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Old May 27th, 2007, 09:55 PM   #41
MarkO
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There's a little bit about PiccVic here (http://www.metromapsoftheworld.com/PipeDreams/PiccVic/) on my (as yet incomplete site) about never built subways. (The irony of an unfinished site about uncompleted subways has not escaped me!)

PiccVic would have given Manchester a suburban heavy rail system with an underground section very similar to the ambiance of MerseyRail. But they later got Metrolink instead, which wasnt a bad start. My plan is to raise discussion about futher extensions, some partially underground (like a few German or Belgian systems).

The news about Glasgow finally considering an extension is good to hear indeed. And the Newcastle Metro is another jewel in the crown.

I've not heard about any tunnelled extensions to the London Underground for many years (there may be a few overland links like Met round Watford and Victoria to Northumberland Road) but the Camberwell extension, which of course would be in tunnel, has reared its head again which would be great to see, other than that (CrossRail excluded coz it again would be an RER or Suburban heavy rail style) there is little else coming below ground in London.

My substantive point is that considering the size of the urban areas like West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorks etc, if they were urban areas in France, Spain, Germany or even Italy, they would doubtless have one or two sections of subway. Britain's lagged behind other major Euro countries because it's failed to invest in subway building outside London (with the obvious exception of Glasgow - though it was 110 years ago - and Newcastle).

Shame on Britain really! Its like the UK started the idea and can't be bothered to continue with it! And how many other industries has that happened in!
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Old May 27th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #42
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The Glasgow subway is the worst I have ever seen...dirty trains, dirty stations...
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Old May 27th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #43
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The Glasgow subway is indeed outdated, but I've seen far worse.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #44
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Where?worst in Europe??
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Old May 27th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #45
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the main thing that i like about the Liverpool system is all the space the trains have because there all basically full size...but that is it...dark, dull and dirty!
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Old May 27th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #46
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OLD pic of Liverpool underground

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Old May 28th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #47
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Duplicate post.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #48
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Looks like a very old photograph there showing the 503 units that were withdrawn in the early 80s. These are the more modern 507 units in the latest corporate livery:



I wouldn't say that Merseyrail was the cleanest rail system going but I would certainly disagree that it was 'dark and dull'. In fact your own photograph shows how well lit the underground stations are - they certainly bear comparison to any London Underground ones.

Having said that, the core of the Merseyrail system is the old Mersey Railway tunnel under the River Mersey. This is served at each end by two cavernous stations - James Street and Hamilton Square - which are double track side platform stations built in burrowed tunnels. Although, these were modernised in the 1970s, they still have a gloomy atmosphere - especially James Street where the old arrivals platform was left in its original state. However, I quite like them as they are unique to the Merseyrail Underground system.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 02:14 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
There's a little bit about PiccVic here (http://www.metromapsoftheworld.com/PipeDreams/PiccVic/) on my (as yet incomplete site) about never built subways. (The irony of an unfinished site about uncompleted subways has not escaped me!)

PiccVic would have given Manchester a suburban heavy rail system with an underground section very similar to the ambiance of MerseyRail. But they later got Metrolink instead, which wasnt a bad start. My plan is to raise discussion about futher extensions, some partially underground (like a few German or Belgian systems).

The news about Glasgow finally considering an extension is good to hear indeed. And the Newcastle Metro is another jewel in the crown.

I've not heard about any tunnelled extensions to the London Underground for many years (there may be a few overland links like Met round Watford and Victoria to Northumberland Road) but the Camberwell extension, which of course would be in tunnel, has reared its head again which would be great to see, other than that (CrossRail excluded coz it again would be an RER or Suburban heavy rail style) there is little else coming below ground in London.

My substantive point is that considering the size of the urban areas like West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorks etc, if they were urban areas in France, Spain, Germany or even Italy, they would doubtless have one or two sections of subway. Britain's lagged behind other major Euro countries because it's failed to invest in subway building outside London (with the obvious exception of Glasgow - though it was 110 years ago - and Newcastle).

Shame on Britain really! Its like the UK started the idea and can't be bothered to continue with it! And how many other industries has that happened in!
I've come across that site of yours before MarkO. Very interesting and I hope you get round to completing it. One thing I remember about Picc-Vic was a news item on Look North saying that engineers had discovered an old canal tunnel under the city centre and would have to realign the tunnels to avoid it.

The last scheme for a completely new underground line under central London was the Chelsea-Hackney line mooted back in the 80s. I think this has been overtaken by a new scheme. However, London hasn't done badly for new underground railways in the last few years.

The CTRL extension into St Pancras is tunnelled from Barking. That is a heavy rail route but quite a bit of tunnelling has been done for the DLR. Though strictly speaking not London Underground, it does have a tunnel from Tower Gateway to Bank, one beneath the Thames to Lewisham via Greenwich and one under the Thames to Woolwich now under construction.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #50
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Are there any expansion plans for the Newcastle metro? Such as taking a line through the city's west end?

