die belebende Bedenkung

Chords and effect

with one comment

In October 2014, the Beleben blog questioned Network Rail’s claim that the Ordsall chord in Manchester would “improve capacity and enable faster, more frequent services between towns and cities across the north”., 'Ordsall chord will cut congestion and boost services'

Politicians, and the mainstream and railway press, were largely taken in by this guff, until the chord actually opened. Now, some of them believe the reason the chord doesn’t ‘work’, is because ‘Manchester Piccadilly platforms 15 and 16 haven’t been built’.

In Birmingham, another curious scheme to ‘increase capacity’ — the ‘Midlands Rail Hub’, backed by Midlands Connect — received mucho uncritical coverage in the railway press.

Midlands Connect, Midlands Rail Hub, Mar 2017

Centrepiece of the Midlands Rail Hub was the construction of a railway junction in mid-air at Bordesley, to allow trains from the directions of both Water Orton and Kings Norton to run into bay platforms at Moor Street station. An idea described by the Beleben blog as a ‘highly unlikely proposition’.

Beleben blogpost about the Camp Hill chords, 27 Sep 2018

Now, it would appear that Midlands Connect have (very quietly) dropped their idea of the Camp Hill chords — meaning that the term ‘Midlands Rail Hub’ refers to a very different project to what it did only a few months ago.

Midlands Connect, depiction of Birmingham rail projects, work in progress, Feb 2019

Written by beleben

March 5, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Railways

One Response

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  1. The solution is actually to extend the second ‘blind tunnel bore at Snow Hill, where there is one long through platform to immediately reclaim from its previous use as the tram terminus, and potential to reclaim at least 2 more long through platforms from the lower levels of the adjacent, and rarely full car park.

    The extended tunnel should pass under the current tunnel to Moor Street and emerge to deliver a grade separated connection with ALL the routes coming in from the East – from Bescot, from Water Orton, from WCML, and from Camp Hill. The value of platforms linked to Moor Street is limited, far better to consider a longer term delivery of travelator in a new tunnel, of roughly 450 metres, rather appropriately on the alignment of Needless Alley, which could even be contained within the gatelines of New Street and Snow Hill, hardly any greater distance than getting from Platform 1 to Platform 14 at Manchester Piccadilly, although intermediate access at Temple Row (for Colmore Row and business district) and on New Street itself – using shop front(s) as a new station entrance(s) as additional and emergency exit connections

    The detail would be rounded off by constructing an 800m chord on available and largely railway land at Winson Green, enabling cross-city services to loop through both stations, and an option for some Cross Country services for Derby (from both Reading and Bristol, to run via Lichfield and Burton rather than Tamworth), and services for Wolverhampton, again from both Reading and Bristol to run via Snow Hill OR New Street.

    This facility will deliver a substantial boost to resilience and flexibility in Birmingham, which the Bordesley scheme could never deliver, and enable engineering blockades of New Street with substantially less impact than currently possible.


    March 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

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