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Northern to Birmingham

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Philip

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Could Northern extend their Manchester-Stockport-Crewe stopper to Birmingham? I'm thinking they could run either non stop south of Crewe or perhaps just at Stafford. It would be slower than the current services but Northern could tempt some passengers away from Cross Country by selling cheap Northern only fares, and thereby helping to reduce the overcrowding on the CC services. Cheaper Northern only fares between Stafford and Birmingham would also help ease overcrowding in the WMT services.
 
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TT-ONR-NRN

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Could Northern extend their Manchester-Stockport-Crewe stopper to Birmingham? I'm thinking they could run either non stop south of Crewe or perhaps just at Stafford. It would be slower than the current services but Northern could tempt some passengers away from Cross Country by selling cheap Northern only fares, and thereby helping to reduce the overcrowding on the CC services. Cheaper Northern only fares between Stafford and Birmingham would also help ease overcrowding in the WMT services.
Bit strange to have a service calling at practically all stops for about fifteen stations, and then suddenly go non stop for another fifteen stations, no?
 

alistairlees

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Very much doubt there are easily available paths. Operator-specific fares are much less likely now given that all operators are controlled by a single entity. They probably don’t have the stock, would require quite a bit more driver training, etc. CrossCountry not currently overcrowded either.
 

JonathanH

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Cheaper Northern only fares between Stafford and Birmingham would also help ease overcrowding in the WMT services.
What rolling stock are you thinking of? If they used 323s, wouldn't the overcrowding be worse on the Northern services than the WMT ones?

I don't think this is going to happen and I think it is a bit naive that an extra operator would introduce services over a route and charge lower fares. There is some indication that operator-specific fares are going to be abolished in any case - Grant Shapps said that "Our new deal for rail demands more for passengers. It will simplify people’s journeys, ending the uncertainty and confusion about whether you are using the right ticket or the right train company."

If there is a capacity problem between Crewe and Birmingham, the answer is to increase the length of the 3tph that already runs over this route, not run another short train. It does appear that 3tph is about the right frequency for this service.
 

Purple Orange

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Post HS2, yes. 6-car 331 (or similar).

  • Stage 1: 57 mins
    • Manchester, Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Handforth, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Goostrey, Holmes Chapel, Sandbach, Crewe​
  • Stage 2: 36 mins
    • Crewe, Stafford, Wolverhampton​
  • Stage 3: 20 mins
    • Wolverhampton, Cossley, Tipton, Dudley Port, Sandwell & Dudley, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Smethwick Rolfe Street, Birmingham New Street​
Total journey time: 1 hour 53 mins

XC today: 1 hour 32 mins
 

Aictos

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Post HS2, yes. 6-car 331 (or similar).

  • Stage 1: 57 mins
    • Manchester, Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Handforth, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Goostrey, Holmes Chapel, Sandbach, Crewe​
  • Stage 2: 36 mins
    • Crewe, Stafford, Wolverhampton​
  • Stage 3: 20 mins
    • Wolverhampton, Cossley, Tipton, Dudley Port, Sandwell & Dudley, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Smethwick Rolfe Street, Birmingham New Street​
Total journey time: 1 hour 53 mins

XC today: 1 hour 32 mins
However XC doesn't stop at all those stations so of course it would be faster, a better comparison would be to compare it to a existing stopping service using existing trains and services that use it today.

Then you be able to compare more fairly.
 

The Planner

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Could Northern extend their Manchester-Stockport-Crewe stopper to Birmingham? I'm thinking they could run either non stop south of Crewe or perhaps just at Stafford. It would be slower than the current services but Northern could tempt some passengers away from Cross Country by selling cheap Northern only fares, and thereby helping to reduce the overcrowding on the CC services. Cheaper Northern only fares between Stafford and Birmingham would also help ease overcrowding in the WMT services.
Not a good use of capacity, it would be slower as above and you are saying in the "rail travel - a luxury" thread that cheap advances shouldn't be allowed incase it creates overcrowding, you need to make your mind up. There isn't a significant passenger capacity issue between Wolves and Crewe anyway.
 

Ianno87

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Other factor is that the Northern services at Crewe cross-form each other - the service via Stockport returns via Styal and vice-versa.

