Manchester & North West Transformation Programme

Purple Orange

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How is access to jobs not an answer?

Personally I'd like to see the signalling centre at Salford moved and Salford Crescent changed to two islands for quality cross platform interchange both ways including the Atherton line, then it doesn't matter. A third platform is very much sub optimal as it reduces the quality of the interchange (though helps overcrowding, but so would shifting the track over and building one larger island).



And Vic needs a total rebuild, it remains an abject fume filled dump. If it isn't going to be possible to dump the Arena, then a mezzanine.
Access to jobs is not an answer because the distribution of jobs is not weighted towards Piccadilly, it is much more evenly spread. In fact the main areas to find the highest concentration of offices happens to be on the north side of the city. My train comes in to Piccadilly, but for all the many years I have been working in the centre of Manchester at numerous locations, I would have loved to have had my train be one that ran around the chord to Salford Central & Victoria. Spinningfields, NOMA, Deansgate and now St. John’s are areas of significant employment that Piccadilly doesn’t serve very well.

A rebuild of Vic is right down the pecking order, but what is badly needed is a high frequency of services that run from Vic to Pic as if the viaduct network in Manchester was an underground metro.
 
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507020

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They are the two services that won’t be removed from the corridor, whether people like it or not.

Cutting off the Lake District from the nearest airport? That would down well in what was a Lib Dem marginal…

Much better to remove the closer services, such as Southport.
Surely the closer places are the ones most deserving of direct services. Paths should be allocated based on some weighting of distance and relative importance, in order of priority of Airport, then Castlefield, then Victoria.

TfW should be banned from Castlefield, with the Chester Airport service running non-stop via the Mid Cheshire line, calling at Stockport then reversing at Piccadilly which doesn’t increase journey times. If 2tph to Warrington Bank Quay are desired, run an additional Chester - Wigan via Newton-le-Willows.
Personally I'd like to see the signalling centre at Salford moved and Salford Crescent changed to two islands for quality cross platform interchange both ways including the Atherton line, then it doesn't matter. A third platform is very much sub optimal as it reduces the quality of the interchange (though helps overcrowding, but so would shifting the track over and building one larger island).
I would give Salford Crescent 2 islands more like the size of the ones at Bolton, much larger than the current ones, with 1 through track in the middle used by TPE services in both directions, with P1 for Victoria, P2 for Bolton, P3 for Piccadilly, P4 for Atherton and all crossing movements made on approach to the station. Non-stop Atherton services could be the fastest to Wigan rather than going via Golborne if there were any.

On both sides of Salford Crescent there seem to be some stupid slip roads which serve no purpose whatsoever. Just rip them up in favour of conventional flat road junctions and widen the railway with increased passenger space.
And Vic needs a total rebuild, it remains an abject fume filled dump. If it isn't going to be possible to dump the Arena, then a mezzanine.
I would say Victoria is one of the better Manchester stations. Oxford Road needs to be top of the list for the complete rebuild. The present track layout is unusable. The lack through of platforms at Salford Central and Piccadilly then need to be addressed and Salford Crescent is an embarrassment. Deansgate however is quite pleasant and provides excellent tram connections, except to the Trafford Centre which needs to be rectified immediately.
Platforms 13/14 at Piccadilly feel like one of the weakest links in the entire UK rail network. The lack of space there, in relation to their centrality for rail connections across the whole of the North of England, is beyond a joke. Seriously when will platform 15/16 get built?
My money is now on immediately after the conclusion of the current round of strikes.
The existing east facing turnbacks at Victoria (Platforms 1 and 2, and the reversing siding west of the station) are all on the south side. Trains to/from the Rochdale lines have to cross the eastern throat to use them, which restricts capacity. Also the bays are only 4-car length.

Presumably the additional turnback will be accessed from Platforms 5 and 6.
No services from Rochdale use Platforms 1 or 2 that I know of. Regardless of any sub-optimal crossing movements that have to be made, Platforms 1-2 at Victoria and 1-12 at Piccadilly provide no shortage of east facing terminal capacity whatsoever, which is a hugely less constrained situation than from the west, with effectively no terminal platforms at all. P5 at Oxford Road should be closed since it does more harm than good, which leaves only the bays at Stalybridge and Rochdale.
 

Xavi

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The turnback and new platform at Victoria are separate, stand-alone projects.

