Why was the Stoke-on-Trent through line removed?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Trainfan344, 29 Apr 2015.

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  1. Trainfan344

    Trainfan344 Established Member

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    Can somebody tell me why the through line at Stoke-on-Trent was removed. Also, before it was removed can you tell me what used it?
     
  2. Jamesb1974

    Jamesb1974 Member

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    I don't know exactly the reason it was removed, but I can guess. The Potteries area was once a mass of sidings and yards, serving collieries, steel works and works associated with the Pottery industry. Most (if not all) of these have now disappeared and/or lost their rail connections, so I would hazard a guess that down turn in traffic saw the middle road removed. Not a direct result of loss of traffic, but less traffic means less use and eventually, someone in charge of track maintenance will have taken the decision to authorise it's removal on cost grounds. Maintaining a line that is not used is wasted money!

    Not my picture, but this piccy from Flickr shows the line being used and has some interesting comments as well.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/22455491@N02/3559646280/in/photolist-6qy7PJ-p55wL1-gCsBWL-9nwyjD-dWJpyu-e1n2Tv-fj76Ma-e3bGyT-cofor7-buvzd6-7vZp9A-pzwyUk-cnvjTq-fkvUr-h9sVpw-a4zs6C-pEGkYe-ivDaDR-741dta-a4X1D1-exQa9g-8QLikr-e5d6Z6-c1fBfy-natfhf-9a8Rxf-6GLpDp-k3o41z-8HC5sY-aijBp9-pe4j5X-6MokLx-btAqcN-C9GC9-dMFx5y-8an222-4BDaC7-jq2sAD-i6sfbb-6fHhCJ-pq7yJV-a7kCxA-BdJgG-7wBkDx-e4MSVo-ebnH8o-dNtCNV-dNzbdQ-dNzaAq-a7hM5R
     
  3. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    because it wasn't needed and costs money to look after. Before it as removed i would imagine it was well sued by the Steel and coal trains serving the local steel works and collieries. Sadly there are few of those left now.
     
  4. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    There was a lot of work at Stoke station and out northwards towards Longport at some point in 2011 (I think), I seem to remember it involved a few days' closure of either platform, with bi-di being used as appropriate on the remaining platform, the removal of the through line, and the realignment of the lines through what was Etruria. I guess it was more economically viable to abolish the through road and remodel the layout to be more suitable (and presumably have a higher speed) for what is required now. I wonder if the morning Euston flyer used to use the platform or the through road: that would probably tell you a lot about its condition and operational state.
     
  5. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Only passenger train i can think of that doesn't actually call at Stoke (apart from those on divert from Crewe) is VTs flagship 07:00 Manchester to Euston.
     
  6. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Yeah - it went back in 2010/2011 time as I was using the station semi regularly to visit in Stoke when we were both at Staffs Uni - I remember it being there and the work to remove it - I don't recall ever seeing it used

    As mentioned before, there is very little that doesn't call there and those that don't just go through the platform lines, still at a reasonable speed. The platforms both being bi-di allows for decent flexibility. There was an incident last year where a Pendo suffered a small fire and was stuck in the Up platform for a few hours - in the interim everything used the Down platform and I don't recall any cancellations to speak of, and max delay was about 5 mins to any service, which was impressive given the circumstances
     
  7. leshuttle

    leshuttle Member

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    It was used on occasions by diverted passenger expresses when Stafford-Crewe was blocked but now these tend to make a scheduled stop at Stoke. Might also have been due to platform lengthening?
     
  8. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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  9. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Route learning, most probably.
     
  11. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    Going back to the 60s, there were 4 tracks through the station.
    One of the through lines was taken up for electrification and the OHLE masts put up in its place, while the other was left in.
    There were also through freight lines behind the station to the west, where the new car park is.
    It was always a very slow layout with severe approach control for the platform loop.
    In the WCRM project the Stoke area was remodelled at least twice, but speeds remained very low because of approach control.
    In the end the SRA insisted that the through line was taken up and P1 extended outwards over it.
    This eliminated the slow turnout and approach control and was much more efficient.
    It is now a 45mph line instead of 20mph. Both lines are also now fully reversible.
    Hardly anything runs non-stop through the station, and there is negligible freight.
    Even now though, there is massive over-provision of infrastructure at places like Grange and Longport, for non-existent freight
     
  12. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    I wonder if it's well used? Possibly if cheap APs. I may have to catch or look out for it. Did the same recently in getting off the 16:40 Eus-Man to witness the 16:33 Eus-Bpn leave Crewe. It was still well loaded.
     
  13. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    I suspect to ease the Friday crowds: Glasgow-Euston trains aren't quiet at the best of times, let alone Fridays. It leaves a few minutes before the hourly direct Euston service from Preston, Wigan and Warrington so probably goes some way to help ease the pressure and give the passengers on from further north a bit more of a comfortable trip.

    Not AFAIK, Crewe-Stoke has been a signed route for years, and there's probably enough diversions per year to comfortably keep it on the cards for the relevant crew. I suspect its routeing is to ease the pressure on Crewe-Colwich. It's existed as a service since 2012 or so I think, and has always run via Hixon.

    Edit - by the looks of it two Manchester-Oxley empties per night run that way so that probably helps keep it on the cards for Wolves men at least.

    Edit 2 - reading back I suppose it could exist for route retention, not I wouldn't have thought it would be for learning.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  14. moggie

    moggie Member

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    That's as I understand it. All lines were in fact bi-di following the WCRM works in 2002 but the turnout at the North end of the Up platform was only 30 mph if I recall. The platform needed extension (for the 11 car pendo's?) and the removal of the turnout / centre road also allowed a faster approach speed.

    Oh for a bit of forethought. Would have saved a small fortune if they had done it in 2002 when Shelton Steel and Trentham Colliery had closed. Don't they still have that complex S&C onto the Leekbrook branch in place also? Never seen a train since.
     
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