In a comment a friend said this about going by train from Stockport to Liverpool.
When we first moved here, there was no direct train to Liverpool, we had to go into Piccadilly, cross to Victoria and get a train to Liverpool. And before the trams that was a complete pain!
So how is it now?
Using National Rail Enquiries, I find that every hour there is a direct train from Stockport station to Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street stations at around twenty-five minutes past the hour, that takes a few minutes over the hour to get to Liverpool Lime Street.
They seem to be run by East Midlands Trains, so they will be a Class 158 train, which is fine.
If say you were to drive to Manchester Airport first, you can get a refurbished electric train, that takes virtually the same time to Liverpool.
Stockport To Manchester Airport
Until I wrote this, I hadn’t realised that Airport trains don’t go via Stockport, but they use the Styal Line that by-passes Stockport.
Looking at maps of the area, it would appear that there might be a way of trains going from Manchester to the Airport via Stockport.
This Google Map shows the area where the railway lines cross.
Gatley station is at the South-West corner of the map and the Styal Line runs Northwards past the motorway junction between the M60 and the A34.
The Mid-Cheshire Line runs across the map South of the motorway junction and the Alexandra Hospital.
I suppose the cost was too high, but then how do you put all the travellers’ cars on the train?
The fact that the rail link between Stockport and Manchester Airport wasn’t created at the same time as the motorway junction is a design crime of the highest order.
It looks to me that there is even space for a Park-and-Ride for Stockport and Manchester in the area.
The Ordsall Chord
The Ordsall Chord, will link Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly stations with a huge bridge across the Irwell, before the end of 2017
It will have four trains per hour (tph) in both directions, between Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Central and Manchester Victoria stations. There is probably capacity for this service to go to eight tph,
Initially, trains will be refurbished four-car Class 319 electric trains, that currently work Liverpool to Manchester services.
These trains are no suburban trundlers, but will be able to cruise near to 100 mph on parts of the journey, thus knocking a few minutes off the time between Manchester Piccadlly and the Airport.
What Will The Ordsall Chord Do For Stockport?
I have to ask this question and until the timetables are published late this year, everything I say here will be speculation.
- I would be very surprised if there wasn’t at least 1 electric tph that went to Manchester Victoria station.
- Eventually, this service could be made more frequent and perhaps extended to Blackburn, Burnley, Huddsersfield or Stalybridge.
- If Manchester Victoria has been designed right, there should be same-platform interchange at the station to TransPennine services to places like Hull, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
- I also suspect train companies will use the chord to provide new services like perhaps Chester to Leeds, that could go through Stockport.
Forget HS3 for the moment, this is the reality of 2017.
Liverpool to Manchester Airport
Several stations in Liverpool have an hourly service to Manchester Airport and this will probably get better as more Class 319 and Class 319 Flex Trains are brought into service.
It’s rather ironic, but from what I have found, that it would appear that Liverpool gets at least as good a service to Manchester Airport as does the much Stockport!
And Liverpool’s service is likely to double in frequency in the near future!
The Liverpool and Stockport services to Manchester Airport, do have one thing in common though! Both have intermediate stops at Manchester Piccadilly!
But why would you want to go to Manchester Piccadilly, when you’re just going a few miles down the road? Especially, as if you’re going to Manchester Piccadilly, you already have in excess of four tph.
Leeds To Manchester Airport
Currently, Leeds to Manchester Airport has a two tph service via Huddersfield.
When the Ordsall Chord opens that Leeds to Manchester services will go to a higher frequency via Manchester Victoria, thus improving the service to the Airport from Leeds, by giving Leeds passengers access to Manchester local tram and train services to the Airport.
Services from Stockport through Manchester will improve, due to the opening of the Ordsall hord and other electrification works.
But, Stockport needs a quick non-stop service to the Airport with a frequency of at least two tph for economic prosperity.
Perhaps to get a good service to Manchester Airport, your city must begin with L or M.
This post is based on another snippet from the Kent Route Study, which you can download from this page on the Network Rail web site.
The study says this about the possibility of reopening East Brixton station.
5.15.17. There was a station at East Brixton on the rail route between
Denmark Hill and London Victoria which closed in 1976. The station
site sits within the London Borough of Lambeth.
5.15.18. As with Camberwell, there have been numerous calls from
local stakeholders to reopen the station over the years. The London
Borough of Lambeth is keen to reopen the station to improve the
connectivity of Brixton town centre to orbital rail routes, building on
the success of the London Overground route to Clapham Junction
which opened in 2012. If reopened the station would be served
solely by London Overground services operating to and from
Clapham Junction via the East London Line.
5.15.19. The London Borough of Lambeth are therefore leading a
review of the business case and demand for East Brixton station
with support from Transport for London and Network Rail. This
review will include consideration of the impact of a new station on
local development opportunities. It is expected to complete during
early 2017 and will determine whether or not the station has a
viable business case. Any further developments will be reported in
the final Route Study.
