Northern Route Upgrades

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LNW-GW Joint

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George Osborne has just announced the "upgrade" of the Hope Valley, Manchester-Preston and Manchester-Bradford routes, linked to the Northern Hub.
What does this mean? Electrification? Resignalling? Gauge Clearance?
 
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tbtc

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The BBC seem to think that he means electrifying Manchester - Sheffield.
I was surprised at that, because electrification from Manchester to Sheffield wouldn't replace many DMUs on its own (unless you make a few cuts), you'd need to wire further than that.

Then again, the previous big announcement was "Manchester to Leeds", which turned out to be "Manchester to York" and made a lot more sense - will be interesting to see what comes out in the small print :lol:
 

sprinterguy

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Manchester to Preston will be the already announced electrification of the route through Bolton.

Manchester to Bradford is presumably the Calder Vale line. IMO that line or the Hope Valley being in line for imminent electrification is about as likely as the Woodhead route being reopened at the moment. There's plenty of smaller schemes that could bring greater benefits to the Hope Valley: Redoubling of the Dore chord (Which I imagine is what this announcement is related to) and installation of longer/additional loops around Chinley would be the key ones.
 

ainsworth74

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I was surprised at that, because electrification from Manchester to Sheffield wouldn't replace many DMUs on its own (unless you make a few cuts), you'd need to wire further than that.
Well quite, I'm thinking that perhaps the BBC have just got a bit overexcited and jumped the gun by suggesting that it's electrification rather than redoubling (as suggested up thread).

Then again, the previous big announcement was "Manchester to Leeds", which turned out to be "Manchester to York" and made a lot more sense - will be interesting to see what comes out in the small print
This is of course also true and I certainly won't complain if it is true that they're going to be wiring to Sheffield and beyond (but where that beyond might be is any ones guess). But I guess we won't know for sure until 1) the small print is read and 2) they actually make some more announcements about it!
 

philjo

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I would have expected MML to be wired first to cover the Dore/Sheffield/Doncaster sections before Hope Valley was wired.

Maybe it is just linespeed etc & doubling at Dore.
 

tbtc

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Well quite, I'm thinking that perhaps the BBC have just got a bit overexcited and jumped the gun by suggesting that it's electrification rather than redoubling (as suggested up thread).



This is of course also true and I certainly won't complain if it is true that they're going to be wiring to Sheffield and beyond (but where that beyond might be is any ones guess). But I guess we won't know for sure until 1) the small print is read and 2) they actually make some more announcements about it!
Agreed about the "overexcited" journalists - we need to see the details of this before I can make my mind up.

Wiring beyond Sheffield? Moorthorpe and Doncaster are two obvious candidates, but neither of these would really suit Osbourne's announcement (esp with Milliband being a Doncaster MP?).

I'm really not sure about electrification of *just* Manchester - Sheffield - better than nothing of course :)

I would have expected MML to be wired first to cover the Dore/Sheffield/Doncaster sections before Hope Valley was wired.

Maybe it is just linespeed etc & doubling at Dore.
I agree about the MML being the one to do before the Hope Valley, and that this may all be a misunderstanding and what he really means is that Hope Valley will get a couple of passing loops etc (rather than electrification)
 

swt_passenger

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The BBC get a live running briefing from the treasury, which adds detail to what is said in the speech. If they say electrification they probably have some justification to do so.
 

LE Greys

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My piece of speculation is a speed increase plus loops and the dualling at Dore, providing somewhere to cascade the 185s.
 

tbtc

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I'm not too bothered about speed increases in the Hope Valley, the main problems are the number of freight paths (esp the cement stuff to Hope), the single chord at Dore and the "all stops" Pacer service (which cannot be overtaken by TPE/ EMT services).

Sort the layout at Dore out, provide some more loops and try to speed up the Pacers - that'd make a bigger difference than increasing the top speed (and being caught behind something in front).

To put things in context for those who don't know the area, the roads from Sheffield to Manchester are the single carriageway A57 (Snake Pass) or the single carriageway A628 (which connects with the A616 at the Flouch, taking you via the accident blackspots of the Stocksbridge by-pass). Either route involves tailbacks around Mottram...

...so, there's not a fast motorway linking the two cities (compared to the M1 from Sheffield to Leeds or the M62 from Leeds to Manchester). So, speed isn't as important for rail to compete on - capacity is (both in terms of the half hourly frequency and the length of the trains). Passing loops (esp at Dore!) and trying to sort out the freight/Pacers would be more beneficial (in my eyes)
 

philjo

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This is the wording in the budget summary document (page 5)

support Network Rail to invest a further £130 million in the Northern Hub rail scheme, subject to value for money, to improve transport links between Manchester and Sheffield, Rochdale, Halifax, Bradford, Bolton, Preston andBlackpool, and to increase capacity on the Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield, which will enable the number of fast trains to double
http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2012_executive_summary.pdf
 

Polarbear

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Tongue in cheeck comment coming up...:D

If it were electrification between Manchester & Sheffield, I would hope that history doesn't repeat itself.

Woodhead - electrified 1955, passenger service withdrawn 1970, freight withdrawn 1981 & line closed!
 

