The Anonymous Widower

Green Light For Major Transpennine Improvements

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railnews.

These paragraphs outline the project.

Improvements on the Transpennine route in West Yorkshire have been given the green light, after a Transport and Works Act order was signed by the transport secretary on 27 June, six months earlier than planned.

The cost of the upgrades was described as ‘multi-billion’ by Network Rail, which said it was the ‘biggest milestone’ so far on the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme.

The improvements will be carried out between Huddersfield and Westtown in Dewsbury, and include quadrupling the double line and remodelling track layouts as well as major renovations at Huddersfield, Deighton and Mirfield and a new station at Ravensthorpe. In addition, there will be a flyover near Ravensthorpe to separate the Wakefield and Leeds lines and reduce conflicting movements.

Effectively, Grant Shapps fired the starting gun for this project four days ago.

I have written various posts on the upgrade and they can be read from this link.

The Transpennine Route Upgrade Web Site

The project now has its own comprehensive web site, which is named the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

A Reply To Peter Robins About Electrification

Peter Robins made this very perceptive comment.

The main point of TPU isn’t electrification, though, it’s upgrading the track to remove bottlenecks, improve lines speeds, add capacity. This is mainly what the Hudd-Dew TWA order is about. If you electrify the line while you’re doing that, then you increase the number of connecting places/lines which are within range of current batteries.

I think that Lds-CF will also have to wait for the post-IRP review, meaning the full upgrade will be a long time coming.

This Hitachi infographic shows the specification of their Regional Battery Train.

Note.

  1. It is a 100 mph train.
  2. Batteries can be charged when travelling under wires or 10-15 mins static.
  3. Range on batteries is 90 km. or 56 miles.
  4. My experience of Hitachi bi-modes is that pantographs on these trains can go up and down, with all the alacrity of a whore’s drawers.

Hitachi have stated that they will be testing a Class 802 train with batteries later this year.

Could Hitachi Battery Trains Be Charged On The Electrification Between Huddersfield And Dewsbury?

Looking at the data from RealTimeTrains for this route it appears that the fastest time I can find between Huddersfield And Dewsbury is eleven minutes.

Would this be enough time to fully-charge the battery? If not the electrification could perhaps be extended for a couple of miles.

How Many Of Transpennine Express (TPE)’s Services Could Be Decarbonised, if Huddersfield And Dewsbury Were To Be Electrified?

I’ll look at each service that uses this route.

Liverpool Lime Street And Newcastle

This is an hourly service that calls at Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Northallerton, Darlington and Durham.

  • Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria is electrified.
  • Colton Junction and Newcastle is electrified.
  • Huddersfield and Dewsbury will be electrified by the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield – 25.8 miles
  • Dewsbury and Colton Junction – 29.3 miles

Note.

  1. There are also stops under the wires, at Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Leeds, which could be used to top up the battery.
  2. The largest unelectrified section would be 29.3 miles.

It looks to me that Liverpool Lime Street And Newcastle could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

Manchester Airport And Redcar Central

This is an hourly service that calls at Gatley, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Thirsk, Northallerton, Yarm, Thornaby and Middlesbrough.

  • Manchester Airport and Manchester Victoria is electrified.
  • Colton Junction and Northallerton is electrified.
  • Huddersfield and Dewsbury will be electrified by the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield – 25.8 miles
  • Dewsbury and Colton Junction – 29.3 miles
  • Northallerton and Redcar Central – 28.8 miles

Note.

  1. There are also stops under the wires, at Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Leeds, which could be used to top up the battery.
  2. The largest unelectrified section would be 29.3 miles.
  3. I suspect that charging could be needed at Redcar end of the route. Middlesbrough would probably be best, as it could also charge the LNER services, if they used battery power from Northallerton.

It looks to me that Manchester Airport And Redcar Central could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

Manchester Piccadilly And Hull

This is an hourly service that calls at Stalybridge, Huddersfield, Leeds, Selby and Brough.

  • Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria is electrified.
  • Huddersfield and Dewsbury will be electrified by the Transpennine Route Upgrade.
  • Leeds and Neville Hill Depot is electrified.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield – 25.8 miles
  • Dewsbury and Leeds – 29.3 miles
  • Neville Hill Depot and Hull – 50 miles

Note.

