North Wales into Liverpool gains Ministerial support

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merlodlliw

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From todays North East Wales edition of the regional Daily Post

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/nor...-for-region-s-transport-links-55578-31416230/

In a nutshell, Wales Rail Minister Carl Sergeants support statement



“I want to see North Wales properly connected to the electric network around Liverpool,” he said.

Many AMs had raised with him the importance of links to Liverpool and airports from the region,
 
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As much as I think this is long overdue, I don't think it will be something that will be put into service in the near future.

I would like to see however a direct Liverpool to Wales service in the future.
 

aformeruser

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I wonder if the Halton curve was reinstated whether they would consider North Wales-Liverpool services in place of North Wales-South Wales services.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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From todays North East Wales edition of the regional Daily Post
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/nor...-for-region-s-transport-links-55578-31416230/
In a nutshell, Wales Rail Minister Carl Sergeants support statement
“I want to see North Wales properly connected to the electric network around Liverpool,” he said.
Many AMs had raised with him the importance of links to Liverpool and airports from the region,
Unfortunately he isn't the minister with the cheque book.
On top of which the 3rd rail network is being consigned to the history books.
Might as well concentrate on getting something out of CP6 in 5 years' time.
 

6Gman

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I wonder if the Halton curve was reinstated whether they would consider North Wales-Liverpool services in place of North Wales-South Wales services.
No.

Because the Welsh political establishment wants North Wales to consider Cardiff a "very, very important place" and wouldn't wish to prejudice that in any way.
 

merlodlliw

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Since all important decisions for the north are made in Cardiff, it is a very important place.
Fortunately not all important decisions for the North are made in Cardiff, The Ministers constituency borders Cheshire and he is aware of cross border rail travel for work,the WG rail unit & ATW are having difficulty pulling the wool over this rail Ministers eyes
 

exile

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Unfortunately he isn't the minister with the cheque book.
On top of which the 3rd rail network is being consigned to the history books.
Might as well concentrate on getting something out of CP6 in 5 years' time.
If the Halton curve is used the connection would be to the overhead at Runcorn.
 

Michael.Y

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the WG rail unit & ATW are having difficulty pulling the wool over this rail Ministers eyes
What kind of doublespeak is this? The "WG rail unit" and the rail minister are surely one and the same thing? (if by "WG rail unit" you mean the department of the Welsh Government dedicated to rail travel) OK - yes - I know how the civil service works (I've seen Yes Minister) but still could you explain exactly who you are targeting with your criticism here?

As for ATW, they operate within the confines of their franchise. As for service discrepancy between N Wales and NW England, as opposed to Cardiff, I count 15 daily services between, for example, Llandudno Junction and Manchester, and 13 services between Llandudno Junction and Crewe, compared to 9 daily services to Cardiff, which as we know is shrinking to 8 from September.
 

merlodlliw

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What kind of doublespeak is this? The "WG rail unit" and the rail minister are surely one and the same thing? (if by "WG rail unit" you mean the department of the Welsh Government dedicated to rail travel) OK - yes - I know how the civil service works (I've seen Yes Minister) but still could you explain exactly who you are targeting with your criticism here?

As for ATW, they operate within the confines of their franchise. As for service discrepancy between N Wales and NW England, as opposed to Cardiff, I count 15 daily services between, for example, Llandudno Junction and Manchester, and 13 services between Llandudno Junction and Crewe, compared to 9 daily services to Cardiff, which as we know is shrinking to 8 from September.
The Welsh Government rail unit is one of many units in Welsh Government,answerable to the Ministers portfolio, they are not they same thing, these units or divisions advise the Minister.
Not all Ministers are the same, the Current Minister Carl Sargeant is known to question the Rail Units advice more deeply than his predecessors', the same goes for ATWs WG team.
Having attended the Public Transport Users Committee for Wales workshop in Wrexham last month, it was evident they had little knowledge of North East Wales railways, but speaking to a member of this committee,I was told this Minister was far more proactive in questioning decisions put forward by the WG rail Unit & ATW.

So what's wrong with a North Wales to Liverpool service, many would like to see it running including the Minister, the majority of pax traffic is West/East up here.And as for Wag2 up train you refer to , it is little used between Shrewsbury & Cardiff, perhaps 20% full on a good day,(your colleagues on the trolley will back this up)little wonder it is to be axed and the 175 put back into the franchise where it belongs.
 
