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Why don't London Midland serve Manchester?

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leomartin125

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Hi,

I wanted to ask why London Midland don't serve Manchester Piccadilly despite serving Stoke on Trent?

Thanks,
Leo
 
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mikeg

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Because they are the local operator for the West Midlands and WCML routes out of London. The clue is in the 'local' part, I think that the Euston to Crewe via Stoke is their longest route and the longest route that can really be justified, especially given the divergence North of Stoke and the fact that two different WCML routes need serving. There are therefore Northern services to Crewe and Stoke that provide stopping services on these sections of the line. It would be a waste of capacity to make these all through services to Euston, especially as the majority of journeys on this section are local.
 

yorkie

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(I've changed the title to be descriptive, to comply with the forum rules)
Hi,

I wanted to ask why London Midland don't serve Manchester Piccadilly despite serving Stoke on Trent?

Thanks,
Leo
Are you asking why Northern, rather than LM, operate the Manchester Piccadilly-Crewe/Stoke services? If so, the answer is that they're a better fit within the Northern franchise.

Or are you asking why there isn't an additional service? If so, what do you propose? Is there spare capacity for it?
 

Class 170101

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Because they are the local operator for the West Midlands and WCML routes out of London. The clue is in the 'local' part, I think that the Euston to Crewe via Stoke is their longest route and the longest route that can really be justified, especially given the divergence North of Stoke and the fact that two different WCML routes need serving. There are therefore Northern services to Crewe and Stoke that provide stopping services on these sections of the line. It would be a waste of capacity to make these all through services to Euston, especially as the majority of journeys on this section are local.

Arguably I cannot see a reason why they should not serve Manchester Airport - after all at one time they went to Preston via the WCML - hardly in the Midlands.
 

PHILIPE

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Arguably I cannot see a reason why they should not serve Manchester Airport - after all at one time they went to Preston via the WCML - hardly in the Midlands.

Why should they ? You've got to have boundaries somewhere. There is a current thread on the Forum re ATW serving Manchester Airport and discussion in this thread will show just how difficult it would be to fit any more trains in.

www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=113971

Perhaps a simple answer to the topic would be - Because Manchester is in the North.
 
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leomartin125

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Because they are the local operator for the West Midlands and WCML routes out of London. The clue is in the 'local' part, I think that the Euston to Crewe via Stoke is their longest route and the longest route that can really be justified, especially given the divergence North of Stoke and the fact that two different WCML routes need serving. There are therefore Northern services to Crewe and Stoke that provide stopping services on these sections of the line. It would be a waste of capacity to make these all through services to Euston, especially as the majority of journeys on this section are local.

They operate services from Birmingham up to Liverpool Lime Street via Runcorn, so why can't they branch off at Norton Bridge Junction and operate up to Manchester Piccadilly via Stoke on Trent? Arguibly, if Liverpool is served (Which isn't in the Midlands), why isn't Manchester?
 

Camden

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Manchester has Cross Country services connecting it to Birmingham. Liverpool doesn't (any more).

Also, this franchise is due to be reformed into West Midlands, and West Midlands Connect services in due course.

Same query will apply to the West Midlands Connect services, but the answer will still be the same.
 
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185143

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PHILIPE:2473892 said:
Arguably I cannot see a reason why they should not serve Manchester Airport - after all at one time they went to Preston via the WCML - hardly in the Midlands.

Why should they ? You've got to have boundaries somewhere. There is a current thread on the Forum re ATW serving Manchester Airport and discussion in this thread will show just how difficult it would be to fit any more trains in.

www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=113971

Perhaps a simple answer to the topic would be - Because Manchester is in the North.
LM serving MIA would presumably arrive from darn sarf though, I thought the pathing issues at MIA were on the line between Piccadilly and the airport?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Hi, I wanted to ask why London Midland don't serve Manchester Piccadilly despite serving Stoke on Trent?

It goes back to the way BR organised its Regional services, which was reflected in the initial franchise boundaries and is still visible today.
RR Central did not serve Manchester, although they did serve Liverpool (by joining up Liverpool-Crewe with Stafford-Birmingham) and Stoke-Stafford.
RR North West served Stoke-Manchester.
There was also a desire to keep Regional services separate from Inter City services, to maintain the long-distance monopoly (was BR IC, then VT).

