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Old May 30th, 2016, 10:31 PM   #1
Tamworthian
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Fantasy Greater Birmingham Transport

I'm sure everyone here has had some ideas of what they'd do to solve the traffic problems in the area. So. Given an unlimited budget. What would you do & why?

Me?

I'd build a new Queensway Road tunnel. Starting here and finishing here
  • Aston Road between Lancaster Circus & Dartmouth Circus would become a standard dual carriageway. Public Realm Improvements
  • Lancaster Circus Flyover to come down
  • Lancaster Circus underpass filled
  • St Chads Queensway will become a standard dual carriageway. Public Realm Improvements
  • Existing Queensway Tunnels filled
  • Great Charles St. Queensway would become a standard dual carriageway with public realm improvements
  • Suffolk Street Queensway would become a standard dual carriageway with public realm improvements. Flyover to come down. Central reservation wide enough for Midland Metro. Junction with former Paradise Circus sorted.
  • Holloway Circus would be changed to a standard cross roads with box junction. Under-pass retained for Midland Metro.
  • Tunnel exit would be by Monaco house. Potential Midland Metro to share roadspace with general traffic here

Midland Metro - Southwest


M5 Junction 5 Park & Ride - Includes Tram Depot

Rubery
Longbridge
Mavis Road
South Road
Northfield
Northfield Shopping Centre
Royal Orthopaedic Hospital
Griffin's Brook
College Walk
Selly Oak Interchange
The Goose
University of Birmingham*
Pebble Mill*
Priory Road*
Sir Harry's Road
Speedwell Road
Wellington Road
Monaco House
The o2
Holloway Circus**
Mailbox***
Navigation Street
Grand Central / Birmingham New Street

*Trams run on batteries here. No overhead wires. Trams run on the existing street to preserve those lovely old trees

**Holloway Circus Station is underground & Accessed via subways with entrances at each corner

***Don't forget. The flyover is GONE. Loads of space here!

Thoughts?
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Old May 31st, 2016, 12:01 AM   #2
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Small point but your "M5 Junction 5 Park & Ride - Includes Tram Depot" is in Greenbelt so no tram depot
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Old May 31st, 2016, 12:11 AM   #3
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Good ideas, but wouldn't the underground Queensway clash with the underground Metro tunnel at Holloway Circus?
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Old May 31st, 2016, 01:41 AM   #4
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Part of me wants to know what Birmingham Wolverhampton Airport would have ended up like (the £300m expansion of Halfpenny Green axed in 2005).

If the Wombourne Branch Line was opened as a Metro route, it would be easy to extend it to the airport with a stop at Swindon.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 02:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamworthian View Post
I'm sure everyone here has had some ideas of what they'd do to solve the traffic problems in the area. So. Given an unlimited budget. What would you do & why?

Me?

I'd build a new Queensway Road tunnel. Starting here and finishing here
  • Aston Road between Lancaster Circus & Dartmouth Circus would become a standard dual carriageway. Public Realm Improvements
  • Lancaster Circus Flyover to come down
  • Lancaster Circus underpass filled
  • St Chads Queensway will become a standard dual carriageway. Public Realm Improvements
  • Existing Queensway Tunnels filled
  • Great Charles St. Queensway would become a standard dual carriageway with public realm improvements
  • Suffolk Street Queensway would become a standard dual carriageway with public realm improvements. Flyover to come down. Central reservation wide enough for Midland Metro. Junction with former Paradise Circus sorted.
  • Holloway Circus would be changed to a standard cross roads with box junction. Under-pass retained for Midland Metro.
  • Tunnel exit would be by Monaco house. Potential Midland Metro to share roadspace with general traffic here

