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Old May 13th, 2009, 05:30 PM   #41
Priscilla QOTD
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Originally Posted by spoonsbeatfish View Post
Looking at the map, Chester Street does look a lot better for you, and if there is enough demand in the area for usage fair enough there is a good incentive to put it there. There is the issue of cost though, if running down Chester Street increases the cost by £10m then its less likely to go ahead. I would rather a partial Deansgate route than no Deansgate route.

Are there any plans to up Cornbrook to 4 platforms or double up the tracks in that area? You're right, the area will become fairly congested and just one problem could really cause chaos.

Another issue is a Chester Street routing (i.e. street line) would be a lot slower and slow down car trips/roads in the area. The routing will probably go through Cross Street though as its cheaper so it doesn't really matter anyway.
I would've thought Chester Road may be wide enough for segregated running down a central reservation, no?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Cherguevara View Post
The city centre spatial strategy outlined the two routes in more detail. The Deansgate route would change to street running at Cornbrook and run down Chester Road to Deansgate.

The route from Victoria Street into Deansgate wasn't specified, although presumably round the back of the Cathederal would be the easiest option, or potentially through the tunnel at Walkers Croft. That's much more expensive though.

It might be worth going to Cross Street for the 2CC and leaving a potential Deansgate line until there are the funds to properly implement the city centre transport strategy (new interchanges, traffic reduction on the central streets etc.). A Deansgate line might be a very good option for tram-trains from Rochdale/East Lancs and the Mid-Cheshire line via Altrincham to use, but that's way off in the future if ever.

Thanks Che. I knew remembered something about that... Brain still not quite pickled from all those daiquiries.....
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Old May 13th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseinManc View Post
However (& also thinking out loud), does anyone know if the disused CLC viaduct (next to the one currently being used in between Cornbrook & GMEX) is to be utilised in part of the extension plans? Or will it continue being left to rot, until there is no option but to take it down due to it being deemed unsafe (like so many other great structures of that age)?
There will be a move from 2 lines using that route to 4 + the 4 MediaCity ones and there is still the potential for a further Trafford Line in the future. There may be enough capacity but it must be tight. It restricts future expansion, say if the lines were so popular a few more trams were bought to increase frequency. It will also become very susceptible to troubles and delays.

It would be a disgrace if that old viaduct was taken down. When there is the capacity just waiting there to be used, hopefully it will get taken up by Metrolink or it probably will end up rusting away until it has to be taken down.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Priscilla QOTD View Post
I would've thought Chester Road may be wide enough for segregated running down a central reservation, no?
I don't know the area, I've never ventured further than the main Castlefield area so I don't know, but yeah quite possibly. That should eliminate the journey time problem if the car lanes could be reduced successfully.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #45
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GREAT DISCUSSION

Bravo to all above posters this kind of blue sky thinking and debate that inspires me and obviously many of you!

Todays fantastic decision has proved something that European cities have practiced (and light rail enthusiasts of course have argued) for years: in order to provide people with alternative choices other than being forced into using their cars whether they like it not, the variety of effective transport options needs to be broad, flexible, reliable, fast, cheap, safe etc

With todays (pretty momentous) decision, GM will now be able to prove modern light rail can be a truly effective part of the urban transit options. Hopefully lighting the way for other metro areas (Brum/Leeds/L'pool most urgently) to be allowed to follow suit.

The discussion immediately above re 2CC shows that there are not one but several new routes which could be entirely viable in future discussions for GM

* Chapel Street
* Chester Road
* Oxford/Wibraham Rd
* Even Whitworth Street one day maybe.

Lets keep this going SSC'ers!
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Old May 13th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #46
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If you follow the railway viaduct from Victoria, through Central Salford there appears to be enough vacant land to build new rails next to the existing track as far down as Hampson Street. From here is just a short distance (albeit an awkard & expensive passage over water and a complex road junction) to the existing routes south of the city. But if we were really going for joined up thinking we could minimise costs by planning/building alongside the Castlefield Curve.

Pros:
No road traffic disruption
Interchange with busses/trains at Central Salford (also serving Spinngfields over pedestrian bridge)
Potential starting point for Chapel Street spur
Possible stop at Greengate/Exchange
Potential stop around Hampson Street serving proposed development at Middlewood Locks, Granada Campus and Potato Wharf masterplan
Links in well with tram/train

Cons:
Too far off the beaten track
National Rail
Unable to mix heavy and light rail under current H&S rules
Costly and difficult passage over ringroad, plus timeframe issues if linking this to castlefield curve
Potential constraints on heavy rail expansion
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Old May 13th, 2009, 11:59 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potato Man View Post
Cons:
Too far off the beaten track
Hey Potato Man. I like your thinking about..joined up...thinking...but these words above are the ones that may affect your...thought!

