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I actually think Pacers will be decommissioned by 2019 anyway. I know NR will milk the hell out of them because they are quite economical, but pacers were introduced in the mid-80 with a design life of 20 years. There is no way they will get around the disability act. Generally, these stipulates minimum width requirements for door width and aisles. That would require some serious refurbishment which probably would not be viable. Looks like the government is going to have to dig into its pockets and provide trains which are fit for the 21st century. No good papering over the cracks because that's where we are with pacers.
 

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The Manchester Hub is good, but far from what's needed to give the north the rail network it needs. It's a pathetic attempt compared to the investment London and the SE gets.

As for First Class, I think TPE should be commended for trialling First Class and attempting to drive the standards of intercity travel in the north up, and out of the league of commuter stopping services. However yes, First Class doesn't work when the trains are so busy. But as I say, I'm careful not to criticise First/Kelios too much for their generally excellent management of the Transpennine franchise.
 

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What's the point of TPE first class though? All you get is a slightly larger seat and a little lamp - it's not like you get a complimentary hot meal, drink and newspaper like on East Coast.

It's merely First not caring about how many normal passengers have to wedge in like sardines, as long as they can convince a few mugs to spend a lot extra for few additional benefits in first class.
 

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What's the point of TPE first class though? All you get is a slightly larger seat and a little lamp - it's not like you get a complimentary hot meal, drink and newspaper like on East Coast.

It's merely First not caring about how many normal passengers have to wedge in like sardines, as long as they can convince a few mugs to spend a lot extra for few additional benefits in first class.
You get complimentary drinks/snacks onTPE - but only when the trolley's not got stuck at the other end of the train because it can't get past all the people stood up in Standard class.

Arriva had first class sections on their TP services run with Class 158s, but they were half the size.
 

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Intention, AFAIK is to run 350s on TPE, or potentially a new '344' version of the class 444 EMU in the south:


the latter would be dependent on Dewsbury & Huddersfield stops being dropped, and the entire Liverpool-Newcastle/Hull line being run far more as an inter-regional service than the slightly-more-than-a-local-service it currently is, as end doors are only any good when dwell times can be longer, and that's not the case if you're stopping every 10 minutes.

As for first class, with a 344 it'd improve as you'd probably have Standard Driving /Standard Trailer Disabled Lavatory/Standard Trailer/Standard Trailer Buffet/First Driving

As for pacers, they have to be out by 2019, DDA requires

1. Step-free access to trains from platforms
2. Full sealable doors
3. Disabled Access toilets

Pacers have difficulty doing the first (have to carry a very steep guard-operared ramp), 2 would require complete re-engineering of the body (the body can't support a plug door mechanism), and the trains simply aren't big enough for 3.

Which is why the Govt is currently looking seriously at electrifying the Harrogate & Caldervale lines, and alternatively, at a new DMU order to run on those two lines.
 

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I didn't know the government had 'seriously' been looking at electrifying the Harrogate Line. Where did you hear this? I'd assumed the best chance of electrification would be with tram-train to the airport, unless anything comes of third rail using the District Line trains- which I highly doubt would actually happen.

It's good news regarding TPE on the whole though. My only fear is that several places such as Dewsbury, Garforth and importantly Huddersfield, will lose their fast services to Leeds. Huddersfield - Leeds is the busiest part of their network so it would be absurd to expect this to revert back to less frequent stopping services. A massive blow to Huddersfield.

Therefore, I would hope to see the introduction of potential cross-city services, replacing these important connections. This may only be possible with the construction of East Leeds Parkway though.

It is crucial that this project benefits the City Region though, otherwise the losses will be greater than the benefits, which will benefit Leeds only and not the City Region.
 

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It's good news regarding TPE on the whole though. My only fear is that several places such as Dewsbury, Garforth and importantly Huddersfield, will lose their fast services to Leeds. Huddersfield - Leeds is the busiest part of their network so it would be absurd to expect this to revert back to less frequent stopping services. A massive blow to Huddersfield.

Therefore, I would hope to see the introduction of potential cross-city services, replacing these important connections. This may only be possible with the construction of East Leeds Parkway though.

It is crucial that this project benefits the City Region though, otherwise the losses will be greater than the benefits, which will benefit Leeds only and not the City Region.
Since electric traction improves acceleration I'd have expected more faster services to the intermediate stations, although I suppose it depends on whether the timetable can take it with 6 Manchester-Leeds services an hour. I'm pretty sure Huddersfield won't loose out either way, as it's a fairly important station for passengers travelling to Manchester too.
 

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Dewsbury & Garforth will lose stops, as these both eat time on the Leeds-Manchester/Leeds-York journey, and because there are no loops for fast trains to pass in. As such, the number of stops you can accommodate is very limited on the longer-distance trains. This is less of a problem at some places (for instance, between Leeds & Huddersfield there are passing places at Mirfield & Dewsbury), but it has to be a minimum of trains.

So Dewsbury will lose fasts, and so will Garforth. Both will retain 'local services', potentially more if the Leeds-York & Leeds-Huddersfield stoppers are merged, as reversal time at Leeds/delays from somewhere in Caldervale are eliminated, but more services in the TP will be non-stop to Huddersfield.