  1. There are also stops under the wires, at Huddersfield and Leeds, which could be used to top up the battery.
  2. The largest unelectrified section would be 50 miles.
  3. I am sure that charging would be needed at Hull end of the route. Hull would probably be best, as it could also charge the Hull Trains, LNER and Northern Trains services, if they used battery power from the East Coast Main Line.
  4. Alternatively, there could be electrification between Hull and Brough. or Neville Hill and Micklefield. The latter would knock eight miles off the unelectrified section and is needed to allow electric trains to access Neville Hill Depot under electric power.

It looks to me that Manchester Piccadilly and Hull could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield

This is an hourly service that calls at Stalybridge, Mossley, Greenfield, Marsden, and Slaithwaite.

  • Manchester Piccadilly is electrified.
  • Huddersfield is electrified.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield – 25.5 miles

Note.

  1. There are also stops under the wires, at Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield, which would be used to top up the battery.
  2. The largest unelectrified section would be 25.5 miles.
  3. Trains would be charged at both ends of the route.

It looks to me that Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

Huddersfield And Leeds

This is an hourly service that calls at Deighton, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, Batley, Morley and Cottingley

  • Huddersfield is electrified.
  • Leeds is electrified.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • Dewsbury and Leeds – 29.3 miles

Note.

  1. There are also stops under the wires, at Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury and Leeds, which would be used to top up the battery.
  2. The largest unelectrified section would be 29.3 miles.
  3. Trains would be charged at both ends of the route.

It looks to me that Huddersfield and Leeds could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

York And Scarborough

This is an hourly service that calls at Malton and Seamer

  • York is electrified.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • York And Scarborough – 42.1 miles

Note.

  1. The largest unelectrified section would be 42.1 miles.
  2. Trains would be charged at both ends of the route.

It looks to me that York and Scarborough could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

How Many Of Northern Trains’s Services Could Be Decarbonised, if Huddersfield And Dewsbury Were To Be Electrified?

I’ll look at each service that uses this route.

Wigan North Western And Leeds

This is an hourly service that calls at Daisy Hill, Atherton, Walkden, Salford Crescent, Salford Central, Manchester Victoria, Rochdale, Smithy Bridge, Littleborough, Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse, Mirfield, Dewsbury, Morley and Cottingley

  • Wigan North Western is electrified.
  • Salford Crescent and Manchester Victoria is electrified.
  • Heaton Lodge East junction and Dewsbury is electrified.
  • Leeds is electrified.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • Wigan North Western and Salford Crescent – 16 miles
  • Manchester Victoria and Heaton Lodge East junction – 37.6 miles
  • Dewsbury and Leeds – 29.3 miles

Note.

  1. There are also stops under the wires, at Wigan North Western, Salford Crescent, Salford Central, Manchester Victoria, Mirfield, Dewsbury and Leeds, which would be used to top up the battery.
  2. The largest unelectrified section would be 37.6 miles.
  3. Trains would be charged at both ends of the route.

It looks to me that Wigan North Western and Leeds could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

Huddersfield And Castleford

This is an occasional service that calls at Deighton, Mirfield and Wakefield Kirkgate.

As it is run by buses at the moment, I can’t get the data to work out if it could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

But I suspect it can, after looking at a map.

How Many Of Grand Central’s Services Could Be Decarbonised, if Huddersfield And Dewsbury Were To Be Electrified?

I’ll look at each service that uses this route.

London King’s Cross And Bradford Interchange

This is a four trains per day service that calls at Doncaster, Pontefract Monkhill, Wakefield Kirkgate, Mirfield, Brighouse, Halifax and Low Moor.

  • King’s Cross and Doncaster is electrified.
  • Mirfield is electrified.

This leaves the following sections without electrification.

  • Doncaster and Mirfield – 34.8 miles
  • Mirfield and Bradford Interchange – 17.3 miles

Note.

  1. There are also stops under the wires, at Mirfield, which would be used to top up the battery.
  2. The largest unelectrified section would be 34.8 miles.
  3. Trains would need to be charged at Bradford Interchange, during the turnround of around an hour.
  4. It is likely, that some electrification will be erected in the Bradford area, to improve services to Leeds.

