Wrexham redouble

Gareth Marston

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I don't think the blueprint has been released yet. I'll keep an eye out.
This is just an update.
Ties in with what I posted #393 about the Network Rail ITSS.




The ITSS indicative Train Service Spec gives for services around Wrexham bear in mind in 2043 as to what stage they'll come on line...

1 Tph Wrexham General to Bidston
1 Tph Wrexham General to Hawarden Bridge

0.5 Tph Cardiff Central to Holyhead
0.5 Tph Cardiff Central to Liverpool Lime St via Chester & Halton Curve
0.5 Tph West Midlands to Holyhead
0.5 Tph Wrexham General to Liverpool Lime St via Chester & Halton Curve
1 Tph Wrexham General to London

That's 3 Tph each way between Wrexham and Chester in addition paths should be available for 1 to 6 Class 6 freight trains a day.
 
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merlodlliw

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We now have the Welsh Government spin from its media dept, this is todays local Daily Post.http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/work-begins-44m-wrexham-chester-7296296

£44millions to run one extra train every other hour between Cardiff & Holyhead no one wants & a few minutes speed up in my opinion has ended up a waste of taxpayers money and is of no benefit to Wrexham's growing demand for extra capacity to the North West of England.

Articvle Daily Post 20th June written by Tom Bodden.
Work begins today on £44m improvements to rail links between Wrexham and Chester to deliver faster journey times from North to South Wales.

The project, due for completion in early 2015, will deliver a raft of enhancements, cutting journey times between Holyhead and Cardiff and allowing an extra train to run every two hours.

The scheme has come under fire from opposition AMs who protested that it had been scaled back and would fail to guarantee greater capacity between north east Wales and Manchester or Liverpool.

But local government minister Lesley Griffiths, who chairs the ministerial task force on modernising North Wales transport, will today mark the start of the work at Rossett.

She said: “Modern and efficient transport links are vital for the economic prosperity of Wales.

“In my role as chair of the ministerial task force on modernising transport in North Wales, I have met with stakeholders and transport providers from across the region, and I know they will welcome today’s development as the work begins on major improvements to the link between North and South Wales.”

The minister is also due to visit £2.6m work under way at Rhyl station to improve access and facilities. “It is one of five stations across Wales currently benefiting from the £24.4m station improvement programme,” she said.

Transport minister Edwina Hart said: “Improving capacity and journey time on the north-south rail link as well as the ability to run an extra train every two hours between Holyhead and Cardiff is essential and is one of our key priorities.

“People in north east Wales will benefit from the improved rail links to the rest of Wales once this scheme is completed.”

Line speeds will improve between Shrewsbury and Gobowen and Rossett and Chester, with a re-doubling of 5.5 miles of line between Rossett and Saltney Junction.

Improved signalling and telecoms between Shrewsbury and Gobowen and additional signalling and telecoms between Wrexham and Chester, an upgrade of level crossings and alterations to structures and earthworks.

But North Wales Lib Dem AM Aled Roberts said: “I still question whether these improvements will allow greater capacity between north east Wales and Manchester or Liverpool.

“If Welsh Labour Ministers are allowing this to go ahead and no extra capacity will come from the improvements, it must be asked why the scheme was approved in the first place.”

Conservative AM in North Wales Mark Isherwood said: “This is yet another re-announcement of old money for a scaled-back project originally intended to improve rail links between Wrexham and Chester in 2008.

“This work will not equip the line to meet future need because the Minister decided to reduce the redoubling of the line by two miles and ignored the potential impact on demand of the new Wrexham prison.”

Plaid Cymru AM for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “North Wales still has significant transport needs that have not yet been addressed fully, including but not limited to electrification of the North Wales coast line, improvement to the A55 corridor, and development of a railway station to serve the Deeside industrial park and enterprise zone.

“Plaid Cymru encourages the government to bring these extra projects forward.”
 