If the via Stockport service extended, the Airport service would have a very long turnround time at Crewe, which is a poor use of stock.
 

Purple Orange

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Not a good use of capacity, it would be slower as above and you are saying in the "rail travel - a luxury" thread that cheap advances shouldn't be allowed incase it creates overcrowding, you need to make your mind up. There isn't a significant passenger capacity issue between Wolves and Crewe anyway.

In time I don’t think it would be a waste of capacity, but better use of capacity between Wolverhampton & Birmingham and between Crewe & Manchester after express services are essentially made redundant by HS2, while it also keeps Stafford linked to Brum & Manc, which will also be seeing at least WCML from Euston in to Manc anyway.
 

The Planner

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In time I don’t think it would be a waste of capacity, but better use of capacity between Wolverhampton & Birmingham and between Crewe & Manchester after express services are essentially made redundant by HS2, while it also keeps Stafford linked to Brum & Manc, which will also be seeing at least WCML from Euston in to Manc anyway.
You can do that by the planned extension of LNWR Crewe terminators, which is the opposite of extending the Northern service. It depends on what you are trying to do connectivity wise, Stafford probably draws to Birmingham a bit more than Manchester. Either way it is adding another train across the layout at Crewe when they both hide away nicely at the moment.
 

Philip

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Not a good use of capacity, it would be slower as above and you are saying in the "rail travel - a luxury" thread that cheap advances shouldn't be allowed incase it creates overcrowding, you need to make your mind up. There isn't a significant passenger capacity issue between Wolves and Crewe anyway.

I didn't say advances, I said Northern only fares. North Western used to run a Manchester-Birmingham so it wouldn't be a completely new concept. 6-coach class 331 sets would ensure overcrowding isn't a problem.
 

JonathanH

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I didn't say advances, I said Northern only fares. North Western used to run a Manchester-Birmingham so it wouldn't be a completely new concept. 6-coach class 331 sets would ensure overcrowding isn't a problem.
What about overcrowding on the core Northern routes from which you would have to remove the 6-coach class 331s?
 

Llandudno

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Northern shouldn’t be given any more routes, they struggle to operate the ones they’ve got!
 

Purple Orange

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That be true. It’s partly why I’d love to see more lines in to Manchester given over to Metrolink, but that is another debate for another day.
 

4-SUB 4732

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Extend a Northern service from Manchester and Manchester Airport via Crewe to Stoke, and then extend the Manchester to Stoke direct to Birmingham?

Fulfils the work of the LNWR Crewe - Birmingham as far as Stoke, and then the stopping Stoke - Birmingham bit too.

Opens Airport - Stoke up, as well as Congleton to the wider Midlands.
 

Philip

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Extend a Northern service from Manchester and Manchester Airport via Crewe to Stoke, and then extend the Manchester to Stoke direct to Birmingham?

Fulfils the work of the LNWR Crewe - Birmingham as far as Stoke, and then the stopping Stoke - Birmingham bit too.

Opens Airport - Stoke up, as well as Congleton to the wider Midlands.

I do think beyond Stoke it should be limited stop, Stafford only really, in order to keep timings competitive with CC.

Northern shouldn’t be given any more routes, they struggle to operate the ones they’ve got!

Northern are unfairly criticized as they do the best they can with their hands pretty much tied behind their back because of other TOCs and the DfT. This goes for the current incumbents, along with Arriva Northern and Serco Abellio.

People pinpoint faults with the CAF stock, but they are a massive improvement on what was there before and Northern deserve the credit for it. It is because of Northern's commitment that TPE, WMT and TfW have gone with their own CAF new train orders.

What about overcrowding on the core Northern routes from which you would have to remove the 6-coach class 331s?

Order more 331s!
 
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Philip

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Why? You might as well order more stock to make the Cross Country trains have a more sensible length.

No, because it would have to be more diesel stock if it was Cross Country and the drive is towards having more electric trains.

Northern wouldn't need to extend beyond Birmingham, as CC do, so this new service need only be electric.
 

Doctor Fegg

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I didn't say advances, I said Northern only fares. North Western used to run a Manchester-Birmingham
Are you sure about that? I remember NWT/FNW services from Holyhead to Birmingham, but not Manchester to Birmingham.
 

