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Transpennine rail irresilience

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Restoration of four-track sections on the main Manchester - Leeds railway could be progressed if HS2 were abandoned

Restoration of four-track sections on the main Manchester – Leeds railway could be progressed if HS2 were abandoned

Emergency engineering works inside Standedge tunnel — on the two-track LNWR railway between Manchester and Leeds — caused big delays on trains around Huddersfield on 24 March 2014.

The Caldervale route has been neglected, with funds having been directed to prestige high speed rail

The Caldervale route has been neglected, with funds having been directed to prestige high speed rail

The LNWR route, one of the three remaining Transpennine railways, is the only one currently scheduled to be electrified. The low quality and resilience of East — West connections in the North, reflected in a low modal share, has not been addressed by the ‘Northern Hub’ or the proposed new build HS2 high speed tracks (which would only link two Northern cities to London).

If the HS2 project were abandoned, there would be the opportunity to bring Transpennine rail up to standard, with electrification of the routes to Sheffield (Hope Valley) and Bradford (Caldervale). Restoration of four-tracking on the LNWR route would allow a much better quality express service between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.

Current plans for electric Transpennine services are based on the use of ‘suburban’ multiple units with a poor ambience. A Liverpool — Manchester — Leeds — York express could pioneer a revival of compartment stock for business travellers.

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Written by beleben

March 24, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

One Response

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  1. If a Northern Cities Crossrail were joined up and opened before HS2, with more line electrifications west of Manchester and east of Leeds plus an HS3 fast-connector between them, then the parameters for HS2 would change from top to bottom. For a start, there need not be an HS2 route across Cheshire:

    http://www.infrastructure-intelligence.com/article/dec-2014/case-building-hs3-hs2

    The Chancellor might find some big savings from the HS2 budget, too.

    Michael Wand

    December 19, 2014 at 10:55 am


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