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Sheffield train electrification cancellation hidden by tories.

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Of all the core cities, Sheffield still has the lowest GVA per head of population, and South Yorkshire one of the lowest in the country. Leeds has one of the highest GVA figures per head of the core cities with only Bristol higher, and has had electric services to London since 1989.

 

The question is, should rail subsidy be used to support growth or to stimulate it?

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Of all the core cities, Sheffield still has the lowest GVA per head of population, and South Yorkshire one of the lowest in the country. Leeds has one of the highest GVA figures per head of the core cities with only Bristol higher, and has had electric services to London since 1989.

 

The question is, should rail subsidy be used to support growth or to stimulate it?

 

GVA = Gross Value Added. Basically we aren't doing very well compared with almost every other city or region, see; https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossvalueaddedgva/datasets/regionalgvaibylocalauthorityintheuk

 

Walking through Sheffield city centre yesterday morning showed construction taking place, but many empty shops and graffiti everywhere. Slowly grinding my way up Ecclesall Road to Ringinglow and back illustrated very clearly that many roads resurfaced by the Streets Ahead scheme are crumbling within their first 5 years. This through the most prosperous part of our city.

 

Statistics can be used to prove many things, but it's clear other areas are growing better than we are by just looking around. Try a few trips on the Nottingham NET trams, the Manchester Metrolink or the Tyne & Wear Metro. How more specific rail investment will stimulate growth is hard to quantify, but we certainly need more to relieve congestion, leaving aside full electrification of the MML.

 

One of the lesser acknowedged effects of the Beeching era was the lifting of many tracks and demolition of station buildings on lines that remained open - stations at Brightside, Attercliffe, Millhouses, Heeley, Beauchief and Heeley closed, 3 platforms demolished at Dore & Totley and the line singled through the one that remained.

 

Linking the old Woodhead line up the Don Valley to Midland isn't practical, but even increasing line capacity to the north will require some very expensive engineering work. Remodelling of Midland station to take HS2 looks to be a financial barrier we'll need to concentrate on, including that relief on routes to the north. Probably too simplistic to imagine a couple of tracks below Park Hill to by pass the current station.

 

To the south we need more of the Sheaf valley restored to at least 3 tracks, if not the full four that existed from 1904 until about 1970. Increased frequency of trains on all routes is already bringing congestion and that is to increase with more services demanded on them all. We can't blame Beeching for releasing parts of the track bed to construct the Tesco's store at Millhouses.

 

The sad reality is that any ideas for improving railways, be it track, structures or rolling stock take a long time to become reality. Compare how quickly new buses appear and are replaced, usually twice as frequently as railway carriages. HGVs are also replaced much more fequently than freight locomotives. Any commercial road operation is capable of changing routes and frequencies of service very quickly. Having to plan ahead for decades with our currently fragmented rail industry structures is a nightmare that will confound easy resolution of anything, by anyone! Present government is hogtied by it's predecessors actions down the decades.

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Remodelling of Midland station to take HS2 looks to be a financial barrier we'll need to concentrate on,

 

 

have to? if we want to ... if we want even more disruption in that area and its approaches..

 

The sad reality is that any ideas for improving railways, be it track, structures or rolling stock take a long time to become reality.

 

too long and probably pointless ... look at how rotherham is becoming just somewhere for people to sleep at night its center died years ago ..sheffields probably wont last that much longer. in reality it runs from moor foot to high street, remove all but one of each of the repetition (phone shops and greggs) and whats left?

 

Compare how quickly new buses appear and are replaced, usually twice as frequently as railway carriages. HGVs are also replaced much more fequently than freight locomotives.

 

im all for reducing traffic but you are forgetting the expense of replacing a hgv and its trailer or a bus is many times less than its rail equivalent

 

Any commercial road operation is capable of changing routes and frequencies of service very quickly. Having to plan ahead for decades with our currently fragmented rail industry structures is a nightmare that will confound easy resolution of anything, by anyone! Present government is hogtied by it's predecessors actions down the decades.

