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Stations rebuild at Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield

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James Kevill

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I was thinking of something like should the 3 stations are Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield to be rebuild and modernized before the electrification? If the government agrees to restart the electrification of Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Derby. And the Class 810 AT300/Auroras and Class 360 Desiros could be converted into Battery Electric Multiple Units so they could avoid the de-wirement of the overhead wires and the electric trains would take over the entire Midland Mainline.
 
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JonathanH

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I was thinking of something like should the 3 stations are Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield to be rebuild and modernized before the electrification?
A full rebuild seems rather unlikely. Nottingham has had a substantial remodelling fairly recently. Sheffield might be looked at in the light of HS2, not an electrification of the Midland line. I'm not sure what the priority to remodel Leicester would be. It is a fairly straightforward double island platform.
 

BrianW

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A broader point- as technology moves on, would worthwhile initial and/or maintenence cost savings be made if main stations and their associated pointwork were overhead wire-free with battery-power to 'fill the gap'. I'm an 'amateur' ok so if that's a ridiculous idea, please be gentle with me. (and for that matter maybe similarly with 3rd rail, rather as with the electro-diesel locos?)
 

D365

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Sheffield remodelling and electrification will come under HS2.

A broader point- as technology moves on, would worthwhile initial and/or maintenence cost savings be made if main stations and their associated pointwork were overhead wire-free with battery-power to 'fill the gap'. I'm an 'amateur' ok so if that's a ridiculous idea, please be gentle with me. (and for that matter maybe similarly with 3rd rail, rather as with the electro-diesel locos?)
Might be possible for smaller ”regional” stations, but I am of the opinion that hub stations would benefit from OHLE in any case.

Third rail will be very situation-dependent.
 

Domh245

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A broader point- as technology moves on, would worthwhile initial and/or maintenence cost savings be made if main stations and their associated pointwork were overhead wire-free with battery-power to 'fill the gap'. I'm an 'amateur' ok so if that's a ridiculous idea, please be gentle with me. (and for that matter maybe similarly with 3rd rail, rather as with the electro-diesel locos?)

Like @D365 says, hub/main stations are the exact place you want to put your OLE if possible - they're generally well connected to the power grid and have long layovers so are the perfect time to recharge batteries for use elsewhere where electrification is genuinely tricky! Skimping on the wires over the pointwork may be the best you can get, but you'd still end up having to put wires in to avoid dropping and raising the pantograph for the short section, so it's only where clearances are problematic (like Leicester!) that it'd make sense
 

Aictos

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A rebuild of Leicester shouldn't be considered until the layout has been remodelled by this I mean remove the conflict at Wigston North Junction between East Midlands Railway going North/South and Cross Country going East/West by building a flyover or diveunder so Birmingham bound services don't have to cross both Up and Down lines.

Do this first ensuring while you're remodelling that you're also making sure the scheme is electrification ready eg ensuring the OHL support bases etc are in place then once the remodelling is done, then crack on with the electrification.
 

InTheEastMids

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A rebuild of Leicester shouldn't be considered until the layout has been remodelled by this I mean remove the conflict at Wigston North Junction between East Midlands Railway going North/South and Cross Country going East/West by building a flyover or diveunder so Birmingham bound services don't have to cross both Up and Down lines.

Do this first ensuring while you're remodelling that you're also making sure the scheme is electrification ready eg ensuring the OHL support bases etc are in place then once the remodelling is done, then crack on with the electrification.
Grade separation at Wigston no longer seems to be on the agenda.

NR published a report on Leicester that covers potential options for development. You need to search for "Leicester Area strategic advice 2020" and you'll find it easily enough.
 

MarkyT

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Nottingham was rebuilt a few years back!
As was Derby more recently. The new signalling is, AFAIK, fully electrification ready, although there are probably still some overbridges to do and I suspect the Long Eaton area was a do minimum strategy pending HS2 works. The big Leicester signal gantries were supposed to be suitable for wiring too when provided in the 1980s, but I doubt they comply with latest standards, are getting on for 4 decades old now, and may not be suitably positioned for revised layouts.

Grade separation at Wigston no longer seems to be on the agenda.

NR published a report on Leicester that covers potential options for development. You need to search for "Leicester Area strategic advice 2020" and you'll find it easily enough.
I suspect with all passenger traffic stopping at Leicester, speeds are sufficiently uniform to allow freights to gradually weave across the layout without stopping and with alternative crossover options available at either end of the station.
 
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yorksrob

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I've not used Leicester so much, but I already find both Sheffield and Nottingham stations to be a very pleasant station environment.
 

Aictos

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As was Derby more recently. The new signalling is, AFAIK, fully electrification ready, although there are probably still some overbridges to do and I suspect the Long Eaton area was a do minimum strategy pending HS2 works. The big Leicester signal gantries were supposed to be suitable for wiring too when provided in the 1980s, but I doubt they comply with latest standards, are getting on for 4 decades old now, and may not be suitably positioned for revised layouts.