Midland Metro - Southwest


M5 Junction 5 Park & Ride - Includes Tram Depot

Rubery
Longbridge
Mavis Road
South Road
Northfield
Northfield Shopping Centre
Royal Orthopaedic Hospital
Griffin's Brook
College Walk
Selly Oak Interchange
The Goose
University of Birmingham*
Pebble Mill*
Priory Road*
Sir Harry's Road
Speedwell Road
Wellington Road
Monaco House
The o2
Holloway Circus**
Mailbox***
Navigation Street
Grand Central / Birmingham New Street

*Trams run on batteries here. No overhead wires. Trams run on the existing street to preserve those lovely old trees

**Holloway Circus Station is underground & Accessed via subways with entrances at each corner

***Don't forget. The flyover is GONE. Loads of space here!

Thoughts?
We all know the A38 Queensway road through the city centre is a problem as it cuts the city into 2 and yes if money was not object it would be great to start again and construct a new complete tunnel from Bristol Street to the Aston Express Way. Unfortunately money is an issue and a major barrier in making this reality. So for the foreseeable future we will have to make do and improve what we have.

For me to improve the A38 Queensway running through the city I would slow down traffic in the small surface section of road between the Queensway Tunnel and Snow Hill Tunnel by adding speed restrictions, traffic lights, raised level pedestrian crossings and reinstating cross traffic flow from Ludgate Hill-Church Street and Livery Street-Livery Street. For little money I think this will add a massive improvement to access between Jewellery Quarter and main city core.

With regards the metro proposal I would start with a Park and Ride at Longbridge. The rest of your proposal seems feasible but may want to continue from the Mailbox up to Snow Hill or Aston University.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 05:48 PM   #6
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In regards to roads I'd create a culverted corridor and sections of tunnelling for the M40 to extend (as a 2-lane motorway) from the M42 to the Ring Road near to Haden Circus.

I like to use parallel streets as one way systems to help flow and have talked about making Bristol and Pershore Roads as one-way streets in Edgbaston, Digbeth High St and Bradford St as another. Smithfield will create a blank canvas but I say we need to draw traffic away from Smallbrook Q so a new flow east-west from Digbeth to Bristol St would help. Also the right turn from Bristol St to Five Ways needs to be 2-lanes.
I would also get rid of Holloway Circus completely and turn into a traffic lighted cross-roads. Move the pagoda statue over to a new park adjacent to Hurst St.

I would like to create bus-only roads for Sprint and Green Buses that snuck in between buildings like through Chamberlain Sq for instance to access Broad St from Cornwall St. My Metro ideas for Digbeth / Bradford St accessing the Moseley Line at the blue bridge are well known on here, as well as my idea for the Hagley Road and Augusta Road system.
My grand scheme for a more spread out Metro network is to copy the DLR. I think stilted tracks are easier to install and work better in complicated areas.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 05:52 PM   #7
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I like your idea for the midland metro, some parts of it like the DLR yep a very good idea and it could work too.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 07:12 PM   #8
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My idea is for an Underground Metro following the canal and River Rea corridor and taking in some of the city’s future development areas.

My route would be:-

1. Icknield Port
2. National Indoor Arena
3. St Chads for Snow Hill Station
4. Aston Junction for Aston University
5. Jennens Road (Eastside Locks)
6. Curzon Street Station
7. Bradford Street (Smithfield)
8. Belgrave Middleway
9. Edgbaston (Cricket Ground and Cannon Hill Park)

When I floated the idea a while back the only concern was that due to Birmingham being very hilly an underground metro network in the city may be unworkable as it would need to be very deep underground. I since have studied plans of the canal and worked out that the drop in water level from the highest point of the canal to the River Rea would be no more than 25 metres in total. The deepest London Underground stations are over 50 metres underground so this is in fact very doable.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brum Boy View Post
When I floated the idea a while back the only concern was that due to Birmingham being very hilly an underground metro network in the city may be unworkable as it would need to be very deep underground. I since have studied plans of the canal and worked out that the drop in water level from the highest point of the canal to the River Rea would be no more than 25 metres in total. The deepest London Underground stations are over 50 metres underground so this is in fact very doable.
But tunnels don't have to be level and can go up and down to reflect the surface
topography. If you look at a plan of Crossrail, which goes over and under existing tunnels, you can see this quite clearly.

