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North West electricification

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Peter Lanky

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Despite this being a major issue in the area, I'm struggling to find useful information as to the progress of the various schemes in the area. There's plenty to read about the actual proposals and some speculation and political boasts, but I can't find any real facts.

Can somebody possibly point me either to a thread where this is under discussion, a website that details the progress or just provide a concise update.

My own personal interest is date of the loss from Wigan of the Airport-Scotland services, any definite proposals for Liverpool-Scotland or anything that has changed in the last 12 months.
 
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Philip Phlopp

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LNW-GW Joint

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TPE intends to reroute Manchester-Scotland services via Bolton after Manchester-Preston is wired, supposedly in December 2017.
Wigan via Chat Moss will remain as a diversionary route for Scotland services, and possibly for peak services not stopping at Bolton.
Liverpool-Glasgow (3tpd) is supposed to start in December 2018, after the arrival of new CAF EMUs.
Wigan still has its 2tph London-Scotland services from VT.
Northern are supposed to introduce a substitute Wigan-Manchester via Chat Moss, which looks like it will be interworked with Windermere/Barrow services (Windermere services eventually EMU-worked).
You'll have to check the threads PP linked to for electrification/rolling stock progress.
 

mr_jrt

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Random (hopefully short) aside (apologies), I don't know a great deal about the services in the area but given how busy the Preston-Manchester line apparently is (let alone will be once the juice is switched on), how close is the line to requiring some loops to let the express services bypass the stoppers without having to run via Chat Moss? AFAICS, Bolton station looks like the only place that seems feasible (i.e. by reinstating the old through roads or just passing stoppers using the reinstated platform 5), but surely Bolton's the kind of large destination you'd want to stop the express services at to maximise loadings? I recall from reading during the Farnworth works that (some of?) the line was originally built out for future expansion to 3 tracks, but given the timescales I would doubt much of that "spare" land would still be free anywhere...
 

Senex

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Random (hopefully short) aside (apologies), I don't know a great deal about the services in the area but given how busy the Preston-Manchester line apparently is (let alone will be once the juice is switched on), how close is the line to requiring some loops to let the express services bypass the stoppers without having to run via Chat Moss? AFAICS, Bolton station looks like the only place that seems feasible (i.e. by reinstating the old through roads or just passing stoppers using the reinstated platform 5), but surely Bolton's the kind of large destination you'd want to stop the express services at to maximise loadings? I recall from reading during the Farnworth works that (some of?) the line was originally built out for future expansion to 3 tracks, but given the timescales I would doubt much of that "spare" land would still be free anywhere...
Given that the PSR through Bolton is and apparently is to remain a miserable 20, the cost of a pick-up-only stop is probably no more than a couple of minutes and so it isn't worth missing Bolton even if there is some attempt (eventually!) to speed up the miserably slow Manchester to Scotland services by omitting some stops. But those Scotland trains really shouldn't be catering for the Manchester-Bolton short-distance flows.

As to being able to pass stoppers, shouldn't the two outer platform loops at Bolton (when 5 is back) be enough to carer for that. With electrification and the higher line-speeds, how long will a stopper take from leaving Bolton to clearing to the slows at Euxton Jn and how long will an express need between Bolton and the fasts at Euxton Jn? The Scotlands will presumably run non-stop between Bolton and Preston hourly, and then there is presuzmably an hourly Barrow/Windermere and a half-hourly Blackpool to call at Chorley on the way. How much space does that leave for the stoppers, especially on the Manchester-Bolton (-Lostock Jn) section where there are the Blackburns and Wigans too?

It really would be a counsel of defeat to run the peak-time Scotlands (which should be the really fast ones) over the longer and slower route via the Golborne crawl.
 

Peter Lanky

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Thanks for responses. That gives me a little more of an idea, though I have to admit some of the discussions are a little beyond me as a mere user.

It does appear though that we in Wigan will have to be content with the slow trains via Bolton when going to the airport after Dec 2017 if the work goes to plan.

Is there anything anywhere online that given any indication of fare structures post electrification? Currently I can travel from Wigan to Inverness first class at a very reasonable cost using TPE/Scotrail with an advance ticket, which I assume will disappear when Wigan falls off the mainstream TPE network. I have also tried to find other long distance routes that offer a similar fare, but failed miserably. It gives a rare opportunity to travel in comfort by train purely for the sake of enjoying the train journey rather than having an actual need.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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It does appear though that we in Wigan will have to be content with the slow trains via Bolton when going to the airport after Dec 2017 if the work goes to plan.

