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Thread: Borderlands rail electrification

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    Senior Member robt's Avatar
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    Default Borderlands rail electrification

    Studies take forward £60m Borderlands rail electrification
    Filed 11/04/08

    Passenger transport executive Merseytravel and the Welsh Assembly Government have commissioned a GRIP 3 study examining the next steps required to implement the £60m Borderlands project.

    The Borderlands scheme would involve major investment including the electrification of some or all of the rail route between Wrexham to Bidston. The line between Wales and England currently suffers from a number of problems, including sub-standard infrastructure, track speed restrictions, tight turnaround times and a need to change at Bidston for cross border journeys.

    GRIP 3 (Guide to Rail Investment Projects) work will examine all aspects of the project, including costs, benefits and funding, and is expected to be completed within weeks. A further study looking into the design of the scheme will follow later this year.


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    The initiative, a key part of Merseytravel’s rail improvement programme, could mean hundreds of thousands more passenger journeys on the cross-border rail line every year, improved connections between Wrexham and Liverpool city centre and access to the 8,000 plus at Deeside Industrial Park. It would also serve areas of high unemployment, including Beechwood, Woodchurch and inner Birkenhead.

    Plans for the Borderlands project are currently being scrutinised in conjunction with the TAITH consortium (a joint board of the six local authorities in north Wales), The Welsh Assembly and the Mersey Dee Alliance.

    Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, said: “This is a key route, which has fantastic potential. Our plans mean we could see new stations at Deeside and Woodchurch. The Borderlands scheme would open up direct commuter links between Liverpool and areas of north Wales including Wrexham, Deeside and Flintshire, providing a huge boost to the regional economy.”

    Members of Merseyside's passenger transport authority and executive recently met Welsh Assembly Transport and environment ministers to discuss the plans and lobby for support for the scheme.
    There must be a VAST warehouse where all these studies are stored

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    Member Lukeo25's Avatar
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    This would be very good idea for employment & tourism in north wales and to save getting 2 trains to the north wales coast if you live in west kirby or new brighton so just say you want to go to llandodno (sorry about the spelling) from west kirby you can just change at bidston (or if they decide to close bidston for purposes unknown) or birkenhead north from the empty platform you can just get the train to shotton then go down to the low level to get the train to the beech luke out

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    Senior Member robt's Avatar
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    Luckily for us, if it does go ahead, Wales will be taking most of the cost

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    Member Lukeo25's Avatar
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    this might seem a far off proposal but they should reopen platform 1&2 at rock ferry and do the wrexham service via the birkenhead dock line or do the service still from rock ferry via the liverpool loop and to wrexham

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    Senior Member robt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeo25 View Post
    this might seem a far off proposal but they should reopen platform 1&2 at rock ferry and do the wrexham service via the birkenhead dock line or do the service still from rock ferry via the liverpool loop and to wrexham
    Why?

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    Senior Member goldenface's Avatar
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    Default Great idea!

    Quicker access to North Wales for us Mountain Bikers. This has been long overdue really.

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    Member Lukeo25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt View Post
    Why?
    to save going via the borrowing junction at hamilton sq and this is another theory they could reopen the empty platform at b'head north and do an interchange for trains to liverpool luke out

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    Senior Member robt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeo25 View Post
    to save going via the borrowing junction at hamilton sq and this is another theory they could reopen the empty platform at b'head north and do an interchange for trains to liverpool luke out
    But the whole point is to have a direct service to Liverpool, not just have a different station to change trains at

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    Member Lukeo25's Avatar
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    they will have to improve the loop tunnel and update the track and if they do direct service they could use the stock interchange line for services from cental low level or from lsp

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeo25 View Post
    they will have to improve the loop tunnel and update the track and if they do direct service they could use the stock interchange line for services from cental low level or from lsp
    Why improve the Loop? It works OK right now. A train from Wrexham can use the loop and run right back out again back to Wrexham. If and when the Northern line at Central is branched into the Wapping Tunnel this Wrexham train can run to John Lennon when a link is put into the airport. So a direct run from Wrexham and Chester into the airport and right into the city's shopping, tourist and business districts.

