Tram, Train on the Marple route vs budget announcement of trains to Sheffield

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Mattmatt

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Evening;

Just wondering if people know much more about the possible tram/train trials for the 'Hope Valley route, - Marple'

I read it the other week, I believe that TfGM are looking into it all; but today in the budget boy George announced that trains to Sheffield on the very same route would be intensified or possibly electrified. All great news, just wondering what others might think of it all.

cheers
 
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aformeruser

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No tram-train proposal that involves running on both heavy rail and light rail lines will progress until the success of the Sheffield trial is known.

Manchester-Sheffield is not being electrified, that was a result of inaccurate reporting by the BBC.

Whether any eventual tram-trains for the Manchester area will be electric only, diesel only or dual powered is not yet known and it would depend where they are used. With some of the plans extending in to Cheshire I can't see TfGM or Cheshire East Council funding electrification in Cheshire due to them having higher priorities for their transport budgets.
 

bluenoxid

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I wish they would just get on with electrifying the routes to 25kV then getting tram trains that can do that in the future. We are not exactly talking rocket science.
 

MK Tom

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Osbourne specifically named the ''Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield'' as being electrified in his speech - so not the BBC getting it wrong, unless he got it wrong?
 

Mattmatt

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Osbourne specifically named the ''Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield'' as being electrified in his speech - so not the BBC getting it wrong, unless he got it wrong?
Ah so i was right; what ever happens to this route, will be a bonus; as any investment will benefit users!

tfgm_input_in_to_forthcoming_route_utilisation_strategy"]
http://www.transportforgreatermanchestercommittee.gov.uk/download/4279/item_11_tram_train-tfgm_input_in_to_forthcoming_route_utilisation_strategy[/URL]

See link to TfGM discussions on the route.

Couldn't get the direct link to work from my post, but it is there to read.
 

aformeruser

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Osbourne specifically named the ''Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield'' as being electrified in his speech - so not the BBC getting it wrong, unless he got it wrong?
He said:

"support Network Rail to invest a further £130 million in the Northern Hub rail scheme, subject to value for money, to improve transport links between Manchester and Sheffield, Rochdale, Halifax, Bradford, Bolton, Preston and Blackpool, and to increase capacity on the Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield, which will enable the number of fast trains to double. This will build on previously announced investments to electrify the Transpennine railway route from Manchester to Leeds and build the Ordsall Chord between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations;"

Capacity improvements on the Hope Valley Line certainly doesn't mean electrification. The BBC also removed the claim about Hope Valley electrification on their website, if it was correct then why did they remove it?

Also, as I pointed out in the thread relating to this the Northern Hub plan for doubling fast trains between Manchester and Sheffield involves 2 x fast departures from Sheffield for Manchester per hour with one portion of each departure going to Victoria and one going to Piccadilly and possibly continuing beyond Manchester to Preston and Liverpool.
 

WestRiding

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Tram trains will not happen! Look how long it has taken to do nothing in sheffield! At sheffield signal box we have hear'd nothing about it from a signalling and track work point of view. Its all hype.
 

aformeruser

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Tram trains will not happen! Look how long it has taken to do nothing in sheffield! At sheffield signal box we have hear'd nothing about it from a signalling and track work point of view. Its all hype.
The Sheffield scheme was awarded funding in March 2011 and a tender has been issued for the vehicles with a preferred bidder being announced.

The reality is they should have chosen a Manchester scheme for the trial because Manchester has non-standard trams which operate from BR level platforms, while Sheffield has standard trams which operate from low level platforms.

Phase 1 of the trial involves the tram-trains running on heavy rail lines only. If successful, phase 2 will see them street running in Sheffield as well. I imagine phase 2 is almost a certainty given how much phase 1 will cost.
 
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dosxuk

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No they will run to Sheffield but just in to the station, not on the streets of Sheffield under phase 1.
Phase one has been scrapped (for now), going straight to phase two.

Network Rail said:
Phase one of the original trial, which was due to start in late 2010 with diesel-electric vehicles running on the Penistone Line, has been reviewed because of issues around the affordability and delivery timescales of the vehicles.