The reasons for all this are less compelling today though, now that there is no competition protection, and will change again when HS2 reaches Crewe.
DfT however are still very reluctant to over-complicate the franchise map.
XC is another reason nothing has changed - they are the designated Manchester-Birmingham operator.
 
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coppercapped

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Hi,

I wanted to ask why London Midland don't serve Manchester Piccadilly despite serving Stoke on Trent?

Thanks,
Leo
Because such a service is not included in the franchise description. Your question would be better targeted at the Department for Transport!

On the other hand, as I understand it, there is no legal reason stopping LM operating such a service on their own initiative except that it would have to be financially self-supporting - there would be no subsidy from the DfT - and its operation must not have any effect on the franchised services.
 

Class 170101

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Why should they ? You've got to have boundaries somewhere. There is a current thread on the Forum re ATW serving Manchester Airport and discussion in this thread will show just how difficult it would be to fit any more trains in.

www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=113971

Perhaps a simple answer to the topic would be - Because Manchester is in the North.

Preston is in the north. Boundaries may well be needed but I see no reason politically why LM cannot serve the Airport. The issues concerning track capacity are a whole different ball game and in that I agree there is no reason for LM to serve the Airport due to the limited capacity.
 

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Central (LMs predecessors to an extent) used to serve Manchester Airport for a time as an extension of the Derby to Crewe services.
 

Statto

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It goes back to the way BR organised its Regional services, which was reflected in the initial franchise boundaries and is still visible today.
RR Central did not serve Manchester, although they did serve Liverpool (by joining up Liverpool-Crewe with Stafford-Birmingham) and Stoke-Stafford.
RR North West served Stoke-Manchester.
There was also a desire to keep Regional services separate from Inter City services, to maintain the long-distance monopoly (was BR IC, then VT).

The reasons for all this are less compelling today though, now that there is no competition protection, and will change again when HS2 reaches Crewe.
DfT however are still very reluctant to over-complicate the franchise map.
XC is another reason nothing has changed - they are the designated Manchester-Birmingham operator.

Central did serve Manchester on the Liverpool-Norwich route
 

tbtc

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Of course, once upon a time it was Skegness/ Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport with Central Trains...

It goes back to the way BR organised its Regional services, which was reflected in the initial franchise boundaries and is still visible today.
RR Central did not serve Manchester, although they did serve Liverpool (by joining up Liverpool-Crewe with Stafford-Birmingham) and Stoke-Stafford.

What did the East Anglia - Nottingham - Manchester - Blackpool/ Liverpool services come under in those days?

(I didn't pay attention to the different branches of Regional Railways/ Provincial at the time, was living north of the border)

LM serving MIA would presumably arrive from darn sarf though, I thought the pathing issues at MIA were on the line between Piccadilly and the airport?

I think that there's an argument for LM running the Crewe - Manchester Airport service (instead of Northern).

If it's imperative that Cleethorpes/ Cleveland/ Cumbria (etc) all have direct services to Manchester Airport to ensure their economic vibrance then I don't know why places a lot closer to the Airport like Stoke/ Stafford don't qualify?

I mean, there's sometimes little logic for franchise distinctions (the half hourly service from the West Midlands to Greater Manchester is an InterCity service run by XC diesels under the wire but the half hourly service from the West Midlands to Merseyside is run by EMUs with 3+2 seating, for example) but if people buy into the "Manchester Airport needs a direct service to everywhere in northern England and everywhere in northern England needs a direct service to Manchester Airport" argument then why doesn't the argument work for a city just over half an hour's drive from the Airport?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Central did serve Manchester on the Liverpool-Norwich route

OK, I should have said "from Birmingham".
Going back a long way, there were a few peak local services Birmingham-Stoke-Manchester, run by class 304s.
But since the arrival of the 323s, I don't think there have been through services.
For a long time, apart from inter-city services (hourly to London/Birmingham) Stoke was only served by a shuttle from Stafford.
It was only recently that Northern's Macclesfield service was extended to Stoke all day.

You only have to look at the loadings of Crewe-Man Airport to realise why there is no rush for more trains on this route.
The "Central" Derby-Stoke-Crewe-Airport was very poorly used to the Airport.
 

yorkie

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They operate services from Birmingham up to Liverpool Lime Street via Runcorn, so why can't they branch off at Norton Bridge Junction and operate up to Manchester Piccadilly via Stoke on Trent? Arguibly, if Liverpool is served (Which isn't in the Midlands), why isn't Manchester?
Are you suggesting Birmingham - Manchester services go over to LM? If so, presumably the existing XC services from the South would terminate at Birmingham?