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We now have the Welsh Government spin from its media dept, this is todays local Daily Post.http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/work-begins-44m-wrexham-chester-7296296

£44millions to run one extra train every other hour between Cardiff & Holyhead no one wants & a few minutes speed up in my opinion has ended up a waste of taxpayers money and is of no benefit to Wrexham's growing demand for extra capacity to the North West of England.
Are these extra trains a define, and what format are they going to run in, express? What stock, does anyone actually know anything about any proposals?
 

jones_bangor

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£44millions to run one extra train every other hour between Cardiff & Holyhead no one wants & a few minutes speed up in my opinion has ended up a waste of taxpayers money and is of no benefit to Wrexham's growing demand for extra capacity to the North West of England.
Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Always the way with a certain poster from the Wrexham area!
 

merlodlliw

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Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Always the way with a certain poster from the Wrexham area!
Had the redouble gone ahead properly,including Gresford to Wrexham General at little extra cost with machinery already on site, the opportunity to run extra trains to the North West of England would have been there for future years,now there is little chance to run services passengers actually want.
Capacity for One extra train every two hours, serving the largest town in North Wales is in my opinion a poor return for £44M of taxpayers money,I can not think of one redouble on this scale anywhere that does not take into account future capacity to run extra trains.
 
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TDK

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Had the redouble gone ahead properly,including Gresford to Wrexham General at little extra cost with machinery already on site, the opportunity to run extra trains to the North West of England would have been there for future years,now there is little chance to run services passengers actually want.
Capacity for One extra train every two hours, serving the largest town in North Wales is in my opinion a poor return for £44M of taxpayers money,I can not think of one redouble on this scale anywhere that does not take into account future capacity to run extra trains.
To be fair Bob they did discover that the bank at Gresford is unstable to allow 2 tracks and the cost would have doubled if the work was carried out due to the underpinning that was required, maybe this was a smoke screen but this is what I was told after the initial survey was carried out.
 

Gareth Marston

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To be fair Bob they did discover that the bank at Gresford is unstable to allow 2 tracks and the cost would have doubled if the work was carried out due to the underpinning that was required, maybe this was a smoke screen but this is what I was told after the initial survey was carried out.
This sort of thing wont be used as an excuse for any of the resurrected roads to prosprity schemes that are being pushed forward undercover from HS2
 

John R

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Apologies if this has been covered earlier, but it would appear that the current single line section is being reduced from around 9.5 miles to 4 miles? If so, a train should be able to pass through the remaining single section in around 5 minutes or even less, so why would this remaining section be a constraint?

Even if it isn't done now, signalling and line speed upgrades in the future could deliver the capacity without heavy engineering - at 90 mph a service will be through in under 3 minutes (depending on the speed of the turnouts at either end).

What am I missing?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Apologies if this has been covered earlier, but it would appear that the current single line section is being reduced from around 9.5 miles to 4 miles? If so, a train should be able to pass through the remaining single section in around 5 minutes or even less, so why would this remaining section be a constraint?
Even if it isn't done now, signalling and line speed upgrades in the future could deliver the capacity without heavy engineering - at 90 mph a service will be through in under 3 minutes (depending on the speed of the turnouts at either end).
What am I missing?
The 4-mile remaining single section is being left unchanged at 60mph with 40mph access at the Wrexham end northbound.
It was to have been 75mph including over the turnouts to a shorter 2.5 mile single track.
Southbound trains will have to brake from 90mph to 60mph at the foot of Gresford bank, exactly where you don't want it.
 

merlodlliw

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To be fair Bob they did discover that the bank at Gresford is unstable to allow 2 tracks and the cost would have doubled if the work was carried out due to the underpinning that was required, maybe this was a smoke screen but this is what I was told after the initial survey was carried out.
I agree Gresford Bank was a problem,however no constraint of underpinning stopped them dueling the two miles between Gresford Junction and Wrexham General. It seems the original plan was axed due to smoke & mirrors.