The Achilles heel of your route may be that it doesn't quite go through the centre.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 08:33 PM   #10
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I thought Iíd banged on enough about putting the Cross-City line underground, but Iím not going to resist the opportunity to lodge it in this thread.

For the benefit of those I havenít already bored to death, the idea is to revive proposals first put forward in the Government Office for the West Midlands Multi-Modal Study(2001). Its visionary concept was that an underground station, linked to New Street at one end and Moor Street at the other, would integrate the North-South Cross City Line with its East-West counterpart, running between Stourbridge and Stratford-upon-Avon/Leamington via Moor Street and Snow Hill.

Once this central hub was in place, the network could be developed into a regional heavy metro of the kind found in many European cities (referred to as Regional Express Rail - RER - in the Multi-Modal study, but the equivalent of S-Bahn in German cities).

Services to Walsall and Rugeley via the Chase Line could also access the underground station.

The main benefits would be:

1. Development of the Cross-City Line to full metro status, separated from other train operations in the city centre.

2. Full integration of the resulting RER network with HS2 and regional and long-distance services at New Street.

3. Elimination of existing conflict between Cross-City and Walsall line trains and other services approaching New Street from the east at Proof house Junction, plus removal of 14 trains per hour from New Streetís platforms, freeing additional capacity for additional local and long-distance services on top of that released by HS2.

The idea was originally conceived as a way of releasing capacity at New Street, which it is generally assumed will now be achieved by HS2. But much of that capacity will be taken up again by increased regional services, for example New Street-Coventry stopping trains which at the moment are limited by the demands of Virgin services.

There is a golden opportunity to implement this scheme now alongside the HS2 station. At the East end a disused trackbed leaves the Cross-City Line just before it crosses the ring road and runs into the site cleared for HS2 construction. Most of the underground station could be constructed as a basement beneath the HS2 station, with pedestrian links, perhaps incorporating travelators, between Moor Street and New Street stations.

Thinking about what a West Midlands RER network might look like, Iíve come up with this list of nine routes.

WCML

1. Wolverhampton-Leamington via Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Airport, Coventry and Kenilworth.

CROSS-CITY LINE

2. Rugeley-Bromsgrove via Walsall, Curzon Street (underground) and Birmingham New Street (underground)
3. Lichfield Trent Valley-Redditch via Sutton Coldfield,, Curzon Street (underground) and Birmingham New Street (underground).

CROSS-CITY LINE/SNOW HILL LINES

4. Moor Street-Kings Norton via Camp Hill Chords

DERBY LINE/SNOW HILL LINES

5. Tamworth-Moor Street via Castle Bromwich.
6. Derby-Worcester/ Hereford via Burton, Lichfield, Walsall, Dudley and Stourbridge (bypassing Birmingham city centre).

SNOW HILL LINES

7. Hereford/Worcester - Stratford-upon-Avon via Stourbridge and Snow Hill.
8. Hereford/Worcester - Leamington via Stourbridge, Snow Hill and Solihull.

KNUCKLE

9. Leamington-Nuneaton via Kenilworth and Coventry.
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Old June 1st, 2016, 07:27 PM   #11
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A few ideas from me. I hope you lot have plenty of money for all this!

