The Anonymous Widower

Hammond To Announce ‘More Money’ For Northern Powerhouse Rail

This title of this post is the same as that on this article on the BBC.

This is said.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is to announce an extra £300m to improve rail links in northern England, in a speech to the Conservative Party conference.

Plans to electrify the whole Trans-Pennine route have been in doubt.

But the new money will be used to ensure HS2 will link to faster trains between Liverpool and Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and York – so-called Northern Powerhouse rail.

What would I do with £300 million to improve the rail lines in the North?

To Electrify Or Not!

If we don’t electrify a few routes it will make things difficult.

As an example, you might want to create an HS2 route from London to Middlesbrough, using the Northallerton to Middlesbrough Line.

HS2 trains would probably travel from the HS2 terminus at Leeds along the East Coast Main Line to Northallerton.

If the last few miles were not electrified, then the train would need to be a bi-mode.

However, the dead weight of a diesel engine might reduce the performance sufficiently, so the train couldn’t run at full speed on HS2.

So the HS2 trains would probably need electrified track at all time!

I don’t think that all the destinations that might need an HS2 service are on all-electric route from HS2.

How about these stations?

  • Barrow
  • Blackburn
  • Burnley
  • Edinburgh
  • Huddersfield
  • Lincoln
  • Middlesbrough
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield
  • York

Note that Carlisle and Glasgow are not on my list, but four important stations , that are served by the East Coast Main Line, cannot be reached by an electric train from HS2, because of gaps in the electrification.

Splitting And Joining

I am assuming that trains can join and split like the Class 395 trains to Kent.

As a simple example two five-car trains might start from London as a ten-car train and split at Crewe or Nottingham, with perhaps each train going to different destinations.

Going southward, two trains would join for the dash to London.

Cross-And Same-Platform Interchanges

By clever station design, it might be possible for interchanges at places like Crewe, Nottingham, Preston and York to be a simple procedure, where passengers get off one train and get on the connecting service either immediately or after a few minutes, without negotiating any steps, escalatord or lifts.

Electrification

Possible routes to electrify would be as follows.

Batley To Selby Via East Leeds Parkway, Leeds and White Rose Centre

Leeds are keen to build two new stations; East Leeds Parkway and White Rose Centre. The line could be electrified between these two stations to form a new electrified CrossLeeds service perhaps between Batley in the West and Selby in the East.

There is the 4km. long tunnel at Morley and this could be easy to electrify, by using an overhead rail, as was used in the Severn Tunnel.

Leeds to York

This would give the following advantages.

  • It would complete a fully electric route from Leeds to York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
  • A time saving of upwards of upwards of five minutes between Leeds and York.
  • Direct connection for HS2 to the East Coast Main Line.
  • It would allow electric trains to be moved between York and Neville Hill depot in Leeds.

It would also be a fairly simple piece of electrification.

Northallerton To Middlesbrough

This line is only twenty miles long and it would allow electric trains and HS2 to go to Middlesbrough.

Preston To Burnley via Blackburn

I’m very keen on this electrification.

  • It would give a lift to the area.
  • Electric and bi-mode trains could run between Blackpool, Blackburn, Clitheroe, Burnley, Colne, Liverpool and Manchester.

HS2 trains would be able to reach Blackburn and/or Burnley.

Tunnels

There are several long tunnels in the Pennines. I believe that these should be electrified, as Network Rail seem to be able to handle tunnels.

Bi-mode trains would run through using the electrification.

Improved Lines

These lines could be improved and might even be electrified.

Camp Hill Line

This would create a second line across Birmingham. Extra chords at Bordesley, a couple of stations and electrification would make it a quality improvement.

Carnforth To Barrow

Barrow and the nearby Sellafield need a lift and perhaps, if the line were to be improved bi-mode trains could reach Barrow from Crewe, where there will be an easy interchange with HS2.

Electrifying the line might be possible, but the Heritage lobby won’t want the Lake District spoiled.

Derby To Nottingham Via East Midlands Hub

When HS2 gets to the East Midlands Hub station between Nottingham and Derby, it will need good connections to both cities.

This could be heavy rail or an extended Nttingham Express Transit.

Liverpool To Manchester Via Chat Moss

The electrified route between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria stations has a very low operating speed.

Sort it!

New And Reopened Lines

There are a couple of lines thsat could be built or reopened.

MerseyRail’s Northern Line to Skelmersdale

I like this idea and it could be an improvement with a high return.

Skipton And Colne

This missing link should be created, so that there is another route across the Pennines.

As Skipton is electrified, why not electrify the link and the existing Colne to Rose Grove line, which would be on the Preston to Burnley route that I think should be electrified.

 

 

 

Conclusion

I’ve probably spent £300 million now!

But I do think, if Network Rail are innovative, things can be made a lot better.

 

 

October 2, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | ,

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