Northern Hub event next Wednesday ….

Posted on December 3rd, 2011, by The Chairman

Roy Chapman of TfGM (who helped us back in 1990 with our original studies into putting a passenger service back onto the line through Middlewich) coordinates events for the Institute of Railway Operators in the North West & North Wales.

Here’s details of their latest event next Wednesday from Duncan Law, Network Rail’s Northern Hub Scheme Sponsor. All are welcome.

Roy says “The next event is a presentation on the Northern Hub, by Duncan Law, Scheme Sponsor, Network Rail. The Government recently announced funding for the long-awaited Ordsall Chord, first proposed way back in 1980. In addition, equally long-awaited aspirations for extensions to electrification are at last proceeding, with work underway on the Manchester – Liverpool via Chat Moss line, to be followed by the Bolton – Preston – Blackpool Corridor and only announced this week, the much needed Trans-Pennine route via Huddersfield.

“Within the above context, what will the Northern Hub mean for the railways of this Region?

“To find out attend this important event. The date is 7 December. Details are attached – but note that this is a joint event with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, and a different venue and that there will be no refreshments in advance.”

For those interested in the detail from those “who really know”, sounds like a “Must”!

Please leave a comment

  1. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    A slight correction. Roy Chapman’s report into reopening the Middlewich line was in 2000 (I have a copy at home).

  2. Mike Battman Says:

    The electrification elements of this scheme seem to be progressing, I noticed gantries up along the track adjacent to the M602 between Salford and Eccles

  3. Jen Says:

    I’ve noticed Northern have put the following on their website

    Important changes to services to and from Manchester via Bolton from 8 December 2013

    First TransPennine Express is re-routing some of its services via Wigan instead of Bolton. Northern Rail services will run as normal, but some morning and evening peak trains via Bolton may be busier than normal.

    Why are First TransPennine Express services changing?

    In July 2013, as part of Network Rail’s North West Electrification programme, work took place to electrify the line between Manchester and the West Coast Mainline to improve the infrastructure and reduce journey times.

    From 8 December First TransPennine Express services between Manchester and Scotland will run via Wigan instead of Bolton, to take advantage of the newly electrified line. This means that there will be fewer First TransPennine Express services calling at Bolton and Chorley.

    We have looked at all possibilities to acquire extra carriages to minimise the impact on services; however, there are no suitable diesel trains available and our current fleet is already used to maximum capacity.

    We will continue to monitor changes in passenger numbers


  4. Mike Battman Says:

    FTPE are being somewhat economical with the truth with this statement…
    “We have looked at all possibilities to acquire extra carriages to minimise the impact on services; however, there are no suitable diesel trains available and our current fleet is already used to maximum capacity.”
    What is happening to the diesel units that are being replaced by the new electrics going via Wigan?

  5. The Chairman Says:

    Hi, Mike!

    I notice the statement is from Northern, not TPE.

    The class 185s being replaced by the class 350/4 electrics going via Wigan are in due course to be used to run the new extra hourly trans-pennine service from Liverpool via Victoria, as well as strengthening other services over the Pennines. However, the via Wigan service comes in this December, but only 1 of the 10 electric sets has so far been commissioned. It will be late Spring before all 10 are available, and probably that long before all the relevant staff are trained in operating the class 350/4s. Thus in the meantime, the service via Wigan will in the main be operated by the diesel class 185s, the ones that previously went via Bolton/Chorley.

    The class 185s are 3-car sets with 23 metre coaches.

    The class 350/4s are 4-car sets, but with only 20 metre coaches, such that I understand a 4-car class 350/4 only has 19 more seats than a class 185. In my view the ideal replacement for the diesel class 185s on this route would have been the 4-car class 380 electrics with 23 metre coaches. However, I understand that this idea was turned down by DfT as they were considered too expensive. A shame this, as my experience of the class 380s which run in Scotland on the Ayrshire Coast lines, and from Glasgow to Edinburgh via Carstairs and on to North Berwick, is they are superb units.

  6. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    If there was a proper degree of leadership in the rail industry Northern would be required to hire in loco-hauled stock to provide extra capacity on services via Bolton from the December timetable change. DRS have plenty at Carlisle. Another option would be to use loco-hauled stock on the Settle & Carlisle line, which would be appreciated by its tourist passengers and which would release diesel units for use on services via Bolton or for the introduction of the Manchester-Burnley service from its previously planned date of May 2014.

  7. Mike Battman Says:

    Sorry, you are of course correct. Privatisation is great.

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