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Welshman

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Exactly what is the reason why there is no current direct service from Liverpool to North Wales settlements along the North Wales coast line, yet such a service runs from Manchester. Is it to do with franchises?
I think it's more to do with the need to reinstate the Halton curve for regular use, although I suppose the existing service from Lime St to Warrington Bank Quay via Earlestown could be extended to Chester and along the NW coast, but that would be a long way round. Then it becomes a franchise issue.

Whenever we wish to go to Liverpool from N.Wales we change at Chester on to Merseyrail, stopping at every lamp-post between there and James St, but at least it's more direct!

Bring-back the Hovercraft from Rhyl sands!!
 

Michael.Y

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So what's wrong with a North Wales to Liverpool service, many would like to see it running including the Minister, the majority of pax traffic is West/East up here.And as for Wag2 up train you refer to , it is little used between Shrewsbury & Cardiff, perhaps 20% full on a good day,(your colleagues on the trolley will back this up)little wonder it is to be axed and the 175 put back into the franchise where it belongs.
There's nothing wrong with the principle of a North Wales to Liverpool service at all. I've no doubt it would be well used. But at the moment, for various reasons, Borderlands trains stop short at Bidston and other franchises control the routes into Liverpool from other destinations. I doubt Merseyrail would be too happy about ATW taking away business from them, similarly London Midland and Virgin.

Can I just ask when the last regular NW - Liverpool services ran? Are we talking recently (since privatisation) or is it back in the BR days?

Incidentally I'm well aware of the situation regarding WAG2 and completely agree with its axing, despite whatever shrieking comes from opportunistic Plaid people.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Can I just ask when the last regular NW - Liverpool services ran? Are we talking recently (since privatisation) or is it back in the BR days?
I think the direct North Wales-Liverpool via Runcorn finished like most useful through trains in 1967 with the run-down of regional services (even then it was not frequent).
There were also NW-Birkenhead direct services (avoiding Chester) and of course Shrewsbury-Wrexham-Chester-Birkenhead direct services.
All cut back to shuttles from Chester.

Meanwhile, the Marches route offered through trains to Liverpool via Crewe until about 2000, alternating with Manchester.
The Liverpool trains were reduced to about a couple and then stopped completely (to give Manchester an hourly service).
ATW have never served Liverpool, but I think they retain Crewe-Liverpool rights of some sort.
There was a short-lived attempt by FNW to run Chester-Warrington-Liverpool, but this was cut back to Warrington-Liverpool and I believe may be axed after electrification (becoming electric Manchester-Liverpool).

The CLC world once ran Wrexham-Hawarden-Seacombe (Wallasey), but was diverted under BR to New Brighton and then cut back to Bidston.
Either way there has never been a through service via this route to Liverpool.

Whichever way you look at it, Wirral and Liverpool have a huge population but no direct services to North Wales.
The main link is of course Merseyrail from Chester, but this is a relentlessly local service with many stops and a long journey time for the distance.
On the other hand it does have a 4tph frequency.

You have to live here to realise that Manchester and Liverpool, with Chester, are the business and leisure destinations for North Wales, particularly North-East Wales which is in easy commuting distance of both.
I can't describe how irrelevant the Cardiff connection is, except to the political class.
 

Michael.Y

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That's a bit of a cheap shot; or is it just gloating from a Labour person?
It's not a cheap shot at all:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-15659301
November 2011 - Just months after being voted out of office, IWJ moans about the W&B franchise being "flawed" by not being psychic - despite the fact he was in charge of it for four years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18200060
Plaid accuse Labour of "downgrading an important service for North Wales" by removing WAG2 - which, as Bob says, is a lightly used service south of Salop using franchise stock and whose paths will be replaced by other services in September
 

merlodlliw

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I think it's more to do with the need to reinstate the Halton curve for regular use, although I suppose the existing service from Lime St to Warrington Bank Quay via Earlestown could be extended to Chester and along the NW coast, but that would be a long way round. Then it becomes a franchise issue.

Whenever we wish to go to Liverpool from N.Wales we change at Chester on to Merseyrail, stopping at every lamp-post between there and James St, but at least it's more direct!

Bring-back the Hovercraft from Rhyl sands!!
I recall the hovercraft when I lived in Rhyl,it travelled from Hortons Nose in the Voryd Harbour to Moreton Wirral in July 1962 http://www.wirralhistory.net/hovercraft.html

Alas I never used it,too busy working. It was the Worlds first Hovercraft service from RHYL.
 

John55

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Unfortunately he isn't the minister with the cheque book.
On top of which the 3rd rail network is being consigned to the history books.
Might as well concentrate on getting something out of CP6 in 5 years' time.
The 3rd rail network around Merseyside doesn't have the problems of the former Southern Region network so there is no reason to expect this to be converted.

