The Anonymous Widower

Railfuture North East – New Station At Team Valley

When I wrote Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I used this document from Railfuture, for information.

The document lists a series of campaigns and a New Station At Team Valley was one.

This is their summary of this campaign.

Construct a new Station at Team Valley where ECML passes through Team Valley near the site of
the former Low Fell station. The station could be served by a new local service from York or
Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML, the existing TransPennine Express services, the new Teesside
– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line, or by an extension of the proposed local service
from Northumberland. This proposal is particularly relevant because the roads into
Newcastle from the south are congested at peak times and there are air quality issues to the extent
that the City Council is considering charging arrangements to help limit the traffic flow

These are my thoughts.

Location Of The Station

This map clipped from Wikipedia, shows the location of Low Fell station on the 1911 Railway Clearing House map.

Note.

  1. The still-open Dunston station in the West.
  2. Low Fell station at the Southern junction of the triangular junction.

This Google Map shows the same lines today.

Note.

  1. Dunston station towards the North-East corner of the map.
  2. The triangular junction can be picked out.
  3. The Team Valley, where according to Wikipedia, there are 20,000 jobs and large retail stores.
  4. The East Coast Main Line passing down the Eastern side of Team Valley.

This second Google Map shows, where the station might have been.

Note.

  1. The giveaway is the road leading to the bridge is called Station Road.
  2. A Royal Mail site with lots of red vans is in the South-West corner of the map.
  3. But was the station North or South of Eastern Avenue?

There’s certainly a lot of space.

Reasons For The Station

This Google Map sums up the reasons for the station.

Note.

  1. The East Coast Main Line running down the East side of the site.
  2. There are a lot of businesses in Team Valley.
  3. If 20,000 work at the site, how many visitors does it get in a day?

Several trading estates and large shopping centres have railway stations in the UK. So why not Team Valley?

I can understand why Railfuture said this in their proposal.

This proposal is particularly relevant because the roads into Newcastle from the south are congested at peak times and there are air quality issues to the extent that the City Council is considering charging arrangements to help limit the traffic flow

I certainly can’t fault Railfuture’s desire to see a station at Team Valley

Current Passenger Train Services Through Team Valley

These services currently pass the location of the proposed Team Valley station.

  • LNER – London Kings Cross and Edinburgh via York, Darlington. Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • LNER – London Kings Cross and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Newark North Gate, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle
  • CrossCountry – Plymouth and Edinburgh via Totnes, Newton Abbot, Exeter St Davids, Tiverton Parkway, Taunton, Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Birmingham New Street, Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Wakefield Westgate, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle
  • CrossCountry – Southampton and Newcastle via Birmingham New Street, Derby, Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Darlington and Durham
  • TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh via Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Morpeth
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Newcastle via Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Northallerton, Darlington and Durham

Note.

  1. All trains have a frequency of one train per hour (tph)
  2. All trains call at York, Darlington and Newcastle.
  3. I have missed out some of the intermediate stations, where trains don’t call at least hourly.
  4. I have missed out stations South of Birmingham New Street.
  5. A few Northern Trains services pass through at Peak times or to go to and from depots.

I suspect some of these services could stop and to encourage commuters to and from Newcastle, Durham and Darlington to swap from car to train,

I also suspect that Team Valley station needs a frequency of at least two tph and if possible four! Four tph would give a Turn-up-and-Go service to Darlington, Newcastle and York.

Planned And Possible Future Passenger Train Services Through Team Valley

From various sources, these services are either planned or possible.

High Speed Two

High Speed Two are planning the following services, that will pass through.

  • Birmingham Curzon Street and Newcastle via East Midlands Hub, York, Darlington and Durham.
  • London Euston and Newcastle via Old Oak Common, East Midlands Hub and York.
  • London Euston and Newcastle via Old Oak Common, East Midlands Hub, York and Darlington.

Note.

  1. All trains have a frequency of one tph.
  2. All trains call at York, East Midlands Hub, York and Newcastle.
  3. All trains will be 200 metres long.

It is extemely unlikely, that these trains will stop in Team Valley station, but I would feel, that the platforms should be able to accommodate these trains and other long trains, to future-proof the design and to cater for possible emergencies, diversions or engineering works.

The longest trains on the route would probably be one of the following.

