Port Salford Rail link land deal

high camera

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This looks promising for the long awaited rail link to Port Salford



The developer is to hand over 16-acres of Green Belt to the council in exchange for nine-acres needed to progress plans for a rail link designed to unlock land for the 3.4m sq ft logistics scheme.

The proposed rail spur would connect the Manchester to Liverpool train line in the south-west of the borough to the £56m freight rail terminal at the £60m Port Salford, Peel L&P’s multi-modal logistics scheme on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.

James Whittaker, Peel L&P’s executive director of development, said: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the council to bring the rail terminal forward, which will create at least 2,500 jobs and secure a reduction in CO2 emissions of 14,900 tonnes a year by taking freight movements off the road.”

So far, around 300,000 sq ft of industrial accommodation, occupied by logistics companies Great Bear and Rhenus, has been developed.

However, the next phase of warehouses, totalling 1.3m sq ft, cannot be built until the rail link is in place.

Under the terms of the land deal, to be approved by Salford City Council next Monday, Peel Investments would swap a swathe of agricultural land bordering Salford City Academy for a smaller plot between City Airport and Peel Green Cemetery.

Peel And Salford Land Swap
Peel will swap the area in blue for the area in red
The proposed rail spur would cut through the site before crossing Liverpool Road and connecting to the rail terminal west of the AJ Bell Stadium.

Port Salford could lever £140m of private sector investment and create at least 2,500 jobs, according to a report to Salfor City Council’s property and regeneration committee.

The project forms part of the wider Ocean Gateway growth plan for the North West to revitalise the Manchester Ship Canal Corridor, and is included within the Liverpool City Region freeport bid to the Government.

The land that Salford City Council is to acquire from Peel Investments under the terms of the land swap could be used for tree planting, according to the report.

 
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R

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Yes the process went quiet for a long time. I think the bridge abutments for the crossing of the A57 are in place. It was not obvious from looking at aerial photos if much else has happened yet, when I last looked.
 

snowball

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Yes the process went quiet for a long time. I think the bridge abutments for the crossing of the A57 are in place. It was not obvious from looking at aerial photos if much else has happened yet, when I last looked.
The bridge abutments have been in place for over six years. They were built when the A57 was diverted. As far as I am aware there has been no further relevant work on the site since.
 
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Rail Ranger

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The map of the area included in an article about the land swap in the Salford Star here https://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=6178 shows the full branch from the Chat Moss line to Port Salford but, interestingly, it only shows a west facing junction at the Chat Moss end, not the triangular junction previously mentioned. A cost-saving reduction in scope?
 
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Ianno87

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The map of the area included in an article about the land swap in a local paper showed the full branch from the Chat Moss line to Port Salford but, interestingly, it only showed a west facing junction at the Chat Moss end, not the triangular junction previously mentioned. A cost-saving reduction in scope?

Not obvious what purpose an east-facing junction would serve. The majority of traffic is going to be bound for the WCML. Northward WCML can't be accessed via an eastward connection, and southward WCML involves running via Castlefield.

Heading west means gaining the WCML at Golborne Jn or Winwick Jn.
 

Rail Ranger

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Also traffic taking an east-facing spur and going through Manchester Victoria would be faced with Miles Platting bank. I'm told that the Port Salford site is not long enough for a 775-metre train to be made up without splitting the train. The artist's impression shows a token rail presence at the site rather than a large full-blown terminal like those at Trafford Park. Also exactly which traffic would use the rail link? Large container ships are unable to navigate the Manchester Ship Canal. Is the plan to attract existing traffic from the Trafford Park terminals?
 

Codville

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The containers will be put on barges at Liverpool and sailed up the ship canal, I believe Peel's plan includes additional container sites at Runcorn and Warrington.
 

Rail Ranger

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Until recently wine for Tesco was brought into Liverpool by ocean-going ships and then transferred to a smaller vessel and brought along the Manchester Ship Canal to Irlam. The traffic ended after about 15 years because it was not viable, partly because of variations in sailing dates of the large vessels. That doesn't augur well for any future traffic of that nature.
 