Exactly what is the reason why there is no current direct service from Liverpool to North Wales settlements along the North Wales coast line, yet such a service runs from Manchester. Is it to do with franchises?
Simply 4 trains per hour Liverpool to Chester during the day!

The CLC world once ran Wrexham-Hawarden-Seacombe (Wallasey), but was diverted under BR to New Brighton and then cut back to Bidston.
Either way there has never been a through service via this route to Liverpool.
Not quite never. There was a short lived through service from Liverpool Central Low Level to (I think) Corwen in the 1880s or 1890s. However that service like all through services from the Mersey Rly foundered on the issue of fare distribution.
 

merlodlliw

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There was a short lived through service from Liverpool Central Low Level to (I think) Corwen in the 1880s or 1890s. However that service like all through services from the Mersey Rly foundered on the issue of fare distribution.[/QUOTE]

I never heard of that service, via Chester/Wrexham & Ruabon, or via Rhyl & Fforyd Harbour via Denbigh,or even via Mold, interesting though, if it had run Birkenhead it could have stayed on GW metals
 

Holly

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... Whenever we wish to go to Liverpool from N.Wales we change at Chester on to Merseyrail, stopping at every lamp-post between there and James St, but at least it's more direct! ...
Though you would perhaps more likely change at Shotton if Bidston-Wrexham were electrified. Maybe not; since changing there is a bit of a hike compared with Chester if you have luggage.

Actually there is also room to build a new chord at Shotton (and/or reinstate the ancient Connah's Quay freight chord). Wouldn't this be better than Halton Curve, from a strictly North Wales perspective that is?
 

Gwenllian2001

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It's not a cheap shot at all:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-15659301
November 2011 - Just months after being voted out of office, IWJ moans about the W&B franchise being "flawed" by not being psychic - despite the fact he was in charge of it for four years.
But he wasn't 'in charge of it' and neither were the terms of the franchise anything to do with him which is made clear by what he actually said:

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones inherited the Arriva Trains Wales contract in 2007. "What was obvious is that this wasn't a contract that recognised the substantial increase in train passengers that there's been since 2003.
"It was predicated on the basis that it would grow far more slowly than it has, so you have the examples of many trains, particularly the Valley Lines services, where you had severe overcrowding and you hadn't got more services available."

He added: "Because the franchise was written in the way it was, Arriva was under no obligation to provide extra services, and because we felt that it was necessary to meet some of the demand, we had to pay for that under our own revenue, so we were paying over and above the franchise money simply in order to deal with capacity issues.
"The original contract was flawed because it didn't anticipate the increase in passenger numbers."

The former minister now wants to see major changes, including a "not for dividend" model for the franchise after 2018, where profits would be re-invested in the service, rather than being paid to shareholders.


The Minister was in no way able to alter the terms of the franchise.
 

tbtc

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Direct trains from Liverpool to north Wales? A great idea. How daft that Liverpool and Manchester have virtually no direct service to Wrexham/Bangor (considering that Liverpool/ Manchester are more important travel destinations than Cardiff for most people).

The 3rd rail network around Merseyside doesn't have the problems of the former Southern Region network so there is no reason to expect this to be converted
The news that the Southern region may be slowly converted to AC (starting with Basingstoke - Southampton docks) suggests that routes will be converted when the electrifity comes up for renewal.

With all new DC EMUs being built to be dual voltage (as the replacements for the 507/508s will) there becomes less and less need for Third Rail - certainly any extension of Merseyrail - e.g. towards Preston, Shotton/Wrexham) would be with overhead electrification.
 

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Rather surprisingly the route via Chester and the Wirral is significantly shorter than any other.
Using Shotton as a common starting point for calkculation , the mileages are
: Shotton-Chester-Liverpool = 25 miles 9 chains
Shotton-Bidston-Liverpool = 38 miles 37 chains
Shotton-Halton Curve-Liverpool = 34 miles 69 chains.

I can't see Diesel being allowed through the tunnel and a 3rd rail extension to Shotton would still require a change and would duplicate Chester anyway. Halton Curve could be done on a through diesel service but a one change Chester solution with good connections and ideally a direct through path say once an hour could be the best solution
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Not quite never. There was a short lived through service from Liverpool Central Low Level to (I think) Corwen in the 1880s or 1890s. However that service like all through services from the Mersey Rly foundered on the issue of fare distribution.
You are quite right...

