Skelmersdale Station

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by WatcherZero, 4 Jun 2015.

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  1. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    The Skelmersdale Rail Feasability Study has been completed and the scheme moving to Grip 3 has been approved by Lancashire CC.

    http://council.lancashire.gov.uk/documents/s63651/Appendix A.pdf

    Scheme studied is two new stations at Kirkby Headbolt Lane and Skelmersdale with 3rd rail extended to Skelmersdale. Basic scheme is 4tph to Headbolt Lane with 2tph continuing to Skelmersdale and 1tph to Manchester along with an enhanced option of 2tph to Manchester.

    Capital cost is not finalised before Grip 3 but work done so far has produced Low/Medium/High estimate £250m £320m £350m, in addition £10.2m for Merseyrail to purchase 2 extra 3 car EMU to operate the service in their fleet renewal since they insist they want to own the stock outright rather than lease, theres no extra leasing cost to Northern in base plan but enhanced plan requires leasing two additional DMU to operate to Manchester.

    Kirkby-Skelmersdale would be 7.5 miles with a journey time of 13 minutes, Skelmersdale-Manchester would be 25 miles with a journey time of 60 minutes. 1TPH would operate to Liverpool on Sundays and in evenings while no trains would operate to Manchester in evenings or on Sundays. Merseyrail insists Headbolt Lane would be fully manned while the assumption is Skelmersdale would have a ticket office as it will also be a bus interchange.

    Forecast that because of forced interchange demand from Kirkby to other stations would see a small drop of just over 2k each in existing passenger demand while other stations would all see increased demand. Overall Moira model forecasts a 10.5k reduction in Kirkby passengers and a 110k increase in passenger usage for the line (99k to stations between Wigan and Manchester) arising from the change to service pattern.

    Kirkby Headbolt Lane would also split the catchment population of Kirkby almost exactly in half, the new station is predicted to have a usage of 700,351 passengers per year while Kirkby would fall from 944,801 to 472,049, after abstraction this is a net increase of 227,599 or 24%.

    Skelmersdale in the base service option is forecast to have annual passenger usage of 932,319, 73% to Merseyside, 8% to Manchester, 3% to Wigan and 17% to wider network, if the enhanced 2tph is used there would be an additional 4,500 trips per annum to Wigan and 3,000 to Manchester, Meanwhile Kirkby would also generate an additional 2k trips per annum to Wigan.

    The base service is expected to produce 1,234k extra passengers on the line generating revenue of £2.75m, the enhanced service package would produce 1,375k passengers generating revenue of £3.069m. By 2023 the base package would have costs of £2.3m per annum and revenues of £5m generating an operating surplus of £2.8m, it would be profitable from the first year of operation. The enhanced frequency option would have operating costs of £4.6m and revenues of £5.65m producing an operating surplus of £0.97m though it would require subsidy of £705k in its first year as passenger numbers are ramped up falling rapidly into an operating profit in its third year. Both options would produce a BCR range of 1.0-1.6 with an average of 1.3 purely on business grounds. Factoring in economic benefits such as time savings, regeneration, increase in jobs, etc... would produce a GVA of £137m - £184m for the base service and £227m - £279m for the enhanced service. Once these are added the BCR of the base scheme becomes 1.6/1.7 while the enhanced package becomes 1.8/1.9.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2015
  2. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Presumably this proposal puts a station for Skelmersdale on the existing Kirkby to Wigan line? In which case it is quite some distance from anything that might be considered Central Skelmersdale...
     
  3. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Its a triangular junction spur into the centre of the town.
     
  4. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    In more detail, having just skimmed through the link WatcherZero provided, the proposal appears to be to build a spur and a station near Skelmersdale town centre, and to extend the Liverpool-Kirkby service: Of the 4tph, 2tph will extend to a new station at Kirkby Headbolt Lane, and the other two 2pth will extend all the way to Skelmersdale, calling at Kirkby Headbolt Lane and Rainford.

    On the Manchester side, the existing hourly Manchester-Kirkby service will be diverted to run as a Manchester-Skelmersdale service, with an aspiration to increase the frequency to 2tph. That means passengers at Kirkby and Rainford will lose their direct service to Manchester, and have to change at Skelmersdale instead. (Though Rainford will in compensation have a new half-hourly service to Liverpool)
     
  5. bluenoxid

    bluenoxid Established Member

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    Is there a reason for the 2tph terminating at Kirkby Headbolt Lane and not continuing to Skelmerdale. Getting rid of that turn back will improve scheme costs (although it will require more trains) and boost connectivity at Skelmersdale
     
  6. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    Were not tentative proposals for a railway station for Skelmersdale also contained in a document quite a number of years ago?

    I think in the past, there have been threads on such a subject upon this website.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Is the spur to be single track and thus limited capacity? I've proposed a similar thing in the past to get the Merseyrail Northern Line to Burscough Bridge, which could be done half hourly on the single line (turning half the units back at Ormskirk) and would mean a new Burscough Bridge to Preston could be run hourly with a single unit.
     
