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2309141 Views 16284 Replies 427 Participants Last post by  jockblue
Since there isn't a thread that groups together non-Metrolink public transport here is a new one, bit late for the M60 widenning (finishes in a couple of weeks), however, BBC NW news this morning reporting that Virgin are set to increase the frequency and the speed of the Manchester to London trains.

Given they take 2hrs at the moment and run every 30mins they sure are going to be very very good competition for the planes.

All good stuff in my opinion, no doubt Virgin will put a press release out later that will be reported in the MEN.
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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!
What's happening to the Liverpool lines (Eccles and Urmston stations and neighbouring GM stations)?
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.
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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 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.
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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?
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.

Take your Manchester-Preston Line example... as somebody who fairly frequently travels by rail into Manchester from Preston, it is very much in my interest to get the TPE services that travel via Wigan North Western and the Chat Moss route rather than go down the Bolton route. Going via Wigan is quicker and less congested. Moving those fast services to that route opens up the possibility of a clockface 15 minute service between Preston and Manchester, calling at all stations on the route bar Clifton (does Clifton actually have any potential at all? Whenever I pass through it seems to be in the middle of nowhere).

This obviously puts more traffic on the Chat Moss route, but there are only 2 stations on that line within GM. As an ex-Ellesmere Park resident, I'd love to see Eccles have a half hourly service, but there are far more stations on the Bolton route.
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.
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.
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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
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.

The other notable thing is that the rest of the network hasn't changed at all. In fact it's worse. Once the Trafford Park line is complete, I really really hope that TfGM turn their attention to buses and rail. It is a long way from where it needs to be.
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