I suspect with all passenger traffic stopping at Leicester, speeds are sufficiently uniform to allow freights to gradually weave across the layout without stopping and with alternative crossover options available at either end of the station.
You're forgetting though that conflict happens at that junction between EMR and Freight/XC so regardless of weaving though Leicester itself, you just need a single train delayed in that section to have a knock on effect eg a delayed XC waiting to cross on the flat could be late getting to New Street that then impacts on its next working but also on other services that now have to wait for a platform especially as now they're carrying out works I believe with the signalling there.

And as traffic levels are lower then pre Covid, it makes sense to build the grade separation now and remove the risk of pathing conflicts here then leave it too late and besides, by carryinv out the work now it means services are more reliable as no longer need to cross on the flat and it also might mean a extra path or two being available due to the work which I think is worth doing.

Not going ahead with it as far as I'm concerned isn't a option not if we want to plan ahead for the next 50 or so years.
 

BrianW

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A rebuild of Leicester shouldn't be considered until the layout has been remodelled by this I mean remove the conflict at Wigston North Junction between East Midlands Railway going North/South and Cross Country going East/West by building a flyover or diveunder so Birmingham bound services don't have to cross both Up and Down lines.

Do this first ensuring while you're remodelling that you're also making sure the scheme is electrification ready eg ensuring the OHL support bases etc are in place then once the remodelling is done, then crack on with the electrification.
I find myself thinking of the cost of creating grade separation against the apparent benefit of reducing conflicting movements and increasing capacity. Maybe as more trains move at similar speeds and people accept the logic of longer trains with clock face regularity rather than increased frequency the benefit-cost calculation produces a different answer.
It can also be seen that by making smaller incremental steps it is easier to gain acceptance, to 'carry people with us'; slowly, slowly catchy monkey'?
 

bramling

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I've not used Leicester so much, but I already find both Sheffield and Nottingham stations to be a very pleasant station environment.

Leicester is a bit cramped around its main entrance, but this could easily be solved with a proper second entrance at the opposite end of the platforms planned around people who arrive by car. At platform level Leicester is a little aesthetically dumpy due to having modern canopies, but it’s functionally entirely fit for purpose IMO.
 

yorksrob

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Leicester is a bit cramped around its main entrance, but this could easily be solved with a proper second entrance at the opposite end of the platforms planned around people who arrive by car. At platform level Leicester is a little aesthetically dumpy due to having modern canopies, but it’s functionally entirely fit for purpose IMO.

Yes, it doesn't strike me as having any problems.

Come to think of it, I've wandered around it a couple of times on railtours.
 

Dr Hoo

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The challenge with Leicester is 'future proofing'. Although it handles current services reasonably well and has adequate passenger facilities a lot could change. For example:

- a significant increase in intermodal services once Haughley Junction, Soham and Ely are sorted out. Even with reasonably speed crossovers half-mile long trains take a long time to clear junctions;
- a new Coventry-Leicester service (possibly extended at both ends) via a new Nuneaton South Curve seems to be high priority for transport planners in the Midlands;
- possible re-opening of the Leicester-Burton 'Ivanhoe Line' to passenger services with a replacement curve at Knighton quite close to the south end of the station; and
- possible increases in frequency of local passenger services via both Melton Mowbray and local stations via Sileby to two per hour.

The current layout is poor for terminating services. CrossCountry short working from Birmingham lay over and turn back from Platform 1, blocking almost everything. Local services from Nottingham do the same in Platform 4 and block all southbound moves as they depart.

Given the amount of money and effort that has gone into separating out layouts with complex traffic mixes around Hitchin, Peterborough/Werrington, Doncaster, Rugby, Nuneaton, Norton Bridge and Reading on the ECML, WCML and GWML it would be quite short sighted to leave Leicester and the MML as a separation free zone.
 

Bald Rick

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Given the amount of money and effort that has gone into separating out layouts with complex traffic mixes around Hitchin, Peterborough/Werrington, Doncaster, Rugby, Nuneaton, Norton Bridge and Reading on the ECML, WCML and GWML it would be quite short sighted to leave Leicester and the MML as a separation free zone.

Not forgetting Acton!
 

Aictos

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The challenge with Leicester is 'future proofing'. Although it handles current services reasonably well and has adequate passenger facilities a lot could change. For example:

- a significant increase in intermodal services once Haughley Junction, Soham and Ely are sorted out. Even with reasonably speed crossovers half-mile long trains take a long time to clear junctions;
- a new Coventry-Leicester service (possibly extended at both ends) via a new Nuneaton South Curve seems to be high priority for transport planners in the Midlands;
- possible re-opening of the Leicester-Burton 'Ivanhoe Line' to passenger services with a replacement curve at Knighton quite close to the south end of the station; and
- possible increases in frequency of local passenger services via both Melton Mowbray and local stations via Sileby to two per hour.

The current layout is poor for terminating services. CrossCountry short working from Birmingham lay over and turn back from Platform 1, blocking almost everything. Local services from Nottingham do the same in Platform 4 and block all southbound moves as they depart.