From what's been mentioned, it look like

4tph Leeds-Manchester Victoria & western destinations, Huddersfield only
2tph Leeds-Manchester Piccadily: Morley, Batley, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, all stations to Guide Bridge, fast to Piccadilly

2tph Huddersfield-York, all stations.
 

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oh, and obviously no service losses to Huddersfield, because it's a huge journey market, and because there's a 30mph restriction between Deighton & Golcar, meaning the time & pathing penalty for stopping is basically non-existent.
 

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Phew. Well that puts my mind to rest on that issue.

Dewsbury has four tracks though?
It only has 3 at the station - a passing track on the Leeds-bound track (used regularly by the TPE trains not stopping at Dewsbury as the Leeds-bound platform typically has a Northern service arriving shortly before.

This means any Huddersfield-bound TPE train not stopping at Dewsburycan get stuck behind a stopping service until said service gets to Mirfield.
 

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God's Own City said:
4tph Leeds-Manchester Victoria & western destinations, Huddersfield only
2tph Leeds-Manchester Piccadily: Morley, Batley, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, all stations to Guide Bridge, fast to Piccadilly

2tph Huddersfield-York, all stations.
Interesting. If your right with the Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds trains that would give a much improved service for the likes of Morley, Batley, and Dewsbury compared with existing services. I wonder what these 4 western destinations per hour will include (will it be the existing arrangement of 2tph to Manchester Airport (surely much better off going via Manchester Piccadilly) 1tph to Liverpool Lime Street (which could surely do with going up to 2tph and one extending westward beyond Manchester Victoria service to perhaps somewhere like Blackpool North or Crewe or if electrification is extended further to say Southport, Chester or even Wales to say Wrexham, Llanduno, Holyhead or even Cardiff?

Also heading in the other direction I would certainly increase the frequency of Leeds to Hull and Scarborough services by extending the existing Blackpool North - York service to Scarborough and the existing Selby - Leeds - Bradford - Halifax - Huddersfield service to Hull which would surely have the advantage of gaining direct service to Hull and Scarborough from the likes of Bradford and Halifax. I would also keep the option open for extending some Hull services to Bridlington as well as creating a Leeds to Sunderland service either as an extension of present services that terminmate in Newcastle or by running a new service along the Durham Coast line (which Grand Central uses between Northallerton and Sunderland).
 

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Liverpool is pretty certain and Chester has been proposed before too so is likely.

I suppose Holyhead is possible, but I doubt there's much demand from Yorkshire for that- a change at Chester is fine. Cardiff is highly doubtful from this project. If Leeds had a service to Cardiff, it would make more sense to use the Cross Country route and then the GWML.

I'm less concerned with increasing frequency to Hull, but a direct service between Leeds and NE Lincolnshire would be welcome. At the moment there's a direct TPE service from Cleethorpes/Grimsby and Scunthorpe to Meadowhall, Sheffield and Manchester, but not to the capital of their own region in Leeds. I realise this would require reversal at Doncaster, and probably would require using Hambleton Junction rather than the route through Wakefield.

There could be scope to extend Middlesbrough services to Whitby too. Rail services to Whitby are poor currently when compared to Scarborough, and the quickest way to get to Whitby by public transport is to get to Scarborough by rail and then change onto a bus north to Whitby. From a Whitby perspective, this is clearly a less than ideal situation for them.
 

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Dewsbury will retain 2tph into Leeds & Manchester, fastest leeds time will go up, as will fastest Manchester time, as all trains beyond Leeds & Manchester will only call at Huddersfield.

From what I understand, Leeds will get 2tph to Liverpool and 2tph to Manchester Airport, althought Holyhead & Chester may be added, and the services Scheduled to Piccadilly may continue round the Ordsall Curve to the Airport instead.

Easterly, I'd expect an additional service to Hull at Scarborough's expense, with Scarborough getting the extended Blackpool-York service, with calls between Leeds & York cut to just Garforth.
 

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Midland Mainline to be electrified - in the news today. These things tend to be announced several times before contractors start. Has the midland main line been mentioned or announced before as no mention of transpennine on BBC report. Guardian does mention Northern Hub.
 

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^^ I guess, but I think they are only doing it because Sheffield has no electrified lines, Leeds already has one to London.
 

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If they electrified the last few km to Moorthorpe, that would be a second electric route from Leeds to London, and perhaps more importantly, would be cheaper than moving EMTs depot elsewhere from Neville Hill.
 

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East coast line too!

The plans, which are likely to involve £10bn of capital investment between 2014 and 2019, are likely to involve:

• The electrification of the Midland mainline from London to the east Midlands and Sheffield. Clegg is MP for Sheffield Hallam. The Great Western line from London to Swansea, via Cardiff, will be electrified. The Cardiff Valley Network will also be electrified. Electrification is favoured by the rail industry because electric-powered trains are lighter than their diesel-powered counterparts and can accelerate more quickly. They are also less susceptible to breakdowns.

• New projects, to be named the Northern Hub, around Manchester to improve services across the north of England.

Upgrading part of the east coast mainline from London to Newcastle and the spur to Leeds.

• Investment for improved railfreight to key ports such as Southampton and Felixstowe.
grauniad
 
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