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Reshuffle of services around West Mids-North West

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Philip

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What do people think of the idea of partly switching the Avanti London-Birmingham-Scotland service with the Manchester-Cardiff service through the West Midlands and Cheshire?

Idea is:

Avanti: London-West Midlands-Crewe-Wilmslow-Stockport-Manchester-Bolton-Preston-Scotland

TfW: Cardiff-Shrewsbury-Crewe-Warrington-(Wigan if demand necessitates it)-Manchester Victoria-(Stalybridge if necessary).

To free up more space in Castlefield for the extra Avanti, the Alderley Edge stopper could terminate in Manchester again and the North Wales TfW could run via Knutsford as proposed. It provides another link between Birmingham and Manchester with longer trains; new direct links between Wilmslow and Birmingham/Preston/Scotland and between Bolton and the south. WMT could possibly extend one of their Birmingham to Crewe trains to Preston too, so that Wigan doesn't lose out too much.

Journey times between Cardiff and Manchester and between Birmingham and Scotland would increase a bit, but not hugely and this is balanced against the positives of new direct links created.
 
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JonathanH

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Avanti: London-West Midlands-Crewe-Wilmslow-Stockport-Manchester-Bolton-Preston-Scotland
The only new link is Bolton to the South and Wilmslow / Stockport to Scotland. At the same time the Birmingham to Scotland flow is made slower.

The only reason to do this would be if demand absolutely crashes long term such that there is a need to make substantial cut backs and consolidate the residual services - eg if the only demand for Anglo-Scottish travel could be fulfilled by one train an hour going from London via the West Midlands and Greater Manchester and one on the East Coast going via Leeds.
 
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Philip

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Don't forget Cardiff and Shrewsbury to Warrington and Wigan.

I know Birmingham to Scotland will be slower but it won't be much slower and you have to balance that against the new journey opportunities. Birmingham also has links to Scotland using Cross Country. Bolton is a substantial town and direct connections to the south would be well used; this would be restoring what was lost in the mid 2000s. Also if TPE continue to skip Bolton on most of their services then Avanti could offer a more regular alternative. What other reasons make it bad idea before HS2?
 

Peterthegreat

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What do people think of the idea of partly switching the Avanti London-Birmingham-Scotland service with the Manchester-Cardiff service through the West Midlands and Cheshire?
To answer your question bluntly - it is a stupid idea!
1) the two services are not connected in anyway
2) The only benefits are to Bolton which would gain a rather lengthy journey to London. Wilmslow and Stockport would also gain a through service to Scotland and Warrington a service towards Cardiff.
3) there are many losers. Wilmslow and Stockport would no longer have through trains to Shrewsbury and beyond, Warrington and Wigan would no longer have services to the West Midlands. Journey times on both routes would be lengthened.
 

Philip

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To answer your question bluntly - it is a stupid idea!
1) the two services are not connected in anyway
2) The only benefits are to Bolton which would gain a rather lengthy journey to London. Wilmslow and Stockport would also gain a through service to Scotland and Warrington a service towards Cardiff.
3) there are many losers. Wilmslow and Stockport would no longer have through trains to Shrewsbury and beyond, Warrington and Wigan would no longer have services to the West Midlands. Journey times on both routes would be lengthened.
Stockport and Wilmslow can do without the Shrewsbury and Cardiff service, the extra/new Birmingham service would be more heavily used; plus possibly a cheaper way to get to London if Avanti have cheaper advances for it.

I mentioned that a WMT service from Birmingham could be extended from Crewe to Wigan or Preston to cover for the removal of the Avanti.
 

Peterthegreat

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Stockport and Wilmslow can do without the Shrewsbury and Cardiff service, the extra/new Birmingham service would be more heavily used; plus possibly a cheaper way to get to London if Avanti have cheaper advances for it.

I mentioned that a WMT service from Birmingham could be extended from Crewe to Wigan or Preston to cover for the removal of the Avanti
Sorry but you are flogging a dead horse. Stockport already has through trains to Birmingham. If there was a demand from Wilmslow surely one of the half hourly (pre Covid) Manchester to Birmingham services would go that way? Using your logic Warrington and Wigan would lose a cheaper way to London!
 

cle

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I do agree with sending the Cardiff service to Manchester Victoria.

Consolidate Wales services there (add the Llandudno), plus you add Manchester Victoria-Crewe, bolster WBQ-Victoria frequency - and you remove off a stupid 2-4 car diesel service from Piccadilly/Stockport lines, where it is wasteful in terms of capacity. Stick another Birmingham, Bristol or London frequency down that route.
 