Problem is those chunky old viducts strutting out of Vic. are not so well sited for where the development has been in Salford.

Well in fact they ARE but you'd need several new stations (as you suggest) SO might that clog up the heavy rail network?

Though you may be right in suggesting making the most of the existing structure is a wise move, I refer you what's happened here in Paris. There's a perfectly useful abandoned heavy rail line (the Petite Cienture - even still has the rail in place) which could have been used for the T3 tramway which opened a couple of years ago, and which is now extending right round the east side of the city. In places the tram is within eyesight of where the old rail alignment sits but it was considered too...off the beaten track...to make it viable. So they dug up the boulevards and laid street based trams. And it's been an enormous success. So much so that there will EIGHT tramway lines round greater Paris in a few years time.
(Nice feature in English here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Tram and a T3 map here: http://www.aut-idf.org/BusTram_T3Extension.jpg )

BUT BACK TO Manchester, Potato Man is absolutely right to bring up new ideas. Anyone got any others?
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Old May 14th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #48
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Well I'm full of them, but since this thread is about progress rather than fantasy I'm reluctant to share.

Anyway if we're in the business of proposing phase 4 I'd say tram train Wigan/Bolton-Salford-Town-Picc-Glossop/Marple and Burnley/East Lancs Route-Rochdale-Deansgate-Cornbrook-Alti-Chester/Crewe. It connects the remaining boroughs to Metrolink fairly cheaply and adds city centre running to the east-west alignment and down Deansgate.

Phase 5 introduce a northern package of Bolton-Little Lever Whitefield and then to Rochdale via Bury and Manchester via Prestwich and a southern package of Alti-Stockport tram-train, Airport loop completion, Didsbury to Marple via Stockport Metrolink and a tram train along the airport rail line via Upper Brook Street (for the university). The northern line creates aglomeration in the subregion supporting growth in the poorer half of the borough while the southern package improves connectivity in the more propserous south.

Finally I would like Manchester, Salford and Trafford to explore cheaper rail based solutions to connect the underserved areas of the inner city to the transport network (something along the lines of the Portland Streetcar).
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Cherguevara View Post
a tram train along the airport rail line via Upper Brook Street (for the university).

[..]

Finally I would like Manchester, Salford and Trafford to explore cheaper rail based solutions to connect the underserved areas of the inner city to the transport network (something along the lines of the Portland Streetcar).
I'm not sure to what extent a route along Upper Brook St. would really be serving the University. As it stands at the moment, the vast majority of foot traffic generated by UofM and MMU falls along Oxford Rd. I think this will slowly change, with recent developments connecting the two roads together more, but most academic departments and student facilities (unions, halls of residence, precinct centre, etc.) still face onto Oxford Rd.

I think that this, plus the laziness of students, plus the fact that buses remain significantly cheaper than trams, especially on such a high volume route, means that any light rail service serving the University will have to run along the Oxford/Wilmslow Rd. corridor.

I still think such a service would be valuable though, connecting into your point about connecting up more deprived inner-city areas. Whilst the likelihood is that Stockport will eventually join the Metrolink network via East Didsbury, I think some sort of Manchester City Centre-Stockport route that passed through Ardwick, Longsight and Levenshulme would be beneficial. The problem with the existing heavy rail line is that it does not stop in Longsight at all, and in my (admittedly limited) experience, the Ardwick stop is not in the best location for serving the local area.

That's why I think your tram-train idea is a good one Cher, as it could potentially serve more stops, and if it deviated from the heavy rail route to run closer to Upper Brook St, it might follow a more useful path through Longsight and Ardwick. I do believe it would be more useful if it were to carry on through to Stockport though, rather than branching off at Slade Lane to follow the airport route (although both options might be run at some point in the future, of course). Not because Burnage is necessarily any better served by heavy rail that the Heaton Chapel locality at the moment, but because I think better connecting residential neighbourhoods to Stockport (which remains a sizeable retail and business centre within the county) would be more valuable than connecting them to the airport. I am happy to accept that I might be completely wrong about this though

Similarly, I think expansion of a rail-based project through Hulme, Moss Side and Whalley Range would be beneficial to those areas, which are all completely untouched by heavy rail. I'm not all that familiar with public transport in the north of the city, but I believe areas such as Cheetam Hill, Crumpsall and Collyhurst are served only by buses? Not to mention much of Salford.