  • A pair of five-car Class 800 trains or similar, which would be 260 metres long.
  • A High Speed Two Classic-Compatible train, which would be 200 metres long.

Unless provision needed to be made for pairs of High Speed Two Classic-Compatible trains.

East Coast Trains

From next year, East Coast Trains, intend to run a five trains per day (tpd) service between London and Edinburgh via Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth.

These will pass straight through Team Valley station.

Northern Powerhouse Rail

Northern Powerhouse Rail has an objective to to run four tph between Leeds and Newcastle in 58 minutes.

At present there are only three tph on this route, two tph from TransPennine Express and one tph from CrossCountry. All three services stop at Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle.

Northern Powerhouse Rail need to decide the stopping pattern for their four tph between Leeds and Newcastle, some of which could call at Team Valley

In Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I did a similar analysis to this for Ferryhill station and concluded that the fourth service should be a London Kings Cross and Edinburgh with just two stops at Newcastle and Leeds.

Railfuture’s Proposals

Railfuture said this in their document about services to Team Valley

The station could be served by a new local service from York or
Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML, the existing TransPennine Express services, the new Teesside
– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line, or by an extension of the proposed local service
from Northumberland.

There are four services here.

  • A local service from York or Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML.
  • The existing TransPennine Express services.
  • The new Teesside– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line
  • By an extension of the proposed local service from Northumberland.

I shall cover these three services in the next three sections.

A New Local Service From York Or Darlington To Newcastle Via The ECML

This service could have the following characteristics.

  • It could call at York, Darlington, Northallerton, the new Ferryhill station, Durham, Chester-le-Street and Team Valley stations.
  • It could be hourly or two tph.
  • The Southern terminal could be York, Darlington or possibly Leeds.
  • The route would be fully electrified, if the route between Leeds and York were to be finally wired.

If the Southern terminal were Leeds this would give Northern Powerhouse Rail, their fourth service between Leeds and Newcastle.

The Existing TransPennine Express Services

TransPennine Express runs these two services through Team Valley station.

  • Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh via Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Morpeth
  • Manchester Airport and Newcastle via Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Northallerton, Darlington and Durham

Note.

  1. You can make arguments for either or both trains to stop at Team Valley station.
  2. Both trains connect to Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle.
  3. You can argue for direct connections to Edinburgh, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport.

The arguments will be partly settled by the number of tickets purchased.

Tyneside And Teesside Via Ferryhill And The Stillington Freight Line

Will this proposed service call at Team Valley station?

  • As this is likely to be the faster service between Tyneside and Teesside, I suspect this service will be a prime candidate to call at Team Valley station.
  • It is also favoured to call by Railfuture.

It would be useful to know how many people from Teesside regularly go to Team Valley to work or buy something.

A Service To Northumberland

This would be a new service on a disused freight line to Ashington and Blyth.

Little has been settled yet about this line.

If trains went South of Team Valley, where would they terminate?

Thoughts On The Trains

It is likely, that Cross Country, East Coast Trains, High Speed Two, LNER andTransPennine Express will be running trains capable of 125 mph on the East Coast Main Line through Team Valley station.

In Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I said this about the trains for any passenger service that uses the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle and Ferryhill.

I also feel that as some of these services will be running on the East Coast Main Line between Ferryhill and Newcastle, it probably would be desirable for these services to be run by Hitachi’s Regional Battery Trains, which would be capable of maintaining the maximum speed for the route, as all the other passenger services can at present!

Increasingly, in the UK, over the last few years, we have seen increasing numbers of 110 mph local trains working on high speed lines, like the East Coast Main Line, Great Western Main Line, Midland Main Line and West Coast Main Lines, as these increase the capacity and mix better with 125 mph expresses.

But it is my belief that in the future we’ll be seeing more 125 mph services on main lines to increase the capacity.

  • Great Western Railway are already running Class 800 trains to Oxford and Bedwyn from Paddington.
  • In Call For ETCS On King’s Lynn Route, I wrote about using 125 mph trains to speed up all services into Kings Cross.
  • When High Speed Two trains start sharing the East and West Coast Main Lines, all services would probably need to be fast services on the shared lines.

Hitachi’s Regional Battery Train with this specification would be ideal for these high speed routes.

