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Old February 18th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #1
Jon10
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Northern Hub

I assume a new thread is reasonable for this...





£500M Manchester 'hub' plans expected

16 February, 2010 | By Ed Owen


Network Rail is expected to announce a £500M package to create a transport ‘hub’ in Manchester.

The ‘hub’ idea has been the subject of several years work.
Speaking in 2007, Chair of the Northern Way Steering Group Neville Chamberlain explained the need for the ‘hub’.

“The Hub is the most damaging rail bottleneck in the North. It impacts on passenger services that cross and link Manchester with the North East, Yorkshire, Liverpool and Central Lancashire and it constrains the movement of freight out of the North’s ports as well.”

The scheme would remove these bottlenecks and ease congestion around Manchester.

Two solutions to bottlenecks have been proposed:

The ‘Ardwick Package’ would: “Reduce conflicts in the Piccadilly throat and provide for additional train paths in and out of the main train shed by providing grade separation on the Piccadilly approach and additional platform capacity,” according to a Steer Davies Gleave study published in 2007.

This would involve building a new flyover and two extra platforms at Manchester Piccadilly.

Alternatively, the ‘Ordsall Package’ solution would: “Reduce conflicts in the Piccadilly throat by re-routeing trains that cross it. It therefore is premised on the pattern of movements changing,” according to the study.

This solution would involve the construction of a new flyover and additional piece of track, the ‘Ordsall Curve’, which would: “consist of a short length of track crossing the River Irwell, immediately east of the Ordsall Flyover which could also be built to remove the conflict between Bolton-Salford Crescent-Deansgate-Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool-Eccles-Salford Central and Manchester Victoria routes. This flyover would also enable freight movements between Merseyside and Warrington and the North East to be separated from other traffic.”

Each of the solutions cost between £250M-£270M in 2007.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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Agreed! I've got an interest in Manchester so have been posting in there a bit on this, but coming from this Londoner, this section can be a bit London-centric (some over-keeness to start superfluous threads...), so would be good to get this thread active.

My last post in there:

Quote:
If there was more electrification, it could all be more flexbile in terms of the Chat Moss trains and their termini, for example if both Standedge and Calderdale Lines to Leeds were electrified, and if Stalybridge was upgraded with some new platforms, it could function as a terminus for the Liverpool trains as well as Rochdale/Bradford/Leeds.

More trains to Birchwood/Widnes/Liverpool SP implies making faster trains more semi-fast, and leaving City to City traffic to the Chat Moss route. Sucks for Warrington though, but at least might improve slower trains on the line as the paths would become more even with more stops on semis.

In terms of removing more trains from the Piccadilly throat, I'm not sure. You'd still need trains from Liverpool to Sheffield and Leeds, currently 1tph each. A few upgraded curves around Ashton/Stalybridge areas would be good to ensure a quick link from Victoria eastwards to link to Sheffield. The TPE train to Leeds and onwards could run via Chat Moss like the North Wales train, so that's one you could lose.

Scotland trains could start from Victoria, but then the stations might be spread a bit thin - one for places N and W of Manchester, and one for places S and E. Maybe that is what's wanted?
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #3
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Would it be worth while renaming this to the 'Northern Hub' thread, so as not to offend any of our Northern cousins? Also, I believe this is what it's proper name will become.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #4
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We have been talking about it for a couple of days in the Non-Metrolink Manchester Transport thread from around here if you want to read what people think:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...342401&page=67


The report came out a couple of days ago and you can read it here:

Hub Report Phase 2
http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co...Study-c5a.aspx

Hub Brochure
http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co...DetailsID=3157


If you want to go back a couple of years to the Phase 1 Study Economic impacts and Transport modelling:

Economic Impact
http://www.thenorthernway.co.uk/trac...id=659&pId=720

Transport modelling
http://www.thenorthernway.co.uk/downloaddoc.asp?id=660
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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Yorkshire Post
David Wragg:
The Northern Hub plan is desperately needed.
Published Date: 18 February 2010
YOU wait a century or more for a new railway to come, and then three come at once. Hot on the opening of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, known as High Speed 1, we had first a proposal for a High Speed 2 linking London with the North, and now we have the Northern Hub, that will link cities in Yorkshire with those in Lancashire.
By comparison with High Speed 2, known as HS2 to its friends, the Northern Hub will be a modest affair, costing a mere £530m compared with £27.5bn for HS2. Both hope to attract private investment, but admit that taxpayers' money will be needed.

That the Northern Hub, or something like it, is desperately needed is beyond doubt. Trans-Pennine links are poor. The M62 is inadequate at peak periods, easily blocked by accidents or breakdowns and as Britain's highest motorway particularly prone to disruption in bad weather.

