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Stockport–Stalybridge: a 100 per cent improvement

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Adlington

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The (in)famous Stockport–Stalybridge line will now have 2 (two) passenger trains per week (2 tpw??) instead of just one
As a result of the major shake-up to train timetables, the service has moved to Saturday mornings and will run from Stalybridge to Stockport and back - stopping at Denton and Reddish South twice during the round trip
the Manchester Evening News proudly reports.
Who says the new timetable brings only cuts in services? o_O
 
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Merseysider

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Passengers from Denton and Reddish South will now have an impressive 35 minutes to do their shopping in Stockport before their last train back :lol:
 

tbtc

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The previous service kind of made sense, as a box-ticking exercise, since it took a turn that was running ECS from Stockport back to Newton Heath (via Denton) Monday to Thursday, so little extra resource required to divert it via Stalybridge on a Friday.

What does the new (return service) run off though?
 

Bertie the bus

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Unlike many of the joke groups dotted around the country who want to bring back the Titfield Thunderbolt I have quite a lot of sympathy for the FoRSS’ cause. I’ve chatted to them at Stockport station and signed their petition and on the face of it it’s easy to imagine how such a service in a major city could work.

I’m sure there are several reasons why it would be difficult to reintroduce a meaningful service, and a single return which comes straight back is of no more use than the old service, but if they see it as a minor victory then good for them.
 

YorkshireBear

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I feel for them but the capacity constraints at heaton norris are just too great I sense. Maybe after HS2 takes some fast trains away it could be looked at again.
 

61653 HTAFC

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The case for a regular service is there in theory with one of the original raisons d'etre (TPE expresses running via Victoria) coming back... however, Stalybridge is also skipped by the fastest TPE services anyway, particularly the Liverpools which don't even serve Piccadilly via the Ordsall Chord.
 

jimm

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Unlike many of the joke groups dotted around the country who want to bring back the Titfield Thunderbolt I have quite a lot of sympathy for the FoRSS’ cause. I’ve chatted to them at Stockport station and signed their petition and on the face of it it’s easy to imagine how such a service in a major city could work.

I’m sure there are several reasons why it would be difficult to reintroduce a meaningful service, and a single return which comes straight back is of no more use than the old service, but if they see it as a minor victory then good for them.

The difficulty of crossing on the flat at Heaton Norris junction these days would be a key factor but there is also the not exactly minor matter of local traffic on the route being very limited even in the days when there was still a regular service.

That regular service ran because it connected long-distance passengers at Stockport with services to Staffordshire and the West Midlands and, via Crewe, to Shropshire, Herefordshire and South Wales and vice versa. It tended to be quicker, particularly for Huddersfield passengers, as I was back in the mid-1980s, than using XC services via Derby and changing at Leeds or Wakefield.

Once TransPennine services started running into Manchester Piccadilly in 1989 and passengers to/from Yorkshire could connect there instead, the raison d'être (and most of the revenue) of the Staybridge-Stockport shuttle disappeared and won't be coming back.
 

Chester1

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A Stockport - Victoria service could be viable but definitely not Stalybridge. It doesn't look like Stockport will have a service through the Ordsall Chord so it would be an obvious way to connect with the growing services at Victoria. The capacity constraint through Slade Lane is greater than Heaton Norris therefore it might be possible to time a service (perhaps the 4th Hazel Grove to Manchester service that has been promised?)
 

furryfeet

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Will the official easement of allowing the return journey via Manchester be retained, in view of there now being a return trip ? Or is this an exercise in trying to get the said easement abolished ?
 

Crossover

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Of course, the first of these services didn't run on Saturday due to the strike. Reddish South did still see a return service between Stalybridge and Stockport, of sorts, in the shape of the Retro Railtours service (which I boarded on its return at Reddish South)
 

Bletchleyite

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Will the official easement of allowing the return journey via Manchester be retained, in view of there now being a return trip ? Or is this an exercise in trying to get the said easement abolished ?

It would not be worth the cost of running a train in service with almost nobody on it simply to get rid of the fares easement. They could simply abolish it and dump the return fares leaving only an Anytime Single. OK, the fares are probably regulated but I can't see any reason why DfT wouldn't allow the change given the service that used to operate - they have allowed far more damaging changes at the stroke of a pen.
 

Crossover

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The previous service kind of made sense, as a box-ticking exercise, since it took a turn that was running ECS from Stockport back to Newton Heath (via Denton) Monday to Thursday, so little extra resource required to divert it via Stalybridge on a Friday.

What does the new (return service) run off though?

It's unclear - it is booked to use p2 at Stalybridge, but in the open data feed at least, there are no balancing moves to get a unit there or away. Saturday will probably be the testing time for it when any such move should be shown
 

Kite159

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I wonder if the ticket sales for Denton will see any sort of decrease, seeing myself (like others) have previously purchased a single from Stockport to Denton to get past 09:30 when a GM Wayfarer/Rail Rover becomes valid when doing the line, now it be on a Saturday when there is no such restriction will bashers just use the rovers to save a couple quid?
 

