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‘Shared use’ of HS2 tracks

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The Department for Transport is looking at the development of rail between the city regions of the North to support the Northern Powerhouse, including the shared use of HS2 tracks — according to its July 2015 Rolling Stock Perspective.

The current specification of HS2 does not really support shared running (with classic rail, or with a new-build high speed line in the north of England). The HS2 stage two concept features dead-end stations in Manchester (new Piccadilly) and Leeds (New Lane), and attempts to adapt for ‘Northern connectivity’ are likely to involve significant additional expenditure for limited returns.

Suppose, for example, the Manchester and Golborne branches of HS2 were re-engineered to allow shared running with a ‘HS3’ service between Liverpool, Manchester Airport, and Manchester. Demand for travel to and from the Airport high speed station would be modest, because the existing classic station is better located for most prospective customers. And for speed of travel between Manchester and Liverpool city centres, the existing Chat Moss route would probably match, or beat, an airport / Golborne HS3.

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Written by beleben

July 15, 2015 at 10:08 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

2 Responses

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  1. The Rolling Stock document you linked is very interesting. I note the Hitachi IEP factory at Newton Aycliffe is still mis-labelled as a “train manufacturing facility”. “Train Assembly Plant” might be more truthful, since will merely be fitting out bodyshells and assembling components which have been manufactured elsewhere.

    The section on the shared use of HS2 tracks is only one sentence. The proposal does make some sense, particularly in Manchester, where an extremely expensive two-track rail tunnel is to be built all the way from the airport to just outside Piccadilly station. It would make sense to maximize the use of this link, and the parts of the HS2 network to which it connects, providing there is capacity between the HS2 services. With only minor modifications to the design of the approach to Piccadilly station (in order that these additional trains could run into the low-numbered platforms of the existing Piccadilly station) you could run services (say) Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport, Wigan North Western, Preston, Blackpool North / Lancaster. A south-facing connection at Golborne (by the HS2 train maintenance depot) would allow trains to run to Warrington Bank Quay, and (if the route electrification goes ahead) on to Chester.
    Getting towards Liverpool would be more difficult, and would probably need additional infrastructure to be built (of which there was no mention in this document).
    It might also be possible to run services east of Manchester and on to the airport and beyond, always assuming the Trans Pennine Electrification project goes ahead by then.
    The rolling stock would probably need to be similar to the “Javelin” class 395 EMUs used on HS1 services in Kent.

    Jeff Hawken

    July 17, 2015 at 12:14 am

  2. The Golbourne branch has no reason for existing.This is another example of people becoming stuck in their thinking.

    It might well be necessary to run a line from Manchester Piccadilly to Longsight and then underground to appear after Wythenshawe parallel to the M56. From then on the logical thing to do is extend the line into the airport from where it appears and runs down along the present (improved/upgraded) line to Wilmslow and thus down along the present (upgraded) line to Crewe.

    The Crewe – Warrington BQ and Wigan NW line can be upgraded to handle the anticipated increase in traffic. Thus the unnecessary, environmentally damaging HS2 proposed line through Golbourne can be cancelled to the benefit of all.

    Transtraxman

    July 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm


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