  • 125 mph on electrified lines.
  • 140 mph on electrified lines with full in-cab digital ERTMS signalling.
  • 100 mph on battery power for 56 miles (90 kilometres)

Many places in the UK, will join Bedwyn, Oxford and Thanet in having high speed commuter services to their regional large city.

Could There Be A Combined Service?

As I said earlier, Railfuture are proposing these four services in the North East.

  • A local service from York or Darlington to Newcastle via the ECML.
  • The existing TransPennine Express services.
  • The new Teesside– Tyneside service via the Stillington freight line
  • By an extension of the proposed local service from Northumberland.

In the same document, they also say this about a Newcastle and Berwick service via Morpeth.

Developing a North of Morpeth Local Service by extending local Newcastle – Morpeth services to
Berwick offering an hourly service calling at all stations, possibly linking to similar service from
Berwick to Edinburgh. This service need not terminate in Newcastle and could be extended to serve
Team Valley and areas in County Durham that are on electrified lines.

It strikes me, that if you add up all their proposals, Railfuture could be proposing a Berwick and York service with the following characteristics.

Hourly or two tph.

Northern terminus of Berwick or Blyth.

Southern terminus of Leeds, York or Darlington.

Routing via East Coast Main Line to the North of Ferryhill station.

Routing via East Coast Main Line or Stillington Line and Eaglescliffe to the South of Ferryhill station.

Calling at York, Northallerton, Darlington, Ferryhill, Chester-le-Street, Team Valley, Newcastle, Manors, Ceamlington, Morpeth, Pegswood, Widdrington, Acklington, Alnmouth and Chathill.

Trains would be a version of Hitachi’s Regional Battery Train or something like it, with the specification I proposed earlier.

  • 125 mph on electrified lines.
  • 140 mph on electrified lines with full in-cab digital ERTMS signalling.
  • 100 mph on battery power for 56 miles (90 kilometres)
  • A four or five car train would probably be sufficient.

It would effectively be a High Speed Metro. And probably, one of the first of many, that will be built around the world.

Conclusion

A new station at Team Valley seems a sensible idea.

As my logic shows, I think that between Berwick and York, is a section of line, that might be able to support a High Speed Metro.

 

 

 

 

December 16, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Railfuture North East – New Station At Gilsland

When I wrote Beeching Reversal – Ferryhill Station Reopening, I used this document from Railfuture, for information.

The document lists a series of campaigns and a New Station At Gilsland was one.

This is their summary of this campaign.

New Station at Gilsland aimed at both improving links to local towns for the residents of the area
and opening up the area to a new and greener form of tourism.

These are my thoughts.

The Location Of Gilsland

Gilsland station was on what is now called the Tyne Valley Line.

The station closed in 1967.

The station towards Carlisle was Low Row, which closed in 1965.

The station towards Newcastle was Greenhead, which closed in 1967.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The A69 road goes across the map.
  2. Low Row is close to the A69, in the South-West corner of the map.
  3. Greenhead is on the Northern side of the A69 at the Eastern edge of the map.
  4. The blue dot at the top of the map indicates a Hadrian’s Wall site.
  5. Gilsland is to the East of the blue dot.
  6. The railway curves between Low Row, Gilsland and Greenhead.

This second Google Map enlarges the area around the village of Gilsland.

Note.

  1. The blue dots are sites, that are all related to the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall.
  2. The red dots are places to spend a night!
  3. The orange dots are places to eat.

This third map shows an enlargement of the village of Gilsland.

Note.

  1. The railway running across the map from the North-East corner.
  2. Two Hadrian’s Wall sites within walking distance of the railway.
  3. Gilsland station must have had some of the best access to one of the UK’s foremost historical sites.

This must rank as one of the most philistine of the station closures of the Beeching era.

But the Prime Minister of the time; Harold Wilson once said that we won’t need railways in the future, as everybody will have their own car.

A New And Greener Form Of Tourism

The heading for this section is taken directly from Railfuture’s reasons for reopening the station.

They are so right!

Perhaps, I’m being selfish, as I’ve never visited Hadrian’s Wall and as I no longer drive a car, it’s unlikely, I’ll ever do it under my own steam.

But a new station at Gilsland, would make it easy, if I was in the area.

