North v. south investment (from MML thread)

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Senex

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Senex said:
And the 185s have been totally inadequate for the job from the day they appeared since London-DfT didn't allow four vehicles per unit to be ordered at the start and then wouldn't allow later construction of the additional vehicles. And on significant parts of the TP network they are not allowed to run at DMU speeds—brilliant procurement.

AOwen replied:
None of which are the fault of the units - which are decent quality long distance DMUs.

Senex said:
As for the 350/4s, outer suburban stock acquired for an inter-city route. Compare with Voyagers for Leeds to Scotland or Pendolinos/Voyagers for Birmingham to Scotland.

AOwen replied:
They are 2+2 seated stock. So the only thing you're complaining about is 1/3 2/3 doors rather than doors at each end. That's just plain daft. The 350s are used for various medium distance routes without issue.

Senex said:
Just one line actually being done at present, the 25 miles from Manchester to Euxton Jn, some 40 years later than first planned and at a snail's pace. No particularly good timings promised on completion. Stalybridge stopped, ultra-wierd plans rumoured for the continuation to Leeds if it ever gets done at all, no progress on tne other route to Wigan. Liverpool to Manchester done indeed, again some 40 years after it was first planned, but doesn't make as much sense as it would have done if Leeds had been done and somewhat disappointing on the infrastructure side. And the rolling stock provided is the aged non-air-conditioned 319s witn minimal refurbishment.

AOwen replied:
The 319s are fit for purpose for upgrading Manchester - Liverpool services. And they are available now, which new stock wouldn't be.

Senex said:
True, but much of the aged Southern stock was electric, which ages very much better than the diesel rattletraps we've got in the north.

AOwen replied:
Hang on a sec - not a moment ago you were complaining about 20 year old EMUs making their way north, now you're saying it was alright for the south to be using 20 year old EMUs when the Sprinters etc were being rolled out.....

Senex said:
And then, of course, there's the minimalist Manchester "sollution" of the Ordsall Chord (without any promises of the accompanying works at Piccadilly and Oxford Road. Compare the £85 million for that with the billions for Crossrail I, let alone add in Crossrail II. (And compare it against various cross-city links in Europe, the most recent being in Leipzig, a city in many ways very comparable to Manchester.)

AOwen replied:
London is a city of 10m people, Manchester is 2.5m.

The Central line - the one true 'east to west' line through central London is at capacity - which is what Crossrail will deal with. London has had minimal new rail lines in the last 30 years given the volume of traffic it handles.
 
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Senex

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Senex attempted to comment on AOwen's replies in the above post:
[This doesn't seem to have worked as I expected. We were instructed not to post off-topic in an MML thread and told that copy-and-paste would move material across to a new thread. It came across all right, but with a total loss of formating, so it read hopelessly unclearly. Editing is an attempt to indicate who said what. Sorry.]

I wanted to comment on the answer to my original comment to the effect that 350s work on various medium-distance routes without issue. That's of course true, but Manchester-Edinburgh/Glasgow is not medium distance. This is longer distance than most British London-based inter-city runs, within a couple of miles of London-Plymouth, and only ten miles less than London-Darlington.
And I would dispute that the 185s are long-distance DMUs rather than medium-distance stock. Manchester Airport-York in first in a crowded 185 was certainly not a pleasant long-distance experience!
 
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Senex

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Some figures from "Transport Spending by Region", House of Commons Library Briefing Paper 8130, 3 November 2017. Total public expenditure on rail 2011-2017 in London (NOT London & South East) £20,983,037. Total for the North West £5,024,151 — and total for NW, NE, and Yorks & Humber combined £9,138,403, or less than half London's figure for the whole of the North of England. In 2015-6 expenditure per head on rail was £746 in London, £203 in the North West. (Oh, and the BBC have just told us on today's news that the modernisation of London Bridge station has been a £1bn job.)
 

Senex

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And I'd like to move this one too, as requested — same format problems:

GRALISTAIR said:

Unfair and untrue - Blackpool to Preston is also being done and is coming on really fast. New signals along entire route to Manchester. Farnworth Tunnel was great planning for the future -not done on the cheap.

Liverpool LS station etc being modernized too.


The point I was answering was "There is a lot of electrification going on in the Manchester area ..." [my italics]. Blackpool to Preston is not in the Manchester area — Preston normally counts as Central Lancashire. (Likewise Liverpool LS is most certainly not in the Manchester area and I'm sure many proud Liverpudlians would be deeply offended to be told that that's where they live.)
Farnworth Tunnel was indeed a good job, and another example of the way in which Network Rail and its contractors really do seem able to deliver on their purely civil engineering contracts. But it seems to be a single bright spot.
 

DanTrain

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The North-West at least does reasonably at the moment (nothing compared to London, but...) On the other hand, Yorkshire and the North East is left behind, with very little to name that's planned now transpennine electrifacation is paused and MML cancelled. This region is heavily concentrated with pacers, so will benefit when they go, but I don't think removing 30 year old rail buses built as a stopgap really counts as much progress. When we see wires in Sheffield, electrics on TPE and significant improvements in local services, then maybe the funding gap is lessened.
 
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