LNW-GW Joint

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From the NR CP4/5 plans, my guess is the announcement covers:

Dore redoubling/Hope Valley loops
Salford Crescent development (longer platforms/relocation)
Todmorden curve and maybe the new platform at Rochdale

Can't see much else on these routes it might relate to.
 

tbtc

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Its passing loops already in the Northern Hub proposals.
That's how I read it. I think what we're seeing is a drip-drip of the Northern Hub proposals. Not that I'm complaining, Rome wasn't built in a day!
That's how it looks (despite the BBC still saying "Extend electrification of the Transpennine route between Manchester and Sheffield") - we are going to see the Northern Hub announced in piecemeal fashion - not a problem as long as it all gets built of course.
 

WatcherZero

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I think its also refering to passing loops in Bolton 'Manchester-Preston-Blackpool improvements' been a lot of lobbying by MP's for full redualing but loops are seen as the cost effective solution.
 

Failed Unit

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Lets say the route is electrified and MML was going to be done as well.

Liverpool - Nottingham = EMU
Manchester Airport - Doncaster = EMU (and Cleethorpes loses out)
Local service = EMU

But would any freight be able to use the wires?

Manchester - Sheffield alone they could still split the TPE service, but would they really do the same with Liverpool - Norwich and split at Sheffield?
 

swt_passenger

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That's how it looks (despite the BBC still saying "Extend electrification of the Transpennine route between Manchester and Sheffield") - we are going to see the Northern Hub announced in piecemeal fashion - not a problem as long as it all gets built of course.
I've sent the BBC a comment now via their web feedback form. Let's see if they fix it...
 

sprinterguy

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Lets say the route is electrified and MML was going to be done as well.

Liverpool - Nottingham = EMU
Manchester Airport - Doncaster = EMU (and Cleethorpes loses out)
Local service = EMU

But would any freight be able to use the wires?
There's some Freightliner services that head across the Hope Valley line, I presume to Trafford Park, that could probably make use of these hypothetical wires. Class 92s over the Hope Valley line, anyone? :lol:

As for the heavy stone traffic and related products that serve the quarries at Hindlow and Tunstead, the wires would offer them no benefit unless the freight lines in the Buxton area were also electrified. I can't remember much about the destinations served by the cement trains out of Hope works since I worked there, but if there is still a train that runs to Seaham then the best that could be done would be a loco change from electric to diesel at Holgate sidings (Freightliner don't seem to be keen on loco changes if they can be avoided), and the coal flow from Drax would probably remain 66 hauled. I think that a lot of the cement flows out of Hope head to somewhere in the Manchester area (could be wrong though): Electrification might be of some use to them.

In short I don't think that the benefits of electrification to freight traffic over the Hope Valley would be particularly big.
 

David

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Lets say the route is electrified and MML was going to be done as well.

Liverpool - Nottingham = EMU
Manchester Airport - Doncaster = EMU (and Cleethorpes loses out)
Local service = EMU

But would any freight be able to use the wires?

Manchester - Sheffield alone they could still split the TPE service, but would they really do the same with Liverpool - Norwich and split at Sheffield?
I've said it before, but ....

Just wiring Sheffield - Doncaster doesn't make that much sense, as most services would still have to use DMUs. Doncaster - Hull (via Goole, possibly even to Bridlington) should be done, as well as Sheffield - Fitzwilliam and Sheffield - Leeds (via Barnsley). That would allow most of the DMUs to be replaced by EMUs around South Yorkshire.

Further to that, I would then extend the wires to Scunthorpe* and terminate the TPE service there, as well as the Northern stopper. There is more than enough room to rebuild Scunthorpe station to create an extra platform or 2 without disrupting traffic.

Scunthorpe - Cleethorpes, Cleethorpes - Barton and Sheffield - Lincoln could be transfered over to EMT, so you then have all Northern and TPE services through Sheffield using the OHLE (barring the Sheffield - Huddersfield service), while EMT get plenty of 150s and 156s to refurbish and use on their newly expanded network. Perhaps EMT could even run a Sheffield - Lincoln -Cleethorpes service.

Yes, I know, perfect plan for the area I live in :P
 
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cle

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I think its also refering to passing loops in Bolton 'Manchester-Preston-Blackpool improvements' been a lot of lobbying by MP's for full redualing but loops are seen as the cost effective solution.
Is this about reinstating running lines at Bolton station?

Is the Salford Cescent scheme still just slightly lengthening, crowd measures and 'beautifying' the platform - singular - and not building any new platform capacity in?
 

aformeruser

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Manchester - Sheffield alone they could still split the TPE service, but would they really do the same with Liverpool - Norwich and split at Sheffield?
One Northern Hub proposal is for Sheffield to be removed off the Liverpool to Norwich service, with an additional Sheffield to Preston/Liverpool service and Leeds-Nottingham going half-hourly.
 

SuperOwl86

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Surly going to be hard to pull the Liverpool - Norwich service sure some was mentioned earlier that fast trains between Manchester and Sheffield would be doubled.
 

bluenoxid

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One Northern Hub proposal is for Sheffield to be removed off the Liverpool to Norwich service, with an additional Sheffield to Preston/Liverpool service and Leeds-Nottingham going half-hourly.
Don't forget that Northern Hub is a proposal, not a funded proposal.

These announcements help fund another bit of it, which is good. I am very hopeful that these upgrades will improve the service.

I like the above suggestion, it is the kind of thinking we need.
 

aformeruser

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Surly going to be hard to pull the Liverpool - Norwich service sure some was mentioned earlier that fast trains between Manchester and Sheffield would be doubled.
The option for four trains is:

Sheffield - increased frequency for up to four trains per hour running as two pairs, one in each pair to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria respectively
So it could be four trains but only really two services.
 
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