 

it would far more sensible for hgvs to travel at night and park up during the day outside the city on dedicated secure free parking with decent facilities then come in at night when the traffic is near non-existent to offload and pick up. maybe they could even off load into smaller vehicles to make their final deliveries where appropriate.

 

bus lanes could and should be in operation from at least 6:00 to 22:00 and any vehicles parked in them including taxis removed with much heavier fines and or confiscation for repeat offenders, say twice in any 5 year, period

 

there is empty accommodation near the city center near enough for people to walk to work .... less commuting by road.. just get those empty homes freed up and bringing in rents and council tax

 

we need complete inner and outer ring roads, compulsory purchase and bulldoze if necessary ...im not saying i or anyone else would like it but the long term benefits .... well

 

clear the roads of these so called traffic calming measures largely they are pointlessly slow everyone down and catch the bus fine but it hasn't worked

 

ask people whay they dont use buses ..fix that and then encourage their use. duh!

 

if you want to make a difference you cant molly coddle you have to stop all faffing about, pontificating, time wasting and get on with it.

 

Or do nothing more than tweak this and that like we've been doing until it all collapses

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GVA = Gross Value Added. Basically we aren't doing very well compared with almost every other city or region, see; https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossvalueaddedgva/datasets/regionalgvaibylocalauthorityintheuk

 

Walking through Sheffield city centre yesterday morning showed construction taking place, but many empty shops and graffiti everywhere. Slowly grinding my way up Ecclesall Road to Ringinglow and back illustrated very clearly that many roads resurfaced by the Streets Ahead scheme are crumbling within their first 5 years. This through the most prosperous part of our city.

 

Statistics can be used to prove many things, but it's clear other areas are growing better than we are by just looking around. Try a few trips on the Nottingham NET trams, the Manchester Metrolink or the Tyne & Wear Metro. How more specific rail investment will stimulate growth is hard to quantify, but we certainly need more to relieve congestion, leaving aside full electrification of the MML.

 

One of the lesser acknowedged effects of the Beeching era was the lifting of many tracks and demolition of station buildings on lines that remained open - stations at Brightside, Attercliffe, Millhouses, Heeley, Beauchief and Heeley closed, 3 platforms demolished at Dore & Totley and the line singled through the one that remained.

 

Linking the old Woodhead line up the Don Valley to Midland isn't practical, but even increasing line capacity to the north will require some very expensive engineering work. Remodelling of Midland station to take HS2 looks to be a financial barrier we'll need to concentrate on, including that relief on routes to the north. Probably too simplistic to imagine a couple of tracks below Park Hill to by pass the current station.

 

To the south we need more of the Sheaf valley restored to at least 3 tracks, if not the full four that existed from 1904 until about 1970. Increased frequency of trains on all routes is already bringing congestion and that is to increase with more services demanded on them all. We can't blame Beeching for releasing parts of the track bed to construct the Tesco's store at Millhouses.

 

The sad reality is that any ideas for improving railways, be it track, structures or rolling stock take a long time to become reality. Compare how quickly new buses appear and are replaced, usually twice as frequently as railway carriages. HGVs are also replaced much more fequently than freight locomotives. Any commercial road operation is capable of changing routes and frequencies of service very quickly. Having to plan ahead for decades with our currently fragmented rail industry structures is a nightmare that will confound easy resolution of anything, by anyone! Present government is hogtied by it's predecessors actions down the decades.

 

Before any sensible discussion of railway use around Sheffield some very basic facts need to be corrected/addressed.

Attercliffe or a completely different station called Attercliffe Road, Beauchief or Brightside stations were not closed by the Beeching process.

Heeley and Millhouses stations never had anything more than a very sparse service.

Midland station was and still is connected to Don Valley line and saw a regular train service after Victoria closed and before the Huddersfield trains were diverted via Barnsley.

 

The Railways companies around Sheffield opened about twenty stations around Sheffield. Most were closed years before Beeching because they were not sited where people lived or provided a reliable and regular service.

