coming to Bolton, Bury already has Metrolink services.
 
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sprunt

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Firstly, Bolton Street station is quite historical at platform levels, it being built some 174 years ago by the East Lancashire Railway in 1846
I'm not sure what you're arguing with here. I didn't say anything contrary to that.

and secondly, your statement that "it's right on the other side of the town" does not bear veracity, as my wife and I (78 and 74 respectively) can walk to it from the bus/tram interchange in a matter of minutes.
I didn't say anything about the distance between Bolton Street station and the interchange. My full quote, that you truncated, was "it's right on the other side of the town from the new shopping centre." Does this bear sufficient veracity for you?
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I'm not sure what you're arguing with here. I didn't say anything contrary to that.
It was the flippant way you referred to Bury Bolton Street railway station as just a possible Metrolink station without seemingly any thought as to its very long past history going back 174 years, especially with its role in the East Lancashire Railway.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I didn't say anything about the distance between Bolton Street station and the interchange. My full quote, that you truncated, was "it's right on the other side of the town from the new shopping centre." Does this bear sufficient veracity for you?
Many people who use the current Bury interchange do so in order to access the iconic Bury market and also the shopping mall that so adjoins it.
 

sprunt

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It was the flippant way you referred to Bury Bolton Street railway station as just a possible Metrolink station without seemingly any thought as to its very long past history going back 174 years, especially with its role in the East Lancashire Railway.
I said it was "possible". I apologise for not having performed a full impact analysis but it seemed like it would have been overkill in the absence of any actual serious proposal to convert it into a Metrolink station.

Many people who use the current Bury interchange do so in order to access the iconic Bury market and also the shopping mall that so adjoins it.
I am aware of this. It doesn't alter the fact that Bolton Street station is on the far edge of Bury town centre from the Rock shopping centre that opened in the last few years. You don't need to educate me about any aspect of Bury town centre. I'm from Bury.
 

geoffk

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But the Atherton line doesn't go to Bolton ?!
It would if you come off at Walkden then use the old LNWR Bolton Great Moor Street line, still in existence as a footpath/cycle route. How feasible this would be I've no idea and the Atherton line would need to revert to four tracks.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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It would if you come off at Walkden then use the old LNWR Bolton Great Moor Street line, still in existence as a footpath/cycle route. How feasible this would be I've no idea and the Atherton line would need to revert to four tracks.
On that former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway four-track section to which you refer, are there now any more recently installed railway-associated infrastructural items that would be seen now as a problem? Is the Atherton line still viewed as being an accredited National Rail diversionary route? Incidentally, the train that I travelled on yesterday to Hebden Bridge was a Wigan Wallgate to Leeds service that used the Atherton line.
 

edwin_m

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It would if you come off at Walkden then use the old LNWR Bolton Great Moor Street line, still in existence as a footpath/cycle route. How feasible this would be I've no idea and the Atherton line would need to revert to four tracks.
I've walked the first bit. The connection at the crossing of the Atherton line would be difficult, especially if you wanted to retain heavy rail as well, due to the height difference and being surrounded by housing. There's an alternative option nearby using a bit of one of the former colliery lines.

There would be quite a bit to do to get the line through Little Hulton back to service. The bridge under the A6 obviously has structural problems and has been propped, there are several pipe bridges that probably wouldn't give OLE clearance and manholes indicating a major water main or sewer using the formation. The bridge at Cleggs Lane has been removed or infilled. I didn't look beyond there.

On that former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway four-track section to which you refer, are there now any more recently installed railway-associated infrastructural items that would be seen now as a problem? Is the Atherton line still viewed as being an accredited National Rail diversionary route? Incidentally, the train that I travelled on yesterday to Hebden Bridge was a Wigan Wallgate to Leeds service that used the Atherton line.
There is a series of four bridges where the M60 and its various parallel roads pass over, all of which I believe are two-track only. With two other routes between Wigan and Manchester I don't think Crow Nest Junction to Salford Crescent would be essential for diversions.
 

Stevenrobbo

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I would think the easiest/cheapest way to get trams to Bolton has got to be, coming off the main at Radcliffe and then some street running to old railway line. Possible stations at town centre or Asda, and then some more street running to an interchange in Bolton centre.
They may want to alter the route to serve some housing estates.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I would think the easiest/cheapest way to get trams to Bolton has got to be, coming off the main at Radcliffe and then some street running to old railway line. Possible stations at town centre or Asda, and then some more street running to an interchange in Bolton centre.
They may want to alter the route to serve some housing estates.

Could the post-Brexit scenario and the astronomical Covid-19 related sums used by Government have any impact on the future expansions plans of TfGM and other large UK city areas with light rail systems?
 

Ianno87

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Could the post-Brexit scenario and the astronomical Covid-19 related sums used by Government have any impact on the future expansions plans of TfGM and other large UK city areas with light rail systems?
Possibly. Although this scheme has been submitted for the "Restoring Beeching Cuts" fund.

Hopefully, the Government will see infrastructure investment as supporting economic recovery.
 

edwin_m

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Could the post-Brexit scenario and the astronomical Covid-19 related sums used by Government have any impact on the future expansions plans of TfGM and other large UK city areas with light rail systems?
The short answer is that we have no idea. The government says it is committed to major infrastructure projects but on past performance I wouldn't put money on them keeping their promises.
 

C J Snarzell

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Given the huge impact Covid19 has had on the Metrolink it is very unlikely any new projects will get the go ahead for the foreseeable future.

Bolton is already served by the train services running via Salford into Central Manchester. Bolton has recently benefited from a new bus terminal outside the main train station on Newport Street. Therefore, I can't see how planning a new phase of Metrolink with Bolton would be viable.
 

Ianno87

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Given the huge impact Covid19 has had on the Metrolink it is very unlikely any new projects will get the go ahead for the foreseeable future.

Bolton is already served by the train services running via Salford into Central Manchester. Bolton has recently benefited from a new bus terminal outside the main train station on Newport Street. Therefore, I can't see how planning a new phase of Metrolink with Bolton would be viable.
I think an extension to Bolton via Radcliffe does give new rail access to a relatively densely populated area with road congestion currently remote from the current Bolton station, and existing Metrolink at Radcliffe.

I think it is still too early to be making project judgements on post-Covid demand. Metrolink fulfills the purpose of people wanting to be connected to each other, which will resurge once social distancing is no more (even if commuting demand doesn't).
 

WatcherZero

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The government has today announced its putting another £10m from the Covid economic stimulus into the Castlefield Corridor/City centre rail congestion studies (Part of the 100 day turnaround plan at Northern) so money is being made available for commuter projects.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The government has today announced its putting another £10m from the Covid economic stimulus into the Castlefield Corridor/City centre rail congestion studies (Part of the 100 day turnaround plan at Northern) so money is being made available for commuter projects.
But that particular matter is specific to heavy rail, not light rail.
 

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