Battery Electric Trains On The Tyne Valley Line

The current train service between Carlisle and Newcastle is two passenger trains per hour (tph) and several freight trains per day (tpd).

It is not a large number of trains, but they will need to be decarbonised, as all are diesel-powered at present.

In The Mathematics Of A Hydrogen-Powered Freight Locomotive, I laid out my view, that as decarbonisation proceeds, we’ll see large numbers of diesel locomotives either replaced with or converted to hydrogen power.

So in this post, I will only deal with the passenger trains.

Consider.

  • All the battery electric trains, that I’ve ridden, have been as quiet as church-mice.
  • They are very electrically efficient and zero-carbon.
  • Hitachi and other manufacturers are claiming ranges for battery electric trains of up to sixty miles and charging of batteries in less than ten minutes.
  • Newcastle and Carlisle stations are 61.5 miles apart.
  • There is electrification at both ends of the Tyne Valley Line.
  • Hexham, which is forty miles from Carlisle and twenty from Newcastle could be used to charge the trains en route.

Diesel trains are so last Century!

This would be one of the easier lines to run with battery-electric trains.

December 13, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Boost for Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle Area As A Further £1.5m Invested By Combined Authority In New Railway Station Scheme

The title of this post, is the same as that of this story on the Liverpool City Region web site.

These three opening paragraphs give most of the details of the story.

Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle area has been given a big boost as plans to build a new station have moved to the next stage thanks to a £1.5m investment by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has pledged to build a new station on the site of the former St James station, which closed in 1917, which would be located in one of the fastest growing areas of the city, near to the former Cains Brewery.

Those proposals for the station on the Merseyrail network are a step closer thanks to two new developments – an agreement with Network Rail, worth £1.2m, to start the next stage of the design process, and the purchase of a plot of land adjacent to the railway cutting off Stanhope Street for £300k, protecting a potential future site for the new station ticket office building.

As Liverpool St. James station, closed over a hundred years ago, this must be one of the longest times to reopen a station, anywhere in the world.

This Google Map shows the location of the proposed station.

Note.

  1. The deep dark cutting going under the major road junction, where Upper Parliament Street and the A571 cross.
  2. The square of roads formed mainly by Ashwell Street, with Stanhope Street in the South, above the cutting.
  3. Contained in the cutting is Merseyrail’s Northern Line on which the station will be built.
  4. I also suspect, that the triangular plot of land on the East side of the tracks, is the one mentioned in the extract. It could easily be the place for a ticket office with lifts to the platforms.

Only Liverpudlians would choose to build a station at the bottom of a deep hole.

But then they don’t think like others!

I have a few thoughts and questions.

Will It Be Dark On The Platforms?

This was one of my first thoughts, as there’s nothing worse than a dark station. I also wonder, if one of the reasons the station closed was lack of passengers caused by the darkness.

This picture taken from the story, shows the cutting from the bottom.

Note.

  • Aligning this picture with the map, Liverpool Central is behind us and Hunts Cross is through the tunnel.
  • Perhaps on a good day more light gets into the cutting.

I suspect that modern lighting on the platforms could solve the problem.

It appears that the station opened in 1874 and closed in 1917, but the lines through the station were not electrified until 1983.

So as the station must have been served by steam-hauled trains, during its brief opening at the turn of the Nineteenth Century, it must have had a terrible atmosphere on the platforms.

Hopefully, the only smell, that will emanate from the new Class 777 trains, will be one of newness.

What Is On The Triangular Plot?

This Google Map shows the triangular plot of land, that could be used for the ticket office.

Note.

  1. It looks very much to be a builder’s yard or a store for building materials, as I can definitely make out packs of bricks and bags of aggregate.
  2. As there appears to be a steel staircase down to the tracks at the top of the image, it might even be something to do with Network Rail.
  3. The steel staircase is visible in the picture of the tracks.
  4. The plot certainly doesn’t contain any buildings of architectural merit.
  5. I also can’t see a pond, which might contain newts or other protected wildlife.

It would appear to be an ideal site for a station building, with all the necessary facilities.

More Information And Pictures Of The Former Station

This page on the Disused Stations web site, gives extra information to Wikipedia about the station and has some interesting pictures.

How Will The Platforms Be Accessed?