This sort of thing wont be used as an excuse for any of the resurrected roads to prosprity schemes that are being pushed forward undercover from HS2
I fully agree. I don't recall any constraints in South Wales of recent times, be it Newport/Cardiff/Gowerton etc, but I would sat that:)
 
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TDK

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The 4-mile remaining single section is being left unchanged at 60mph with 40mph access at the Wrexham end northbound.
It was to have been 75mph including over the turnouts to a shorter 2.5 mile single track.
Southbound trains will have to brake from 90mph to 60mph at the foot of Gresford bank, exactly where you don't want it.
Many trains won't get to 90 to be able to brake to 60mph. This will save a minimal amount of time on the journey. The access at the moment onto the single line at Wrexham North Junction is 30mph then the speed increases to 50mph then to 60mph all the way to just before Saltney Junction and there it is 50mph. I cannot see the speed on exit at Saltney increasing due to the tight curve and the junction layout. It all well NR quoting 75mph but in reality if it would have been 75mph at Saltney and Wrexham North Junction both junctions and 2 of the curves either end would have had to be re-profiled.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Many trains won't get to 90 to be able to brake to 60mph. This will save a minimal amount of time on the journey. The access at the moment onto the single line at Wrexham North Junction is 30mph then the speed increases to 50mph then to 60mph all the way to just before Saltney Junction and there it is 50mph. I cannot see the speed on exit at Saltney increasing due to the tight curve and the junction layout. It all well NR quoting 75mph but in reality if it would have been 75mph at Saltney and Wrexham North Junction both junctions and 2 of the curves either end would have had to be re-profiled.
Yes, in fact the plan was not to alter the 50mph at Saltney, which is pretty good for the layout there.
But the new junctions at Rossett and Gresford were supposed to be 75mph, with 60mph on both lines at Wrexham North.
It remains to be seen if 75mph S&C will go in at Rossett (to allow for future line speed upgrade on the single line).
I think the line speed reduction from that planned is more important than the omitted 1.5 miles of redoubling.
I also think we should be profiling the route for the future Voyagers/HSTs rather than the sluggish 158s.
 

Gareth Marston

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Yes, in fact the plan was not to alter the 50mph at Saltney, which is pretty good for the layout there.
But the new junctions at Rossett and Gresford were supposed to be 75mph, with 60mph on both lines at Wrexham North.
It remains to be seen if 75mph S&C will go in at Rossett (to allow for future line speed upgrade on the single line).
I think the line speed reduction from that planned is more important than the omitted 1.5 miles of redoubling.
I also think we should be profiling the route for the future Voyagers/HSTs rather than the sluggish 158s.

Lets face it the current work is in reality going to allow an extra path per hour in each direction at best? The issue is what is then done with that path. is it going to be used to optimize passenger usage from Wrexham or not? Any option other than providing direct services into Manchester or Liverpool is not.
 

PHILIPE

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Ask the Welsh Government. Standard reply - to speed up trains between Cardiff and Holyhead. This is implanted in their mindsets.
Anither point, re Gresford Bank. I travelled it as a commuter in the 50s and 60s and at that time there were severe speed restrictions on the Down Line due to subsidence.
 

Gareth Marston

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Ask the Welsh Government. Standard reply - to speed up trains between Cardiff and Holyhead. This is implanted in their mindsets.
Anither point, re Gresford Bank. I travelled it as a commuter in the 50s and 60s and at that time there were severe speed restrictions on the Down Line due to subsidence.
Hard to see how there are going to be any time savings given the speed limit on the turnouts no doubt the stopping patterns south of a Shrewsbury will have to be bodged up again in order to produce the savings. Whitchurch and Natwich may lose their direct trains to Manchester and whiat of Craven Arms and Church Stretton? I'm sure they'll be a right stink if services are cut in England to accommodate quicker Holyhead to Cardiff trains.
 

merlodlliw

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The magical time saving between Holyhead & Cardiff was originally based on the work,now culled between Rossett & Wrexham General, the bridge over the expressway was to remain single track however,so to gain any extra time saving of any significance other options are being looked at, the Borders element will have to bear some pruning, I don't see the half hour faster aspiration being gained with a Holyhead service, calling at Marches small towns as Gareth lists plus Gobowen/Chirk/Ruabon losing out.

Scrua have Fixed up a meeting with the Wrexham AM who Chairs the North Wales Task Force in early July, we intend to state the case that any future services via Wrexham, if paths will exist now?, should be to the Manchester /Liverpool/Wrexham triangle, however Cardiff Political dogma may well rule this out.
 