Longer term it seems likely that the only direct service from Wigan to the airport will be from North Western on the future Northern Connect service. Passengers from intermediate stations to Southport, as well as Hindley and Westhoughton, are likely to not only lose all direct trains to the airport, but also find that services to Oxford Road and Piccadilly, if they survive at all, will only run to serve the peak hour commuter market.

Is there anything anywhere online that given any indication of fare structures post electrification? Currently I can travel from Wigan to Inverness first class at a very reasonable cost using TPE/Scotrail with an advance ticket, which I assume will disappear when Wigan falls off the mainstream TPE network. I have also tried to find other long distance routes that offer a similar fare, but failed miserably. It gives a rare opportunity to travel in comfort by train purely for the sake of enjoying the train journey rather than having an actual need.
(my bold)

On a network that is getting increasingly crowded it seems a touch selfish to expect that fares should be set to encourage this sort of rail use. I remember my early "joyriding" jaunts in the late 1970s when inter-city services were poorly used during off-peak hours and getting a table to yourself was absolutely the norm. But the world has moved on since then. Indeed rail travel "just for fun" is enjoyable these days only on the quietest of routes IME.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Is there anything anywhere online that given any indication of fare structures post electrification? Currently I can travel from Wigan to Inverness first class at a very reasonable cost using TPE/Scotrail with an advance ticket, which I assume will disappear when Wigan falls off the mainstream TPE network. I have also tried to find other long distance routes that offer a similar fare, but failed miserably. It gives a rare opportunity to travel in comfort by train purely for the sake of enjoying the train journey rather than having an actual need.

You make it sound as though TPE offer the only cheap fares.
Virgin Advances to Scotland are very good value.
It's only £16.50 on early Wigan-Glasgow/Edinburgh services in July.
In any case you can book TPE from Preston with a Wigan add-on, just as I do with a Chester add-on.
I'd expect good fares on the new Liverpool-Glasgow service, but you have to wait till the new stock arrives.
 

scrapy

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Whilst stations West of Wigan are likely to lose direct services to Piccadilly I believe the latest plan by Arriva is for 2tph from Wigan North Western to Piccadilly, Stockport and Macclesfield via Bolton with 1tph continuing to Stoke both stopping at Hindley and Westhoughton.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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Whilst stations West of Wigan are likely to lose direct services to Piccadilly I believe the latest plan by Arriva is for 2tph from Wigan North Western to Piccadilly, Stockport and Macclesfield via Bolton with 1tph continuing to Stoke both stopping at Hindley and Westhoughton.

I would be satisfied with such an outcome. Up until now the suggestion has been very clear that the future electric service from North Western via Bolton would go to Victoria. Sending it to Stockport, and then either to Hazel Grove or Macclesfield provides much better connectivity using electrified routes than sending yet more Wigan trains to Victoria.
 

Peter Lanky

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Longer term it seems likely that the only direct service from Wigan to the airport will be from North Western on the future Northern Connect service. Passengers from intermediate stations to Southport, as well as Hindley and Westhoughton, are likely to not only lose all direct trains to the airport, but also find that services to Oxford Road and Piccadilly, if they survive at all, will only run to serve the peak hour commuter market.

(my bold)

On a network that is getting increasingly crowded it seems a touch selfish to expect that fares should be set to encourage this sort of rail use. I remember my early "joyriding" jaunts in the late 1970s when inter-city services were poorly used during off-peak hours and getting a table to yourself was absolutely the norm. But the world has moved on since then. Indeed rail travel "just for fun" is enjoyable these days only on the quietest of routes IME.

On the journeys from Edinburgh to Inverness, we have had the first class coach to ourselves more often than not, with the Wigan to Edinburgh leg half filled at most. Surely in these days when the rail network seems to be moving towards prioritising provision for commuting at the expense of anything else, that there is a gap in the schedule for the leisure traveller. The trains have to be somewhere during the day so why not use them for leisure? It continues to surprise me that there is so little effort made to persuade people out of their cars to go on their holidays. I for one would use the train far more if I didn't need a small mortgage to make use of the network.