 

The train routes out of Sheffield do not pass close enough to densely populated areas to attract passengers from other modes of transport. Waverley is perhaps the only development where trains have advantage over buses and where new infrastructure could be justified.

 

Suburban railways are not the answer in Sheffield.

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Before any sensible discussion of railway use around Sheffield some very basic facts need to be corrected/addressed.

Attercliffe or a completely different station called Attercliffe Road, Beauchief or Brightside stations were not closed by the Beeching process.

Heeley and Millhouses stations never had anything more than a very sparse service.

Midland station was and still is connected to Don Valley line and saw a regular train service after Victoria closed and before the Huddersfield trains were diverted via Barnsley.

 

The Railways companies around Sheffield opened about twenty stations around Sheffield. Most were closed years before Beeching because they were not sited where people lived or provided a reliable and regular service.

 

The train routes out of Sheffield do not pass close enough to densely populated areas to attract passengers from other modes of transport. Waverley is perhaps the only development where trains have advantage over buses and where new infrastructure could be justified.

 

Suburban railways are not the answer in Sheffield.

 

I carefully said "the Beeching era" for it was a process that had been gathering pace since the time of nationalisation, if not before, and for the reasons Annie states. My point wasn't to reopen suburban stations, more to relieve congestion due to the increasing number of services to existing stations.

 

A big drawback for suburban services in Sheffield has always been that neither Midland nor Victoria are in the centre of the commercial area, both requiring a bus, tram or hike up the hill. That's not the case in some other cities where suburban railways did much better, feeding into busier long distance routes, the one helping the other at a station nearer the commercial heart and more on the level.

 

Midland is connected to the Don Valley line going downstream and east, but it has never been connected going northwest; it would be too acute an angle to do so. It was as recently as 1984 that the link between Sheffield and Huddersfield via Barnsley and Penistone was being established from Midland.

 

I agree Waverley is probably the only likely viable position for a new heavy rail station on existing track. A park and ride station on reinstated slow tracks at Millhouses might work if there were a terminal location in the Dore & Totley area to maybe run through some existing stopping services from the north and east - but see previous post regarding the Tesco superstore currently blocking off that option!

Edited by 1978

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A bit more:

There are versions of the 800s

2 pure electrics of different lengths

2 pure electrics of different lengths with slow speed "get me out of trouble" engines.

2 bi-modes of different lengths and diesel engine power.

 

The best performing short bi-modes are comparable to the much longer HSTs and both inferior to the Meridians and all inferior to pure electrics.

Most of non wired VTEC and GWR sections have significantly lower line speeds, fewer stops and traffic than the MML.

Peak power developed by the diesel on the 800s is insufficient on the MML.

 

Thanks for the detail Annie!

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Genuine question. That you seem to think that the current bi mode trains are not suitable in your opinion is quite clear. Is there any suggestion that the current types would be used on MML or is it just speculation?

My thoughts are that quite possible the powers that be may be aware of this and are considering ordering more suitable stock.

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Genuine question. That you seem to think that the current bi mode trains are not suitable in your opinion is quite clear. Is there any suggestion that the current types would be used on MML or is it just speculation?

My thoughts are that quite possible the powers that be may be aware of this and are considering ordering more suitable stock.

Its those same powers that be who scrapped Midland Mainline electrification to Sheffield, which would have been the basis of a much larger electrified network for electrics to run from Sheffield to London, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle and many more other places. As Sheffielders seem to be averse to wanting to see electric trains, how about granting them their wish. Lets not bother with a spur from HS2 to the Midland Mainline south of Chesterfield, and have that spur in the Long Eaton area, providing classic compatibles to Nottingham and Derby instead, and leave the main running captive line to Leeds with no South Yorkshire stop. I'm sure that'll please you all, knowing you can keep your diesels, which is no more than what those who enjoy being tugged by their forelocks deserve.