TDK

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Apologies if this has been covered earlier, but it would appear that the current single line section is being reduced from around 9.5 miles to 4 miles? If so, a train should be able to pass through the remaining single section in around 5 minutes or even less, so why would this remaining section be a constraint?

Even if it isn't done now, signalling and line speed upgrades in the future could deliver the capacity without heavy engineering - at 90 mph a service will be through in under 3 minutes (depending on the speed of the turnouts at either end).

What am I missing?
That calculation of 3 minutes does not take into account acceleration and deceleration so is inaccurate
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
That calculation of 3 minutes does not take into account acceleration and deceleration so is inaccurate
Yes, in fact the plan was not to alter the 50mph at Saltney, which is pretty good for the layout there.
But the new junctions at Rossett and Gresford were supposed to be 75mph, with 60mph on both lines at Wrexham North.
It remains to be seen if 75mph S&C will go in at Rossett (to allow for future line speed upgrade on the single line).
I think the line speed reduction from that planned is more important than the omitted 1.5 miles of redoubling.
I also think we should be profiling the route for the future Voyagers/HSTs rather than the sluggish 158s.
So HST's have been confirmed?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
however Cardiff Political dogma may well rule this out.
That is if it is run by the Welsh Franchise. Who has said that the run to Liverpool is going to be run by ATW?
 

merlodlliw

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TDK said:
That is if it is run by the Welsh Franchise. Who has said that the run to Liverpool is going to be run by ATW?
The HST idea is from Welsh Govs chief rail honcho ,Prof Cole,he seems to imply it would be a semi fast service,akin to Gerald cutting out stops.

As for the Liverpool/Cardiff, this is anyones guess,I presume this would run via Crewe as it seems no Wrexham Path would be available unless WG comes to its senses.
 
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kieron

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I also think we should be profiling the route for the future Voyagers/HSTs rather than the sluggish 158s.
Surely it should be designed for the present day Voyagers/67s/175s as much as anything?
Scrua have Fixed up a meeting with the Wrexham AM who Chairs the North Wales Task Force in early July, we intend to state the case that any future services via Wrexham, if paths will exist now?, should be to the Manchester /Liverpool/Wrexham triangle, however Cardiff Political dogma may well rule this out.
To me, that sounds a lot like rehashing some of the arguments raised in the newspaper article you brought up last week. While they have their merits, they haven't convinced those in a position of power yet.

How would you address the argument that this isn't being done solely for the residents of Wrexham and NW Shropshire, and that going from or via Shrewsbury to Liverpool or Manchester would be slower via Wrexham than via Whitchurch, and the original plans for this upgrade wouldn't have changed that. This isn't such a problem for Holyhead trains.

As the current timetable fails Wrexham residents in other ways (such as having a 19 minute minimum valid connection at Chester for a Liverpool-Wrexham traveller for most of the day, when the trains from Liverpool go every 15 minutes), I wonder if focusing on arguments about through trains will actually help the AM carry out his responsibilities.
 

Gareth Marston

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The HST idea is from Welsh Govs chief rail honcho ,Prof Cole,he seems to imply it would be a semi fast service,akin to Gerald cutting out stops.

As for the Liverpool/Cardiff, this is anyones guess,I presume this would run via Crewe as it seems no Wrexham Path would be available unless WG comes to its senses.
ITSS has them via Chester and no hourly train Cardiff to Holyhead.
 
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John R

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That calculation of 3 minutes does not take into account acceleration and deceleration so is inaccurate
Hence why I caveated the 3 minutes by saying it depended on the turnout speeds. But thank you for all the answers, as they've helped me understand better a part of the network with which I'm not familiar.
 
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merlodlliw

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Surely it should be designed for the present day Voyagers/67s/175s as much as anything?

To me, that sounds a lot like rehashing some of the arguments raised in the newspaper article you brought up last week. While they have their merits, they haven't convinced those in a position of power yet.
It appears very much those in power have left it too late,having signed off the contract to change anything,
How would you address the argument that this isn't being done solely for the residents of Wrexham and NW Shropshire, and that going from or via Shrewsbury to Liverpool or Manchester would be slower via Wrexham than via Whitchurch, and the original plans for this upgrade wouldn't have changed that. This isn't such a problem for Holyhead trains.
The meeting we have with the Wrexham AM, will be based on her Constituency,& the needs of the Dee/Seven line, Going from say Cardiff to Liverpool via Halton Curve,which everyone seems in favour of would be an ideal route for Wrexham.