On the other hand, the plan comes at a time when that for HS2 is far from settled. Will it or will it not go via London Heathrow, providing a convenient service for the country's leading intercontinental airport and reducing the number of short-haul domestic flights into the airport? Will HS2 link with HS1?

And what do people mean by "the North"? London to Manchester is one objective, but where will it go after that? Given the heavy cost and disruption of upgrading the West Coast Main Line, it seems a trifle rich that this should be duplicated by a new main line while there are other unresolved bottlenecks in the system.

The southern end of the East Coast Main Line suffers from severe problems around Welwyn that limit the number of trains that can be run from Leeds and York, and points further north, as the long-distance expresses are slotted between slower moving suburban trains and goods trains.

HS2 runs the risk of terminating at Manchester, with trains reverting to what might be described as the historic route north of the city, running at much slower speeds and providing less appealing journey times as result. Cut short in this way, there is the very real danger that it will not attract enough traffic to justify the investment.

There are rough plans for HS2 to continue to Glasgow and even on to Edinburgh, although an alternative proposal is that it should run from Manchester to Leeds or Bradford, then on to Newcastle and Edinburgh, before finally reaching Glasgow.

If HS2 were to run from Manchester to Bradford, it would provide a welcome increase in capacity through the Pennines. It would certainly be better value, attracting traffic from Scotland and the North East as well as that from Yorkshire. It would relieve pressure on both the East and West Coast routes, and would mean that the railway would once again become a serious rival to domestic air services.

It seems strange that Network Rail does not seem to have considered integrating HS2 and the Northern Hub. Even if additional tracks were required through the Pennines for the more localised traffic between Yorkshire and Lancashire, it would be much less expensive to plan the two railways as one, and ensure that connections and through running of services became easier.

In fact, dissatisfaction in Scotland with the existing railway links between Edinburgh and Glasgow means that HS2 could also become part of the solution there as well.

The need to ensure that the maximum benefit is extracted from these projects at the minimum cost is all the more pressing at a time when the Government is debt-ridden and the public finances will be hard pressed to maintain many existing programmes, let alone undertake costly new commitments. We all know how few major projects seem to be delivered on time and on budget.

Numerous problems affect the viability of the project. New railway links please the environmentalists, but only if these use electric traction, and even that is only environmentally friendly if the electricity is generated without producing carbon. It is questionable whether wind or wave energy will produce the vast amount of electricity that high-speed railways need. The weight of railway rolling stock and the effect of atmospheric pressure as speeds rise above 150mph mean that high-speed trains consume far more power than do aircraft cruising at high altitude. This is something that is often overlooked.

It is no coincidence that the European nation that pioneered high speed railway travel is France, the one with the highest proportion of its electric power generated by nuclear power stations.

We have been through a period when urban tramways and light railways were in fashion, with Sheffield's super trams as one example, but doubts over the viability of many such projects has led to new schemes, as in Leeds, not attracting Government support. Perhaps most telling is the fact that a line in Hampshire linking Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham, and replacing not just buses but a ferry service as well, has been abandoned. Some local authorities, such as Leeds, are looking at the cheaper option of the trolleybus.

In fact, problems in funding railways are not new. Even in the
Victorian era when about 90 per cent of Britain's railways were built, railway mania was followed by a catastrophic crash. Desperate to attract investment, one of the great pioneers, George Hudson, who did so much to make York a major centre for the railways, even resorted to paying dividends out of shareholders' funds before his lines were fully opened, and the resulting disgrace saw him resign all of his directorships.




David Wragg is a railway historian. His most recent book, A Historical Dictionary of the Railways of the British Isles, is published by Wharncliffe.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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Manchester: Pioneering Urban Redevelopment part 1

Some info on the Northern Hub and other transport issues.

http://www.youtube.com/mcrmipim#p/u/2/8z2kV4fb9w4
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Old March 10th, 2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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I understand that some kind of readout of the NR GRIP2 study is to be expected in about July 2011, following which the final feasibility work will take another year, with outline design finished to be in a position to let contracts for construction in mid-2014.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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Thread Name

Mods, this thread should be Northern Hub, please.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBRJ View Post
Yorkshire Post
David Wragg:
The Northern Hub plan is desperately needed.
Published Date: 18 February 2010
HS2 runs the risk of terminating at Manchester, with trains reverting to what might be described as the historic route north of the city, running at much slower speeds and providing less appealing journey times as result. Cut short in this way, there is the very real danger that it will not attract enough traffic to justify the investment.

There are rough plans for HS2 to continue to Glasgow and even on to Edinburgh, although an alternative proposal is that it should run from Manchester to Leeds or Bradford, then on to Newcastle and Edinburgh, before finally reaching Glasgow.