Edited by pss60

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As I said:

"Bi-modes are not the solution as the current design suggests that they will have maximum speeds of about 110 with very poor acceleration and so much heavy wear and tear on track that there will be many speed restrictions introduced."

There is no design for a bi-mode that could cope with the much bigger demands of the MML between Kettering and Sheffield.

Ironically the Bi-modes could run faster at 125 in diesel mode under the wires between Bedford and London.

 

There we have it I'm afraid. Current design bi-modes aren't the answer and any design, current modified or brand new, can't be designed, produced, tested and introduced within at least 3 years.

 

Fully electric trains with the best will in the world couldn't be introduced within 10 years even if the go-ahead were given today so they aren't a realistic answer to our immediate problem either.

 

That problem is that East Midlands Trains are stuck with a fleet of 40 year old HSTs that will be non-compliant for several reasons by the end of 2019. Their franchise has been extended until August 2019. The units could be made compliant but once that work started it would require new doors, toilets and internal fittings. Most of the units have considerable corrosion that should be tackled to make them last another 10 years. It's a costly work programme. There may be other options by using released newer carriages from the ECML, but that has other issues that would need to be addressed to pair them to HST power cars. Both these courses would require time in rail workshops and they're all currently working flat out already on other rail work.

 

It's going to be embarrassing for both the rail industry and government but an increasingly likely solution may have to be trying to get a dispensation to continue to operate non-compliant HSTs for another 2 or 3 years. However European Law forbids that option and Brexit may not rescue that situation! They're not bad trains to travel in and their performance is better than currently available bi-modes but what other rolling stock is available? There must be something near panic in the corridors that have to resolve this.

 

Of course the DfT has another problem, deciding who should be the next franchisee. As if the MML wasn't a problem for bidders the Liverpool - Norwich service hasn't been carved up yet, and may be split partially to TransPennine Express at Sheffield or Nottingham, or both! Will they have to give EMT another extention into 2020?

 

Tendering for this one must be a nightmare for both potential TOCs and the railway experts landed with the issue at the DfT. With our leaders at Westminster preoccupied with other issues it doesn't auger well.

 

Unfortunately the MML isn't seen as the top priority. I've previously noted the history of the fastest services to London since 1947. 3 London terminii, 2 Sheffield stations and various combinations of routes between. It's been suggested the politicians in the East Midlands should kick up a fuss, but the two mentioned who have are both currently out of favour with their leadership!

 

London commuters get the most attention. They bring in the numbers to pay for a bigger share of investment on lines nearer the centre. Just to get a little perspective I list below the official passenger numbers estimated for some major stations in 2016/17. There are all sorts of local factors at work for all of them and most include multiple routes. Figures in millions.

 

Sheffield 9.2

Leeds 29.7

Leicester 5.2

Derby 3.8

Chesterfield 1.7

Nottingham 7.2

M/C Piccadilly 25.7

New Street 39.0

Edinburgh 21.7

Bristol 10.1

York 8.8

Newcastle 8.1

 

Euston 41.6

Kings Cross 33.3

Paddington 36.5

St Pancras 31.7

 

In closing I might mention that Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle all have significant and long standing regular competing air services to spur on rail competition.

 

Incidentally, the latest edition 850 of RAIL magazine has several articles about all these MML issues. EMT have a breakfast meeting in Derby next month for stakeholders. It will be interesting to hear what is said there.

Edited by 1978
Added reference to Rail magazine, just received.

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Genuine question. That you seem to think that the current bi mode trains are not suitable in your opinion is quite clear. Is there any suggestion that the current types would be used on MML or is it just speculation?

My thoughts are that quite possible the powers that be may be aware of this and are considering ordering more suitable stock.

 

They are certainly aware of it as the current situation is that the Government have kicked everything into touch by:

Bi-modes are not expected in service until Dec 2022.

Are seeking advice on specification and not using current designs.

Asking EMT to find something to replace the HSTs- EMT may not have the franchise.

 

Having committed themselves not to build any more main line diesel sets, the Government have decided that bi-modes do not break this rule.