As the current timetable fails Wrexham residents in other ways (such as having a 19 minute minimum valid connection at Chester for a Liverpool-Wrexham traveller for most of the day, when the trains from Liverpool go every 15 minutes), I wonder if focusing on arguments about through trains will actually help the AM carry out his responsibilities.
I agree, we also have the 0700 from Wrexham which misses the 0710 to Manchester from Chester,before ATW gave VT this path,commuters from
Chirk/Ruabon/Wrexham were able to connect, as the train left Wrexham at 0745 now they can not, except on Saturdays.
 
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TDK

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The HST idea is from Welsh Govs chief rail honcho ,Prof Cole,he seems to imply it would be a semi fast service,akin to Gerald cutting out stops.

As for the Liverpool/Cardiff, this is anyones guess,I presume this would run via Crewe as it seems no Wrexham Path would be available unless WG comes to its senses.
It's obvious that Prof. Cole is not familiar with the layout. The maximum speed is 90 apart from a small stretch Between Cardiff and Newport I believe so why use a 125mph unit? Is he a spotter who wants HST's on the route?. Many of the platform will not accommodate an HST. They are not currently passed on the complete route and the acceleration curve and the braking curve for an 8 car HST is less that an 8 car 175. The best solution would be for the WAG to put their hands in their pockets and subsidise ATW or whoever has the franchise after them for some new stock that will enhance the journey times from Cardiff to Holyhead instead of burying their heads in the sand and paying people who do not really know what is required to come up with stupid ideas. at 3m a year the WAG express Gerald is a complete waste of money and so far it is what 3 years? that is 9m wasted on a service that is not required that could have been put to either improving the infrastructure or supplying 9 class 172 coaches for the upcoming so called improvements. Sorry but the whole thing is a complete shambles and I doubt very much if any paths that come from the current redoubling plan will benefit anyone from the local area.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I agree, we also have the 0700 from Wrexham which misses the 0710 to Manchester from Chester,before ATW gave VT this path,commuters from
Chirk/Ruabon/Wrexham were able to connect, as the train left Wrexham at 0745 now they can not, except on Saturdays.
The 05.57 from Wrexham actually forms the front portion of the 07.12 to Manchester however the journey time is unacceptable. I have said before that the through service to Llandudno and Holyhead should be 1 train every 2 hours with a connection planned at Chester in between with a Manchester service every 2 hours including one in the peak at say 06.30 from Wrexham and one returning to Wrexham at about 19.00. Obviously the WG don't see this as a viable option and instead run an hourly service to Holyhead direct that is not needed.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Many of the platform will not accommodate an HST. They are not currently passed on the complete route and the acceleration curve and the braking curve for an 8 car HST is less that an 8 car 175.
I quite agree with you.
We saw 2+5 HSTs briefly on Virgin XC before Voyagers took over completely.
Even they would be too big for Wales & Borders, and any fewer coaches makes the trains unaffordable in power car maintenance terms.
Class 68+Mk3+DVT might work but still a lumbering over-size unit with high access charges.
If HSTs go to Scotland (Glasgow-Aberdeen/Inverness) maybe their Class 170s would be freed up for W&B.
 
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Gareth Marston

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I quite agree with you.
We saw 2+5 HSTs briefly on Virgin XC before Voyagers took over completely.
Even they would be too big for Wales & Borders, and any fewer coaches makes the trains unaffordable in power car maintenance terms.
Class 68+Mk3+DVT might work but still a lumbering over-size unit with high access charges.
If HSTs go to Scotland (Glasgow-Aberdeen/Inverness) maybe their Class 170s would be freed up for W&B.
And just where would the passengers to fill 5 coaches once every hour between Cardiff and Holyhead come from? Maybe Cardiff to Manchester or N Wales/Chester to Manchester.
 
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