...

The outcome of the review is, therefore, that the phasing of the project will be switched, with phase two coming first. This will see tram-trains running on heavy rail in the Rotherham area onto the Sheffield Supertram network into Sheffield city centre, with the aim of starting operations in 2012.
www.applrguk.co.uk/files/21.1 networkrail memorandum.doc

I think I also remember reading somewhere that Supertram themselves are now buying some of the tram-train vehicles instead of a pure tram to expand peak capacity (funding as already agreed separately).
 

WestRiding

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trust me, they are not running into sheffield midland station. hence the supposed plans for a new junction at meadowhall south. and in any case, they cannot get to sheffield station as there are certainly no plans to install 750dc overheads on the main line into sheffield from woodburn into midland. wow, they announced a prefered supplier for the tram trains, and................................... no order. rotherham station has just undergone major engineering works, with no lowered platforms. and staff at network rail know nothing about the supposed dream going forward, let alone the operations staff.
 

Greybeard33

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The reality is they should have chosen a Manchester scheme for the trial because Manchester has non-standard trams which operate from BR level platforms, while Sheffield has standard trams which operate from low level platforms.
Integration of high floor tram-trains with the Manchester Metrolink would not be straightforward because Metrolink employs a reduced platform-track lateral spacing compared with heavy rail. This to enable level access for wheelchairs to the tram with minimal gap. The Metrolink platform spacing would not be permitted on heavy rail lines because it violates the Network Rail "Lower Sector Structure Gauge" - there would be risk of a foul (due to sway) if a heavy rail train passed the platform at speed.

If a Metrolink tram operated to a Network Rail platform, there would be a dangerous gap between door sill and platform edge (at least 122mm, more on curved platforms). Heavy rail carriages get round this (at the cost of accessibility) by having a higher floor with an external step that "flies over" the platform, partly bridging the gap. It seems unlikely that this solution would be acceptable for a tram-train that operated over Metrolink's street-running sections. If the tram-train has the Metrolink floor height and width, it will need complicated automatic extending sill mechanisms to bridge the gap at NR platforms.

I have not seen any discussion of this issue in relation to the Marple proposal.
 

aformeruser

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If a Metrolink tram operated to a Network Rail platform
They DO operate from heavy rail platforms. The majority of Metrolink stops are former BR station platforms.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I think I also remember reading somewhere that Supertram themselves are now buying some of the tram-train vehicles instead of a pure tram to expand peak capacity (funding as already agreed separately).
Are you sure you didn't read the wrong tender or something written by someone reading the one tender? At the same sort of time as the tram-train tender was issued, Supertram issued a tender for new trams. The latter was then reworded because people got mixed up and thought the Supertram one was for tram-trains which it wasn't.
 
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dosxuk

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Are you sure you didn't read the wrong tender or something written by someone reading the one tender? At the same sort of time as the tram-train tender was issued, Supertram issued a tender for new trams. The latter was then reworded because people got mixed up and thought the Supertram one was for tram-trains which it wasn't.
Nope, but I've now found a copy of the message I read. Originally from the sy-transport forums (I've no idea about the reliability of their source though, but it makes sense):

Update: Tram-Trains between Sheffield & Rotherham
« Reply #126 on Jan 8, 2012, 7:28pm »
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A few updates on the progression of the Tram-Trains scheme between Sheffield & Rotherham.

1) The route has now being formally chosen, and the service will operate from Cathedral to Parkgate, calling at all stops between Cathedral and Meadowhall South on the Supertram network, with two additional stops at Rotherham Central and Parkgate. There will be no stop at MAGNA, due to this being built directly on Network Rail land and also the need for a footbridge over the tracks, as Network Rail wont permit passenger level crossings on their main line network.

2) The new station at Parkgate has been chosen to be built at the side of the 'Eastwood Footbridge' with the enhancement of this bridge to become DDA compliant. This is also the main thoroughfare between Eastwood and Parkgate Shopping, so will open up the service to local residents from the Eastwood area. Due to land constraints, there may be no spur on this section of route, though this is still to be progressed.