    Best Have the Circle line using Waterloo and Dingle Tunnels via Edge Hill and all Merseyside is easily connected from anywhere to anywhere and even the John Lennon station when built.

    Circle Line - click here

    Then maybe the Wapping Tunnel can be used a Maglev tunnel with the Maglev terminal at Kings/Queens Docks.
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    Senior Member robt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeo25 View Post
    they will have to improve the loop tunnel and update the track and if they do direct service they could use the stock interchange line for services from cental low level or from lsp
    The loop is fine, it is capable of many more trains per hour than currently use it

    The Welsh Assembly want the trains to run from Wrexham to the loop, through the stock interchange tunnel and onto he airport. They haven't realised that currently the airport has neither a railway line or station though

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt View Post
    The loop is fine, it is capable of many more trains per hour than currently use it

    The Welsh Assembly want the trains to run from Wrexham to the loop, through the stock interchange tunnel and onto he airport. They haven't realised that currently the airport has neither a railway line or station though
    Maybe they know something we don't Eventually the airport link will be there - is is just when. It is an important link as well and much more of a priority than expensive trams.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member robt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    Maybe they know something we don't Eventually the airport link will be there - is is just when. It is an important link as well and much more of a priority than expensive trams.
    I did hear a rumour that Merseytravel were to seriously look into it very soon (so five years of studies then...), maybe it will be brought forward a few notches if the Welsh Assembley will help with the funding.

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    Senior Member HollyBlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt View Post
    I did hear a rumour that Merseytravel were to seriously look into it very soon (so five years of studies then...), maybe it will be brought forward a few notches if the Welsh Assembly will help with the funding.
    The Welsh Assembly is not likely to fund anything that is not in Wales, I mean let's be real. Their comment, as I recall it, was that the Wrexham-Bidston electrification will provide improved services from North Wales to Liverpool Airport. That has to mean trains to LSP. Of course it would make better financial sense to reopen and electrify Halton Curve, but that's in England, so Wales has little political will to push very hard on that.

    On the other hand there is likely room for a quid pro quo there. That is to say a future rail link to JLA could be conditional on further electrification entirely within Wales and vice versa. Say from Wrexham to Chirk or Shotton to Llandudno with a reinstated chord connecting Connahs Quay to Merseyrail . That way each (Wales and Merseytravel) stands to benefit from the investment of the other.

    It may be more likely Wales would pay for electrification from Wrexham to Chirk if someone else would pay for the Welsh Border between Chirk and Gobowen on to Shrewsbury.
    Last edited by HollyBlack; 04-14-2008 at 08:59 PM.

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    Senior Member robt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBlack View Post
    The Welsh Assembly is not likely to fund anything that is not in Wales, I mean let's be real. Their comment, as I recall it, was that the Wrexham-Bidston electrification will provide improved services from North Wales to Liverpool Airport. That has to mean trains to LSP. Of course it would make better financial sense to reopen and electrify Halton Curve, but that's in England, so Wales has little political will to push very hard on that.
    That is a strange thing for you to say, as elsewhere you have said:

    This scheme likely will go ahead because it is a politic status thing
    for Wales. This is apparently the cheapest way they can get an
    electrified railway in Wales that isn't disconnected from all other
    electrified railways. And Wales is paying the lion's share of the cost,
    not Merseytravel.
    All I am saying is that with the Welsh Assembley funding electrification, Merseytravel will potentially have money that would of been spent on electrification for elsewhere, an airport link for example
    Last edited by robt; 04-14-2008 at 11:21 PM.

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    Senior Member HollyBlack's Avatar
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    Wales is paying for most of the Borderlands line electrification simply because most of the Borderlands Line lies within Wales. However, there are economies of scale involved and so the cocktail of England-based funding benefits from that economy of scale.