Heavy Rail
* Reinstatement of 4-tracking between Tyseley and Dorridge, to allow separation of fast and slow trains and an improved Birmingham-Oxford service.
* Grade separation of the junction at Tyseley
* Electrification of the Chiltern Line, including the Snow Hill line at least as far as Kidderminster.
* Turning platforms 1 and 2/3 at Birmingham Moor Street into island platforms, and adding a platform 0 behind platform 1 (if the north end of P1 needs curtailing to provide a junction, then P1 could be extended south to make it back up).
* Chiltern service to Coventry (or possibly Birmingham International), calling at Kenilworth, once HS2 is operational.
* New station where the Snow Hill line crosses the Birmingham New Road (between Rowley Regis and Langley Green Stations.
* Turning the Birmingham-bound platform of Rowley Regis station into an island platform, allowing reversals at Rowley Regis without adversely affecting capacity.
* Reinstatement of the South Staffs line (both Stourbridge-Walsall and Walsall-Lichfield), including stations at Brownhills (amongst others).
* Extension of Lichfield services (either existing, or through Brownhills) to at least Burton on Trent and preferably Derby, to allow northbound connections.
* New station at Aldridge on Sutton Park line
* New Stations at Hansworth Wood and Willenhall, and Birmingham-Wolverhampton service going this way (as against through Sandwell & Dudley).
* Camp Hill line (made easier by moving freight to the South Staffs line).
* Continuous 4-tracking between Kings Norton and Barnt Green stations, allowing Redditch services to use Camp Hill and remain completely separate from Birmingham-South West services.
* Speeding up of services to-from South West as a result of above
* Grade separation of the triangular junction at Soho, allowing Birmingham-Walsall trains to leave on the Wolverhampton line and pass over it at Soho (without causing conflicting moves).
* Sorting out the junction at Water Orton, removing some of the conflicting moves between Derby-Birmingham and Birmingham-Leicester services.
* Oh, and some decent length trains!

Light Rail
* Extension of the trams down Hagley Road, on an elevated section from five ways to get over the narrow section at the Plough and Harrow crossroads (see extension phase 2 thread for discussion).
* Tram line to Edgbaston cricket ground (at least).

Road
* Dive under taking Hagley road under the cross roads with the Wolverhampton New Road and Wolverhampton Road South (where the Amber Tavern is).
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Old June 1st, 2016, 09:08 PM   #12
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Chiltern mainline have just had a brand new fleet of locos for the intercity service, and leave it as now its a good alternative to virgin, but I agree with you about new rail stations for the handsworth wood area which would serve the big handsworth area too, plus handsworth wood also,
Also we need a very much bigger tram network, also all the main roads and into the suburbs .
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Old June 5th, 2016, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billsmothers View Post
I thought Iíd banged on enough about putting the Cross-City line underground, but Iím not going to resist the opportunity to lodge it in this thread.

For the benefit of those I havenít already bored to death, the idea is to revive proposals first put forward in the Government Office for the West Midlands Multi-Modal Study(2001). Its visionary concept was that an underground station, linked to New Street at one end and Moor Street at the other, would integrate the North-South Cross City Line with its East-West counterpart, running between Stourbridge and Stratford-upon-Avon/Leamington via Moor Street and Snow Hill.

Once this central hub was in place, the network could be developed into a regional heavy metro of the kind found in many European cities (referred to as Regional Express Rail - RER - in the Multi-Modal study, but the equivalent of S-Bahn in German cities).

Services to Walsall and Rugeley via the Chase Line could also access the underground station.

The main benefits would be:

1. Development of the Cross-City Line to full metro status, separated from other train operations in the city centre.

2. Full integration of the resulting RER network with HS2 and regional and long-distance services at New Street.

3. Elimination of existing conflict between Cross-City and Walsall line trains and other services approaching New Street from the east at Proof house Junction, plus removal of 14 trains per hour from New Streetís platforms, freeing additional capacity for additional local and long-distance services on top of that released by HS2.

The idea was originally conceived as a way of releasing capacity at New Street, which it is generally assumed will now be achieved by HS2. But much of that capacity will be taken up again by increased regional services, for example New Street-Coventry stopping trains which at the moment are limited by the demands of Virgin services.

There is a golden opportunity to implement this scheme now alongside the HS2 station. At the East end a disused trackbed leaves the Cross-City Line just before it crosses the ring road and runs into the site cleared for HS2 construction. Most of the underground station could be constructed as a basement beneath the HS2 station, with pedestrian links, perhaps incorporating travelators, between Moor Street and New Street stations.