It looks to me that London King’s Cross and Bradford Interchange could be served using a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar.

Conclusion

It looks like electrifying between Huddersfield and Dewsbury will enable a Hitachi Regional Battery Train or similar to work all passenger routes, that run on that section of track.

 

July 1, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20 Comments »

  1. NR’s press release includes a flythrough video https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/revolutionary-rail-improvements-in-west-yorkshire-given-green-light

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 1, 2022 | Reply

  2. Fundamentally that website doesn’t tell us when the programme is going to be finished and the benefits realised. This now seems to be norm after Crossrail promise nothing and stick a risk factor of 50% on the budget so you are covered and can hopefully come out of it smelling of roses when you give a few quid back. The forecast cost for Huddersfield to Leeds is 1.2B for 16miles and actually only 12 miles of the route are being rebuilt so a £100m/route mile. This is over existing alignment albeit being eased in a few places but involves no tunnels. The plan for Huddersfield to Staylybridge is unclear and this on a project that got authorised 10 years ago albeit fool Grayling put the mockers on it in 2017but what were they doing for the first 5 years? Then we have Colton Jcn to Church Fenton and Manchester to Staylybridge both short electrifications but nowhere near finished and now into third year.

    Weaver Jcn to Motherwell Elecn was authorised in 1970 opened in 1974 include three new panel boxes and track rationalisation as well as wiring up 160miles of track. Then BR did it again with ECML on an even bigger longer scheme. No wonder things cost so much!

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | July 2, 2022 | Reply

    • I do think Peter Hendy has taken some of his project management experts with him from TfL. If you remember the Overground went in without trouble about ten years ago. The way that the Okehampton route reopened was a sign that things have improved. So perhaps, they have cunning plan for the Transpennine? It is certainly better to be early than late!

      Comment by AnonW | July 2, 2022 | Reply

    • AFAIK Church Fenton-Colton is still scheduled for completion in October. There are monthly project trackers at https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/railway-upgrade-plan/key-projects/transpennine-route-upgrade/york-to-church-fenton-improvement-scheme though these show you the trees rather than the wood. I hear that wires were installed on some of this during June, which encourages me to think that the actual electrification may be on schedule. OTOH, AIUI one of the level crossings is still awaiting a TWA order – which certainly won’t be complete by Oct.

      On Vic-Staly, the emphasis so far has been on strengthening/replacing bridges, replacing signaling, and an increase in line speed at the Miles Platting end. Apparently, there’s also been some masts put up round Ashton in June. NR have a separate website for this, but it hasn’t been updated since last year.

      I don’t think anything will happen on Dewsbuty-Leeds, until the post-Integrated-Rail-Plan review – which probably means next government. I’m afraid the underlying problem is a lack of any coherent strategy for rail in general or for electrification in particular. Other than in Scotland, of course, which continues to make progress.

      Comment by Peter Robins | July 2, 2022 | Reply

      • I do think that legitimately a lot of electrification can be avoided by using battery-electric trains, but for some reason progress has been painfully slow! But then Hitachi, Siemens and Stadler are talking 100 km. range on batteries.

        Comment by AnonW | July 2, 2022

      • The main point of TPU isn’t electrification, though, it’s upgrading the track to remove bottlenecks, improve lines speeds, add capacity. This is mainly what the Hudd-Dew TWA order is about. If you electrify the line while you’re doing that, then you increase the number of connecting places/lines which are within range of current batteries.

        I think that Lds-CF will also have to wait for the post-IRP review, meaing the full upgrade will be a long time coming.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 2, 2022

      • Looks like they’ve moved the project trackers for CF-Colton to https://thetrupgrade.co.uk/york2cf/ – more up to date than the other site. July shows continuation of “OLE SPS and Wiring Installation”.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 2, 2022

      • NR have just published https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/yorkshires-first-new-electric-railway-in-25-years-set-to-cut-carbon-and-slash-journey-times with video of wires going up on CF-Colton. Seems they’re now aiming for end year completion.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 11, 2022

      • I think when Hendy says do it, he means it! TfL have got much worse since Boris pinched him for Notwork Rail. But then he started off at TfL as Ken’s pick! It will be interesting to see how the Morthumberland Line goes!