From Wikipedia on the Mersey Railway:

As well as some though working of carriages from the Wirral Railway at Birkenhead Park, in the summer of 1899 a through service worked from Liverpool to Folkestone Harbour; carriages were taken to Rock Ferry, and there attached to a GWR Paddington express train; the carriages were slipped at Reading before being taken on to Folkestone attached to another train.[12] Connecting ferries and trains allowed Paris to be reached in under 15 hours


I don't think there were ever through trains from the GC route via Bidston.
The WMCQ history talks about the Mersey being unwilling to offer through fares, as you say.
And I think the original electrification in 1903 put paid to steam working from other lines.
 

Gwenllian2001

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It's not a cheap shot at all:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18200060
Plaid accuse Labour of "downgrading an important service for North Wales" by removing WAG2 - which, as Bob says, is a lightly used service south of Salop using franchise stock and whose paths will be replaced by other services in September
That is not shrieking but the norm for political parties in opposition. Do you think that Labour would not take the opportunity to knock the government if the boot was on the other foot? Remember Mrs Thatcher's assertion that anyone who used public transport was a failure? She was and still is a Tory, yet her party is now pouring Billions into rail improvement. Is she 'shrieking' from the sidelines? Of course not. It's politics!
 

John55

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Direct trains from Liverpool to north Wales? A great idea. How daft that Liverpool and Manchester have virtually no direct service to Wrexham/Bangor (considering that Liverpool/ Manchester are more important travel destinations than Cardiff for most people).



The news that the Southern region may be slowly converted to AC (starting with Basingstoke - Southampton docks) suggests that routes will be converted when the electrifity comes up for renewal.

With all new DC EMUs being built to be dual voltage (as the replacements for the 507/508s will) there becomes less and less need for Third Rail - certainly any extension of Merseyrail - e.g. towards Preston, Shotton/Wrexham) would be with overhead electrification.
Just because the former SR routes change doesn't mean there is a compelling reason to change Merseyrail. On the SR main lines there are 10/12 coach trains running at 3 minute headways at up to 90 or 100 mph. On Merseyrail there are 3 and 6 coach trains running at 60mph and no freight.

While if you started from scratch there would be no doubt that overhead would be adopted (but maybe not 25kV) do you really want to spend a lot of money for little practical benefit in this case. With Merseyrail achieving 98.7% "right time" last month on the Northern Line one is tempted to say leave well alone.

PS can you put 25kV through the new tunnels? - I don't think it is possible.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Rather surprisingly the route via Chester and the Wirral is significantly shorter than any other.
Using Shotton as a common starting point for calkculation , the mileages are
: Shotton-Chester-Liverpool = 25 miles 9 chains
Shotton-Bidston-Liverpool = 38 miles 37 chains
Shotton-Halton Curve-Liverpool = 34 miles 69 chains.

I can't see Diesel being allowed through the tunnel and a 3rd rail extension to Shotton would still require a change and would duplicate Chester anyway. Halton Curve could be done on a through diesel service but a one change Chester solution with good connections and ideally a direct through path say once an hour could be the best solution
Railmiles says Shotton-Bidston-Liverpool = 19 miles 20 chains! probably worth checking your maths.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
You are quite right...

From Wikipedia on the Mersey Railway:

As well as some though working of carriages from the Wirral Railway at Birkenhead Park, in the summer of 1899 a through service worked from Liverpool to Folkestone Harbour; carriages were taken to Rock Ferry, and there attached to a GWR Paddington express train; the carriages were slipped at Reading before being taken on to Folkestone attached to another train.[12] Connecting ferries and trains allowed Paris to be reached in under 15 hours


I don't think there were ever through trains from the GC route via Bidston.
The WMCQ history talks about the Mersey being unwilling to offer through fares, as you say.
And I think the original electrification in 1903 put paid to steam working from other lines.

Don't have access to my references today but will double check when I get home next week. The WMCQ & Mersey did have at least one Director in common so there is every possibility of some level of co-operation. From memory he was however sacked from the board of the MR due to his favouring the WMCQ in fares negotiations.
 
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Holly

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I can't see Diesel being allowed through the tunnel and a 3rd rail extension to Shotton would still require a change and would duplicate Chester anyway. Halton Curve could be done on a through diesel service but a one change Chester solution with good connections and ideally a direct through path say once an hour could be the best solution
Diesels could theoretically use the ancient tunnels of the Mersey Railway that were built for steam, but not any of the modern tunnels under Liverpool. Again theoretically, this could include running a service through what is now known as the stock interchange tunnel.
Any electrification at Shotton would have to be overhead equipment, not third-rail.
 
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