Improved Evening Service For The Hope Valley Line
We are working with Northern to introduce an additional evening stopping train each way between Manchester and Sheffield, which will provide an 1814 departure from Sheffield. We are working to resolve some problems, and the details have not yet been confirmed. The following paragraphs explain the details.
Northern Rail are planning to introduce an additional service through the Hope Valley in each direction in the evening peak from December 2011. This will reduce two gaps from Manchester of 90 minutes to 60, and fill a two hour gap out of Sheffield with an 1814 departure. Northern have worked hard to achieve this. One of the consequences of this is that there will no longer be 1718 from Manchester through the Hope Valley, this will be replaced by 1645 and 1748 departures, both existing trains which will be extended to Sheffield. An unintended consequence is that the 1720 fast from Manchester may no longer call at Chinley – this is to accommodate a freight, 6E04/6E66. The freight operator has historic rights to operate this freight service through the Hope Valley in the evening peak, and to retime it is not a simple process. 6E04/6E66 is already being slightly retimed to make the 1814 departure possible. There is a risk that the loss of these trains will lead to serious overcrowding on the 1743 departure from Manchester.
Considerable effort has been made by the Partnership, the Hope Valley Rail User Group, Network Rail, the quarry operator, freight operators, Northern and other passenger operators to get to the situation where the additional services can run, albeit with some impact on stopping patterns of other services. We are working hard to solve the outstanding problems at Chinley, but this will not be easy.
Another possible consequence which we are working on is that the 1714 from Sheffield may no longer call at Dore. This is to accommodate the freight 6E04/6E66 through the single track at Dore station.
We have looked at other options such as extending the 1718, which will now terminate at New Mills, as far as Chinley, but we are advised that it cannot be done. Northern are working hard to provide a service from Manchester to Chinley around 1720.
These changes have not yet been confirmed by Network Rail, so some changes may be made to the details.
The underlying problem is that the line through Dore station is single track and cannot cope with the traffic. It was singled some years ago when traffic levels were lower. The land is there to install a second track and this is recommended in the Network Rail Northern Hub report. To provide a second platform and footbridge for Dore station would be a major project.
The Partnership is keen to improve the evening service on the Hope Valley line, but is most concerned at the potential consequences for Chinley and Dore. We hope that these can be resolved in time for the December timetable. We would like to see Dore station redoubled at the earliest opportunity.
Friends of Glossop Station
Congratulations to the Friends of Glossop Station who won First Place in the 2009 ACoRP Community Rail Awards for the Best Station Adoption Group. See ACoRP's website for more information . http://www.acorp.uk.com/.
The fanlight at Buxton station has recently been restored by DB Schenker, and now presents a most attractive approach to the station from the west. However Buxton station building is in poor condition and the front is boarded up. The land at the rear of the station is most unattractive at present and the old diesel depot is derelict. Network Rail is planning to refurbish the station building during 2010. The Partnership is working with other partners to improve the site as a whole and provide a better experience for rail travellers.
Whaley Bridge Station
Network Rail have recently announced plans to refurbish Whaley Bridge Station. The Partnership is working with other partners to provide a raised platform and to improve the car parking facilities.
Improved Evening Service For The Hope Valley Line
Following pressure from the partnership, Northern are planning improvements to the evening peak service from Sheffield. The plan is to provide an 18 14 stopping service from Sheffield to Manchester. This will fill a 2 hour gap which currently exists between the 17 14 and 19 14 departures, and make commuting into Sheffield by rail much more attractive. There are still obstacles to be overcome, but the improvement is expected to come into effect in December 2010.
Northern Hub Study Report.
The Northern Hub Study was published by Network Rail in February 2010. It relates primarily to Manchester and the lines leading into it. The study highlights the capacity problems particularly at Piccadilly station, on the route from Piccadilly through Oxford Road, and on the Trans-Pennine routes. The problems, although centred on Manchester, affect travel throughout the north of England.
Northern Route Utilisation Study
Network Rail has issued a scoping report for the forth-coming Northern Route Utilisation Study (Northern RUS). The timescale mentioned in the report has already slipped as it was hoped to have draft conclusions in September 2010, with the final conclusions being presented for ORR review in Spring 2011. A draft report is expected in the spring of 2010 and this would be followed by a consultation period. This RUS will be of considerable importance to the Partnership as it covers all the routes in our area. Partners noted that most of the main issues seem to have been addressed already in the Northern Hub Study (see minute 06/10). However, there are potentially still capacity issues on the Hope Valley line, e.g. upgrading the signalling and the possibility of a loop at Hope, line speed/signalling and electrification issues on the Buxton line and infrastructure issues on the Glossop line that need to be considered as part of the wider remit of the Northern RUS
Plaque unveiled at New Mills Central following makeover for New Mills Central train station
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