Missing from that list is Manchester Oxford Road remodelling, which has been contracted to WSP as designers.
Oxford Road improvements will create 2 through platforms (P2 & P4) and a turn back platform (P3). No widening of viaduct and P1 removed to allow extension of P3. Re-signalling limited to accommodating these changes.
 

Watershed

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Platforms 13/14 at Piccadilly feel like one of the weakest links in the entire UK rail network. The lack of space there, in relation to their centrality for rail connections across the whole of the North of England, is beyond a joke. Seriously when will platform 15/16 get built?
Probably not within the next 10 or 20 years. Maybe at some point beyond that.

The TWAO application has been sitting on the Secretary of State's desk for the last 8 years. It doesn't look like any of the post-holders are willing to accept the negative publicity of explicitly rejecting it, instead preferring to skirt around the subject.
 
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Sonik

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Probably not within the next 10 or 20 years. Maybe at some point beyond that.

The TWAO Order application has been sitting on the Secretary of State's desk for the last 8 years. It doesn't look like any of the post-holders are willing to accept the negative publicity of explicitly rejecting it, instead preferring to skirt around the subject.
In fairness NPR and HS2 will change the geography somewhat and movement around the centre of Manchester will have to be re-planned accordingly.

It's not worth doing interventions piecemeal as the Ordsall chord shows.
 

Whisky Papa

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No services from Rochdale use Platforms 1 or 2 that I know of. Regardless of any sub-optimal crossing movements that have to be made, Platforms 1-2 at Victoria and 1-12 at Piccadilly provide no shortage of east facing terminal capacity whatsoever, which is a hugely less constrained situation than from the west, with effectively no terminal platforms at all. P5 at Oxford Road should be closed since it does more harm than good, which leaves only the bays at Stalybridge and Rochdale.
According to RTT, the xx28 arrivals from Leeds (via Halifax) and xx58 return departures are booked to use P1 at Victoria, and indeed I witnessed the 1128 arrival doing so a couple of weeks back.
 

Bletchleyite

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In fairness NPR and HS2 will change the geography somewhat and movement around the centre of Manchester will have to be re-planned accordingly.

It's not worth doing interventions piecemeal as the Ordsall chord shows.

The problem with not doing 15/16 now is that with the way buildings are going up in Manchester it won't be long before it's rendered impossible due to buildings in the way.

I would give Salford Crescent 2 islands more like the size of the ones at Bolton, much larger than the current ones, with 1 through track in the middle used by TPE services in both directions, with P1 for Victoria, P2 for Bolton, P3 for Piccadilly, P4 for Atherton and all crossing movements made on approach to the station. Non-stop Atherton services could be the fastest to Wigan rather than going via Golborne if there were any.

No. Even if it means conflicting movements, the benefits of cross-platform interchange with a train timetabled to arrive on both sides and dwell for a short time for both-ways interchange are huge. It means interchange with zero time penalty.

So it'd need to be P1 Vic, P2 Picc, P3 Bolton, P4 Atherton to get that benefit. (That layout would at least avoid conflicts in one direction).
 

Watershed

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In fairness NPR and HS2 will change the geography somewhat and movement around the centre of Manchester will have to be re-planned accordingly.

It's not worth doing interventions piecemeal as the Ordsall chord shows.
If anything it rebalances connectivity even more in favour of Piccadilly, and hence the importance of improving the Castlefield corridor increases.
 

Sonik

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If anything it rebalances connectivity even more in favour of Piccadilly, and hence the importance of improving the Castlefield corridor increases.
Fully agree, not saying nothing needs doing; my point is that the goalposts have moved somewhat, so the most appropriate design (e.g. track & platform layouts) for any interventions at Oxford rd, Piccadilly etc. may be influenced by this. Interventions need to be planned holistically with regard to the wider network.

The problem with not doing 15/16 now is that with the way buildings are going up in Manchester it won't be long before it's rendered impossible due to buildings in the way.
Is the route not safeguarded? Even if not, it would surly be given consideration in any planning application to build there.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I think the railway should purchase the land. It can temporarily lease it to businesses for temporary premises, or run it as a (highly lucrative) car park. If it turns out not to need it because of something else being done e.g. a NPR tunnel, it can then sell it at a fat profit.
 

snowball

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The problem with not doing 15/16 now is that with the way buildings are going up in Manchester it won't be long before it's rendered impossible due to buildings in the way.
It seems highly unlikely that the City Council would allow building on the land.