Greybeard33

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Also traffic taking an east-facing spur and going through Manchester Victoria would be faced with Miles Platting bank. I'm told that the Port Salford site is not long enough for a 775-metre train to be made up without splitting the train. The artist's impression shows a token rail presence at the site rather than a large full-blown terminal like those at Trafford Park. Also exactly which traffic would use the rail link? Large container ships are unable to navigate the Manchester Ship Canal. Is the plan to attract existing traffic from the Trafford Park terminals?
I believe Peel's strategy is for the Port of Liverpool to capture some of the deep sea container traffic from Felixstowe and Southampton. But I think any containers for Yorkshire would more likely be trucked all the way by road rather than transhipped by rail.

The Diggle line is the only transpennine route that is gauge cleared for container trains, but only to W8 gauge, which rules out Hi-Cube containers. And the only route from the Chat Moss line to Stalybridge that is gauge cleared is via Guide Bridge, so either across Piccadilly throat (only feasible at night) or via Phillips Park to Ashburys (probably needs double heading up Miles Platting bank).

WCML rail shipments to Scotland or the Midlands would probably go direct from Liverpool Docks rather than via Port Salford. Any use of the Ship Canal would more likely be for containers to be distributed by road in the Greater Manchester area.

The rail link could possibly enable Port Salford to compete with the two Trafford Park terminals for traffic from Southampton and Felixstowe, in which case the west facing junction would suffice. But then Peel would be competing with its own Liverpool port, and the proposed Port Salford rail facility is not on the same scale as the Trafford Park terminals.

I suspect Peel's motivation may simply be to satisfy the Salford Council planning condition that the rail link must be in place before the warehouse facilities are expanded. In which case the specification will be minimum cost!
 

edwin_m

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The map of the area included in an article about the land swap in the Salford Star here https://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=6178 shows the full branch from the Chat Moss line to Port Salford but, interestingly, it only shows a west facing junction at the Chat Moss end, not the triangular junction previously mentioned. A cost-saving reduction in scope?
In the map on that link, the curve at the north-west corner of Package 1 is almost certainly where Peel are keeping the land to build an eastward curve if it is ever needed in the future. It probably doesn't make sense now for the reasons mentioned, but with a change in relative costs for rail versus road and some more gauge clearance that could change. Containers for Leeds would probably still go by road but if they see themselves as a future alternative to Felixstowe then they will be sending them to Tyneside and Scotland (where ECML is longer than WCML but probably less congested).
 

Rail Ranger

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I don't see double handling at both Liverpool and Port Salford as ever being viable unless there are serious curbs on road haulage like in Switzerland..
 

Geeves

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I understand the land the current Trafford Park terminal sits on is pretty valuable and would close once Port Salford is constructed, Peel and MUFC are happy they get the land. Network rail are happy no more container trains stitching Oxford Rd, Castlefield etc.
 

Class 170101

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Containers for Leeds would probably still go by road but if they see themselves as a future alternative to Felixstowe then they will be sending them to Tyneside and Scotland (where ECML is longer than WCML but probably less congested).

If they went by rail at all it would be either via Farringdon curve (south of Preston), Blackburn, Todmorden, Healey Mills thence to Leeds or via Acton Bridge, Northwich, Stockport, Stalybridge, Hudderfield then via Healey Mills but via both routes probably at night.
 

zwk500

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If they went by rail at all it would be either via Farringdon curve (south of Preston), Blackburn, Todmorden, Healey Mills thence to Leeds or via Acton Bridge, Northwich, Stockport, Stalybridge, Hudderfield then via Healey Mills but via both routes probably at night.
Both routes only cleared to W8 though, so you'd need low wagons and couldn't take the bigger containers at all.
 

Greybeard33

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Both routes only cleared to W8 though, so you'd need low wagons and couldn't take the bigger containers at all.
No, both those routes are restricted to W6A gauge in parts (Blackburn - Hall Royd and Northenden - Stockport). Useless for intermodal. The only cleared route is to reverse at Crewe then to Stockport via Wilmslow.
If they went by rail at all it would be either via Farringdon curve (south of Preston), Blackburn, Todmorden, Healey Mills thence to Leeds or via Acton Bridge, Northwich, Stockport, Stalybridge, Hudderfield then via Healey Mills but via both routes probably at night.
 

zwk500

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No, both those routes are restricted to W6A gauge in parts (Blackburn - Hall Royd and Northenden - Stockport). Useless for intermodal. The only cleared route is to reverse at Crewe then to Stockport via Wilmslow.
Silly me, I only checked the actual sections across the pennines themselves.
 

