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  1. Much as I'd love HS2 to come to Sheffield, the logic of taking it to Manchester, then through Bradford and Leeds for York and the North East makes a lot of sense, not least because they already want a fast line across/through the Pennines on that route anyway. Sheffield lost out in the first wave of railway building and ended with a spur from Rotherham to the Wicker in 1840, having to wait until 1870 for the current tracks from Chesterfield to Midland. We're in dangerof losing out again. However, we may be better off pushing a lot harder for MML electrification as it should be possible to get that completed a lot more quickly. Done in conjuction with electification for Cross-Country routes from York through Sheffield and Derby to Birmingham gives other options, possibly electrified to Bristol. Unfortunately getting out of Sheffield to the north and east is a major challenge due to already congested tracks. Given the position of roads, rivers, the canal, buildings, viaducts and cuttings it won't be easy or cheap to resolve that. Only someone from the North West would suggest the best way from Sheffield to York is via both Doncaster and Leeds, rather than developing the middle and quicker way that exists via Moorthorpe, avoiding them both and still used as a diversion. However we still need good electrified connections to both Doncaster and Leeds.
  2. Sadly, even fewer will understand what this is all about than did about Brexit. Voting against a "strong leader" is rather simplistic. Equally a "more democratic model" is vague. This referendum seems to be more a vote of confidence in Julie Dore (who's taken it that way) and her crew as a city wide clamour to change a system few understand.
  3. See article in Yorkshire Post; https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/politics/sheffield-city-council-leader-julie-dore-to-step-down-after-nine-years-1-10196610
  4. CMS are also leaving the Victoria Quays area, CMS has over 70 offices located across over 40 countries. The company is set to reaffirm its future in Sheffield, relocating from its current base at Victoria Quays and preserving the firm’s presence as a major employer in the city. CMS is to take 47,500 sq ft of premium Grade A office space within the same landmark building that is also the new home to HSBC. The move further strengthens the emergence of Heart of the City II as a new financial and professional services district for the Sheffield City Region. CMS will occupy the 26,000 sq ft that makes up 1 Charter Square, plus an additional 21,500 sq ft of adjoining space. The new office will be entirely self-contained and separate to HSBC, with a bespoke entrance, reception and signage facing onto Wellington Street and connecting to the impressive public realm of Charter Square.
  5. In partial defence of the Fox House, it's not easy getting staff to cover awkward hours as transport is difficult unless they have access to a car. Many are students without relyingb on infrequent buses and lifts. Demand is hard to predict. Saturday was shrouded in freezing fog and quiet, but Sunday was glorious sunshine and very busy around there .
  6. I know this corner well and have quite a few pictures of damage to that wall. 4 recent incidents. I was first to reach one of the accidents, a dark December night when I'd heard a double crash. 3 year old BMW had gone through the wall and then hit a tree. No injury to the driver, other than his pride and pocket. He wasn't going too fast. Really? It wasn't icy that night. Inattention. Rushing to get home somewhere across the Pennines after a business meeting in Sheffield. He was in shock and most concerned that he had to be at an important meeting in London the following day. Examined the following day it was clear that a contributory factor was very worn front tyres. A Ford Ka went straight through but jumped the kerb and landed on top of the wall before continuing 25 yards down the hill scattering stones beneath it as it went, headlights left intact. A young student took the corner and almost got round, but not quite, hitting the kerb hard, spinning back into the middle of the road with suspension shattered and one wheel collapsed rendering it immobile. He'd only just got his first car and recently arrived at the university. About 2 years ago a truck hit and demolished the highest part of the wall in the early hours and was heard by guests in the Fox House. Their cctv didn't get the details. Bits of debris were left behind but the vehicle must have been drivable as it didn't stay around! Usually the driver's insurance should cover rebuilding the wall, but only if the driver is identified. A curiosity. The drivers make their mistake in Sheffield. The wall belongs to the National Trust's Longshaw Estate so they crash into Derbyshire.
  7. Not sure we can be certain about specific trains on Liverpool - Norwich from December 2020 based on the limited info. on page 27 and the Q&As. There are very few who board at Dore towards Chesterfield and beyond, currently only timed at 8.28, 17.31, 19.33 and 23.28. In the reverse direction only trains arriving at Dore at 6.28 and 7.29 have come from Nottingham via Chesterfield. The East Midlands December 2019 timetable doesn't list their Hope Valley stops (and nor did previous issues, lack of space, apparently) but the TPE and Northern ones do and they're virtually unchanged. My understanding is that things will remain virtually the same on that route until it's finally split at Nottingham - it could yet happen in 2020, but more likely to be 2021, 2022, 2023.....sometime, never!?
  8. How bad does it have to get for a red warning? Yesterday surely called fora higher level of caution than amber implies.
