Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby amtrakowitz » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:08 pm

SlowFreight wrote:I don't understand the desire to electrify. Increasing loading gauge and axle loading provides a positive ROI, but electrification doesn't. Especially for freight, it just doesn't pay off. For passenger, it only seems to help if you want high-speed lines.

Eh? All-electric traction means higher tonnage per unit of energy expended, faster climbs up grades, faster acceleration out of depots, you name it. Thermodynamics. If you have high traffic, you will get a return on that infrastructure investment.
SlowFreight wrote:US railroads don't phase out one technology for another if they have to lose money to do it

Yes they have. De-electrification in favor of dieselization never allowed a single railroad to survive, whether Penn Central, Milwaukee Road, Great Northern or any of them (not even Conrail).
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby Komachi » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:01 pm

** The tension in the forum is broken by a sound... not unlike keys being dragged across taught piano wires, faint at first, then growing louder. A "mystrious, blue box appears in the center of the room... a rather odd looking... telephone booth. One of the two forward doors flies open and your friendly, although slightly-agitated, neighborhood moderator leaps out, hands in the air and screams... **

Gentlemen, GENTLEMEN! YOU CAN'T FIGHT IN HERE... THIS IS THE WAR ROOM!!!

Oh, wait a minute...


Anyway, Mr. SlowFright... Mr. Matthews, if you'd be so kind as to keep things civilized, it would be greatly appreciated. Mind you, you two are being fairly respectful of each other in your arguments opposing each others' arguments. However, I'd rather it didn't excalate into a flame war. I greatly dislike flame wars. ** Tugs nervously at bow tie and straightens lapels on tweed sport coat **

** Claps hands together ** Now then, ** juts a thumb at the blue object ** I have some Earl Grey and Jammie Dodgers in there if you'd like to discuss things over tea and biscuits (cookies), however, I think I can trust you two, and everyone else, to conduct themselves with the proper decorum that I (and I can assume Mr. Benton) expect of the participants.

Otherwise, I'll have to unleash the tin men with blow-driers on their heads and the upturned rubbish bins armed with toilet plungers to quiet things down.

** Dons a Fez ** Now, if you Gentlemen would excuse me, I have other forums I need to check.

** Dashes back inside his box and the strange noice begins again, as the blue box fades away **
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby lpetrich » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:06 pm

Electrification - Network Rail
We are working closely with the Department for Transport, train operating companies and other key stakeholders to deliver electrification in the North West and on the Great Western Main Line.

No mention of the Midland Main Line.

That page links to two pages on electrification projects in the works -- no Midland one.

Electrification in the North - Network Rail
Manchester to Newton-le-Willows (on WCML): Dec 2013
Newton-le-Willows to Liverpool : Dec 2014
Huyton (near Liverpool) to Wigan (on WCML): Dec 2014
Preston (on WCML) to Blackpool: May 2016
Manchester to Preston: Dec 2016
Manchester to Leeds, York: in planning

WCML = West Coast Main Line

Delivering the plans - Great Western electrification - Improvements -Network Rail
Work will go from east to west.
London - Bristol, Newbury, Oxford: 2016
Bristol - Cardiff: 2017

I've found 21st-century modernisation of the Great Western Main Line - Wikipedia
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby george matthews » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:24 pm

lpetrich wrote:Electrification - Network Rail
We are working closely with the Department for Transport, train operating companies and other key stakeholders to deliver electrification in the North West and on the Great Western Main Line.

Delivering the plans - Great Western electrification - Improvements -Network Rail
Work will go from east to west.
London - Bristol, Newbury, Oxford: 2016
Bristol - Cardiff: 2017

I've found 21st-century modernisation of the Great Western Main Line - Wikipedia

It's now been agreed that the wires will end at Swansea - where the High Speed Diesels from London now finish. The Severn Tunnel is still a rather dubious route. It is very wet with water leakage through the roof. The best engineering solution would be to admit that it was built at a time when less was known and build a completely modern tunnel alongside. Not very likely. Another solution might be to build a barrage from further west (Taunton to Swansea, perhaps). This would also generate seriously large amounts of electricity from tidal movement.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby David Benton » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:59 am

I would have thought with todays expoxys and sealants , there would be a way of sealing the tunnel . i thought there was was already a tidal power station on the severn ???
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby george matthews » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:29 pm

David Benton wrote:I would have thought with todays expoxys and sealants , there would be a way of sealing the tunnel . i thought there was was already a tidal power station on the severn ???

The Severn Tunnel is old. I suspect sealing it would be rather expensive. I don't think there is generating in the Severn, despite there being considerable potential.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby lpetrich » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:24 am

New boost for railway electrification schemes | Railnews | Today's news for Tomorrow's railway
THE railway linking Bolton and Wigan is to be electrified by 2017 at a cost of £37 million, the Department for Transport said today.

In addition, a task force is to be set up to explore the next steps for railway electrification in the north of England.

What they will be looking at:

Leeds – Harrogate – York
Selby – Hull
Sheffield – Leeds
Sheffield – Doncaster
East Coast Main Line – Middlesbrough
Sheffield – Manchester
Warrington – Chester
Crewe – Chester

Train line upgrade on track - Blackpool Gazette
Electric trains have started to operate over the railway between Newton Le Willows and Castlefield junction, outside Manchester Piccadilly, marking the commissioning of the first phase of the £400m North West electrification project.

