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Nottingham to Manchester Airport in less than an hour via HS2

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Nottingham59

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I've been thinking about how to exploit the investment in HS2 to speed up East-West journeys that currently use the congested Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield.

The proposed service pattern for the full HS2 network is shown here:

From Birmingham Curzon Street, there are two trains per hour planned to Manchester, taking 32 minutes to Manchester Airport, and 41 minutes to Piccadilly. according to the HS2 journey planner here: https://www.hs2.org.uk/where/journey-planner/

Similarly, the plans include two trains per hour from Curzon Street to Leeds, taking 20 minutes to Nottingham/Toton, and 49 minutes to Leeds.

How feasible would it be to combine these paths to create through trains Manchester-Birmingham-Leeds and vice versa? If we allow 5 minutes to reverse at Curzon Street, this implies a journey time from Manchester to Nottingham of 41+5+20 = 66 minutes, which is a massive saving over the current 2-hour journey time via Sheffield. Nottingham (Toton) to Manchester Airport would be even faster at 57 minutes. As far as I can see, this is just a time-tabling / stock diagramming and marketing issue. The proposal doesn't need any more trains on the network, but would transform some cross-pennine journeys.

The second question is how feasible would it be to include, say, a Liverpool-Crewe-Birmingham-Toton-Sheffield-Doncaster service on HS2? This would be in addition to the current plans, but would give even more cross-pennine journey opportunities. Nottingham - Liverpool currently takes 3 hours: under this proposal it would take little over an hour. The Western arm of the Y-network is planned to carry just 11 trains per hour, and the Eastern just 9. Yet HS2 infrastructure is nominally able to take 18 tph, so there should be the capacity already in the infrastructure. What do others think?
 
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HSTEd

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The consensus in this forum is that Hope Valley upgrades will make the direct line faster.

Myself I am not really convinced.
 

Nottingham59

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Hope Valley upgrades will make the direct line faster.
I think the upgrades are more about increasing the number of trains per hour, rather than much increase in line speed.

I was just taken aback to work out just how much faster Liverpool to Nottingham or Sheffield journeys could be via HS2.
 
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Purple Orange

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I think the upgrades are more about increasing the number of trains per hour, rather than much increase in line speed.

I was just taken aback to work out just how much faster Liverpool to Nottingham or Sheffield journeys could be via HS2.

Indeed, HS2 gives the opportunity for many journey pairs being significantly faster via HS2 with a change. What perplexes me is how many people (on this forum) defend having a slower direct journey with it’s current service pattern running in tandem. That will be a big waste of capacity in my opinion, as it would stifle the opportunity for capacity growth at smaller stations along the route. The only viable way for those direct services to continue is to have them run at a slower journey time with more stops.

PS... In fact if the eastern branch is built to East Midlands Parkway and paths from London & Birmingham to Leeds are then directed to Nottingham instead, then there would be the possibility of taking a train to Birmingham Interchange rather than Curzon Street too.
 
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