        Comment by AnonW | July 11, 2022

    • Looking at Huddersfield and Dewsbury, it is effectively several smaller independent projects, which could have a high degree of variation in how long they could take.

      Huddersfield station is a Grade 1 Listed building and could be difficult.

      They also have probably got to keep the railway running during the upgrade.

      My experience of writing project management software, tells me that you hire the best project manager you can find and manage all sub-projects with the same proven software.

      In my view, this should minimise the overall project time.

      Comment by AnonW | July 2, 2022 | Reply

  3. somewhat unexpectedly, the DfT has just announced a major funding increase for TRU https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/transport-update-transpennine-route-upgrade Vic-Staly should be electrified by 2025, and there’s the intention for digital signaling too.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 19, 2022 | Reply

    • this sudden DfT announcement would seem to be a response to the Audit Office’s appraisal of the TRU https://www.nao.org.uk/report/the-transpennine-route-upgrade/ NAO’s report highlights the dithering since 2011 when the scheme was announced, wasting £190m in the process. It also recommends that the next business case in December, amongst other things, should include a rolling stock strategy (no point in electrifying the line and installing digital signaling if there’s no rolling stock to make use of it), and how this upgrade fits in with the overall Northern Powerhouse Rail – something which is not at all clear to me either.

      Comment by Peter Robins | July 20, 2022 | Reply

  4. on the positive side, work does seem to be progressing on Vic-Staly. Given that most of the serious work is now complete, I would have thought this should be finished well before 2025.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 20, 2022 | Reply

    • No-one ever got a seriously bad press for delivering a project early!

      Comment by AnonW | July 20, 2022 | Reply

  5. There’s a further update on the Huddersfield section at https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/a-bridge-to-the-future-in-huddersfield This states “Our fastest journey times are forecast to be 63-66 minutes between Manchester and York and 41-42 minutes between Manchester and Leeds.”

    Comment by Peter Robins | August 17, 2022 | Reply

  6. That looks like 13 minutes off the Manchester and Leeds time.

    When I went through a couple of weeks ago, the 802 seemed sprightly and I timed it at 100 mph South of York.

    It looks like Network Rail are getting a large improvement, at a cost of little disruption.

    Comment by AnonW | August 17, 2022 | Reply

    • the line S from York is flat and straight. If trains can’t go fast on that … According to OpenRailwayMap, the CF-Crossgates bit is currently 90mph max; they might be able to up that a bit. The rest of the route to Vic is a different story.

      Comment by Peter Robins | August 17, 2022 | Reply

      • SpeedView was giving me 100 in places North of Crossgates, although the speed dropped, where the electrification ended. As I’m certain, they weren’t using it, I suspect they’ve reprofiled the track, where the wires have been erected.

        I couldn’t get a signal in the Standedge Tunnel, but it was a nice smooth ride. But then it is level for picking up water from troughs by steam trains. Unfortunately SpeedView doesn’t work in tunnels.

        When NR get the track right, as they usually do, I suspect ERTMS signalling or a good driver can really make 802s fly through some of the current twisty bits.

        I do wonder though, if the only passenger trains through Standedge were to be 802s, then NR might not electrify the tunnel, as it’s only five kilometres and level, so an 802 with a battery pack would cope. A dewiring the the tunnel would be a nightmare.

        NR have said the line will be fully-electrified, but does that mean wires between the tunnels and battery operation in the tunnels. Freight locomotives will I am sure go for hydrogen.

        Comment by AnonW | August 17, 2022

      • I wouldn’t hold my breath on ERTMS signalling. One of the changes they’ve made on the Vic-Staly section is to replace the old signalling with ones run from the regional control centre. They wouldn’t do that if ERTMS were imminent.

        Comment by Peter Robins | August 17, 2022

  7. Having been in the cab of an InterCity 125, it might be that on slower lines, good reliable signalling with a comprehensive driver assistance system is all that’s needed.

    Full ERTMS signalling though could be the solution to bottlenecks like the DigswellViaduct/Welwyn North section and the Newark Crossing.

    It would be a more affordable solution too.

    Comment by AnonW | August 17, 2022 | Reply


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