I'm a big believer in the potential of transport networks to address the isolation that can sometimes develop in deprived communities. I'm very glad to see the expansion of Metrolink for this reason above all, and hope that future developments will only increase interconnectedness.

Whilst it might be the East Didsbury line that's going to be bringing home much of the bacon in the new expansions, I think it is probably the least important of the developments in terms of social impact. Not that that's an argument that it shouldn't be built. If running trams through affluent areas that already have decent public transport provision means they can also be run through less affluent areas, I'm very much in favour. It can only be a good thing to have the richest neighbourhoods connected up to the most deprived parts of the city.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #50
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Excellent posts from Che & DD - this is excatly the kind of new thinking we need - (as I blithered on about for yonks on here and elsewhere) for an urban area the size of GM there ought to be trams, tram-trains, and even Metro in the city, covering every major area.

This is the only way we'll ever convince people to leave their cars at home - or better still get rid of them altogether.

The UK's only example of a dense network of rail based urban transit exists only in London. With 100km of lines now planned for GM it's great news and makes a huge difference, putting GM 2nd or 3rd to London (Tyneside is pretty well catered for), but we should not rest until there's an urban rail/rapid transport solution within 10 or 15 minutes walk of 80-90pc of GM homes.

That inevitably means one or more lines for South Central Manchester (Oxford Road corridor being the most obvious example), but Ardwick/Longsight/Levenshulme and Hulme/Moss Side/Whalley Range etc are really good examples of other candidates.

In North Manch I'd suggest Victoria/Stangeways/Bury New Rd/Cheetham Hill/Middleton/Rochdale as another possible strong candidate.

Bolton-Bury (using lots of old abandoned track) is another possibility - and while you're at it why not connect that line over to Wigan?

Will make up another "fantasy" map soon including all above ideas.

If we don't raise the possibilites we're doomed to get nothing.

It's only Manchester's forward thinking, tenacity and diplomacy that has brought us to here where so many other tram schemes have elsewhere sadly failed. :-)

Last edited by MarkO; May 14th, 2009 at 05:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 14th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #51
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I see your point about the Oxford Road corridor. I suppose I suggested Town-Upper Brook-East Dids-Airport because it connects an area that will hopefully begin to generate a great deal of knowledge sector jobs with the areas these workers will probably choose to live and the Airport (which is a major economic driver and potentially a large economic centre).

I chose UBSt because I couldn't see a way of getting light rail through Rusholme, and also because I didn't see the line serving students but university staff and the staff of spin off companies (which are likely to be on the periphery of the campus). I also like the idea that a tram through Victoria Park would help return the area from multiple occupant student housing to real family homes. It's just an idea anyway. I'm not a transport planner and I would never state that I'm right when it isn't my area of expertise.

I've also answered by own questions about the Leigh busway:

http://www.brtuk.org/downloads/BRTSy...tations_09.pdf has a explanation of the scheme

and an article dated 2004 says that we may be buying some of these:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irisbus_Civis
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Old May 14th, 2009, 05:28 PM   #52
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Quote:
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That inevitably means one or more lines for South Central Manchester (Oxford Road corridor being the most obvious example), but Ardwick/Longsight/Levenshulme and Hulme/Moss Side/Whalley Range etc are really good examples of other candidates.

In North Manch I'd suggest Victoria/Stangeways/Bury New Rd/Cheetham Hill/Middleton/Rochdale as another possible strong candidate.

Bolton-Bury (using lots of old abandoned track) is another possibility - and while you're at it why not connect that line over to Wigan?

Will make up another "fantasy" map soon including all above ideas.

If we don't raise the possibilites we're doomed to get nothing.

It's only Manchester's forward thinking, tenacity and diplomacy that has brought us to here where so many other tram schemes have elsewhere sadly failed. :-)
I'd be an advocate for rail based transit to these locations, but I don't know if something of the spec of Metrolink is always the best answer. Much of Metrolink's ridership comes from the outer urban area rather than the inner suburbs and that is where the riders can afford to pay the fares required to keep the system from being loss making. I'm not saying less affluent areas don't deserve quality public transport options, but that we can't endanger the viability of the system for completenesses sake.