The Planner

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I understand the land the current Trafford Park terminal sits on is pretty valuable and would close once Port Salford is constructed, Peel and MUFC are happy they get the land. Network rail are happy no more container trains stitching Oxford Rd, Castlefield etc.
Wouldn't mind seeing something to back that up, as I don't think it is the case or has been incorporated into any Manchester work.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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And the only route from the Chat Moss line to Stalybridge that is gauge cleared is via Guide Bridge, so either across Piccadilly throat (only feasible at night) or via Phillips Park to Ashburys (probably needs double heading up Miles Platting bank).

Is that true since the upgrade of Miles Platting to Stalybridge via Ashton Moss Jn?
 

edwin_m

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If we get electrification over Standedge then this would almost certainly provide W12 clearance too. It would also allow electric haulage, which would help a lot with the bank up to Miles Platting. But as I suggested, this is likely to be reserving the land for a long-term opportunity of providing an eastern curve, not something that will happen quickly.
 

Greybeard33

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Is that true since the upgrade of Miles Platting to Stalybridge via Ashton Moss Jn?
According to the December 2020 SA, Miles Platting to Ashton Moss N is W8. Ashton Moss N to Stalybridge is W7 with some special restrictions:
The following combinations
only are permitted to run:
Up to
2438(h) x 2438(w)
on FEA KFA FRA FIA IFA wagons
2603(h) x 2438(w)
on IFA/FIA FKA/IKA wagons
2896(h) x 2438(w)
on KTA wagons.
I think this allows standard containers on low platform wagons and Hi-Cube ones only on "pocket" wagons.
 

mwmbwls

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Wouldn't mind seeing something to back that up, as I don't think it is the case or has been incorporated into any Manchester work.
Institute of Couriers - TfGM Autumn Freight Forum - "It's about Greater Manchester, not just the City"
Robert Fickling of TfGM has raised the issue of Trafford Park's impact on the Castlefield corridor in separate presentations to the Institute of Transport and the Institute of Couriers. It is a complex "getting all your ducks in a row" question involving reconciling various stakeholder interests aka "Teaching elephants to line dance". Looking at the artist's impression there seems to be green space to the east of the hard pad next the the Locks of the Ship Canal.
The traverser is a handy space saving device enabling railways to switch rolling stock laterally from track to track. by Mwmbwls, on Flickr
They use a space saving traverser at Felixstowe and culverting the drain at the east end of Port Salford is a possibility. For comparison purposes this is Doncaster. It has similar motorway links to Port Salford in terms of delivering the four-hour hgv isochrone.
Doncaster iPort by Mwmbwls, on Flickr
 
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Rail Ranger

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Still don't know where any rail traffic at Port Salford would come from. As someone mentioned up-thread, Peel are hardly going to welcome boxes brought in by rail from their rival ports at Felixstowe or Southampton. Any boxes brought into Port Salford via the Manchester Ship Canal would surely be for local distribution only which means road.
 

Fylsie

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Still don't know where any rail traffic at Port Salford would come from. As someone mentioned up-thread, Peel are hardly going to welcome boxes brought in by rail from their rival ports at Felixstowe or Southampton. Any boxes brought into Port Salford via the Manchester Ship Canal would surely be for local distribution only which means road.
Is it not the case that boxes that currently come into trafford park are then shipped onward to the myriad of warehouses across the northwest by road already - what , would you say, is the difference?
 

Rail Ranger

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The boxes which come into Trafford Park by rail come from Felixstowe, London Gateway, Southampton or Tilbury, which are all sufficiently far away from Trafford Park for rail to be viable. None of these ports is owned by Peel, which owns the port of Liverpool.
 

mwmbwls

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Still don't know where any rail traffic at Port Salford would come from. As someone mentioned up-thread, Peel are hardly going to welcome boxes brought in by rail from their rival ports at Felixstowe or Southampton. Any boxes brought into Port Salford via the Manchester Ship Canal would surely be for local distribution only which means road.
Our Expertise (peellandp.co.uk) In my dealings with Peel I have always found them to be astute. patient and pragmatic. Their expertise brochure indicates they are already talking to Network Rail about train paths on the WCML. The question of whether or where they would want to operate trains is moot - they tend to feel safer with hard assets like ports and airports rather that transport operations. They have a profound understanding of property risk and rarely go off piste.
 