It is a long way for steps, as especially as new stations are generally built step-free.

Merseyrail already have a pair of almost identical stations; Kirkdale and Wavertree Technology Park, which both opened in 2000.

These pictures show Kirkdale station.

I suspect, platform access at Liverpool St. James station of a similar design could be devised.

  • The simplest design would surely be to put a bridge across the tracks from the ticket office, which had a large lift on both sides of the tracks direct to the platforms.
  • Stairs from such a bridge could probably be added, but they would be long and complicated.
  • It might need a two-stage process with lifts taking passengers down to a bridge over the trains and then stairs and more lifts or ramps to the platforms.

At least, as the line is electrified for third-rail, I doubt clearance will be needed for overhead wires.

Could The Station Have An Island Platform?

One of the comments suggested this. In addition, one picture on the Disused Stations web site appears to show three tracks through the station site.

So this could be an interesting possibility.

Conclusion

I think that we might see a very innovative design here, given Merseyrail’s past record.

November 1, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Horden Station – 28th October 2020

I took these pictures at the new Horden station, as I passed through.

 

Probably, the most significant fact about this station, is that it was built quickly.

October 30, 2020 Posted by | Design | , | 1 Comment

Two New Black Country Railway Stations Receive Planning Approval

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

Planning permission has been granted for two new railway stations on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line, marking a major milestone in the project to restore passenger services to this part of the Black Country.

The stations at Darlaston and Willenhall will offer local residents vastly improved connections to Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham New Street stations when they open in 2023.

The article also gives full details on the location of the stations and the rail services that will be provided.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Scottish Town Regains Its Station After 56 Years

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Trains are calling at Kintore in Aberdeenshire today for the first time since December 1964.

Some points about the new Kintore station.

  • It is a two platform station on the newly double-tracked Aberdeen and Inverness Line.
  • The station has a footbridge with lifts.
  • The station is 13.4 miles or 19 minutes from Aberdeen.
  • The station is 94.8 miles or two hours and twenty-three minutes from Inverness.
  • All the services I can find yesterday, seem to have been run by Class 158 trains.
  • There is a 168 space car park, with 24 charging points.

The station cost £15 million.

London Overground Syndrome

I have a feeling that Aberdeen and Inverness Line could be a prime candidate for suffering from London Overground Syndrome.

I suspect though, that ScotRail will quickly eradicate it, by putting on more trains.

 

October 17, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

A First Visualisation Of Headbolt Lane Station

This visualisation of the proposed Headbolt Lane station in Kirkby has appeared on several web sites.

Wikipedia also says that the station will have one platform and as there is a Class 777 train on the left hand side of what I take to be the station building, I would assume that is the platform.

It looks an interesting station layout with a wide concourse with trains on one side and buses on the other.

I can’t work out from the image, if there is a long shelter alongside the train, as one sees on some tram stops. But if it was felt necessary one could surely be fitted to give passengers some covering in inclement weather.

As the station also features five-hundred parking spaces, these must be arranged around the station on this side of the railway, which is currently just a single track.

The Plans On Rail Future

This page on the Rail Future web site is entitled A Station Back In Skelmersdale and it indicates the following.

  • A map shows a spur, which is connected to the Kirkby and Wigan Line, by a large triangular junction between Rainford and Upholland stations, running North to Skelmersdale.
  • Services of two tph between Liverpool and Skelmersdale and an hourly service between Manchester and Skelmersdale are proposed.
  • Rainford station would appear to exchange a direct link to Manchester for a direct link to Liverpool. But then Rainford is in Merseyside and Upholland and Skelmersdale are in Lancashire.

With these proposals the junction and the spur would only need to be single-track, with Skelmersdale station only needing a single-platform.

Could the following simplifications also be done?

  • Upholland and Rainford stations become single platform stations
  • The track between the two stations is mothballed or even removed.
  • There would only be a single track between both stations and Skelmersdale station.

There’s certainly scope to save money on construction and maintenance.

Could this single track and platform design be the reason, why Headbolt Lane station only has a single platform?

Consider.

  • The current Kirkby station, handles four tph to and from Liverpool City Centre on a single platform.
  • The line becomes double-track to the East of Fazakerley station.
  • I suspect double-track is needed to allow 4 tph

I suspect Headbolt Lane station could handle four tph to and from Liverpool, but there may need to be some double-track between Kirkby and Headbolt Lane stations.