If HS2 were to run from Manchester to Bradford, it would provide a welcome increase in capacity through the Pennines. It would certainly be better value, attracting traffic from Scotland and the North East as well as that from Yorkshire. It would relieve pressure on both the East and West Coast routes, and would mean that the railway would once again become a serious rival to domestic air services.
I think there's confusion by the reporter. HS2 will link London with Birmingham and split in two directions - one towards Leeds and the other to Manchester, or that's what I have been reading? [confused]
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Old March 15th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashtonian View Post
I think there's confusion by the reporter. HS2 will link London with Birmingham and split in two directions - one towards Leeds and the other to Manchester, or that's what I have been reading? [confused]
It isn't anything to do with Northern Hub either.

I agree, HS2 isn't (since choosing the "Y" plan at any rate) proposing any direct high speed link accross t' hills.

HS2(NW) to Manchester may well extend to Glasgow at some point, and / or HS2(E. Mids & NE) may go beyond Leeds to Edinburgh, but we're some way off seeing any kind of plan.

You may well see (as I have suggested elsewhere) through electric express services Liverpool - Manchester (Vic) - Leeds in the medium term, sooner than HS2(N)...

Yon pundit also assumes that Manchester won't be on the end of a Birmingham-style HS2 spur, which I think it will be. You can't put any more services Windsor Bridge North to Euxton, going Chat Moss - Parkside Jn. - Golborne will stuff Golborne up, and going WBN - Lostock - Wigan NW would be scenic but slow and not electrified, so any HS2-north-of-Manchester-to-Glasgow services are going to need a new line.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #11
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http://www.rail.co/2011/03/03/new-ne...l-investment/#

New Network Rail chief sets sights on Northern Hub rail investment
By A. Samuel · March 3, 2011 · Projects

Mr Higgins said that the £530 million Northern Hub proposals should be the ‘top priority’ for national rail funding
Rail investment will pave the way for the economic growth of the north of England, say Greater Manchester transport leaders.

Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) welcomed comments by Network Rail Chief Executive David Higgins to the House of Commons’ Transport Select Committee on Tuesday, in which he told the committee that government investment in rail infrastructure around Manchester was ‘absolutely essential.’

Mr Higgins also said that the £530 million Northern Hub proposals should be the ‘top priority’ for national rail funding.

Councillor Ian Macdonald, Chair of GMITA, said: “It’s great to see that Network Rail’s new chief executive is putting the Northern Hub to the forefront of Network Rail’s plans when setting out the case for government investment in rail.

“David Higgins’ comments also coincide with the Transport Select Committee’s report on Transport and the Economy, published yesterday, which welcomes the government’s commitment to undertake transport investment that will deliver sustainable growth and enterprise.

“The Northern Hub improvements will help us to meet the increasing demand for fast, direct rail connections between Greater Manchester and the rest of the north.

“This will boost the economy by providing vital transport links to get people to work, to enable businesses work together more closely and to reduce the cost of freight.

“It is essential that the government gives its full support to the Northern Hub if economic growth in the north is to continue. We would expect the government to consider implementing the Northern Hub before 2020 – these are value-for-money proposals with an estimated four-to-one return on investment.”

Councillor Keith Whitmore, Vice-Chair of GMITA, said: “It’s telling that the Transport Select Committee concluded that the government must do more to correct regional disparities in transport investment.

“The government has already announced that Manchester and Leeds will be part of its plans for inter-city high speed rail in the longer term, and investment in the Northern Hub is a necessary precursor to that.

“We’ve already worked closely with Network Rail during the development of the Northern Hub report, and will continue to do so as it makes the case for future government investment in the north’s railways
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
£85m train link between Piccadilly and Victoria stations set for go ahead

March 22, 2011

Chancellor George Osborne is tipped to back plans for a curved section of track at Ordsall in Salford in his budget speech tomorrow.

Manchester's two main train stations are set to be joined by an £85m direct train link.

The MEN understands Piccadilly and Victoria could be linked by a new section of track as part of a plan to slash journey times and boost economic growth.

It comes more than 30 years after a proposed underground link between the two stations - the so-called 'Picc-Vic line' - was abandoned because of costs.

The move would help uncork a massive bottleneck on the rail network around Manchester, known as the Northern Hub.

Sources say it will cut journey times between Manchester and Leeds by 14 minutes. Average journey times in the region will be cut by 30 minutes.

The link could open in 2016. It is understood the project will be funded through savings made by the Department for Transport.

The rail network around Manchester is already heavily congested and is tipped to deal with an extra 3.5m passengers a year.

There is too little track space and a lack of places for faster trains to overtake slower services. Tangled lines at junctions and on the approach to stations also cause delays.

But rail travel in Greater Manchester has jumped 82 per cent over the last decade and a report by rail bosses last year said investment in the hub was now vital for future economic prosperity of the north.