Given the amount of money and effort that has gone into separating out layouts with complex traffic mixes around Hitchin, Peterborough/Werrington, Doncaster, Rugby, Nuneaton, Norton Bridge and Reading on the ECML, WCML and GWML it would be quite short sighted to leave Leicester and the MML as a separation free zone.
Thank you for the detailed post, it explains more on why the grade seperation scheme at Leicester ought to go ahead and not cancelled or postponed.
 

Bald Rick

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Thank you for the detailed post, it explains more on why the grade seperation scheme at Leicester ought to go ahead and not cancelled or postponed.

It’s pretty difficult to cancel something that isn’t proposed.
 

Aictos

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It’s pretty difficult to cancel something that isn’t proposed.
One doesn't want a repeat of the MML electrification where it was proposed to Sheffield and got postponed then cancelled with only Bedford to Corby seeing OHL.
 

Bald Rick

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One doesn't want a repeat of the MML electrification where it was proposed to Sheffield and got postponed then cancelled with only Bedford to Corby seeing OHL.

Of course, but just so we’re clear - grade separation at Leicester is not in any future plan. Therefore it can’t be postponed or cancelled.
 

Aictos

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Of course, but just so we’re clear - grade separation at Leicester is not in any future plan. Therefore it can’t be postponed or cancelled.
That's right but it should be though.
 
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What would remodelling at Leicester look like? I understand that platforms 1&2 are for Northbound services and 3&4 Southbound.There looks to be room for a 5th platform to the East on the sidings. Also aren't there plans for a 4th track between Leicester and Wigston Junction and North to Syston junction?

If a 5th platform is built then the layout at Leicester could be platform 1 for terminating services from a restored Coventry-Leicester service or a restored Burton-Leicester. Platform 2 for MML services to Nottingham/Derby/Sheffield. Platform 3 for MML services to St Pancras. Platform 4 for services to Melton Mobary and the new plastorm 5 for Birmingham, or would that cause too. Many conflicts without grade separation at Wigston?
 

Aictos

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What? Grade separation cancelled or postponed? Not sure if that's exactly what you meant!
Just saying that the scheme should go ahead but knowing the Govt, it probably get announced then cancelled - I just used the MML electrification as a example of the DfT and HM Treasury.
 

InTheEastMids

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What would remodelling at Leicester look like? I understand that platforms 1&2 are for Northbound services and 3&4 Southbound.There looks to be room for a 5th platform to the East on the sidings. Also aren't there plans for a 4th track between Leicester and Wigston Junction and North to Syston junction?

If a 5th platform is built then the layout at Leicester could be platform 1 for terminating services from a restored Coventry-Leicester service or a restored Burton-Leicester. Platform 2 for MML services to Nottingham/Derby/Sheffield. Platform 3 for MML services to St Pancras. Platform 4 for services to Melton Mobary and the new plastorm 5 for Birmingham, or would that cause too. Many conflicts without grade separation at Wigston?
The NR 'Leicester Area Strategic Advice' report will answer your questions, I think. It's got a Platform 0 option... Your search engine will find it very easily.

But there isn’t a scheme, so it can’t go ahead!
Exactly. The report above is saying "To give these potential customer outcomes, this is the sort of project NR would need to deliver".

The regular Enhancements Plan updates that NR used to publish in CP5 had a defined scheme which (I think) mentioned grade separation. But that was CP5... Different times
 
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The NR 'Leicester Area Strategic Advice' report will answer your questions, I think. It's got a Platform 0 option... Your search engine will find it very easily.


Exactly. The report above is saying "To give these potential customer outcomes, this is the sort of project NR would need to deliver".

The regular Enhancements Plan updates that NR used to publish in CP5 had a defined scheme which (I think) mentioned grade separation. But that was CP5... Different times

Thanks found it https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Leicester-Area-Strategic-Advice-2020.pdf

An interesting read although I am struggling to understand the logic of proposed layout on pg 23&25 with the Down Fast becoming the Down Nuneaton (DN), the Up Fast becoming the Up Nuneaton (UN), and then the Down Kettering (DK) and Up Kettering (UK). If the Intercity services are on the east of the station and the Cross county services and freight on the west surely this just pushes the conflicts from Wigston North junction to Syston?
 

Bald Rick

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An interesting read although I am struggling to understand the logic of proposed layout on pg 23&25 with the Down Fast becoming the Down Nuneaton (DN), the Up Fast becoming the Up Nuneaton (UN), and then the Down Kettering (DK) and Up Kettering (UK). If the Intercity services are on the east of the station and the Cross county services and freight on the west surely this just pushes the conflicts from Wigston North junction to Syston?

Yes... and no.

The ‘conflict’ now is the whole way from Wigston to Syston, as trains from both routes are interacting the whole way. By amending the track layout as that document proposes, the conflicts can be spread about a bit. For example with the crossover proposed there would be two opportunities for a freight to cross from the Ketterings to the Nuneatons, which makes it easier to timetable and easier to resolve in pertubation.
 
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