The Anonymous Widower

Jumping The Electrification Gap Between Leeds And Manchester

The Battery High Speed Train

An Aventra uses a modern version of the same bogies that are used in the Class 222 trains, which are capable of 200 kph. As the Class 387 train, which is a version of the Electrostar, can travel at 110 mph, I wouldn’t rule out that the more modern Aventra could run at 200 kph or 125 mph. Obviously, this speed would probably only be attainable in places on the East Coast Main Line.

Example times between York and Newcastle include.

  • East Coast InterCity 225 – 56 minutes
  • East Coast InterCity 125 – 62 minutes
  • Transpennine Class 185 – 67 minutes

So if the performance on the line of an Aventra IPEMU was the same as an InterCity 225, then this would knock eleven minutes of the trip to Newcastle

Acceleration on batteries would be the problem, not maintaining a high speed. that had been built up whilst running under the wires.

When jumping the gap in the electrification between Leeds and Manchester, as the train will have been running from either Liverpool or York, I would suspect that it would set out over the Pennines with a full load of electricity.


Manchester To Leeds Electrification Gap

The Manchester to Leeds electrification has now been paused and it is likely that it will not be completed in the next ten years.

The line has its problems as the three-car Class 185 trains, that work the line, are totally inadequate for the route.

There are two major routes between Leeds and Manchester.

The shortest distance by rail between Manchester and Leeds is just 43 miles. When I saw this, I didn’t believe it, but it’s all in this article in the Guardian.

So this means that if you want to run an electric train between Liverpool and Manchester to Leeds, York and Newcastle, the Aventra IPEMU would bridge the gap with ease.

The demonstration version of the Aventra IPEMU was a modified Class 379 Train and had a range of sixty miles on batteries.

So even this modified Stansted Express would have been able to bridge the gap on both routes with ease.

A fully engineered production Aventra IPEMU would be unlikely to have a shorter range on batteries.

So Aventra IPEMUs create a fully-electrified TransPennine route from Preston, Liverpool and Manchester in the West to Leeds, York and Newcsastle in the East.

Destinations In The West

These are all current Western destinations for Transpennine Express.

  • Barrow – On an unelectrified branch line from an electrified Carnforth.
  • Blackpool North – On an unelectrified branch line from an electrified Preston.
  • Liverpool – On a direct line from Manchester that is completely electrified
  • Liverpool via Warrington  – On a direct line from Manchester that is partially electrified.
  • Manchester Airport – Electrified from Manchester
  • Windermere – On an unelectrified branch line from an electrified Oxenholme.

All could be served by using Aventra IPEMUs.

I suspect it would also be possible to serve Chester.

I’m not sure how Aventra IPEMUs would affect slower services like York to Blackpool North across the Pennines, but I suspect they would be faster than the current diesel multiple units.

With the franchises being reallocated, I suspect that it will be done in such a way, that the trains across the Pennines give a much better service.

Destinations In The East

These are all current Eastern destinations for Transpennine Express.

Cleethorpes – Probably too far, but the Class 185 trains could run the service as they do now!

Hull – Hull is perhaps fifty miles East of the East Coast Main Line and I believe that a solution can be found to do this on an out-and-back basis.

Middlesbrough – This is a few miles from Darlington

Newcastle – Electrified all the way from Leeds

Scarborough – The York to Scarborough Line is forty two miles long and I believe that a solution can be found to do this on an out-and-back basis.

Whether Aventra IPEMUs can do the return trip from the East Coast Main Line on an out-and-back basis to Hull and Scarborough, depends very much on how the range of the trains work out, when the production trains are delivered. I suspect Bombardier know and have either calculated it or proven it on a test rig, but obviously they are keeping it quiet and sticking with the sixty miles total range obtained with the Demonstrator.

If they can’t make it, I suspect that they can provide some form of charging at the Eastern termini.

I do suspect that because of the reorganisation of the two franchises we may see some extra destinations in the East.

Times Across The Pennines

At present times on the major routes are.

Liverpool to Newcastle – 3 hours

Liverpool to Hull – 2 hours 30 minutes with a change at Leeds

As I indicated earlier there is eleven minutes to take off the Newcastle journey and the change at Leeds probably wastes ten minutes on the Hull trip.

Other factors would have an effect.

  • The time spent on a stop by the Aventra IPEMU will be less than that of the current Class 185 trains.
  • If diesel multiple units on the two TransPennine routes can also be replaced with Aventra IPEMUs, then these trains would be less likely to slow the fastest expresses.
  • The Aventra IPEMUs are faster than the current trains.
  • Network Rail will probably be able to do some small amount of trackwork to speed trains up in places.

I have no idea what the eventual TransPennine time will be, but it will be a few minutes less than today’s times.






September 29, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Read Jumping The Electrification Gap Between Leeds And Manchester for full details on what it would entail. […]

    Pingback by Is Northern Electrification Going To Use Battery Trains? « The Anonymous Widower | September 30, 2015 | Reply

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