Network Rail's blueprint for the hub said £530m needed to be spent on a range of improvements - including the Ordsall curve - that it said would help provide an extra 700 train services through the region each day.

It said millions could also be spent on restoring Victoria to its former glory, building two new through platforms at Piccadilly and another one at Manchester airport under its plan to boost passenger and freight services to towns across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond is set to make a decision on the full Network Rail proposals in July next year.

Greater Manchester's transport chiefs are likely to welcome the expected announcement. They have been lobbying hard for investment in the region's rail network.

Coun Keith Whitmore, GMITA's vice-chairman, hailed Network Rail's plans last year as “of huge economic benefit”.

Mr Osborne announced his backing for the £200m electrification of rail lines in the north west in his spending review last October.

But the MEN told in November how Greater Manchester will get just a handful of extra carriages promised by the government to ease chronic overcrowding on the nation's railways.

The entire north of England has been earmarked to get just 100 of the 1,850 carriages that will be added to the network between now and 2019.

The government withdrew £5m that was due to go towards the revamp of Victoria station in spending cuts last year.

Business leaders were told by Transport Minister Theresa Villiers earlier this week a new high-speed rail network would provide jobs and prosperity for Manchester and the North West.

She warned that not introducing the government's plans for 250mph bullet trains to cut journey times between Manchester and London would increase the north-south divide.
http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereven...t_for_go_ahead



Bits taken from New Civil Engineer piece from last year (http://www.nce.co.uk/news/transport/...214318.article)


Quote:
The Ordsall improvements:
•Trains between Manchester Airport and Leeds, Newcastle, Bradford, Rochdale and elsewhere across the North will not need to reverse at Manchester Piccadilly
•Trains will be able to stop at all three of the main central Manchester stations: Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria
•New rail connections will be made possible, for example between Bradford, Halifax and the Calder Valley and Manchester Airport
•Major improvements to Manchester Victoria to restore it to its former glory. It would become a major interchange station for the North, with vastly improved facilities for passengers
•New platforms at stations such as Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport and Rochdale
•Building new tracks between Leeds and Manchester; Sheffield andManchester; and Liverpool and Manchester will allow fast trains to overtake stopping services.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:05 PM   #13
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Duplicate post!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:44 PM   #14
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Yay!

It sounds as if re-quadding of the middle trans-penine line looks on the cards still.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #15
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Have any track diagrams of the proposed changes at Ordsall Lane or Victoria been published at this stage?
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Old June 18th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #16
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£85 million, for that? Christ on a stick, you can get a complete underground metro station for less than that in countries like Australia. Even California expects new track to cost substantially less than this.

The Ordsall curve has to cross other tracks and a body of water, but even so, £85 million seems absurdly overpriced.

Why on Earth are the UK government and the national media so blasé about figures like these? It shouldn't even cost eighteen million, let alone eighty-five!
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Old June 18th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #17
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Several miles of viaduct, a bridge over a canal and several over and underpasses, nevermind track and electrification. Not as overpriced as you may think.

Rebuilding Blackfriars cost £350m!
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Old June 18th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #18
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Christ on a stick, you can get a complete underground metro station for less than that in countries like Australia. Even California expects new track to cost substantially less than this.
No you can't. Possibly in Singapore or Hong Kong, but Australian infrastructure costs are at least as high as UK ones.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimarco View Post
£85 million, for that? Christ on a stick, you can get a complete underground metro station for less than that in countries like Australia. Even California expects new track to cost substantially less than this.

The Ordsall curve has to cross other tracks and a body of water, but even so, £85 million seems absurdly overpriced.

Why on Earth are the UK government and the national media so blasé about figures like these? It shouldn't even cost eighteen million, let alone eighty-five!
I am assuming that what we are going to get for £85 million is a braided interchange with non conflicting routes allowing trains from Salford and Blackpool to cross to Manchester Piccadilly,Liverpool to Manchester Victoria to cross to Manchester Victoria as well as the Victoria Piccadilly link.If it is built behind the Sainsburys/Dunns retail complex on Regent Road it could be a very interesting piece of engineering. Whether the people in the flats on Middlewood Street will see it in the same light could be a moot point.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #20
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Northern RUS

Taken from Northern RUS

In March 2011, the Government announced the
funding of some of the interventions that comprise
the Northern Hub project (see Gap 9 below). The
infrastructure schemes are Ordsall Chord (a new
section of track that allows Manchester Victoria
to be linked to Manchester Piccadilly), track
layout improvements at Manchester Victoria, and
linespeed improvements between Stalybridge and
Manchester Victoria. This work is anticipated to be
completed around 2016.


No further detail publically available, yet.
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