Other cities have explored and employed cheaper light weight shallow trench trams to provide transit to emerging regeneration areas. These are slower, have less dedicated right of way and can't carry the same number of passengers that a full LRV can, but since at most they would be used to connect inner city areas to the metropolitan system they would be unlikely to need to.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #53
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Quote:
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I'd be an advocate for rail based transit to these locations, but I don't know if something of the spec of Metrolink is always the best answer. Much of Metrolink's ridership comes from the outer urban area rather than the inner suburbs and that is where the riders can afford to pay the fares required to keep the system from being loss making. I'm not saying less affluent areas don't deserve quality public transport options, but that we can't endanger the viability of the system for completenesses sake.
I think you're absolutely right. There is a serious issue to be addressed about the balance between economic and social benefits. There seems to be something of an orthodoxy amongst certain people that transport, rather than being an essential social service, is actually just a profit-making enterprise, and that if a system is not running at a profit, it's not worth running at all. I think this is misguided, to say the least.

Clearly there are always economic constraints on any major public works project, and money should be spent as wisely as possible. I'd certainly agree that there's no point building infrastructure where it is not going to be used, simply in order to fill in blank spaces on a map. And it's definitely worth considering transport options of a different specification, where these might turn out to be the best options for a particular area.

Who knows? Maybe it'll turn out that some parts of the city would be best served by a combination of train, underground tram and free hovercraft shuttle, whereas others will have all motorised traffic removed, and be served by 20-lane cycle paths. As long as all the realistic options are being considered (which probably doesn't actually involve hovercrafts, alas), I'm happy.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #54
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Looking forward to seeing this 'fantasy map' MarkO
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Old May 15th, 2009, 12:03 PM   #55
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Does anyone have any idea what the changes to the Cornbrook station are? I've never seen any plans.

I imagine it might be the construction of a south facing bay platform, but who knows!
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Old May 15th, 2009, 12:30 PM   #56
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Quote:
No trams for a month

Don Frame

May 15, 2009

THE Metrolink tram system south of Manchester will be shut for the whole of August for major improvement works.

Passengers using the Altrincham and Eccles lines will have to use bus and train services instead.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive says it has chosen the quietest month of the year to carry out key expansion and upgrade work.

But there are concerns that travellers could face problems.

Andrew McFarlane, of the Mid-Cheshire Rail Users' Association, said: "The Altrincham line particularly is very busy and we fear trains will not be able to cope unless extra carriages are laid on."

But he added: "These are badly-needed works - overhead wires on the line have been there almost 40 years."

The disruptions will come on top of existing work affecting trams in the city centre.

Passengers

Stops at Piccadilly Gardens, Piccadilly station and Mosley Street are closed for rail replacement and will not reopen until September, with passengers having to leave trams at Victoria or Albert Square.

Transport bosses say they believe passengers will applaud the planned improvements.

Coun Richard Knowles said: "These proposals are very welcome. We are building four new tram lines and we want the stops on the existing lines to be as welcoming as the new ones."

During the shutdown, new connections will be built at the Trafford Bar stop to link up with a line being built to Chorlton.

At Cornbrook, the layout will change to accommodate the new MediaCityUK tram service. A junction will be built between the Harbour City and Broadway stops to join up with the new spur to MediaCityUK from next summer .

All the overhead electrical cables and some supports on the Altrincham line will be replaced and a depot for 40 new trams will be completed at Trafford Bar. The plans will be presented to Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority's policy committee for approval at its meeting next month.
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....ms_for_a_month
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #57
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Exciting times Its good to see that they are not just going to leave the old parts of the network to rot while building the new lines. Its much better to have one completely refreshed network. A month without service is a small price to pay for the improvements in return.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #58
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If blue sky is the deal then (and I'm repeating myself here):
Branch to Royal Oldham Hospital possibly extending to Royton which would then reconnect via the old branch to the Rochdale / Oldham loop lie.
Build the line to Wythenshawe hospital.
Extend the Rochdale town centre line to the Infirmary.
ditto Ashton line to Tameside GH
Fairfield Hospital is beyond redemption where it is.
MRI via the suggested Wilmslow Road line.
Divert the Eccles line to Hope (getting silly now).
Ditto NMGH.
Special pleading from a medic, but if any of you have tried to park in these places you'll know what I mean. Hospitals are major sources of travel.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #59
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Oh, yes, don't forget the Middleton extension!
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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #60
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a line up bury new road with stops at strangeways, lower and higher broughton, sedgley park and moving east to make use of this beauty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifton_Viaduct

thank you please

I'd also like to see a line (or the line from Trafford Park) link up with urmston, traff general hosp, flixton irlam cadishead then over to partington and on to either altrincham or back towards sale. there are disused bridges accross the ship canal at cadishead and partington that used to have rails running over them that could easily be put to good use.
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