I also estimate that to travel the return journey on the approximately eight miles between Headbolt Land and Skelmersdale station will take about thirty minutes.

Would this mean that it were possible to create a timetable, which allowed four tph between Liverpool and Headbolt Lane stations and two tph between Headbolt Lane and Skelmersdale stations?

  • The single platform would be bi-directional.
  • Two tph out of four arriving at Headbolt Lane station would reverse and go back to Liverpool.
  • The other two tph would continue to Skelmersdale.
  • The two tph returning from Skelmersdale would continue to Liverpool.

It would be one for the Busby Berkeley of train time-tabling.

The alternative of running four tph between Liverpool and Skelmersdale would need the following.

  • Full double-tracking between Fazakerley and Skelmersdale stations.
  • Two platform stations at Kirkby, Headbolt Lane and Rainford, which would need step-free bridges.

It would be a much more expensive scheme.

How Much New Electrification Would Be Needed?

Given the politics of third-rail electrification, I suspect the scheme will use as little as possible.

If the battery-equipped Class 777 trains can run the return journey between Kirkby and Skelmersdale stations, then all track to the East of Kirkby station could be without electrification.

This would probably also mean that the current power supply wouldn’t need to be upgraded to cope with additional electrification.

Could There Be A Two tph Service Between Skelmersdale And Manchester?

I don’t think a single-track line between Upholland and Skelmersdale would rule this out, but having two two tph services might need a second platform at Skelmersdale station.

On the other hand, the Manchester and Liverpool services could be timed to allow a cross-platform interchange at Skelmersdale.

This would mean that someone wanting to go between say Sandhills and Bolton would go direct with a quick change at Skelmersdale.

Could There Be Through Running Between Manchester And Kirkby?

Four tph between Liverpool and Headbolt Lane station with two tph extending to Skelmersdale, running through the single-platform stations at Kirkby, Headbolt Lane and Rainford, would probably make the current Manchester and Kirkby service difficult, if not impossible.

But as the change at Kirkby will be replaced with one at Skelmersdale, it would be more of an inconvenience than a disaster.

In addition, if two tph were to be run between Manchester and Skelmersdale and the trains were timetabled to meet at Skelmersdale, this would effectively be a pseudo-through service.

A single track could be left between Upholland and Rainford for engineering trains and possibly the occasional freight train.

Strategic Car Parking

Consider.

  • The new Headbolt Lane station, is going to be provided with five hundred car-parking spaces.
  • The new Skelmersdale station will probably have adequate provision.
  • At the present time, Rainford and Upholland stations don’t appear to have any parking.

I would suggest, that a good look is taken at car and bicycle parking at all stations to the East of Headbolt Lane station.

Conclusion

It appears to be a scheme, that has been designed to keep costs to a minimum.

But that probably means, it is more likely to get built!

I also like the concept of a large station concourse alongside a single platform and track, which will probably be without electrification. It should be very safe too!

It is strange, that I’ve not seen that layout before either in the UK or on the many railways, that I’ve used abroad.

 

 

August 23, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Railway Station At Liverpool University

In Liverpool’s Forgotten Tunnel, I showed this map, which shows a proposed reopening of the Wapping Tunnel as a passenger route between Liverpool Central and Edge Hill stations.

Note.

  1. The map shows a station at University
  2. The Wapping Tunnel is shown as a dotted blue line.
  3. Between four and eight trains per hour (tph) would be running through University station.

This Google Map shows the line of the tunnel.

Note.

  1. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Much of area of the map is taken up by buildings of Liverpool University.
  3. Crown Street Park is in the South-East corner of the map and contains one of the ventilating shafts for the tunnel.
  4. Blackburne Place in the South-West corner of the map contains another ventilating shaft.

The location of the shafts, probably means that the tunnel runs vaguely along Myrtle Street.

Not knowing that area of the campus well, it could be where Grove and Myrtle Streets intersect.

This Google Map shows the area.

It should be noted that this area of Liverpool is built on sandstone and tunnelling isn’t the most challenging operation, so it might be possible to create a very passenger-friendly station.