Equally unlikely Shapps would now approve P15/16 after all these years sitting on the order.

Maybe immediately before the next general election, but not very likely even then.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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It seems highly unlikely that the City Council would allow building on the land.

Equally unlikely Shapps would now approve P15/16 after all these years sitting on the order.

Maybe immediately before the next general election, but not very likely even then.
Was Grayling the Minister in post when it first reached his department or does it even go back further than that?
 

WesternBiker

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It seems highly unlikely that the City Council would allow building on the land.

Equally unlikely Shapps would now approve P15/16 after all these years sitting on the order.

Maybe immediately before the next general election, but not very likely even then.
My guess is that they'll see where the post-pandemic demand settles before making a decision, including whether the existing works described above, coupled with longer trains can soak up that demand.

I'm pretty sure the Treasury will be hoping that WFH will eliminate the need for some of the capital enhancement projects currently anticipated - at least in the short/medium term.
 

Mollman

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Oxford Road improvements will create 2 through platforms (P2 & P4) and a turn back platform (P3). No widening of viaduct and P1 removed to allow extension of P3. Re-signalling limited to accommodating these changes.
Is this the new cheap 'improvement'? As I recall the origional (expensive) plan was to rebuild with the retention of four through platforms which would have worked in unison with the four through platforms at Picc.
 

td97

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bi-directional. What does it mean east facing turnback?
Near to Salford central
Why does this notion of a link to Piccadilly being so important still persist? Access to jobs is not an applicable answer and in many cases, rail connections are not the answer either.

Manchester a complete overhaul of its services. It needs west bays at Victoria, P15 & P16 at Piccadilly and 3 additional platforms at Salford Central.
Piccadilly/Oxford Rd services from Bolton to Manchester must be loaded 2-3x as much as the Victoria services. It's where most people want to go.
Platforms 13/14 at Piccadilly feel like one of the weakest links in the entire UK rail network. The lack of space there, in relation to their centrality for rail connections across the whole of the North of England, is beyond a joke. Seriously when will platform 15/16 get built?
Probably not within the next 10 or 20 years. Maybe at some point beyond that.

The TWAO application has been sitting on the Secretary of State's desk for the last 8 years. It doesn't look like any of the post-holders are willing to accept the negative publicity of explicitly rejecting it, instead preferring to skirt around the subject.
NR are supposedly tendering soon for a contractor to deliver an approval in principle design.
Oxford Road improvements will create 2 through platforms (P2 & P4) and a turn back platform (P3). No widening of viaduct and P1 removed to allow extension of P3. Re-signalling limited to accommodating these changes.
Is this the new cheap 'improvement'? As I recall the origional (expensive) plan was to rebuild with the retention of four through platforms which would have worked in unison with the four through platforms at Picc.
I understood there were plans for 3 through platforms with the bay relocated to the island between current P2 & P3. Having more than 2 through platforms is invaluable operationally for late-running crew changes, terminating short of destination, and allowing regulation of late running services.
 

Agent_Squash

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Surely the closer places are the ones most deserving of direct services. Paths should be allocated based on some weighting of distance and relative importance, in order of priority of Airport, then Castlefield, then Victoria.

TfW should be banned from Castlefield, with the Chester Airport service running non-stop via the Mid Cheshire line, calling at Stockport then reversing at Piccadilly which doesn’t increase journey times. If 2tph to Warrington Bank Quay are desired, run an additional Chester - Wigan via Newton-le-Willows.

The Cumbria services are a political necessity - cutting off a world heritage site from it's nearest airport would not be good. It's also important to remember that they form part of 4tph to Preston from the Airport - which is a perfectly reasonable proposition.
 

snowball

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NR are supposedly tendering soon for a contractor to deliver an approval in principle design.
I assume you meant this to refer to the relatively new proposal to remodel Oxford Road within the existing viaduct, creating a turnback platform in the middle. However you placed the statement in such a way that it appeared to be a reply to Watershed and rapmastaj, who were talking about the stalled proposal for two extra through platforms at Piccadilly.
 

507020

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No. Even if it means conflicting movements, the benefits of cross-platform interchange with a train timetabled to arrive on both sides and dwell for a short time for both-ways interchange are huge. It means interchange with zero time penalty.