  8. Waddon

    Waddon Member

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    There's a good typo in that report on page 2 of the introduction (page 8 of the pdf)

    "In addition, the study is required to assess the alternative of providing
    two trains per house to Manchester – a Rail North aspiration."

    two trains per house! That is a very frequent service :)
     
  9. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    I expect it will be single track. You cant do Preston Ormskirk now with a single unit so interested how you are going to do that.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    1. Reinstate the South Curve, add a reversing siding at Ormskirk (or reinstate platform 2) and run Merseyrail half hourly through to Burscough Bridge via Burscough Junction and the long-proposed Mill Dam Lane station.

    2. Reinstate the North Curve and run a Burscough Bridge to Preston service instead of an Ormskirk to Preston one.

    3. Mothball the direct line that is currently used over the Manchester line.

    That would shorten the journey (Burscough-Preston rather than Ormskirk-Preston) sufficiently for a single unit to suffice for an hourly service, as well as providing a raft of useful interchanges and significantly reducing the West Lancashire-Manchester journey time.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2015
  11. Pinza-C55

    Pinza-C55 Member

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    The price seems extraordinary for such a short piece of line, though from the the map it goes through densely populated areas.
     
  12. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    How does this Skelmersdale project compare cost-wise per kilometre, including all required works, to the recently opened Todmorden Chord?
     
  13. Pinza-C55

    Pinza-C55 Member

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    I haven't the foggiest. But I seem to remember that the last quoted cost for the "Minsters Line" (York - Market Weighton - Beverley) was £290 million and that involved several stations, numerous level crossings and a new section to bypass the former Market Weighton station site.
     
  14. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Well if you break it down you've got two stations one of which is a bus interchange as well, 7.5 miles of 3rd rail electrification, a new delta junction and several miles of brand new line not just reinstating a former alignment, turnback facility at Headbolt which means reinstating double track through Kirkby, likely a fair whack of signalling considering the frequencies involved on the spur.
     
  15. Joseph_Locke

    Joseph_Locke Established Member

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    And 15km of high security fencing, a new motorway bridge, highway alterations, dual immunisation of existing signalling kit (25kvAC from Wigan will happen someday), possibly a new DC traction feeder station and associated SCADA kit, sorting out a legacy groundframe issue ...

    ... and Sandhills IECC isn't new, and there isn't much spare space in it either.
     
  16. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    Looking at the map I can see that the line is single track for some distance before the existing Kirkby station. If this track needs reinstatement only as far as Headbolt lane, then still means around 3 to 4 miles of new track. Plus a new platform face at Kirkby, and of course the new station at Headbolt lane. That station itself will need two platform faces to accommodate the combination of movements, one won't suffice. I think there is a question there too as to how much further after Headbolt Lane they might have to go with relaying a second track. I suspect all the way, with just the spur to Skelmersdale being just one track perhaps.

    Adding in building a brand new town centre train station, the price doesn't seem so extraordinary. Interesting to note that it is day one profit making too.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  17. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    This seems a very sensible project. Instead of piddling about with reopening branch lines to tiny villages, we should focus energies on a town with tens of thousands of people unattached to the rail "network" like Skem! This is the kind of opening that I can support!

    Hopefully if it gets the go ahead, the remaining five miles from Wigan Wallgate to Upholland (or is it "Up Holland", as Google Maps shows it?) can get wired as part of the scheme - since Manchester - Bolton - Wigan will be electrified before long, this leaves a tantalising gap of unelectrified track between the "Manchester" and "Liverpool" networks.

    I'd like to think that, if we were build a "new" town of this size nowadays, it would have a railway station from day one - shame such provision wasn't put in fifty years ago, though these were dark days for the railway.

    Maybe one day we could see a "turn up and go" frequency for both Manchester and Liverpool, given the concentration of people along this corridor - I could see a station at Skelmersdale easily managing a million journeys a year, which is a lot more than the badly sited stations between Wigan and Kirkby are going to manage with the status quo.

    I'm waiting for the first person to conform to Forum cliché and say that "if this were in Scotland, they would get two trains per house"! :lol:
     
  18. Geeves

    Geeves Member

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    Quite alot of assumptions on my part those being, Merseyrail ordering duel voltage stock, wires coming from the Wigan direction and of course the whole project getting off the ground in the first place

    This could see the long wanted extension of the Liverpool trains running all the way to Wigan instead of ending at Headbolt Lane those two services ending here instead swapping from DC to AC and using the wires to carry on.

    Infact you could have the whole branch to Skem under OHLE to save costs as we know NR are not too keen on DC extensions are at least they weren't

    Just my idle thoughts!

    Thinking more we could have the odd situation where the wires reach Wigan Wallgate from the Liverpool direction before they come from Manchester due to the station bridge problem, with just a very small gap up to the junction at North Western, It would not surprise me at all to see this :D:D:D

    edit noticed tbtc's similar thoughts :D
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  19. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    As TBTC says, it is rather ludicrous that the former Ormskirk to (Old Skem) Skelmersdale branch was closed and lifted (it's now a very pleasant cycle path) just as the New Town was getting off the ground...