Passenger Services Through The Station

I think that my best estimate of passenger service through the station would be as follows.

Frequency

The frequency would be between four and eight tph. These are quite low frequencies for a modern railway and Merseyrail exceeds this frequency in several places.

Westbound

Currently, trains on the Northern Line branches to Ormskirk and Kirkby appear to turnback at Liverpool Central station. So it would appear, that it would be more likely, that Westbound services at Liverpool University station would terminate at Kirkby or Ormskirk.

Passengers wanting to travel to and from stations on the Wirral Line, would need to change at Liverpool Central station.

Eastbound

Currently, local services out of Liverpool Lime Street, that are run by Northern, are as follows.

  • Half hourly service to Manchester Oxford Road (via Warrington Central, most local stations)
  • Hourly service to Manchester Airport (via Warrington Central and Manchester Piccadilly, limited stop)
  • Hourly service to Blackpool North (limited stop)
  • Half hourly service to Wigan North Western (via St Helens Central, all stations)
  • Hourly service to Crewe (via Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport, all stations)
  • Hourly service to Warrington Bank Quay (via Earlestown, all stations)

Note.

  1. The services actually add up to eight tph.
  2. As Merseyrail’s new Class 777 trains will have a pantograph for 25 KVAC overhead electrification and a battery capability, they could be used on all routes.
  3. But I do think that the trains may not be suitable for all routes because of their 75 mph operating speed.
  4. It might be better to serve Blackpool North station by extending an hourly Ormskirk service to Preston and Blackpool North, with stops at all stations.

So could the services Eastbound from Liverpool University station be as follows.

  • Half hourly service to Manchester Oxford Road (via Warrington Central, most local stations)
  • Half hourly service to Wigan North Western (via St Helens Central, all stations)
  • Hourly service to Warrington Bank Quay (via Earlestown, all stations)

The services add up to five tph and I would expect selective increases would balance the services, so that eight tph ran through Liverpool University and Edge Hill stations.

August 21, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beeching Reversal – St Anne’s Park Station

This is one of the Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

This Google Map shows the proposed site of St. Anne’s Park station, between British Temple Meads and Keynsham stations.

The station is about four-five miles from Bristol Temple Meads station.

  • Bristol Temple Meads station is to the West of the map.
  • St. Anne’s Park station will be to the East of the map.
  • The station has up to two stations per hour.

The Great Western Main Line between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath runs through the site of St. Anne’s station.

Conclusion

There are quite a few stations like this that councils want to reopen.

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

South Wales Metro Railway Works Imminent

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

Work starts on the third of August and is described in this sentence,

TfW is now starting to build the South Wales Metro which will see major infrastructure works including the electrification of over 170km of track mostly with overhead lines, station and signalling upgrades and the construction of at least five new stations.

It will be one of the most innovative electrification projects ever performed in the UK, as it uses discontinuous electrification.

I explained discontinuous electrification in More On Discontinuous Electrification In South Wales, where I said this.

In the July 2018 Edition of Modern Railways, there is an article entitled KeolisAmey Wins Welsh Franchise.

This is said about the electrification on the South Wales Metro.

KeolisAmey has opted to use continuous overhead line equipment but discontinuous power on the Core Valley Lnes (CVL), meaning isolated OLE will be installed under bridges. On reaching a permanently earthed section, trains will automatically switch from 25 KVAC overhead to on-board battery supply, but the pantograph will remain in contact with the overhead cable, ready to collect power after the section. The company believes this method of reducing costly and disruptive engineering works could revive the business cases of cancelled electrification schemes. Hopes of having money left over for other schemes rest partly on this choice of technology.

Other points made include.

    • A total of 172 km. of track will be electrified.
    • The system is used elsewhere, but not in the UK.
    • Disruptive engineering works will be avoided on fifty-five structures.
    • Between Radyr and Ninian Park stations is also proposed for electrification.

Nothing is said about only electrifying the uphill track, which surely could be a way of reducing costs.

I wrote the last sentence, as surely coming down the hills, the trains can be powered by Newton’s friend.

The New Stations

This article on Business Live, gives the list of new stations and their completion dates.

 

If the builders crack on as they did at Horden station, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those dates achieved, with time to spare.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport | , , , , | 9 Comments