Ianno87

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Are you sure about that? I remember NWT/FNW services from Holyhead to Birmingham, but not Manchester to Birmingham.

Yes, there was a morning and evening peak return service up to about 2003 or so. Used Class 309s for a while.
 

jfollows

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Yes, there was a morning and evening peak return service up to about 2003 or so. Used Class 309s for a while.
I used it several times to get home to Manchester from Birmingham in the evening, it ran through a low-numbered platform at New Street and returned to Manchester via Bescot. When I used it it was an AM9/309 and it was certainly an enjoyable run down the fast line between Stafford and Crewe.
 

charley_17/7

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Can't remember whether it was Airport or Piccadilly diagram for the Guard, definitely no drivers based at the Airport, but there was definitely an overnight FNW job working from Manchester to Birmingham New Street/International, which worked the Class 1s (semi-fast) back in the morning. They even carried on 2 semi-fasts under Northern, which started at Stoke-on-Trent, surviving through the VHF recast, as I remember working them until at least 2008/2009.
 

Ianno87

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I used it several times to get home to Manchester from Birmingham in the evening, it ran through a low-numbered platform at New Street and returned to Manchester via Bescot. When I used it it was an AM9/309 and it was certainly an enjoyable run down the fast line between Stafford and Crewe.

I remember seeing that the evening run had something like a ~4 minute "turnround" time at New Street - although that sounds less crazy if it carried on in the same direction and back via Bescot.

Can't remember whether it was Airport or Piccadilly diagram for the Guard, definitely no drivers based at the Airport, but there was definitely an overnight FNW job working from Manchester to Birmingham New Street/International, which worked the Class 1s (semi-fast) back in the morning. They even carried on 2 semi-fasts under Northern, which started at Stoke-on-Trent, surviving through the VHF recast, as I remember working them until at least 2008/2009.

It was some absurdly early start to get to Birmingham 03 or 04-something departure.
 

Djgr

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As has been said above, I think the days of TOCs "competing" or as I would see it confusing are coming to an end.
 

Sprinter107

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Yes, there was a morning and evening peak return service up to about 2003 or so. Used Class 309s for a while.
Yes, i caught both of those. Not sure about the morning, as I only can remember 309s but i know Longsight 323s worked the evening one too, possibly when the 309s were withdrawn. Like the 309s, it went into New Street via Stour Valley, and back out via Aston.
 

Doctor Fegg

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That’s fascinating - thanks. I have happy memories of CT 310s from Crewe to New Street but hadn’t realised FNW were running 309s that way!
 

Sprinter107

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That’s fascinating - thanks. I have happy memories of CT 310s from Crewe to New Street but hadn’t realised FNW were running 309s that way!
It was a nice novelty catching a 309 from Birmingham to Manchester. Did it a few times, and waited for the evening one to travel back. Only ever caught the Longsight 323 from Stafford to New Street after work.
 

Cheshire Scot

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Back in the seventies/eighties several Manchester to Stoke services continued to Birmingham and in some case beyond - Walsall and Rugby.
On a few odd occasions these brought cl310s to Manchester, quite an upgrade on the normal 304.
I imagine this would require a Stoke or perhaps Birmingham traincrew as I doubt Manchester would sign them. I think 310s worked into Stoke from Birmingham quite regularly.
 

jfollows

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On a few odd occasions these brought cl310s to Manchester, quite an upgrade on the normal 304.
I imagine this would require a Stoke or perhaps Birmingham traincrew as I doubt Manchester would sign them. I think 310s worked into Stoke from Birmingham quite regularly.
I think Manchester used to sign AM10s back in my school days, there was a mid-1970s diagram 16:10 Manchester Piccadilly - Macclesfield which worked back and then worked the 17:30 Manchester Piccadilly - Macclesfield and again back to Manchester, and probably came off Longsight before 16:10. Was always AM10 (I used both services regularly on the way home from school) and I wouldn't expect it would have been worked other than by Manchester crew.
I didn't investigate this particular diagram further, but it may well have worked into Manchester from Birmingham earlier in the day, and gone back again first thing the following day.
 
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