Bevan Price

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I believe Peel's strategy is for the Port of Liverpool to capture some of the deep sea container traffic from Felixstowe and Southampton. But I think any containers for Yorkshire would more likely be trucked all the way by road rather than transhipped by rail.

The Diggle line is the only transpennine route that is gauge cleared for container trains, but only to W8 gauge, which rules out Hi-Cube containers. And the only route from the Chat Moss line to Stalybridge that is gauge cleared is via Guide Bridge, so either across Piccadilly throat (only feasible at night) or via Phillips Park to Ashburys (probably needs double heading up Miles Platting bank).

WCML rail shipments to Scotland or the Midlands would probably go direct from Liverpool Docks rather than via Port Salford. Any use of the Ship Canal would more likely be for containers to be distributed by road in the Greater Manchester area.

The rail link could possibly enable Port Salford to compete with the two Trafford Park terminals for traffic from Southampton and Felixstowe, in which case the west facing junction would suffice. But then Peel would be competing with its own Liverpool port, and the proposed Port Salford rail facility is not on the same scale as the Trafford Park terminals.

I suspect Peel's motivation may simply be to satisfy the Salford Council planning condition that the rail link must be in place before the warehouse facilities are expanded. In which case the specification will be minimum cost!
The promise of a rail freight connection was used in early publicity about the proposal to turn the disused Parkside Colliery site into a distribution centre. Recent news only seems to feature money for a new road connection to the M6, and - if finally approved - this too looks to become yet another entirely road-based freight distribution centre, inflicting even more lorries (and consequential pollution) on the population around Newton Le Willows.
 

Greybeard33

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Our Expertise (peellandp.co.uk) In my dealings with Peel I have always found them to be astute. patient and pragmatic. Their expertise brochure indicates they are already talking to Network Rail about train paths on the WCML. The question of whether or where they would want to operate trains is moot - they tend to feel safer with hard assets like ports and airports rather that transport operations. They have a profound understanding of property risk and rarely go off piste.
Peel has certainly been astute, patient and pragmatic in managing to avoid expenditure on the rail link since planning consent was granted in 2009! Throughout that period their website has claimed they were discussing it with Network Rail.
 

mwmbwls

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They may well have been discussing it from time to time - if so for a long time these discussions must have inconclusive.
Understand the "nature of the beast" Peel are to business what MCFC at to football - they are probably one of the best exemplars of "Land Banking" in the World. James Whittaker and his fellow shareholder Suliman Olayan recognised the merits of Mark Twain's Aphorism "Buy land - they've stopped making it" and made judicious choices about bankable land. This is a good example of playing to win - not playing to play They don't make a deal if the terms are not right - they play "Hard Ball" as evidenced by tetchy complaints by Salford City Council who would have liked to see the redevelopment of the docks sooner. I suspect both you and I remember the late sixties and early seventies when both coal and textile industries collapsed and the trauma of the residents of Salford. Peel Holdings just took the long view and started to build on the back the burgeoning motorway network starting with the Trafford Centre. They also struck lucky following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the release of RAF bases such as Finningly where they have applied similar patient capital principles. I think the sore spot is that Peel Holdings is owned by non UK residents based in the Isle of Man and Lichtenstein and is so good at gaming our tax and regulatory systems. Remember neither of the shareholders made the laws that facilitate what they do and when they do it.

Hardball - George Stalk and Rob Lachenauer ISBN 1 59139 167 9
 

Fylsie

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The boxes which come into Trafford Park by rail come from Felixstowe, London Gateway, Southampton or Tilbury, which are all sufficiently far away from Trafford Park for rail to be viable. None of these ports is owned by Peel, which owns the port of Liverpool.
Quite - however they are still then transported by road to the warehouses are they not?
 

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