3) The network will now be operated by Stagecoach Supertram as part of their current contract until March 2024, rather than Northern Rail. This means that all Supertram tickets will be accepted, and use of National Rail or Northern Rail tickets will not be permitted for use on the Tram-Trains service.

4) The vehicles will be stored at the Nunnery Square depot in Attercliffe, and following the announcement of 4 additional trams for the Supertram network, this will now be incorporated with the 5 vehicles required for use on the Tram-Trains service. However due to the combined nature of the routes, only 7 vehicles in total will be purchased now (if both schemes progress ahead as planned), therefore limiting the additional resources to work on 3 unit types, as opposed to 2 unit types.

5) The frequency will be every 20 minutes between Cathedral and Parkgate, 7 days a week. A detailed timetable would be completed closer to the time, and would not only have to take into account other Supertram workings, but also freight and passenger service workings on the Tinsley line.

6) Due to the 7 new vehicles having to work on both the Supertram and Tram-Trains service, they will be enhanced to ensure operational availability on both networks. The Tram-Train vehicles will be able to work on the entire network, although conventional Supertram vehicles will be restricted to the current network. This is all related to the wheels of the units and the heavy rail line between Tinsley and Parkgate believe it or not.

7) The total cost will be in the region of £55 million, and therefore the scheme will become a permanent fixture and extension to the Supertram network. The trial will progress for 2 years. It is expected from the outset that the trial will be a roaring success and could then be extended further in South Yorkshire (into the Dearne Valley for instance, or out to Dore/Totley) and elsewhere within the U.K.

And there we have it, I believe I have covered everything that was needed to, to bring members up to date on the current state of the Tram-Trains project.
Read more: http://www.forum.sy-transport.co.uk/...#ixzz1nVSxXkwr
 

Greybeard33

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The T68s have extending steps for the former heavy rail platforms, not exactly new technology.
My understanding is that the extending steps on the T68s were for the low level sections of the original city centre stops, not for high level platforms. They were also said to be unreliable and were not specified for the M5000s - the platforms have been extended instead. This is why the M5000s cannot be used in double formation until the Mosley Street stop (which still has a short platform) is closed.
They DO operate from heavy rail platforms. The majority of Metrolink stops are former BR station platforms.
But the track has been moved closer to the platforms. Heavy rail trains could no longer use these lines without severe speed restrictions through every station - this would not be acceptable on the Marple or Mid-Cheshire lines.
 

aformeruser

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I don't have a login to the South Yorks Transport forum and can't view content without one. Who has actually written that?

Not accepting rail tickets will certainly hinder it's success. Students won't be able to get railcard discounts so will opt for the cheaper less frequent train, like already happens between Altrincham and Manchester and between Eccles and Manchester.

"This is all related to the wheels of the units"?! What a load of rubbish. If that was the case tram-trains should have existed for 20 years already if all that was required was a change of the type of wheels.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
They were also said to be unreliable and were not specified for the M5000s - the platforms have been extended instead.
Why can a T68 stop anywhere on platform 1 or platform 2 at Altrincham but a M5000 has to stop at the Navigation Road end of platform 1 due to platform clearance issues?

But the track has been moved closer to the platforms.
When did that happen? The original heavy rail track with wooden sleepers was still being used on the Altrincham line up until a few years ago.

Anyway it's not an issue if heavy rail trains can't use the Metrolink line, the issue would be if tram-trains can't use the National Rail line.
 
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Greybeard33

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"This is all related to the wheels of the units"?! What a load of rubbish.
Trams that run on grooved track need a different wheel profile to heavy rail trains, with a thinner flange to fit in the groove. This is incompatible with heavy rail track because there would be a risk of derailment at points and crossings - the gap between the flangeback and the check rail would be too large. Tram-trains, and Metrolink trams, have a compromise wheel profile with a stepped flangeback. The flange is thin enough at the edge to fit in grooved rail, but then thickens above rail height to engage with the check rails on heavy rail track. Raised check rails have to be fitted to all points and crossings - these can be seen on the ex-heavy rail parts of the Metrolink network. All heavy rail vehicles used on a tram-train route have to be assessed to ensure they are compatible with the raised check rails.