    Once one starts rolling with electrification, it pays to keep going. That's how the bureaucracy is such a huge overhead in that the delays not only add time and cost but waste momentum. That's one reason why Bidston-Wrexham is more financially/politically realistic than Bidston-Shotton.

    I see crude oil hit a new record price this morning, it only goes up up and away over the next 50 years. Britain may not be able to afford to electrify, but it certainly can't afford not to.

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    Newbie EJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt View Post
    Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, said: This is a key route, which has fantastic potential. Our plans mean we could see new stations at Deeside and Woodchurch. The Borderlands scheme would open up direct commuter links between Liverpool and areas of north Wales including Wrexham, Deeside and Flintshire, providing a huge boost to the regional economy.
    Though outside of Merseyside, there could also potential for unstaffed stations at Gayton & Little Neston. If it has to be done in stages, then the line should be electrified at least as far as Heswall & kept out of needing any agreement with the Welsh Assembly, or Cheshire CC etc., for the time being. It's the only bit of non-electrified passenger track remaining in the Merseyside bit of Wirral. Then electrify as far as Deeside Business Park or Hawarden Bridge. If the WA wants to take it any further, then it's their decision alone. The numbers on the balance sheet won't feel so bad, if it's done in stages.

    Potential location for Gayton station - Google Maps
    Potential location for Little Neston station - Google Maps

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJP View Post
    Though outside of Merseyside, there could also potential for unstaffed stations at Gayton & Little Neston. If it has to be done in stages, then the line should be electrified at least as far as Heswall & kept out of needing any agreement with the Welsh Assembly, or Cheshire CC etc., for the time being. It's the only bit of non-electrified passenger track remaining in the Merseyside bit of Wirral. Then electrify as far as Deeside Business Park or Hawarden Bridge. If the WA wants to take it any further, then it's their decision alone. The numbers on the balance sheet won't feel so bad, if it's done in stages.

    Potential location for Gayton station - Google Maps
    Potential location for Little Neston station - Google Maps
    As I see it, The Welsh only pay for the electrification from Wrexham to the border. Is that so? The Welsh are only interested in two thing out of this line.
    1. Swift direct access to Liverpool city centre
    2. Swift direct access to John Lennon airport when a station and line is run in.


    Liverpool need to make Mesreyrail more of metro in the centre and inner-city areas. That mean from Wrexham to the airport the train stops at many stations on the Northern line, unless a direct Wrexham-airport express is run, only stopping at Birkenhead and Liverpool centre.

    Wrexham and Chester could run the shorter route to the airport via Runcorn using the Halton Curve if fully re-instated. This would not be on Merseyrail. See this. A branch from the WCML can be run into the airport:

    A branch from near the Finch Farm EFC training ground and them run into the airport over mainly fields. Merseyrail can get in that way as well - running around the back of the Jag factory and EFC. That means the airport station is a branch line.

    Below:
    Merseyrail in red, it can use the London line behind the Jag factor or the Manchester line - the top line.
    The WCML line in blue. The London, Chester & Wrexham trains.
    The Manchester line in green.

    A new Merseyrail station can be built at Hale and Halewood station brought onto Merseyrail. Merseyrail using the London line would mean duel voltage trains using the overhead wires. Using the more preferable Manchester line would mean electrification for the short section from Hunts Cross to the branch and into the airport.

    If the Outer Loop is recommissioned, in light blue, it could have a direct line into the airport. This gives huge parts of north, east and south Liverpool direct access to the airport.



    Merseyrail only electrifying the Borderlands track within its own boundaries is inappropriate use of money. The line from Wrexham to Bidston does actually work, although slowish using diesel trains. The priority for money should be:
    1. Extending Merseyrail to districts that do not have Merseyrail stations, by using the tunnels in Liverpool's centre.
    2. Opening the Outer Loop Line.
    3. A line run into the airport - this benefits all of Merseyside.


    The above three points mean all in Merseyside benefit as these districts are easily accessible from anywhere on the network.

    Of course replacing the existing heavy-rail rolling stock with light-rail goes without saying.
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