  9. The cafe by the canal basin serves good all day breakfasts but otherwise it was all but deserted when we walked through yesterday. Since I last walked from there to Meadowhall a lot of the path has been greatly improved, and work is in progress. Still too much litter and graffiti though.
  10. That's incorrect. The Hope Valley line currently has a weekdays stopping service every hour between Manchester and Sheffield from Northern in both directions BUT several don't stop at all stations. (There's a 2 hour 33 minute gap to Dore & Totley in the evening!) That remains almost the same from December with quite a few stops still skipped to catch the unwary. There is not a 15.21 departure from Sheffield. That's delayed until 15.45 and only stops at Hope, not stopping at Dore, Grindleford, Hathersage, Bamford or Edale, see; https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y63056/2019-11-04/detailed From 16th December that will stop at Dore and Hathersage, but still leaving a gap of 90 minutes, see; https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y59174/2019-12-16/detailed As far as I can see everything else is identical other than an odd minute here and there on timings. The TransPennine Express service currently starting at Sheffield at 5.11 will start 2 minutes earlier at 5.09 from December 16th and additionally call at Dore at 5.15. After careful examination I see no other changes of note, although I observe that times on the Hope valley are targets that are rarely achieved, all the Hope Valley stations being in the worst 50 in the country for punctuality - Dore scrapes into the worst 100!
  11. Issues that are being taken up with Network Rail, DfT, TfN and TPE, but it's correct that 185s are not helpful to provide the refreshment service supposed to be part of the franchise agreement. Originally there was supposed to be an option to add a 4th carriage, but 6 would work better for effective capacity with 3 x 158s. The walk through 158's performance isn't as good as 185s fixed units. Note the TPE services are quicker than EMR's. If, and that's been said for too many years, TPE get what's left of the Liverpool - Nottingham route with 6 carriage 185s those journey times should be quicker. Only the 8.04 TPE service picks up significant passengers at Dore for Sheffield and is preceded by Northern's 7.57 which picks up a lot more and is far more reliable for timekeeping - that train leaves on time from Dore almost every day (it should, it is allowed an extra 7 minutes from Grindleford than most others). It's rare for anyone to leave the westbound early morning TPE trains at Dore. However, before timetable times are reduced most users would prefer the current services to run on time. They mostly aren't. All the stations on the Hope Valley line are in the worst 100 out of over 2500 in the country for punctuality of their services. See how Sheffield - Manchester services perform; https://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk/Home/Search?Op=Srch&Fr=Sheffield+(SHF)&To=Manchester+Piccadilly+(MAN)&TimTyp=A&TimDay=A&Days=Wk&TimPer=4w&dtFr=05%2F09%2F2019&dtTo=03%2F10%2F2019&ShwTim=AvAr&MxArCl=5&TOC=All&ArrSta=5&MetAvg=Mea&MetSpr=RT&MxScDu=&MxSvAg=10&MnScCt=2 And it's worse coming back; https://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk/Home/Search?Op=Srch&Fr=Manchester+Piccadilly+(MAN)&To=Sheffield+(SHF)&TimTyp=A&TimDay=A&Days=Wk&TimPer=4w&dtFr=05%2F09%2F2019&dtTo=03%2F10%2F2019&ShwTim=AvAr&MxArCl=5&TOC=All&ArrSta=5&MetAvg=Mea&MetSpr=RT&MxScDu=&MxSvAg=10&MnScCt=2 Incidentally, work on projects isn't just the earth moving and track laying. There's an awful lot of planning work that has been, and is being, done on this scheme. It isn't visible but it is happening.
