The Anonymous Widower

Did Manchester Railways Ever Have A Plot?

What are the two odd ones out of these British cities?

Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield

It’s actually, Glasgow and Manchester, as they are only cities other than London with two main stations. The pedantic could argue that Birmingham has more than one, but New Street is very much larger than the others.

Glasgow’s two station; Central and Queen Street, split their services geographically, but at least they could be connected by Crossrail Glasgow, which is summed up like this.

The proposed Crossrail initiative involves electrifying and reopening the City Union Line for regular passenger use in conjunction with new filler sections of track which will connect the North Clyde, Ayrshire, and Kilmarnock and East Kilbride suburban routes together, therefore allowing through running of services through the centre of Glasgow in a North-South axis. 

The scheme never saw fruition however. Will any Glaswegian tell me why, as on paper it looks sensible?

Manchester has a similar problem with two stations at Piccadilly and Victoria. If I’m going to say Burnley or Blackburn, as I often have and want to have lunch at Carluccio’s in Piccadilly, I find I have to traipse across Manchester, usually in the rain, to get the train out of Victoria.

There was a plan in the 1970s for the Picc-Vicc Tunnel, but like the Crossrail Glasgow it has been cancelled.

So now the Ordsall Chord is being built to allow trains to cross Manchester city centre.

It may work well in the end, but it has a touch of the old answer of “I wouldn’t start from here!” to the question of how to get to X.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but it doesn’t seem to be a concept that can catch the imagination of the public, like some public transport schemes do.




June 23, 2014 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,


  1. It makes no sense why the Glasgow Crossrail plan hasn’t been implemented. The majority of the infrastructure is there, it’s just a question of electrifying the necessary connecting line, building a couple of stations and sorting out the timetables around the services on the two extant running lives. It would mean that trains from Ayrshire could run directly to places north of Glasgow, and long-distance services from England could go through the city centre and on to the north of Scotland. It’s ridiculous. The only positive sign is that when they built the new M74, they built a tunnel where the connecting line from the WCML to the Gorbals would be.

    Comment by RedSails28699 | June 23, 2014 | Reply

  2. It doesn’t seem they can blame all that on a lack of Scottish independence.

    London has several cross city links if you include some of the London tube lines, which are a bit like some of Glasgow’s rail lines. So I would have thought it was obvious to connect them back-to-back through a tunnel.

    One of the main reasons for building Thameslink in London was to release platform capacity in St. Pancras and London Bridge stations, by linking the Brighton services to the Bedford ones.

    Liverpool did the same with a north south tunnel, So why not Glasgow, as most of the tunnels are there?

    I do sometimes think that when a decision is taken, some cities won’t follow what London or another city, has shown to be successful, as a matter of principle.

    It’s like the Edinburgh trams and all their unnecessary wires. Nowadays, you use wireless trams in historic city centres as Bordeaux, Nice and Seville have done.

    Comment by AnonW | June 23, 2014 | Reply

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