I was at Nuneaton station a couple of weeks ago (drunk) and spotted the test train in a siding while waiting for my train to Hinckley. It was quite strange seeing a District Line train in the Midlands!
I'm also curious to know if there is any improvement to the service on the Manchester to Liverpool lines. At the moment the service that the GM stations get compared to those on the same services at the Merseyside end is embarrassing.What's happening to the Liverpool lines (Eccles and Urmston stations and neighbouring GM stations)?
While it's understandable (somewhat) that Eccles and Patricroft cannot have an increased frequency (due to the number of TPE and ATW routes running that way), it's disappointing that the CLC route cannot be increased to at least half hourly for each of the stations on that route, providing a better service to those living in the northern half of Trafford.As long as it remains an intercity line no, no increases in service. After HS3 the line would becom free of long distance services and could have a more intensive commuter service.
While I passionately agree that GM stations should have a more frequent and consistent service, there are ways of achieving this without locking out regional services - don't forget that those services increase Manchester's sphere of influence and (very successfully) bring a lot of extra people and cash into the city. To me the key is the way that different routes in and out of the city are utilised.Fair, I'm not saying all express trains call at every station - imagine the London Pendo pulling into Levenshulme! As that would mean nobody would use it. However Greater Manchester's position at the centre of the UK, coupled with near zero investment in the rail network, means you get stations in dense suburban/inner city communities seeing 1 train per 2 hours when they could be well utilized community hubs.
There needs to be double-tracking on key GM rail lines. This is a given, it needs to happen. It would happen in London so it needs to happen here too, to enable us to run both local stoppers and express trains alongside.
Would it be possible to run a staggered stopping timetable in order to achieve both frequent calling at stations and fast express trains?
Loving the suggestions and completely agree. One point - I don't believe that it would be necessary to quad track the majority of routes. Manchester is fortunate to have multiple routes to the same places... IE: for Liverpool you have the Chat Moss route and the CLC route. In this scenario, inter-city services should be restricted to one line so that the other (with more stations) can be used for high frequency services. In the Liverpool instance, the Chat Moss route would be used, with Eccles and Patricroft retaining their hourly service. The CLC with Trafford Park, Humphrey Park, Urmston, Chassen Road, Flixton, and Irlam can be converted to a high frequency (15 minute service) crossrail route with trains terminating in a dedicated platform at Warrington Central. Liverpool can then do the same with the line going in their direction - as they have done very successfully with other lines.On top of your Underground in city center improvements and crossrail suggestions, I also think the whole suburban railway network needs to be updated. We need to quad track all the main routes so that express trains can pass with more suburban train frequencies allowing for a proper commuter network. And proper transfer stations in the suburbs such as East Didsbury and Eccles that allow efficient connections between rail and trams, and also tram extensions such as East Didsbury to Stockport.
I've been living back in Manchester for a few weeks now after 3 years away. One thing that is notable is that the Metrolink is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was when I lived here. The unfortunate side effect of its reliability is that it's more popular than ever... I'm genuinely worried about future capacity on the Altrincham line. I'm not quite sure how they're going to manage in the peak if it continues to grow.Agreed Justme, there needs to be a lot of investment in both networks.
I see lots of extremely creative reasons for not investing in Manchester's transport network pedalled on the transport subforum. I only hope no one coming up with these creative excuses works at TfGM - else we'll never see the end of the misery that is non-Metrolink "public" transport in Greater Manchester