  12. That is not correct. It's true that it has been delayed and until work starts it may be delayed again and again until it's complete. That's the way railway projects proceed whether we like it (I don't) or not. With our present political situation anything can happen so that has to be taken into account. The latest is that the project was updated and re-costed at about £145million. It includes redoubling at Dore & Totley with a new 6 carriage platform, the existing platform restored to that length (as it was until 1985), and a footbridge with two lifts. There is to be a loop between Dore West and Dore South junctions to allow a freight train to wait there between the main and Hope Valley lines. There is to be another loop just east of Bamford to allow eastbound freight services to pull in and let passenger services pass (it could also allow a slow service to be passed by a fast). The exiting Heeley loop south of Sheffield station is to be lengthened to allow more options. Signalling work for the new tracks will be improved and control from Earles Sidings moves from Manchester to York to improve co-ordination with services north and south of Dore. (Resignalling of the route is not part of the scheme - it's in the list of things needing to be done.) A pedestrian footbridge at Hathersage West is needed to replace a pedestrian level crossing in order to comply with current operating regulations (it will also have to be electrification ready standard to be compliant). At this moment invitations to tender for the work are being prepared and should be issued in the next few weeks. Contractors are allowed a period to prepare their plans and quotations which then have to be considered and the whole project re-costed to ensure it will still be within budget. It then has to be confirmed by the DfT as the commissioning agents. (That's standard for all rail projects.) The detailed phasing of the work will then be planned so necessary line blockades cause the minimum inconvenience. That means they'll almost certainly include an Easter and Christmas period, weekends and nights. Major earthworks are not advisable in winter. By the time all this planning is complete work will probably not start until spring 2022 and be complete by autumn 2023. Some feel it could be brought forward up to a year. Others fear it will slip so it's not available for any new and revised services to run before the May 2024 timetable review. I'd put money on the latter, but still hope, but don't believe, 2022 could be achieved. As far as the short platform at Dore is concerned it is an irritating issue, especially when the pre-1985 platform was fine, but it currently takes 4 carriages easily . Other Hope Valley line stations at Grindleford, Hathersage and Hope are being lengthened by the end of December (it will probably slip to January!) so all can take 4 carriage Northern trains. Only this lunchtime I saw a 150 and 142 working together westbound in full passenger service, so capacity can already be provided. (There's a story to that one but I'll not digress) The Dore platform needs extending now to the old signal to allow fully functioning capacity for 6 coaches. TransPennine Express are soon to run most of their Manchester Airport - Cleethorpes trains as 6 carriages. A few are already - including the 7.14 outbound and a return service arriving at 18.04 from Manchester. Currently passengers booking seats from Dore will find they're in the first 3 coaches, not a problem. Those without booking,s including a large number with season tickets, will see there's space in the rear 3 which can only be entered from the two doors of coach 4, one of which may be first class. This causes a scrum on the platform going, or in the train coming back. Those two trains will dwell at Dore for at least two 2 minutes instead of the timetabled one minute. All delays are unwelcome but predictable ones should be examined and solutions found. It could be pointed out that back in 2009 Network Rail planned, constructed and opened a two platform station at Workington after the floods. The Dore answer so far has been that the Capacity Scheme will resolve this very soon and in the meantime Selective Door Opening allows trains to stop as described above. Unfortunately SDO doesn't always work and on at least a couple of occasions recently the two 6 coach trains that should have stopped weren't allowed to and sailed straight through! Nothing is simple. The Workington track layout was much easier to work with to build temporary platforms than it would be at Dore - but it may yet happen. Politically it may be better not to go for that temporary idea, using the present position to push for completion of the whole scheme. The third fast service should still happen once the work is complete but new operating companies may be involved by then! Network Rail are just tasked to provide the capacity. The freight companies don't use a lot of the paths they have allocated so in the meantime they'll be looking very carefully to maximise them. Sadly the BBC film last night wasn't able to go into all the details, but Dan Jarvis is very well aware of them. He knows the situation having visited the site and seen for himself. To sum up, not stopped, unreasonably delayed, but it will all happen, politics permitting. Keep agitating!!
  13. 6 cars are indeed too long for 4* carriage length Dore but with selective door opening, SDO, they manage to do it, and will be doing it more now that 6 car trains are imminent on peak hour services. There are several difficulties with 6 car trains of 2 x 185 units. 2 guards is one, but another is the need for two refreshment trolleys if that service is to be offered. At present of the 3 operators across the South Pennine route (Hope Valley) only TPE provides first class. First class ticket holders may be in the first or last coach, or on a 6 coach train possibly in the middle. Without a reserved seat one section may be full and the other empty (usually all reserved seats are in the first 3 car unit - season ticket holders don't normally get reserved seats). Standard or first there's no way to walk from one unit to the other to equalise the load once aboard the train. There are also platform availability issues at Manchester Airport, and sometimes at Piccadilly with 6 car trains. One answer to be used is for the first 3 carriages to be left at Piccadilly while the rear three only go on to the Airport. It will be interesting to see how that works in regular practice. * Lengthening to 6 and second platform due by 2023.
  14. There is a very serious desire to avoid importing delays from Manchester across the country. Peterborough isn't as serious, but is still an issue. About 18 months ago this hourly service was being held responsible for 25% of all East Midlands delays. That was quite a staggering statistic when you consider all the trains between St Pancras and Sheffield and Nottingham and the other regional services. Cutting those delays might be a priority if I were trying to run the railway, so cutting off the worst bit wouldn't dismay me too much. Without resolving congestion between Warrington and Stockport there's very little that can be done to improve things. In another 3 or 4 years the redoubling at Dore may make a little difference but it's in the west that the biggest gains can made and they'll cost billions and probably take decades!.
  15. In his early days much work was done by his assistant, a very capable lady who used to fulfil the same role effectively and well for the last Labour MP in NE Derbyshire. After she left things went from bad to worse. I know written questions were submitted in his name by his clerical staff. He may not have known much about them. Most were probably submitted almost as requested by an individual or pressure group.
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