It's not a bad system in Newcastle, but a better frequency and more connections would be nice.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #51
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Quote:
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^ Is that another station just beyond the overbridge? If so it's pretty close to the one where the photo was taken from.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
There's a little bit about PiccVic here (http://www.metromapsoftheworld.com/PipeDreams/PiccVic/) on my (as yet incomplete site) about never built subways. (The irony of an unfinished site about uncompleted subways has not escaped me!)
Well, then at least try to complete the website...

I think it's a really great concept, MarkO - I've always been fascinated by the unbuilt and even more by the partly built but never used. I'm really looking forward to any new information added to your site - I'll probably become one of your more frequent visitors then
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Old May 28th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #53
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I will try to add more stuff Dee but at the moment I'm a bit tied-up with some other projects. It is all quite fascinating though and when we begin to understand just how much time, effort and money has gone into schemes all over the world we begin to realise just how much more there could have been underground if only the committment was there. :-)

Good points from Martin S and others about Londons tunnels. You're right of course, London is riddled with tunnels - I just cannot understand why our other major major UK cities have so few.

Does anyone else agree that it could be a bit of a case of favouritism towards the capital?

Not saying that London doesn't need what it has, just that West Mids and Gtr Manch deserve some tunnelled routes too (remember Gtr London population 7 million; 400+km of Underground. WM and GM about 2.5m each - they are a third the size of GL; with zero km of subways).

And that sad old argument "it's too expensive" seems a bit of hollow one when you consider that excuse rarely stands up if the money is to be spent in London. Think of the £2billion allocated for re-signalling and rebuilding Victoria underground station (just the station, not the whole line!)! Not saying it shouldn't be done but that would buy a whole Line of subway in Birmingham or Manchester....and then there's The Dome/CTRL/Wembley Stadium/JLE....................etc!

My argument is spend the money on transport in London YES! But also spend an equally similar proportion of money on underground transport in the UK's other major cities too! :-)
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Old May 28th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #54
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It's not a good comparison saying London has 7m people and an underground of 400km whilst cities with 2.5m have nothing.

There's another 7 million or so in the London home counties (where some lines actually penetrate). All those commuters who come into London use the underground as well.

(Neither is it relevant to talk about the Dome, CTRL, Wembley Stadium - where you gonna put the focus of your country's millenium celebrations GREENWICH or Rutland? Where you gonna link an international railway Hub from across the channel - Luton or LONDON? And how dare Cardiff get a millenium Stadium whilst Londoners put up with a creaking Wembley... /sarcasm)

I think the reason why other cities lag behind in terms of underground systems is simply due to their small commercial centres. Canary Wharf is the grandiose example of why you need a subway system in London. You need to be able to get around the vast Central downtown area itself quickly. Manchester is one place I think is calling out for an underground now. Its natural urban boundaries have expanded somewhat.

perhaps the ultimate reason for a lack of subway systems elsewhere in the UK is just down to the Victorian legacy of private railway companies in London which really expanded both the boundaries and population of the city. Only 2 "modern" lines have actually been built on social rather than profit principles.

Welcome to UK Plc.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc View Post
^ Is that another station just beyond the overbridge? If so it's pretty close to the one where the photo was taken from.

The station in the photograph is Garston, which was closed at the end of last year. The one in the distance is Liverpool South Parkway, which replaced it and forms an interchange station with the City Line.

Stations on Merseyrail are quite closely spaced in some areas but not that close.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
I will try to add more stuff Dee but at the moment I'm a bit tied-up with some other projects. It is all quite fascinating though and when we begin to understand just how much time, effort and money has gone into schemes all over the world we begin to realise just how much more there could have been underground if only the committment was there. :-)

Good points from Martin S and others about Londons tunnels. You're right of course, London is riddled with tunnels - I just cannot understand why our other major major UK cities have so few.

Does anyone else agree that it could be a bit of a case of favouritism towards the capital?

Not saying that London doesn't need what it has, just that West Mids and Gtr Manch deserve some tunnelled routes too (remember Gtr London population 7 million; 400+km of Underground. WM and GM about 2.5m each - they are a third the size of GL; with zero km of subways).

And that sad old argument "it's too expensive" seems a bit of hollow one when you consider that excuse rarely stands up if the money is to be spent in London. Think of the £2billion allocated for re-signalling and rebuilding Victoria underground station (just the station, not the whole line!)! Not saying it shouldn't be done but that would buy a whole Line of subway in Birmingham or Manchester....and then there's The Dome/CTRL/Wembley Stadium/JLE....................etc!

My argument is spend the money on transport in London YES! But also spend an equally similar proportion of money on underground transport in the UK's other major cities too! :-)
The only reason that we have an underground system in Liverpool is because a tunnel was the only way of forming a fixed crossing of the River Mersey between Liverpool and Birkenhead. This was then extended to link up with existing surface level railways in the 19th Century and further extended in the 1970s to form the present system.