JonathanH

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There are some benefits to sending the Cardiff service to Manchester Victoria, notably the interchange possibilities at Warrington, the possibility of calling at Winsford, Hartford and slightly easier pathing at Crewe. However, I am not sure that adding another Birmingham or London service on the Piccadilly to Stockport corridor is the best opportunity. A extra Northern electric service to Crewe would seem more sensible.
 

Purple Orange

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I do agree with sending the Cardiff service to Manchester Victoria.

Consolidate Wales services there (add the Llandudno), plus you add Manchester Victoria-Crewe, bolster WBQ-Victoria frequency - and you remove off a stupid 2-4 car diesel service from Piccadilly/Stockport lines, where it is wasteful in terms of capacity. Stick another Birmingham, Bristol or London frequency down that route.

Don’t stick another XC down that route - stick another northern stopper there instead. More needs to be done to break the habit of driving in to Manchester.
 

cle

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Don’t stick another XC down that route - stick another northern stopper there instead. More needs to be done to break the habit of driving in to Manchester.
It will take the place of a Wilmslow fast service however. So maybe a semi-fast: Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Wilmslow and stations to Crewe? Or something beyond, like Stafford. And 6 cars/electric.
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
Is getting from the Crewe lines to the Victoria lines possible at Warrington Bank Quay without having to reverse?.

Yes.

By continuing north from Bank Quay, you come to Winnick Junction, straight ahead (not the diverging diagonal cut off line to Wigan) on the ex Grand Junction to Earlestown, then diverge right onto the ex Liverpool & Manchester (commonly known as the Chat Moss route) to head east.
 

Purple Orange

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It will take the place of a Wilmslow fast service however. So maybe a semi-fast: Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Wilmslow and stations to Crewe? Or something beyond, like Stafford. And 6 cars/electric.

An additional stop at Cheadle Hulme May as well mean making a call at Alderley Edge, Handforth etc. Levenshulme & Heaton Chapel may not be needed.
 

cle

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An additional stop at Cheadle Hulme May as well mean making a call at Alderley Edge, Handforth etc. Levenshulme & Heaton Chapel may not be needed.
Definitely first stop Stockport, if we are trying to maintain a faster service for Wilmslow. From Wilmslow onwards, I don't mind. Crewe-Stockport/Piccadilly should be maintained too, I guess, but could be semi-fast or fast. Maybe the future of those routes is to Birmingham, but slower, like the current Liverpool-Birmingham routes. Via Rugeley also an option.

I do support those Manchester stations having a better service though.
 

Purple Orange

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I thought Wilmslow was supposed to be served by HS2 ? Not sure?

In Phase 2a it is.

Wilmslow will be served by HS2 after 2b as well. It’s just that Manchester Airport becomes our main intercity station.

Definitely first stop Stockport, if we are trying to maintain a faster service for Wilmslow. From Wilmslow onwards, I don't mind. Crewe-Stockport/Piccadilly should be maintained too, I guess, but could be semi-fast or fast. Maybe the future of those routes is to Birmingham, but slower, like the current Liverpool-Birmingham routes. Via Rugeley also an option.

I do support those Manchester stations having a better service though.

Personally I think it should be a Crewe - Piccadilly stopper. The ATW service as it currently stands is not much faster than the Northern stopper from Wilmslow. May as well call at all stops to Stockport and improve commuter rail in to Manchester.
 
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6Gman

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I don't think the Manchester - Nantwich/ Whitchurch commuters (yes, they exist) are going to be thrilled by their tour of South Lancashire.

And a 9/11-car Pendolino through 13/14 at Piccadilly doesn't seem a good idea.
 

JonathanH

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I don't think the Manchester - Nantwich/ Whitchurch commuters (yes, they exist) are going to be thrilled by their tour of South Lancashire.
Crewe to Manchester by TfW service is 40 minutes. Crewe to Warrington is about 20 minutes and Warrington to Manchester is 30 minutes, less once Earlestown and Newton-le-Willows are omitted. Add in an Hartford stop and it is all much of muchness. There do seem to be some network benefits of using the TfW service as a way of linking up Crewe, Hartford and Warrington, and better connections between the Marches route and Scotland than those at Crewe.
 

Philip

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I don't think the Manchester - Nantwich/ Whitchurch commuters (yes, they exist) are going to be thrilled by their tour of South Lancashire.

