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Old August 26th, 2005, 12:46 PM   #1
LeedsLad
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Train not tram

Ok - so we're not getting the tram (or at least it's very unlikely). I never understood what the big obsession with trams was anyway. Where they run on the road, they get stuck in traffic. They're only allowed to go the same speed as the speed limit of the nearest road, and rarely take a direct route into the city centre. For people travelling from outside Leeds who want to use public transport - it means they need to change from the train network onto the tram network, creating hassle, which often puts people off. All this and it costs millions and creates disruption during construction.

I think before we start to think of schemes like this - we need to make more use of the existing rail network. The rails are already built. They take a direct route into town. They are connected to the national rail network. There's plenty of space on the lines to add extra tracks, where there are maybe only 2, but space for 3 or 4.

My proposal is this. The line I have best knowledge of is the line out to Crossgates/Garforth/York, although I know the situation is similar on most lines. The tracks run from Leeds city centre, past the bus station/Quarry Hill, Halton Dial (A64/A63 junct), Killingbeck, Crossgates, the M1 and out to Garforth. Yet there are only stations at CrossGates and Garforth.
I think the number of stations should be vastly increased, for example on this line you could put platforms at the bus station/Quarry Hill (how many large cities have only one city centre train station?), one at Halton Dial where there's room for a massive car park on the old petrol station site (park n ride?), one in Killingbeck, definitely one at the M1 for park and ride.

I understand that the train from York ain't gonna stop at these stations as the journey time would be too long. What I think is that building these platforms (for a tiny percent of the tram cost) and a fleet of nice new trains could run from Garforth to City Centre and back again. Much faster and more direct than trams. Room to park at the stations. Connections to the national rail network.

Also just off the top of my head could add stations at the White Rose, Airport, Elland Road (park and ride from the motorway & matchdays), Headingley statdium (park n ride and matchdays), Armley, Kirkstall, the list goes on and on.

Then there's things like restoring the old line to Wetherby. Surley this is much cheaper and would get people onto the trains more? OK so there wouldn't be as many city centre stops, and stations are restricted to where existing lines are, but it's a start and a cheap alternative....
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Old August 26th, 2005, 01:11 PM   #2
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It all sounds common sense and almost too simple! It'll never happen!

I think it's a superb plan, obviously there'd be the cost of better rolling stock and actually building the additional stations but as you say I'm sure it would cost a fraction of the supertram. Train services in the city boundary areas could then be increased to run say every 10 minutes.

I think that there's plans to build a station at Kirstall Forge as part of the proposed development.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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Sounds eminently feasible and sensible Leeds Lad. Though it wouldn't help the part of Leeds where I live (a whole swathe of north Leeds lacks any railway lines) I think it could well be a good start in the post supertram era. Why not send your suggestions to the WYPTE and the city council. Who knows it may already be part of their mythical plan B !
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Old August 26th, 2005, 01:53 PM   #4
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Heavy rail costs even more to construct than light rail...
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Old August 26th, 2005, 01:55 PM   #5
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a lot more than light rail.

The costs are huge, normally due to the health and saftey concerns.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #6
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See West Coast Main line - how many miles were actually replaced, how many trains were purchase, and how many signals were replaced.

Not much for the several £bn spent.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accura_Preston
Heavy rail costs even more to construct than light rail...
But we're not saying construct lines, we're saying put additional stations on existing lines!
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:01 PM   #8
LeedsLad
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I'm not suggesting building new lines or replacing track for the most of this project - just putting platforms in place where needed, and some extra rail for long haul trains to pass by. Gotta be less than £365Mil or whatever...
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:01 PM   #9
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snap! smoggie we must have posted at same time
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeedsLad
The rails are already built. They take a direct route into town.
I would argue with the use of the word "direct" - have you seen the route trains from Wakefield and Normanton take?
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #11
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LeedsLad - a sinlge line in Manchester, the Manchester Victoria to Rochdale line (via Oldham) is falling apart in some parts, the cost estimates to 'fix' this, i.e. not new stations, no new trains is well oevr £100m (hence trams are a good alternative).

Do not underestimate the cost of additional signalling for new stations etc.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:26 PM   #12
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Well if the costs are that much, then fair enough - but there are many advantages over the tram scheme (less distruption, existing lines, links to national network, maybe more likely to get approval?) etc
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #13
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LeedsLad, to be honest, the most successful tram lines have been heavy rail converstions - for example the Alty and Bury lines.

That said, where segregated running is possible, that also tend to be successful, e.g. Nottingham.

The 'stuck in traffic' is somewhat off a falicy, there are very very few 'pinch points' at all on the UK tram systems, and those that do exist could be gotten rid off with some better traffic planning.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:57 PM   #14
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Maybe not as expensive as you suggest Metrolink - Found this on the Metro website (ironic?).

http://www.wymetro.com/ProjectsAndPl...ailstation.htm
It says the cost of the new station at Castleford, built on an existing line was £2.3Mil. £365Mil divided by £2.3Mil is?..... A lot of new stations!

Also found the cost of a new 3 carriage train is around £3Mil:
http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0...+Mersey+trains

Ok so there will be signalling costs and the need to build car parks but:
20 New stations at £2.5Mil each = £50Mil.
33 New trains at £3Mil each = £100Mil.
Signalling, track improvement and Car Park Costs = £25Mil. (guess)

There you go - Achievable for £175Mil - about half the cost of the tram scheme! Probably don't need that many new stations or trains either!
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Old August 26th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metrolink
LeedsLad, to be honest, the most successful tram lines have been heavy rail converstions - for example the Alty and Bury lines.

That said, where segregated running is possible, that also tend to be successful, e.g. Nottingham.

The 'stuck in traffic' is somewhat off a falicy, there are very very few 'pinch points' at all on the UK tram systems, and those that do exist could be gotten rid off with some better traffic planning.
Yes the first tram line in Manchester was the joining, in the city centre, of those two train lines. Probably cost a lot less as a consequence. No such possibility exists in Leeds.

Fallacy maybe, but I would have expected several such 'pinch points' on the Headingley/Otley Road corridor !
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Old August 26th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #16
LeedsLad
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On a totally different subject - anyone help me - how do I add a file from 'Paint' into one of my posts please? I want to put a map of my proposed ouer ring road in the other thread? Thanks
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Old August 26th, 2005, 06:13 PM   #17
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I also notice GNER are wanting to electrify the line that goes through Garforth and Micklefield to Hambleton Junction where it joins the ECML at a cost of £70 million. Now if this electrification goes ahead, plus the bit between this line and the main line running towards York, then it makes it more likely that Eurostar services could run through Leeds to London and Paris and maybe Brussels from 2007 onwards using the new CTRL line.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 09:26 PM   #18
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A great example of the benefits of a well planned Tram system can be seen in Nottingham. There you can go either straight from the Train Station or the motorway into the heart of the city centre.

This could not happen with heavy rail, unless you want to build some seriously expensive tunnels.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 09:29 PM   #19
LeedsLad
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I admit the downside of what I proposed is that there is only really the main train station or a new station at the bus station to get off at - but you can't get much closer the centre of Leeds anyway, as it's all pedestrianised - the bus station and train station are just on the edge of the pedestrianised area anyway.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 09:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeedsLad
I admit the downside of what I proposed is that there is only really the main train station or a new station at the bus station to get off at - but you can't get much closer the centre of Leeds anyway, as it's all pedestrianised - the bus station and train station are just on the edge of the pedestrianised area anyway.
what about the benefits then for Leeds of a Park and ride Tram System right into the city centre.
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