The project will see more than 350km of track upgraded across the north of England delivered by December 2018. The track between Preston and Blackpool is set to be completed by May 2016.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby talltim » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:30 am

One of the issues in the UK is that much freight is moved by diesel under the wires, because of the electrification has mainly been planned for passenger services and so there are gaps in the routes freight moves. However some of the routes are at maximum capacity and slow freights use up lots of paths. Electrification fill-in allows the use of electric traction for these freights and so helps rid the network of these slow freights and so increases capacity.
A classic example is on the West Coast mainline where some freights over the northern gradients can slow to the teens of mph. I don't know, but I assume that freight operators are charged more for these slower trains as they use more capacity, however, with the current gaps in the overhead, it is still cheaper to use diesel thoughout rather than change locos. (or double-head)
From a passenger viewpoint there is the 'sparks effect', that better services increase ridership (and electrification normally does create better services, although it doesn't have to follow)
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby lpetrich » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:43 am

Electrification in the North - Network Rail does not show Newton-le-Willows in its map, but it's on the West Coast Main Line and very close to Earlestown.

NetworkRail_New - News Releases - Trains resume at Manchester Victoria after successful Christmas rail upgrade
The station was closed for the holidays, and construction crews then lowered tracks and built foundations and frames for the overhead cables. The cables themselves and other electrical infrastructure will get installed in coming months. So the recent electrification is only from Newton-le-Willows to Manchester Piccadilly.

Work has started on electrifying the Manchester-Leeds-York lines. It should be done from Manchester (both stations) to Stalybridge in 2016, and onward to Leeds and York in 2018. It's at the stage of modifying bridges, including rebuilding some of them (NetworkRail_New - News Releases - Rebuilt bridge reopens as electrification of the railway in the north west progresses).

They are planning some additional electrifications:

Wigan (on WCML) - Lostock, near Bolton. It connects to the Manchester - Bolton - Preston line, which should be electrified by 2016

Oxenholme (on WCML) - Windemere. It's well to the north of Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, and Blackpool.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby george matthews » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:28 pm

Oxenholme (on WCML) - Windermere. It's well to the north of Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, and Blackpool.


This is a branchline. Electrifying it would eliminate an isolated diesel service. It would make possible through electric services from elsewhere (such as Manchester), eliminating the need to change trains at Oxenholme. I doubt whether there is freight traffic to Windermere but if there is it would eliminate an engine change at Oxenholme (or running diesel under the wires), and possibly encourage a revival in freight traffic.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby lpetrich » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:41 pm

The town of Windermere, Cumbria is on Lake Windermere. The town is not very populous, about 8245 people (2001), but the lake gets a lot of visitors.

I checked some trip-planner sites, and I found several trains a day between Oxenholme and Windermere. I planned some trips from London, Manchester, and Glasgow to there, and the trips all featured transfers at Oxenholme. Electrifying Oxenholme - Windermere would permit one-seat rides by electric train.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby george matthews » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:15 pm

lpetrich wrote:The town of Windermere, Cumbria is on Lake Windermere. The town is not very populous, about 8245 people (2001), but the lake gets a lot of visitors.

I checked some trip-planner sites, and I found several trains a day between Oxenholme and Windermere. I planned some trips from London, Manchester, and Glasgow to there, and the trips all featured transfers at Oxenholme. Electrifying Oxenholme - Windermere would permit one-seat rides by electric train.

Yes, it's a branchline to a popular tourist area. I haven't seen the station at ?Bowness for some 40 years but I think the platform is long enough to take full length trains.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby David Benton » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:18 pm

This is in the lake district. I took a train there in the early 90's. I think it was a pacer railbus. I don't think I had to change at Oxenholme then , possibly we went as far as Carlisle. I remember doing 75 mph on the main line , which was smooth, but still felt like you were in a bus doing 75 mph.
But I could be mixing it up with another trip in the region.
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby george matthews » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:03 pm

David Benton wrote:This is in the lake district. I took a train there in the early 90's. I think it was a pacer railbus. I don't think I had to change at Oxenholme then , possibly we went as far as Carlisle. I remember doing 75 mph on the main line , which was smooth, but still felt like you were in a bus doing 75 mph.
But I could be mixing it up with another trip in the region.

There is still too much diesel under the wires. Electrifying that branch will eliminate some of that.

I remember a trip to Germany in the late 1950s and seeing some quite rural train routes which were electric. I think they may have been electrified in the 1930s. That was a time when in Britain the only electric routes were the Southern third rail system. In the 1950s British Rail installed an experimental network in East Anglia powered at two non-standard voltages. I think it was an experiment to test the decision to electrify most of the long distance routes. The Essex routes have since then been converted to standard. Doing so required the scrapping of some of the non-standard trains. The 1500v DC locos used for a cross country coal route in the north were sold to the Netherlands (I came across one of the locomotives in the Netherlands, but I believe they have all been scrapped now).
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Re: Electrifying the Midland Mainline

Postby george matthews » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:38 pm

To add to the information about wires.

The serious storms we experienced at the end of last week have a connection with global warming theory. I think the whole community of climate scientists are convinced that the storms were an effect of high rates of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The policy implications of that are that we have to stop putting carbon into the atmosphere and convert to non-carbon-emitting sources of energy. One consequence of that must be more electrification of rail routes and phasing out of diesel (and even more change in road transport). I wouldn't be surprised if the long term effects of the storms will be a change of policy on transport here. I hope it leads to a change elsewhere, such as in the United States and China.
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