    The problem is, the New Town was very much designed around the automobile and doesn't really have a Town Centre in the traditional sense, unless you count the Concourse shopping centre. As a result, even if the new station is relatively close to the Concourse or at least within the ring-road it won't be easily accessible by many residents other than by car or bus. This is presumably why the bus Interchange is included, but I hope sufficient car parking is available too.
     
  20. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Good question, the family and manor were called Upholland (there is a Downholland as well but its a collection of three villages) and title is Baroness Ashton of Upholland but there seems to have been a trend recently to add a space as both the church and the school now call themselves Up Holland while the library and station remain Upholland. Perhaps certain people think it looks less colloquial to have a space.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  21. Wavertreelad

    Wavertreelad Member

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    The problem with the report is that it fails to take into consideration the question of freight moving from the Potter Group site at Kirkby to Wigan and beyond. This will require the direct route to be maintained as well as upgraded to handle container traffic. The entire route has separately been recommended for electrification as part of a much wider scheme across the North of England.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-31753447

    Taking the two schemes together the logical development would be to use dual voltage stock, which would probably be favoured by Network Rail, and would potentially allow through trains to operate between Liverpool and Manchester as part of a much more integrated network in the North of England.

    Only this week Patrick McLoughlin announced.


    "Local decision making

    But it’s not just about the amount of money.
    It’s also about how we invest.
    So the right people can make the right decisions.
    That’s why we’re devolving power away from Whitehall and into the hands of cities.
    We created Transport for the North (TfN) to bring cities together.
    From Liverpool to Hull and from Sheffield to Newcastle.
    So the north can shape its own future.
    Transport for the North is a genuine partnership – and I want to thank you all for your work so far.
    By the autumn, Transport for the North will have a new independent chair.
    Who will truly speak on behalf of the north with one voice.
    That means a shared vision for trains and buses.
    For passengers using public transport.
    For reducing road congestion, and speeding up links to ports and airports."

    and this is where the Kirkby to Wigan could become quite important, especially if the route could linked to the Bootle Branch at Kirkdale allowing trains to reach the Port of Liverpool
     
  22. Olaf

    Olaf Member

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    Skelmersdale is the largest town in England that does not have a direct rail connection, so this scheme is high profile and has the necessary support. However, I do not think that the assumptions made in the analysis will form a suitable basis of a development option when taking into account some of the other initiatives in the pipeline. I expect the link will eventually get the go ahead, but there needs to be some push back first.
     
  23. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    Huh??

    Edit:
    Ah right, I remember you now, just had a shufty back through your posts. Well, Liverpool and Merseyrail look like they should be getting some well earned rare investment on a profitable and worthy scheme connecting up, and helping to energise, their city region economy. Those in the supposed, and self appointed, "regional centre" over in Manchester will just need to learn to cope with the disappointment of seeing someone else (for a change) get a flash of cash. Push back enough? Given this significant, profit making scheme only requires just over half the amount recently allocated to build your city yet another metrolink tram line, I'm sure they'll cope.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2015
  24. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Whats it go to do with Merseyside vs Manchester investment? Its a West Lancashire/Lancashire CC promoted scheme and they are looking to get the circa £400m funded in the next Lancashire Growth Deal. Merseytravel have provided a little funding for studies and moral support.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2015
  25. Corriman

    Corriman Member

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    As a Skelmersdale resident I do hope this project goes ahead. The town has terrible public transport links, to have direct access to Liverpool and Manchester would do wonders for the place.
    I doubt there is many places in UK where you could route a new track and town centre station station with so few obvious obstacles.
     
  26. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    It should have nothing to do with it, is the answer.

    Agreed it is remarkable. Given the town, like many new towns, was designed to be isolated (a philosophical decision to try and divorce its residents from their roots in the misguided hope a fully self contained new town would result) I wonder if was not a sneaky provision by someone not quite convinced that would be the outcome.

    It should have been built years ago.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2015
  27. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    One thing in favour of Skelmersdale is the fact that the new town is quite spacious, so finding a suitable alignment into a central-ish station should be possible with little or no CPO/demolitions required. Looking through the document in the OP though, I could not identify any section that dealt with the location of the new station. Again, the lack of any real town centre in Skem means that integration with road transport is essential for the scheme to be a success.
     
  28. Joseph_Locke

    Joseph_Locke Established Member

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    I think you'll find that low levels of car ownership is one of the reasons that the place needs a railway link.

    I thought Leigh also makes that claim?
     
  29. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Quite right... Though that surely exposes the naivety of the 1950s/60s planners that designed the place, as it is an absolute pain for anyone who doesn't have access to a car. I worked at the Asda in Skem whilst a student living in Ormskirk, and the poor, slow bus route linking the two places was a real problem, not helped by Arriva North West's insistence on routing almost every service via the Skelmersdale depot to allow drivers to change over (which often took up to 10 minutes).
     
  30. Corriman

    Corriman Member

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    Conveniently the council has just announced that a local high school will be shutting down which is located in the ideal area for a new station. This location won't be great for everyone, but a large proportion of the town live nearby.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2015
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