Or are you suggesting an additional hourly Birmingham - Manchester service, making the overall frequency of Birmingham - Manchester 3tph? If so, what sort of path and calling pattern would you propose? I'd like to see it, but I'm not sure you can reliably fit more trains in.
 

185143

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Silverlink franchise I believe? Theres videos of them leaving Warrington Bank Quay so it definately happened. Wish it still did but thats just me being selfish as the connection onto LM at Crewe is very poor. (and tight as its far cheaper than VT!)
 

Loop & Link

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I always thought a Preston-Crewe local stopper operated by LM would have been a great idea calling at Acton Bridge/Hartford/Winsford, I know there would have been severe pathing limitations but something I have always wanted to see.
 

baz52

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London midland is sort of split into two parts there is the london midland city part that runs local services around the Birmingham and west midlands erea, branded city, and then there is the long distance intercity type service normally semi fast or limited stop. And yes as I think it would be a good idea to run trains from Birmingham to Manchester too, after all it would be good for the travelling public.
 

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OK, I should have said "from Birmingham".
Going back a long way, there were a few peak local services Birmingham-Stoke-Manchester, run by class 304s.
But since the arrival of the 323s, I don't think there have been through services.
For a long time, apart from inter-city services (hourly to London/Birmingham) Stoke was only served by a shuttle from Stafford.
It was only recently that Northern's Macclesfield service was extended to Stoke all day.
At one point there were a couple RRNW (I think they lasted long enough to be Northern Western Railways and possibly even FNW) services between Manchester and Birmingham which used 309s. There was one evening peak, on in the early hours as I recall. I think the early hours one went via Manchester Airport. There may have been others that I don't recall, I only really paid attention to said ones because of the units. I don't recall seeing GM323s south of Stoke/Crewe or Centro 323s north of Stoke apart from on the odd Liverpool.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If it's imperative that Cleethorpes/ Cleveland/ Cumbria (etc) all have direct services to Manchester Airport to ensure their economic vibrance then I don't know why places a lot closer to the Airport like Stoke/ Stafford don't qualify?

I mean, there's sometimes little logic for franchise distinctions (the half hourly service from the West Midlands to Greater Manchester is an InterCity service run by XC diesels under the wire but the half hourly service from the West Midlands to Merseyside is run by EMUs with 3+2 seating, for example) but if people buy into the "Manchester Airport needs a direct service to everywhere in northern England and everywhere in northern England needs a direct service to Manchester Airport" argument then why doesn't the argument work for a city just over half an hour's drive from the Airport?
I suppose the requirement could just be a regular service to an international airport, which I think Stoke has with services to Birmingham International. Sorry if I'm wrong and they all go via Solihull these days.
 

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When was that then?

Towards the end of their franchise they operated a return service between Birmingham and Preston, it was only one a day using a 350.

And yes as I think it would be a good idea to run trains from Birmingham to Manchester too, after all it would be good for the travelling public.

There are 2 trains per hour between Birmingham and Manchester operated by CrossCountry...
 
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baz52

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Just had a look at the old LMS route map, and those days had a very big network around the midlands and north west , and the north also.
 

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Just had a look at the old LMS route map, and those days had a very big network around the midlands and north west , and the north also.

And in Wales, and not only in the north. And in Scotland.
It was only by a stroke of the pen that the Cambrian system was put into the GWR rather than the LMS (on the theory that the LMS was "big enough already").
 

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I always thought a Preston-Crewe local stopper operated by LM would have been a great idea calling at Acton Bridge/Hartford/Winsford, I know there would have been severe pathing limitations but something I have always wanted to see.

The further north we suggest LM going would surely be a re-naming of the Franchisee to London Midland North. If LM did run to Preston somebody would come along and suggest they ran to Morecambe !!!
 

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The further north we suggest LM going would surely be a re-naming of the Franchisee to London Midland North. If LM did run to Preston somebody would come along and suggest they ran to Morecambe !!!

Heysham Port anyone?


Why would a LONDON MIDLAND franchise run anywhere near Manchester it would make no sense at this period of time.
Sam
 
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