If you look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr.
East Brixton station is clearly shown on the tracks now used by the East London Line.
These pictures show the railway and what remains of the station on Moorland Road.
This Google Map shows the location of the station.
Note that the venue; Brixton East 1871 is shown in the pictures and on the map.
In an ideal world Loughborough Junction and Brixton stations should have platforms on the Overground, but budgets are not limitless, so neither of them has.
It may look a stiff climb to the platforms, but it is no more than some other Overground and DLR stations. Lifts would be essential.
When you read some of Network Rail’s published documents, you sometimes get snippets of information that point to their thinking.
This page on the Network Rail web site, allows you to download the Kent Route Study.
The study talks about the Metropolitan Reversible Line, which allows trains to access Cnnon Street station from the West.
Network Rail want to replace the line with a 12-car siding, to support operations at Peak times. This is what they say.
Replace the Metropolitan Reversible line with a single 12-car siding to serve
London Cannon Street.
The line currently allows empty coaching stock movements between
London Cannon Street and London Blackfriars, but will become redundant
following implementation of the revised Thameslink service in 2018. It is
therefore proposed that the Metropolitan Reversible line be modified into
a single 12-car siding to facilitate peak services into London Cannon Street station.
They even supply a nice map in the document.
Hopefully, they aim to get this work completed by 2024 at a cost of up to £10million.
This is a Google Map of the area.
I don’t know what the land around the Metropolitan Reversible Line is used for, but it does strike me that the location of the line could be a lucrative development site.
So perhaps a sympathetic developer could build a new housing or office complex and put the required siding in the basment as a sweetener for Network Rail.
Development of this simple siding, could be a win for a lot of stakeholders.
I took these pictures as I walked from the Market Porter public house to Southwark Street.
I don’t know what development is happening in this particular area, but it can certainly be improved.
If money was no object, which of course it never is, I would do the following.
- Replace the rather plain bridge over Park Street with something better.
- The arches must be filled in so they can have a valid commercial purpose or opened up, so they can be used for cafes or just walking through to Borough Market.
- The massive girder bridge over Southwark Street is not a beautiful object and it was built to carry a lot more weight than it will, when the Metropolitan Reversible Line is converted into a siding. So perhaps the bridge can be remodelled to improve its dreadful looks.
It is worth looking at this Google Map of the Southern part of the Metrolitan Reversible Line.
The Metrolitan Reversible Line starts at the top of the map, curves to the West and goes out the South-West corner.
Note, how only a small space on the viaduct and the bridges is used for track. The siding will use no more space than now!
The rest has the distinctive greenish tinge of grass.
I believe that this piece of free land in the sky, should be used for a positive purpose.
I said about putting the siding in the basement. But really, I meant putting the siding in a garage on the ground floor under the building, which if it was designed correctly, it wouldn’t interfere with the views of London’s disgrace; the Shard. You usually only get buildings as bad as that built with friends in the right places!
But seriously, if the design of the siding development was right and it was only a few storeys high, it would be hidden from view by the railway lines crossing all over the place.
The space could even become a spectacular cycling superhighway or walkway stretching along the side of the railway from Waterloo to the South Bank or even across Cannon Street railway bridge to the City.
Network Rail are converting the Metropolitan Reversible Line into a siding to increase the capacity of services into Cannon Street station.
I believe that if this creation of a siding is done with imagination, then other developments can be enabled, that would be to the benefit of all those living, working anf enjoying themselves in the area.
This question was asked in an article in SE1.
It points to this page on the Network Rail web site, where you can download the Kent Route Study.
This is said in the study.
5.11.2. Charing Cross has just six 12-car platforms and Platforms 4, 5 and 6 are very narrow, leading to operational restrictions. Class 465 units cannot operate in 12-car into these platforms and selective door operation is used on Class 375 units. A major rebuild of the station could allow it to be extended south over the river, like Blackfriars, providing compliant platforms and greater passenger circulation. At concept level, a new link to Waterloo from a southern entrance to Charing Cross may supersede Waterloo East allowing the station area to be used for additional track capacity, but there are likely to be many issues with a project on this scale.
5.11.3. The relieving of terminal capacity constraints at Cannon Street and Charing Cross will then move the bottleneck to other locations on the route, including North Kent East Junction, Lewisham, Parks Bridge Junction and the two track section between Orpington and Sevenoaks.
It could be an interesting idea.
My big issue, is that increasingly, I am using London’s latest high capacity link, from London Bridge to Charing Cross via Waterloo East as a cross-London link.
It is now my preferred way to get to where I live from Waterloo station or Trafalgar Square, as I just get a convenient 141 bus from the forecourt of London Bridge station. Often after buying my supper or a few supplies in the convenient M & S in the entrance of the station under the Shard.