Thinking about what a West Midlands RER network might look like, Iíve come up with this list of nine routes.

WCML

1. Wolverhampton-Leamington via Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Airport, Coventry and Kenilworth.

CROSS-CITY LINE

2. Rugeley-Bromsgrove via Walsall, Curzon Street (underground) and Birmingham New Street (underground)
3. Lichfield Trent Valley-Redditch via Sutton Coldfield,, Curzon Street (underground) and Birmingham New Street (underground).

CROSS-CITY LINE/SNOW HILL LINES

4. Moor Street-Kings Norton via Camp Hill Chords

DERBY LINE/SNOW HILL LINES

5. Tamworth-Moor Street via Castle Bromwich.
6. Derby-Worcester/ Hereford via Burton, Lichfield, Walsall, Dudley and Stourbridge (bypassing Birmingham city centre).

SNOW HILL LINES

7. Hereford/Worcester - Stratford-upon-Avon via Stourbridge and Snow Hill.
8. Hereford/Worcester - Leamington via Stourbridge, Snow Hill and Solihull.

KNUCKLE

9. Leamington-Nuneaton via Kenilworth and Coventry.
I like this I agree that the Cross-City Lines should be replaced by the metro, it's regional transport for Birmingham so it makes sense to do that
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Old June 7th, 2016, 01:42 PM   #14
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I like this I agree that the Cross-City Lines should be replaced by the metro, it's regional transport for Birmingham so it makes sense to do that
Should maybe emphasise that I'm talking about a heavy metro, not Midland Metro (the choice of the word "Metro" for the name of a tram/light rail system sowed potential confusion here). However, this RER/S-Bahn could share branding with the Midland Metro, just as larger trains on London Underground's sub-surface lines do with the smaller trains on the deeper tube lines.
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Old June 7th, 2016, 03:15 PM   #15
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I don't think anyone has said it so far and it may be pretty selfish of me but I'd like to see electrification of the line from Wolverhampton to Wellington (Telford) where there is a bay platform for trains from the conurbation to terminate this would allow a much more frequent service from Telford to Birmingham and the Black Country serving the commuter villages / towns on the way like Codsall etc.

While I'm at it why not four track between Coventry and Wolverhampton and have tram-trains using the freight only lines here in Telford, and a monorail / elevated rail serving the areas of Telf where topography would make using tram trains difficult.
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Old June 7th, 2016, 05:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by baz2015 View Post
Chiltern mainline have just had a brand new fleet of locos for the intercity service, and leave it as now its a good alternative to virgin, but I agree with you about new rail stations for the handsworth wood area which would serve the big handsworth area too, plus handsworth wood also,
Also we need a very much bigger tram network, also all the main roads and into the suburbs .
If Chiltern (and the Snow Hill lines) were electrified, replacing the diesel locos would be the easiest part of the job. The locos could be utilised elsewhere, and electric locos could be sourced. I suspect that interference with the OHLE for the metro may be a bigger issue for this one.