One solution that could be adopted in Manchester is the pre-metro concept used in some Continental cities. That would involve constructing tunnels and stations in the central area with the trams connected into them. The tunnels could then be extended and, as more of the route went underground, the system could be changed over to a full metro. I have seen this in Brussels and Antwerp.

The advantage is that costs are spread over a long time and the metro system is only introduced when traffic demand builds up to justify it.

One British city that I have always felt needs to have some sort of underground link line is Leeds. It always seems wrong to have only one city centre station and one that is rather peripheral to the main shopping and office areas. I could imagine an east-west cross-rail linking the lines out to Cross Gates and Garforth with the eastern lines to Headingley, Shipley and Garforth.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 10:46 PM   #57
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I think Britain's public transport is, frankly, embarrassing. The Treasury has always been notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to these kinds of projects, and I see no reason to believe that this will change any time soon.

Take Birmingham, for example. If it were in any other comparable European country there's no doubt it would have an underground Metro, just like other second-biggest cities such as Lyons, Barcelona, Hamburg, Milan... even Thessaloniki is getting one.

Instead, Birmingham's proposals for a modest underground were laughed out of Whitehall and the government has so far refused to fund even a tiny extension of its existing 'Metro' (which consists of a single-line tram route) from one end of the city centre to the other. Pathetic. And the government is already dithering in a similar fashion over the much-needed £350m revamp of New Street Station, too. Small wonder that Birmingham feels it is treated with rudeness bordering on contempt.

Contrast with Spain where much smaller cities (Bilbao, Valencia, even Palma in Mallorca!) have spanking new underground Metros. Manchester's Metrolink extensions and the now-cancelled Leeds tram (due to 'insufficient business case') should be no-brainers for the world's fourth largest economy. But in this country we have to beg, in vain, for decent public transport.

The power of underground Metros to improve the quality of life for citizens and as a tool for regeneration has been proved time and time again, but the Treasury has a blind spot when it comes to this, and there's never been the political will to push it.

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Old May 29th, 2007, 01:11 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bel Ludovic View Post
I think Britain's public transport is, frankly, embarrassing. The Treasury has always been notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to these kinds of projects, and I see no reason to believe that this will change any time soon.

Take Birmingham, for example. If it were in any other comparable European country there's no doubt it would have an underground Metro, just like other second-biggest cities such as Lyons, Barcelona, Hamburg, Milan... even Thessaloniki is getting one.

Instead, Birmingham's proposals for a modest underground were laughed out of Whitehall and the government has so far refused to fund even a tiny extension of its existing 'Metro' (which consists of a single-line tram route) from one end of the city centre to the other. Pathetic. And the government is already dithering in a similar fashion over the much-needed £350m revamp of New Street Station, too. Small wonder that Birmingham feels it is treated with rudeness bordering on contempt.

Contrast with Spain where much smaller cities (Bilbao, Valencia, even Palma in Mallorca!) have spanking new underground Metros. Manchester's Metrolink extensions and the now-cancelled Leeds tram (due to 'insufficient business case') should be no-brainers for the world's fourth largest economy. But in this country we have to beg, in vain, for decent public transport.

The power of underground Metros to improve the quality of life for citizens and as a tool for regeneration has been proved time and time again, but the Treasury has a blind spot when it comes to this, and there's never been the political will to push it.
Yes but Spain did get quite a lot of help from the EU to build its underground systems. However, Spain seems to know how to build them quickly and within budget.

Basic problem with the UK: Inefficiency, NIMBYs, overplanning, excessive (and expensive) consultation that comes to negative conclusions and finally lack of ambition.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #59
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One thing that is frustrating about transport in the UK is how bad it is now compared to what it USED to be. Almost every town and city had a tramway or something similar. And railways too. Look at Glasgow... despite having a fairly extensive underground railway network (by UK standards) it has HUGE amounts of disused tunnels that could easily be converted back into suburban railway lines. Its a similar story for the rest of the country. My own city, Preston, relatively small, has a stupid amount of disused railway infrastructure in the city centre alone, including an abandoned tram tunnel and railway tunnel running directly beneath the city centre:
image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr

^the heart of the university quarteris directly above this section of the tunnel

image hosted on flickr


This shot is taken a bit further up the same line. The population density here is very high, and a lot of people dont have cars, so the feasibility for converting it to a metro is pretty high. Note the abandoned railway station which once existed on the left of the pic. This is smack bang next to the city's football stadium too.
image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


This tunnel entry (now impossibly overgrown) goes onto the former East Lancashire Railway, which runs through a dense portion of south Preston. Again, very feasible! The bridge above used to carry trams to the south west suburbs.
image hosted on flickr


Such a waste
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #60
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I certainly agree that many northern cities should push ahead with some sort of metro or pre-metro system. There is certainly the need, population and densities to achieve this. The problem is of cause money.

Maybe they should get the Spanish to built them ;O)
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