The existing Supertram vehicles evidently have conventional tram wheel profiles and so will not be able to operate on the Rotherham tram-train route - that is the meaning of the above comment.

Why can a T68 stop anywhere on platform 1 or platform 2 at Altrincham but a M5000 has to stop at the Navigation Road end of platform 1 due to platform clearance issues?
This problem has since been solved - M5000s now use the full length of Platform 1. Presumably the track has been shifted slightly - I imagine this is done by levering the sleepers over the ballast. The M5000 has the same nominal body width as the T68 (2.65m), so I presume the issue was a slight difference in the "dynamic envelope", maybe slightly softer suspension on the M5000 allowing it to scrape the platform.
 

HSTEd

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Why would metrolink be built to "tram" track standards anyway? Surely it made more sense, considering the length of reused track in the original project, to simply run mainline railway rails throughout?

They put them in the middle of streets in Switzerland.
 

aformeruser

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The existing Supertram vehicles evidently have conventional tram wheel profiles and so will not be able to operate on the Rotherham tram-train route - that is the meaning of the above comment.
I wasn't meaning that the wheels aren't different. I said it was rubbish because it over simplified the differences and to some people could make it look like a tram-train is a tram that's under gone a couple of hours work to convert it.


This problem has since been solved - M5000s now use the full length of Platform 1. Presumably the track has been shifted slightly - I imagine this is done by levering the sleepers over the ballast.
I didn't explain my comment very well. You were saying before the track had been moved closer to the platform and for that reason there would be an issue with tram-trains moving between the NR network and the Metrolink network. To me that didn't add up with the slight clearance issue because hypothetically if trams could run to platforms 3 and 4 at Altrincham, the M500s wouldn't have had that issue there because the track hadn't been moved.

Also the M5000s are bouncier so it's not very surprising that there were some issues even though the width is the same as on the T68s.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Why would metrolink be built to "tram" track standards anyway? Surely it made more sense, considering the length of reused track in the original project, to simply run mainline railway rails throughout?

They put them in the middle of streets in Switzerland.
The Metrolink system is a mess. Who ever thought the same type of vehicle could replace EMUs on Altrincham-Manchester services, run on city centre streets in Manchester, run on light rail lines between Manchester and Salford Quays and then run down the middle of an A road without designated lanes between Salford Quays and Eccles?

The tram system in Potsdam, Germany is more focused on street running than Manchester Metrolink (as is the norm with trams) but when it gets to a busy road on the line to Rehbrucke it doesn't continue to run on the road but on a line parallel to the road. That's what they should have done with the Eccles-Salford Quays line but they were probably too bothered about keeping costs down and saying "Look how cheap Metrolink lines are."
 

WestRiding

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its ok argueing about wheels, but still, nothing has happened since it was anounced in 2009. its ok posting some rubbish from another forum, but who posted it................? there is nothing aywhere on the net using google, or anything on network rails site, the dft last update was this time last year, the railway herald magazine last issue said they could not find anything out, sypte website has nothing. Keep dreaming people.
 

ALEMASTER

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The budget announcement regarded the 'Northern Hub'. In terms of the Hope Valley line, this is capacity enhancements in the form of doubling the line through Dore station and adding passing loops at Grindleford and Chinley, so fast trains can overtake slower ones. The extra capacity means a third express an hour can run Sheffield-Manchester, the stopping train can run hourly and the removal of certain bottlenecks may speed trains up by a few minutes.

Tram train at the moment is approved by DfT but not by the Treasury and an announcement is still awaited. The proposal is a service every 20 minutes from Cathedral to Parkgate, using Supertram's yellow route line as far as Carbrook then onto a new platform at the Meadowhall South/Tinsley stop before then joining Network Rail metals from Tinsley, into Rotherham Central Station (where there will be a platform extension at the lower height) then onto a short spur into a terminus platform at Parkgate retail world. The tram-trains are to be procured by Northern Rail on behalf of SYPTE but operated by Stagecoach Supertram.
 
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