You make it sound as though TPE offer the only cheap fares.
Virgin Advances to Scotland are very good value.
It's only £16.50 on early Wigan-Glasgow/Edinburgh services in July.
In any case you can book TPE from Preston with a Wigan add-on, just as I do with a Chester add-on.
I'd expect good fares on the new Liverpool-Glasgow service, but you have to wait till the new stock arrives.
Fares to Glasgow and Edinburgh are indeed quite good, but there is only a certain number of trips one can make to those cities without overkill.

In the opposite direction, I am going to Coventry tomorrow or I could go to Birmingham (if I really wanted) for a decent price, but am not aware of any other destinations offering a decent fare. It seems such a waste. Just think of watching Michael Portillo on TV on those invariably empty trains during the day that are just crying out for holiday makers to make use of them.

I agree that one could add Wigan-Preston, but that can add 50% to the price of the journey. I realise that this is 'how it is', but it's not really a good way to run a railway or to get more people to use it for leisure and have a service that is more than just 2 rush hours a day.
 
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deltic08

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Is there anything anywhere online that given any indication of fare structures post electrification? Currently I can travel from Wigan to Inverness first class at a very reasonable cost using TPE/Scotrail with an advance ticket, which I assume will disappear when Wigan falls off the mainstream TPE network. I have also tried to find other long distance routes that offer a similar fare, but failed miserably. It gives a rare opportunity to travel in comfort by train purely for the sake of enjoying the train journey rather than having an actual need.

I concur. 99% of my rail journeys now are purely for the pleasure of the ride and price is a limiting factor. TPE Club 55 and Northerns £10 newspaper token Ranger tickets are all I use these days. I just hope that when TPE extend from Newcastle to Edinburgh they will introduce a Round Robin via Edinburgh, Carlisle, Preston, Manchester and Leeds from anywhere on that circuit back to the departing station either way.
 

Peter Lanky

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I concur. 99% of my rail journeys now are purely for the pleasure of the ride and price is a limiting factor. TPE Club 55 and Northerns £10 newspaper token Ranger tickets are all I use these days. I just hope that when TPE extend from Newcastle to Edinburgh they will introduce a Round Robin via Edinburgh, Carlisle, Preston, Manchester and Leeds from anywhere on that circuit back to the departing station either way.
Can you tell me what these are please and how to obtain them.
 

WatcherZero

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Every year Northern run a promotion printing coupons in local newspapers that you collect two and you get a pair of day rangers for a tenner. This years offer has ended though.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Every year Northern run a promotion printing coupons in local newspapers that you collect two and you get a pair of day rangers for a tenner. This years offer has ended though.

I think only one of those papers was in the north west, and it was counter-productive to travel to wherever it was to buy a few papers.
It looked like mainly a Yorkshire thing.
 
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Every year Northern run a promotion printing coupons in local newspapers that you collect two and you get a pair of day rangers for a tenner. This years offer has ended though.

The offer is still on for a few more weeks, but tokens no longer being printed. If you know someone who keeps their old local rag papers (Johnston Press) in Northern area, you may be in luck! An application form has to be downloaded. https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/newspaper-offer/johnston-press-day-ranger
 
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ianhr

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The offer is still on for a few more weeks, but tokens no longer being printed. If you know someone who keeps their old local rag papers (Johnston Press) in Northern area, you may be in luck! An application form has to be downloaded. https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/newspaper-offer/johnston-press-day-ranger

Under the old franchise Northern ran this offer 3 times last year, in late winter, early summer, and autumn. It is generally for periods well clear of the major holidays of Christmas/New year, Easter, and mid-July to mid-September; and excludes school half-term weeks.

I was unsure whether the new management would repeat it, but it seems that they have! Apparently some of the same personnel have been retained in the marketing department. One assumes that Northern's average fare must be ~£9.50 as the offer is incredibly good value if you max it out over long distances. I wonder if they will still be doing it when the Northern Connect services start?!
 

YorkshireBear

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If anyone requires and spare tokens let me know by PM.

Southport and its stations lose an airport service but gain a leeds service. There will also be i imagine regular connections to Piccadilly and the airport at Salford Crescent and Victoria. If required.
 

WatcherZero

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Bevan Price

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The offer is still on for a few more weeks, but tokens no longer being printed. If you know someone who keeps their old local rag papers (Johnston Press) in Northern area, you may be in luck! An application form has to be downloaded. https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/newspaper-offer/johnston-press-day-ranger

Unfortunately, my only local Johnson title (St. Helens Reporter) has stopped its "paper" edition, and is now only available on line (with no vouchers that I could find.)
 
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