And a 9/11-car Pendolino through 13/14 at Piccadilly doesn't seem a good idea.
Manchester to Nantwich and Whitchurch are not big markets, these places are out in the sticks and have done well for their stations to have remained open, never mind fast services to Manchester...Market Drayton not so lucky! The fact that TfW only stop a handful of their hourly Manchester services at these stations shows how trivial they think the link is.

A difference in journey time of 10 minutes isn't an issue.

Regarding Pendolinos through platforms 13/14, Virgin CC efficiently ran services out of here with 7-8 mk2 coaches and the loco before the Voyagers started, so Avanti can do the same with Pendolinos.
 
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The Planner

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Manchester to Nantwich and Whitchurch are not big markets, these places are out in the sticks and have done well for their stations to have remained open, never mind fast services to Manchester...Market Drayton not so lucky! The fact that TfW only stop a handful of their hourly Manchester services at these stations shows how trivial they think the link is.

A difference in journey time of 10 minutes isn't an issue.

Regarding Pendolinos through platforms 13/14, Virgin CC efficiently ran services out of here with 7-8 mk2 coaches and the loco before the Voyagers started, so Avanti can do the same with Pendolinos.
One of your most misinformed posts I am afraid. 10 minutes is massive when it comes to people deciding to use the train vs another mode. Nantwich has over 220000 entires and exits which is double what they had 10 years ago, they are not "lucky" to have a station at all. By that rule then clearly local stations such as Sandbach and around the 200k user mark or less should.close? The issues with Pendo stops at Picc are well documented on here.7 or 8 mk2 are a lot shorter than a Pendo.
 

Purple Orange

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One of your most misinformed posts I am afraid. 10 minutes is massive when it comes to people deciding to use the train vs another mode. Nantwich has over 220000 entires and exits which is double what they had 10 years ago, they are not "lucky" to have a station at all. By that rule then clearly local stations such as Sandbach and around the 200k user mark or less should.close? The issues with Pendo stops at Picc are well documented on here.7 or 8 mk2 are a lot shorter than a Pendo.

It’s not as stark as that regarding a route through Warrington. The times along the route are:

  • Crewe to Warrington journey times range from 17, 20 and 23 mins (all Avanti).
  • Warrington to Victoria journey times are times at 29 mins (northern to Leeds)
  • Add in a minute dwell time at Warring BQ and the total journey time is 47 mins.
  • Crewe to Piccadilly is timed at 43 mins with TfW.
So there is a 4 min journey time difference at best, which let’s face it, with times of 43 & 47 mins, most people will conclude that the journey takes about 45 mins every time. Therefore an ATW service in to Victoria via Warrington is a viable proposition.
 

Glenn1969

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If it can be pathed . At minimum speed and with a realistic dwell at BQ (at least 2 monutes) you are talking a 55 minute journey. I think people will either drive or get the quicker Avanti service (if boarding at Crewe. Plus I'm pretty sure Northern were denied a request for an extra Chat Moss service through Vic because NR thought it was a performance issue which is why we didn't get the promised Liverpool- Bradford- Leeds service in 2015. Have things changed now?
 

The Planner

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It’s not as stark as that regarding a route through Warrington. The times along the route are:

  • Crewe to Warrington journey times range from 17, 20 and 23 mins (all Avanti).
  • Warrington to Victoria journey times are times at 29 mins (northern to Leeds)
  • Add in a minute dwell time at Warring BQ and the total journey time is 47 mins.
  • Crewe to Piccadilly is timed at 43 mins with TfW.
So there is a 4 min journey time difference at best, which let’s face it, with times of 43 & 47 mins, most people will conclude that the journey takes about 45 mins every time. Therefore an ATW service in to Victoria via Warrington is a viable proposition.
That isn't what I was on about, if generalised journey time is increased it normally equates to loss of revenue and modal shift.
 

Peterthegreat

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If it can be pathed . At minimum speed and with a realistic dwell at BQ (at least 2 monutes) you are talking a 55 minute journey. I think people will either drive or get the quicker Avanti service (if boarding at Crewe. Plus I'm pretty sure Northern were denied a request for an extra Chat Moss service through Vic because NR thought it was a performance issue which is why we didn't get the promised Liverpool- Bradford- Leeds service in 2015. Have things changed now?
Exactly. 55 minutes is much more realistic as I've yet to see a 125mph tilting 175. In addition the current timings via Stockport have performance time. Add in all this and the turnround time in Manchester drops to less than ten minutes. It is not a viable proposition.
 