In addition to the station at Handsworth Wood, I also thought about the possibility of one at Winson Green, where the New St-Walsall line passes over the Snow Hill lines. That would provide an interchange (including for the tram).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhammetroenthusiast View Post
I like this I agree that the Cross-City Lines should be replaced by the metro, it's regional transport for Birmingham so it makes sense to do that
I think that underground lines for Cross City are a complete non-starter, Using the lines towards Wolverhampton and splitting off at Soho junction would be a much easier way of removing clashes between Walsall and Cross City services. Splitting off Redditch services, either into Moor Street (with a new chord) or into New Street (using existing tracks and the Derby/Leicester lines) would also ease pathing restrictions. Providing as much 4-tracking in these areas would also help, as the fast could be split from the slows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telfordboy View Post
I don't think anyone has said it so far and it may be pretty selfish of me but I'd like to see electrification of the line from Wolverhampton to Wellington (Telford) where there is a bay platform for trains from the conurbation to terminate this would allow a much more frequent service from Telford to Birmingham and the Black Country serving the commuter villages / towns on the way like Codsall etc.
While I'm at it why not four track between Coventry and Wolverhampton and have tram-trains using the freight only lines here in Telford, and a monorail / elevated rail serving the areas of Telf where topography would make using tram trains difficult.
At least 4-track all the "easier" bits, and separate your fast and slow services as much as possible. You're never going to get the New Street approaches (on either side), but further out is less of an issue.
Also agreed on the Telford electrification. To add to this, in fantasyland I would like to see reopening of the line between Stafford and Wellington, serving Darrington, Gnosall, Newport and Donnington.
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Old June 8th, 2016, 11:41 AM   #17
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Great job guys
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Old June 8th, 2016, 03:35 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=The Big Ginge;133283271I think that underground lines for Cross City are a complete non-starter, Using the lines towards Wolverhampton and splitting off at Soho junction would be a much easier way of removing clashes between Walsall and Cross City services. Splitting off Redditch services, either into Moor Street (with a new chord) or into New Street (using existing tracks and the Derby/Leicester lines) would also ease pathing restrictions. Providing as much 4-tracking in these areas would also help, as the fast could be split from the slows.[/QUOTE]

Completely hopeless, I'm afraid. Firstly, sending Walsall trains via the Wolverhampton end of New Street and Soho Junction would mean no Walsall-line services calling at Duddeston and Aston, and no services at all at Witton or Perry Barr.

In any case there's no real problem with Cross-City and Walsall services clashing as these connect/divide at Aston: the problem is with Cross-City/Walsall clashing with the lines to Derby and Coventry as they all come together at Proof House Junction.

I don't understand the suggestions re Redditch services. Rerouting them into Moor Street would mean abandoning the Cross-City line: the idea of this thread is to suggest improvements, not dismantle what we already have. I don't see how the other suggestion, of using the Derby/Leicester lines, would work or, if it did, how it would improve the existing problem, which is that there are only two inbound lines through the tunnels.

You are no doubt correct in saying that an underground Cross-City line is a non-starter, but bear in mind that (1) this is a fantasy thread, with funding issues specifically put to one side, and (2) it's actually not a hugely ambitious idea in the context of what has been done elsewhere in Europe, often in cities significantly smaller than Birmingham (eg Delft, Antwerp) It would cost a tiny fraction of what is being invested in London's rail infrastructure with Crossrail 1 and 2, Overground, Northern Line extension, etc, and would future-proof rail capacity in the city centre while significantly improving connectivity.
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Old June 8th, 2016, 04:03 PM   #19
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Wolverhampton Midland Metro network using trunk roads and old railways.

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Old June 8th, 2016, 05:13 PM   #20
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Completely hopeless, I'm afraid. Firstly, sending Walsall trains via the Wolverhampton end of New Street and Soho Junction would mean no Walsall-line services calling at Duddeston and Aston, and no services at all at Witton or Perry Barr.
Yes, Witton and Perry Barr would be lost to the Walsall services. However, a Birmingham New St - Perry Barr - Witton - Aston service (again, using the Wolverhampton line out of New Street) would solve that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billsmothers View Post
In any case there's no real problem with Cross-City and Walsall services clashing as these connect/divide at Aston: the problem is with Cross-City/Walsall clashing with the lines to Derby and Coventry as they all come together at Proof House Junction.

I don't understand the suggestions re Redditch services. Rerouting them into Moor Street would mean abandoning the Cross-City line: the idea of this thread is to suggest improvements, not dismantle what we already have. I don't see how the other suggestion, of using the Derby/Leicester lines, would work or, if it did, how it would improve the existing problem, which is that there are only two inbound lines through the tunnels.
Redditch services are not the only ones on the Cross City line. My suggestion was to separate out the Redditch services from those passing through Bromsgrove (local, regional and intercity), in order to allow improved capacity and speed for both.
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