Y961 XBU

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I have a feeling this line will get a proper hourly service at some point as there does seem to be some valid points in the article above as to why this would be worth the investment.
 

Mutant Lemming

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Wasn't there an open access plan for Huddersfield - Euston services over the route (albeit missing the stops in between) ?
 

158756

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I have a feeling this line will get a proper hourly service at some point as there does seem to be some valid points in the article above as to why this would be worth the investment.

I'm not real!y sure how much value an hourly service would have - it couldn't compete with the frequency of the bus on Manchester-Denton/Reddish or Reddish-Stockport. Conversely Reddish-Denton-Stalybridge doesn't even have a bus service. I suppose it'd be good for making connections at Stockport.
 

Bletchleyite

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I'm not real!y sure how much value an hourly service would have - it couldn't compete with the frequency of the bus on Manchester-Denton/Reddish or Reddish-Stockport. Conversely Reddish-Denton-Stalybridge doesn't even have a bus service. I suppose it'd be good for making connections at Stockport.

Its precise purpose, as the original BR service was, would be to make connections between South Manchester services and North Manchester ones including TPE. Though I do think running it to Vic would be more useful than Staly.
 

Bertie the bus

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The difficulty of crossing on the flat at Heaton Norris junction these days would be a key factor but there is also the not exactly minor matter of local traffic on the route being very limited even in the days when there was still a regular service.

That regular service ran because it connected long-distance passengers at Stockport with services to Staffordshire and the West Midlands and, via Crewe, to Shropshire, Herefordshire and South Wales and vice versa. It tended to be quicker, particularly for Huddersfield passengers, as I was back in the mid-1980s, than using XC services via Derby and changing at Leeds or Wakefield.

Once TransPennine services started running into Manchester Piccadilly in 1989 and passengers to/from Yorkshire could connect there instead, the raison d'être (and most of the revenue) of the Staybridge-Stockport shuttle disappeared and won't be coming back.
I don't think anybody is seriously calling for a Stockport - Stalybridge service. FoRSS are calling for a Stockport - Manchester Victoria service.

I'm also not entirely convinced by the Haeton Norris Junction point either. If we were talking 30 years ago when random trains went to random destinations at random times then I could see that fitting in these services would be problematic.

Nowadays the services every hour tend to be identical so if a service one hour can be accomodated it should mean a service every hour can be accomodated. I know the line also has freight which complicates things but IMO the provision of a service should be looked at. If it's rejected then fine.
 

rebmcr

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I don't think anybody is seriously calling for a Stockport - Stalybridge service. FoRSS are calling for a Stockport - Manchester Victoria service.

If they solve the Heaton Norris problem, it could feasibly extend & replace the Piccadilly-Chester via Altrincham service.
 

Bletchleyite

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If they solve the Heaton Norris problem, it could feasibly extend & replace the Piccadilly-Chester via Altrincham service.

Doubt that would be popular as it would slow things down somewhat. Stockport has a north-facing bay, so turning it there is no great issue.

It might make more sense, arguably, to link it to something coming into Vic from the west. Maybe the slow Southport. Though Southport to Altrincham (though via Picc before) is a service that has existed before if I recall correctly.
 

billh

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I recall a service, maybe 25 years ago, an SO from Stockport to Chester(?) via Denton and Victoria, went on it once as a means of getting to Runcorn East. It took ages. Was that some kind of Parliamentary and why did it disappear, was it downgrade of the line Denton to Ashton Moss to freight and special passenger only?
Also the Stockport- Stalybridge was diverted for about 3 weeks when Guide Bridge was shut for alteration, ran via Denton, Ashton Moss South(!) ,OAGB Junction, and called at Ashton . Can't do that now.
 

jimm

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I don't think anybody is seriously calling for a Stockport - Stalybridge service. FoRSS are calling for a Stockport - Manchester Victoria service.

I'm also not entirely convinced by the Haeton Norris Junction point either. If we were talking 30 years ago when random trains went to random destinations at random times then I could see that fitting in these services would be problematic.

Nowadays the services every hour tend to be identical so if a service one hour can be accomodated it should mean a service every hour can be accomodated. I know the line also has freight which complicates things but IMO the provision of a service should be looked at. If it's rejected then fine.

The services may now be at regular intervals, but there are an awful lot more of them running between Manchester Piccadilly and Stockport, going in all directions, than there ever were in the 1980s, hence why I believe Heaton Norris would be a problem area.

The same can probably be said for Manchester Victoria, where platform capacity is at a premium these days. If a service heading there was a nailed-on money spinner, then it might justify using scarce slots to operate it - but sending services there from Stockport smacks of being a nice-to-have, but not much more.
 
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