Purple Orange

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That isn't what I was on about, if generalised journey time is increased it normally equates to loss of revenue and modal shift.

Yes I understood your point, which I agree with. Yet generalised journey time would not be increased in this case.

If it can be pathed . At minimum speed and with a realistic dwell at BQ (at least 2 monutes) you are talking a 55 minute journey. I think people will either drive or get the quicker Avanti service (if boarding at Crewe. Plus I'm pretty sure Northern were denied a request for an extra Chat Moss service through Vic because NR thought it was a performance issue which is why we didn't get the promised Liverpool- Bradford- Leeds service in 2015. Have things changed now?

So why is it that routing of the LNW Euston-Crewe service is planned to go in to Victoria during phase 2a of HS2? It must be considered a viable route (see page 55 in the link below).


Upon completion of phase 2b they put it back to Piccadilly. They plan:
  • LNW Euston, Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Stoke, Macclesfield, Poynton, Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme and Stockport, Piccadilly
  • LNW Euston, Milton Keynes, Rugby, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Tamworth, Litchfield Trent Valley, Rugeley Trent Valley, Stafford, Crewe and Warrington Bank Quay, Victoria
    • This is the service to be routed to Piccadilly after phase 2b is completed and presumably calling at Wilmslow and Stockport.
  • There would be no Avanti Euston-Piccadilly services
  • Cross Country seems to have the same routes.
  • An emphasis on long distance connections over regional.
  • No does not appear to be consideration of the impact of increased frequency due to Trans Pennine Route Upgrade, let alone NPR or MER.
  • No reference to the DfT consultation on Castlefield, which changes service patterns compared to their base assumptions.
It’s worth noting that if you google prior iterations of this document, there are very different plans, suggesting it will all change again in the next iteration.
 
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6Gman

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Crewe to Manchester by TfW service is 40 minutes. Crewe to Warrington is about 20 minutes and Warrington to Manchester is 30 minutes, less once Earlestown and Newton-le-Willows are omitted. Add in an Hartford stop and it is all much of muchness. There do seem to be some network benefits of using the TfW service as a way of linking up Crewe, Hartford and Warrington, and better connections between the Marches route and Scotland than those at Crewe.
Not sure I agree with those figures.

Manchester - Crewe by TfW is generally 35 minutes.

Manchester - Bank Quay seems to be 35 or thereabouts; BQ to Crewe around 16 (but that's on a Pendolino, not a 175 - or 158 or 150 :D ); add in 2 minutes for the stop and a 35 minute journey becomes 53 at least. The best part of an extra 20 minutes!

Meanwhile passengers from Brum and Wolverhampton (and Crewe) to the likes of Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle and Scotland get a view of the Castlefield Corridor! (I know Crewe - Preston is around 40 mins; what would it be via Manchester?).

This really does seem to be a suggestion to take two useful services and to mess them around for no real purpose.

Manchester to Nantwich and Whitchurch are not big markets, these places are out in the sticks and have done well for their stations to have remained open, never mind fast services to Manchester...Market Drayton not so lucky! The fact that TfW only stop a handful of their hourly Manchester services at these stations shows how trivial they think the link is.

A difference in journey time of 10 minutes isn't an issue.

Regarding Pendolinos through platforms 13/14, Virgin CC efficiently ran services out of here with 7-8 mk2 coaches and the loco before the Voyagers started, so Avanti can do the same with Pendolinos.
The fact that they introduced basically 2-hourly stops, to complement the 2-hourly stopper, shows how important they think the link is !
 

cle

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I suspect it will change a lot. I like the consolidation of all Wales services to Victoria. Gives a solid, faster service to WBQ (in case of future CLC splits/Metrolink/all slows) and to both Crewe and Chester. It's where shorter (diesel) trains should go, vs Stockport viaduct and Piccadilly.

The Mid-Cheshire I would leave largely as today, with more frequency where possible, even if tram-train, or more shuttles to Stockport. The North Wales going that way is stupid.
 

Peterthegreat

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I suspect it will change a lot. I like the consolidation of all Wales services to Victoria. Gives a solid, faster service to WBQ (in case of future CLC splits/Metrolink/all slows) and to both Crewe and Chester. It's where shorter (diesel) trains should go, vs Stockport viaduct and Piccadilly.

The Mid-Cheshire I would leave largely as today, with more frequency where possible, even if tram-train, or more shuttles to Stockport. The North Wales going that way is stupid.
Are you going to send Buxton, Hope Valley and Rose Hill trains into Victoria too?
 
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