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1098292 Views 5114 Replies 256 Participants Last post by  Freel07
So the much needed electrification of routes out of Manchester will after all take place, despite the Spending Review, though there is some anger that the time for the work has been extended so that it won't be finished until 2016 at the earliest.

More details here:

There's also a generic SSC Rail Electrification thread here:

But with both Crossrail and Thameslink now fully committed to, what do forummers think about the balance of where rail investment money is going?

Should the North West be counting its blessings to get any money at all?

Or is infrastructure investment still too heavily skewed to the South East?

And what's happening with that proposed "Northern Hub" at Piccadilly?
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Last I heard they had decided to buy one new factory train rather than two and recommision the old one, will be used in the later stages.
High Output Concrete Train supports electrification
UK: Contractor Balfour Beatty Rail is using a High Output Concrete Train with mixing units commissioned from Nurock Mixers to produce electrification mast foundations for Network Rail's electrification programme between Liverpool and Manchester.

HOCT is designed to be used instead of delivering pre-mixed concrete to the nearest access point. The manufacturer of the customised production plant says the design is particularly suitable for use in remote locations and where demand for concrete is intermittent.

The HOCT is assembled from equipment modified to fit the tight UK loading gauge and mounted on ISO container bases. There are compartments for unmixed sand, aggregate, cement and water, along with two 7 m3 NUVM7 mobile concrete batching plants. The continuous mixer can be stopped and started using a handheld remote control, with computer monitoring of up to 50 different mixes to ensure quality and traceability. The HOCT offers a constant hourly output and the ability to produce only the quantity of concrete needed, with a rotating turret to place the output either side of the track.

Nurock has provided Balfour Beatty Rail with the training required to change from a concrete procurer to a producer.
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I thought they were using the traditional British/European type on the Great Western line? more suited to 125mph and 140mph in future.
Ive not been down the Chat Moss line but in the section to Salford Central theres the previously mentioned supports but also large stockpiles of cement seperate to the sand stockpiles for the platform lengthening, they also have built a new slightly larger equipment shed next to the existing one.
That said with both its the committed manpower and equipment thats the determining factor as most of the access time work is actually only done on small stretches at a time.
You wont have, its a new lightweight electrification design.
The new fronts specifically to try and fool people into thinking their new trains.

In seeking the revenue boost which comes from rolling stock improvements a new impression is needed from the moment the train arrives. Use of the “new” train as an advertising image is enabled by a complete new look to the front end.

The existing cab with emergency egress could be modernised to create the appearance of a new train by the replacement of the cab moulding.
At the moment it doesnt look like they will even have enough time to install air conditioning before their needed in service.
Indeed, and possibly redudant if they decide to shorten them in future from 4 to 3 coachs as well, however it was a Government commitment that any stock that was used would have air conditioning installed before arrival.
On the plus side while Porterbook is intent on trying to refurb pacers to last beyond 2020 Angel have said they dont intend to continue leasing them beyond that date as they think there will be enough cascaded Sprinters from electrification to withdraw them.
So as I understand the current state of things the overhead to be energised soon (with around half wired so far), driver translation to EMU training on the borrowed 350 to begin soon after mostly through simulator, completion of the electrification in September to be followed by some more driver familerisation on the line itself, first new 350 delivered 2nd December.
Does anybody know if the Class 350s to Scotland will be stopping at either Eccles or Patricroft on their way into Manchester?

Might start using Eccles instead of Swinton/Moorside if that's the case
At the moment no, once its gone over to a completely EMU service it might be possible with increased acceleration they provide.
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An hourly service to Manchester and Liverpool, Patricroft is the same minus Sunday services. Their pretty much suburban stations but with limited frequency as priority is given to the Manchester-Liverpool fasts. Alliance Rail proposed using Eccles for London-Bradford services offering to pay to tart the station up a bit, probably thought a limited service might have a large catchment in an untapped market but turned down by ORR's no new WCML services until the timetable recast has been done policy.
A case of they cant thread in extra paths without slowing the other services or cannabalising a fast to become a stopper. Same came up on the feasability study for a station for Leigh, the damage to other services would outweigh the benefit of new services and in the case of Leigh they would just be abstracted from the Atherton line (probably similar with Eccles and Metrolink line). You then also have the terrain considerations when considering things like passing loops.
You only asked about the one route, im sure Northern will be using them on 323 duties as well where they regularly have to substitue a diesel as they dont have enough EMU's.
The 350's arriving in December is a slightly late arrival too, they wanted them to start arriving a couple of months earlier but despite tendering and agreeing the order in record time actually completing the paperwork suffered delays and they couldnt start building them until it was done.
The Liverpool infrastructure hasnt been delayed, it was always behind the Chat Moss line, what has been delayed is the Manchester-Preston section which was supposed to finish a year before Blackpool but now finishes after it. The first Northern services to be converted will be Liverpool-Wigan which was always the plan.
The incoming Government froze all capital spending for seven months (May 2010-November 2010) and reviewed all projects, its not the works itself running late but that the Government turned it off at the tap for several months. When you allow for that freeze duration its still on schedule. Its not the project itself running late.
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