We’re at an interesting point in history in the development of our railway infrastructure, chiefly as a result of HS2, Cross Rail, Northern Powerhouse Rail and a need to decarbonise our transport networks. As a result, the next 30 years will probably see a lot of change to many railway stations and city centre rail infrastructure to a level not seen since the 19th century. So with that in mind, what change would you make and why?
I would do the following:
I would do the following:
- Create 7 through platforms by knocking through from P9 and P10 to P1 (and the abandoned bay next to it).
- Re-open two east facing bays (adjacent to the new through platforms) for local stopping services to terminate from the north.
- Newcastle will be seeing longer long-distance trains. The days of 3-car TPE services are gone and 4-car Voyagers should become a relic of the past once HS2 and NPR are up and running. As a result, the current bay platforms P9-12 will not be fit for purpose, given their role has been for accommodating 3 & 4 car TPE and XC services. Today they are not fit for purpose with 5-car IETs.
- This will leave 11 platforms in total: four bays P1 & P2 (currently P11 & P12) and P3 & P4, plus seven through platforms numbered P5 to P11. Platform 10 & 11 (currently P5-8) would be labelled as 10a, 10b, 11a and 11b.
- The new through platforms P5 and P6 can handle through services to & from Edinburgh.
- P7 (current P2) can operate both through services to Scotland and terminating services.
- P8 & P9 (current P3 & P4) dedicated to terminating services.
- P10 & P11 (P5-P8) dedicated to through services from Sunderland & Middlesbrough towards Carlisle, as they do today.
- P1 & P2 (currently 11 & 12) could be less frequently used, but I am loathe to filling them in.
- P3 & P4 (reinstated east-facing bays) to operate as terminus for services from Morpeth & Ashington.
- Build 6 bay platform HS2 & NPR station on the surface.
- Build the Golbourne Spur
- Build tram-train capability for Metrolink to take Glossop, Hadfield and Rose Hill services.
- This is more predictable given the level of proposed investment in Manchester, but the purpose would be to concentrate fast services in to Piccadilly and actively only allow commuter services on to Castlefield.
- P9 to P14 be dedicated purely to Northern services.
- P3 to P8 to be dedicated to fast services terminating from Sheffield, Nottingham, Cardiff and legacy long distance WCML services from London & Birmingham.
- P1 & P2 dedicated to Sheffield & Huddersfield/Leeds stoppers.
- HS2 & NPR platforms to take fast services to/from London, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow & Edinburgh