The maximum speed of a bi-mode on the MML would have to be 125mph to maintain current timetable and capacity.

They may have power ratings that promise these speeds but:

Bi-modes can only run between Bedford and London at a maximum of 100 mph when electrically propelled.

Bi-modes are not suited to the Sheffield to Market Harborough section and will have to operate at lower speeds than the present stock.

All trains on the route between Kettering and London will be slowed to 100mph by the Corby electrics which will also be stopping. Current diesel speeds are up to 125mph

 

The increase in operating costs and extra charges made by Network Rail will also increase fares.

 

Perhaps a Sheffield - Retford - London KX service or a Sheffield - Rotherham Mas.- London KX service could come to the

rescue.

Edited by Annie Bynnol

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There we have it I'm afraid. Current design bi-modes aren't the answer and any design, current modified or brand new, can't be designed, produced, tested and introduced within at least 3 years.

 

Fully electric trains with the best will in the world couldn't be introduced within 10 years even if the go-ahead were given today so they aren't a realistic answer to our immediate problem either.

 

That problem is that East Midlands Trains are stuck with a fleet of 40 year old HSTs that will be non-compliant for several reasons by the end of 2019. Their franchise has been extended until August 2019. The units could be made compliant but once that work started it would require new doors, toilets and internal fittings. Most of the units have considerable corrosion that should be tackled to make them last another 10 years. It's a costly work programme. There may be other options by using released newer carriages from the ECML, but that has other issues that would need to be addressed to pair them to HST power cars. Both these courses would require time in rail workshops and they're all currently working flat out already on other rail work.

 

It's going to be embarrassing for both the rail industry and government but an increasingly likely solution may have to be trying to get a dispensation to continue to operate non-compliant HSTs for another 2 or 3 years. However European Law forbids that option and Brexit may not rescue that situation! They're not bad trains to travel in and their performance is better than currently available bi-modes but what other rolling stock is available? There must be something near panic in the corridors that have to resolve this.

 

Of course the DfT has another problem, deciding who should be the next franchisee. As if the MML wasn't a problem for bidders the Liverpool - Norwich service hasn't been carved up yet, and may be split partially to TransPennine Express at Sheffield or Nottingham, or both! Will they have to give EMT another extention into 2020?

 

Tendering for this one must be a nightmare for both potential TOCs and the railway experts landed with the issue at the DfT. With our leaders at Westminster preoccupied with other issues it doesn't auger well.

 

Unfortunately the MML isn't seen as the top priority. I've previously noted the history of the fastest services to London since 1947. 3 London terminii, 2 Sheffield stations and various combinations of routes between. It's been suggested the politicians in the East Midlands should kick up a fuss, but the two mentioned who have are both currently out of favour with their leadership!

 

London commuters get the most attention. They bring in the numbers to pay for a bigger share of investment on lines nearer the centre. Just to get a little perspective I list below the official passenger numbers estimated for some major stations in 2016/17. There are all sorts of local factors at work for all of them and most include multiple routes. Figures in millions.

 

Sheffield 9.2

Leeds 29.7

Leicester 5.2

Derby 3.8

Chesterfield 1.7

Nottingham 7.2

M/C Piccadilly 25.7

New Street 39.0

Edinburgh 21.7

Bristol 10.1

York 8.8

Newcastle 8.1

 

Euston 41.6

Kings Cross 33.3

Paddington 36.5

St Pancras 31.7

 

In closing I might mention that Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle all have significant and long standing regular competing air services to spur on rail competition.

 

Incidentally, the latest edition 850 of RAIL magazine has several articles about all these MML issues. EMT have a breakfast meeting in Derby next month for stakeholders. It will be interesting to hear what is said there.

Errm, the line from Kings Lynn to London is electrified, as is Norwich to London. You're just a cap doffer who is going out of his way to justify non-electrification of the Midland Mainline to Sheffield while Corby gets its electrics.

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the rolling stock needs updating to many carriages are actually bus carriages.

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