So it'd need to be P1 Vic, P2 Picc, P3 Bolton, P4 Atherton to get that benefit. (That layout would at least avoid conflicts in one direction).
The problem with Salford Crescent is the nature of which way trains go. Nothing from Atherton goes to Piccadilly, meaning all trains from Bolton need to cross and then immediately at the other end of the Windsor Link, all trains from Salford Crescent have to go to Piccadilly, meaning the need to cross Chat Moss. You can’t separate trains out with 4 tracks anywhere. The only solution would seem to be full grade separation.

My layout gives cross platform interchanges for Bolton - Atherton and Piccadilly - Victoria journeys. I don’t know what other ones you’d want.
Near to Salford central
Yes but it desperately needs to be west facing not east facing.
I assume you meant this to refer to the relatively new proposal to remodel Oxford Road within the existing viaduct, creating a turnback platform in the middle.
The footprint of P5 and P6 need to be demolished to free up space for a workable layout. Would it be worth building 2 islands with 1 track in the middle and 2 side platforms? What would be even better than a centre turnback would be a central platform used to terminate trains but with the capability to be used as a through platform and access from both sides.

The present Oxford Road genuinely has to be one of the most egregious station designs on the entire network in every single way possible. It is just utterly unfit for purpose, both for trains and passengers.
 

td97

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I assume you meant this to refer to the relatively new proposal to remodel Oxford Road within the existing viaduct, creating a turnback platform in the middle. However you placed the statement in such a way that it appeared to be a reply to Watershed and rapmastaj, who were talking about the stalled proposal for two extra through platforms at Piccadilly.
Referring to P15/16
 

Bletchleyite

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The Cumbria services are a political necessity - cutting off a world heritage site from it's nearest airport would not be good. It's also important to remember that they form part of 4tph to Preston from the Airport - which is a perfectly reasonable proposition.

I think 2tph to the Airport is quite adequate for Preston, to be honest.

I reckon the Scottish service would be better routed to Vic than the Barrow - Glasgow and Edinburgh have their own airports, so relatively few will take the train to Manchester airport to fly.
 

Sonik

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I understood there were plans for 3 through platforms with the bay relocated to the island between current P2 & P3. Having more than 2 through platforms is invaluable operationally for late-running crew changes, terminating short of destination, and allowing regulation of late running services.
Do you mean an actual bay in the middle, or a through bi-di platform?

A bi-di would be usable as both a parallel through platform, and as a turnback without crossing moves, in either direction.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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The concourse and gateline area is also woefully inadequate. It is a horrid station overall in my view. Only the tram bit is decent.
Do we know why the hoardings are still up (since pre-covid) adjacent to P2?
That area is light and quiet, even a bit scenic, unlike the rest of the station.
 

Bletchleyite

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The "cheap option" is just to change the existing P3 to a turnback bay by sticking buffer stops at one end and changing the pointwork/signalling at the other. I think that'll be the one.

If they do that I hope they stop doing crew changes there, as a late crew would disrupt the whole North West. At present, if a unit is stuck in 4 you can use 3 towards Picc.
 

507020

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I think 2tph to the Airport is quite adequate for Preston, to be honest.

I reckon the Scottish service would be better routed to Vic than the Barrow - Glasgow and Edinburgh have their own airports, so relatively few will take the train to Manchester airport to fly.
There isn’t even 4tph to Preston. There is only 1x Blackpool North, the Barrow/Windermere and the TPE.
 

Xavi

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I understood there were plans for 3 through platforms with the bay relocated to the island between current P2 & P3. Having more than 2 through platforms is invaluable operationally for late-running crew changes, terminating short of destination, and allowing regulation of late running services.

Do you mean an actual bay in the middle, or a through bi-di platform?

A bi-di would be usable as both a parallel through platform, and as a turnback without crossing moves, in either direction.

The "cheap option" is just to change the existing P3 to a turnback bay by sticking buffer stops at one end and changing the pointwork/signalling at the other. I think that'll be the one.

If they do that I hope they stop doing crew changes there, as a late crew would disrupt the whole North West. At present, if a unit is stuck in 4 you can use 3 towards Picc.
SPEED option taken - P3 will be the turn back with 2 through platforms. A typo in my earlier post - P2 will be extended through the closure of P1.
 

507020

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No, two Blackpools. Keep it simple, keep it consistent.

I don't support sending the Cumbrias to Vic. However I don't think frequency at Preston is the reason this should not happen.
Why not clockface 2tph Airport - Bolton with one to Blackpool and one to Southport and the Barrow/Windermere as the 2nd Preston? The TPE serves a different market.
 

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