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Local Community => Local Issues => Topic started by: rsh on February 02, 2012, 08:10:39 PM

Title: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on February 02, 2012, 08:10:39 PM
An interesting report here (PDF) (http://www.transportforgreatermanchestercommittee.gov.uk/download/4279/item_11_tram_train-tfgm_input_in_to_forthcoming_route_utilisation_strategy) from the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee about the aspiration to convert our rail services to "tram-train" operation, which I thought deserved its own topic.

To summarise briefly: TfGM are providing detailed appraisals for tram-train operation on the Marple to Manchester via Bredbury route to Network Rail for their upcoming "Alternative Solutions" Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) report. It notes that the route is the most advanced in pre-planning and would be the least difficult (cheapest) to implement. Even if this doesn't put it any closer to reality, we should at least get to see a genuine case study for the potential future of our line, making it seem a little less pie in the sky.

TfGM’s input to the RUS

Network Rail proposes to include a brief case-study of tram-train on the Manchester  – Marple  via  Bredbury  rail  line in  the  report  of  the  RUS, based  on  TfGM’s  analysis.    The  case-study  will  include  a  general description  of  the  proposed  service  change;  a  map  of  the  existing  and programmed  Metrolink  network  and  GM  rail  network;  a  very  general description of the basic infrastructure required; and a high-level table of the  results  from  the  modelling  and  appraisal.     The report  is  due  to  be published for consultation at the end of February 2012.

It is important that the report of the RUS is clear that the Manchester – Marple  line  is  only  one  of  a  number  of  potential  tram-train  schemes  in Greater  Manchester. Officers  will  ensure  all  potential  schemes  are  fully appraised as part of a future analysis.

Any future decisions on the relative priorities of potential tram-train routes should  be based  upon the  development  of  a  tram-train  strategy  for Greater Manchester, which it is proposed is developed over the next 12 months.

...

The Manchester  - Marple  route  is  likely  to  be  among  the  less  difficult tram-train routes  to implement, and has been the  subject  of more initial appraisal  work  than  other  potential  tram-train  lines in  Greater Manchester.

The  policy  climate  within  DfT  and  Network  Rail  is  increasingly  positive towards  tram-train  in  general,  especially  in  view  of  the  need  to  explore options to reduce rail subsidy.


A trial tram-train service linking Rotherham railway station to Sheffield's Supertram is to be decided upon within the next month. TfGM originally submitted Marple - Manchester for this trial, but the Department for Transport chose the Rotherham option, probably because it wouldn't require disrupting any existing services. Frustratingly, it seems the Marple-Manchester plans now rest on the outcome of this trial, despite Metrolink and Supertram being rather different systems.

"Tram-train", by the way, is exactly what it sounds: a rail vehicle/service that can run onto the city streets, like Metrolink, but can also run on the same lines as heavy rail. This is required for the Marple line due to the Sheffield stopping services and freight. It might be electric all the way (would hope so), or it might switch to diesel when it hits the heavy rail lines. It would certainly be a far more frequent, better service into Manchester, comparable to Metrolink and probably in fact branded as such — included in the maps and using the same ticketing. There would also be scope for a future extension into Stockport town centre. It's worth noting that while the privatised rail routes around Greater Manchester run with a subsidy, Metrolink is owned by TfGM with profits going directly back into the network.

The insistence that Marple - Manchester really is "only one of a number" of potential schemes in GM is worrying. This needs to be given full support. We've been waiting over 25 years for this kind of step-change to our rail services, let's not get knocked back down the pile again!

The Network Rail report should be available here (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/4449.aspx) for consultation at the end of the month.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on February 03, 2012, 11:23:00 AM
Thanks for this, rsh - it's extremely interesting, and potentially very good news for us local rail passengers, who have been putting up with a second rate service (and third rate rolling stock) for far too long!

If as a result of this we get increased frequency of service, and new rolling stock, it has the potential to transform the speed and quality of our journeys in to Manchester.  It is also likely to attract a lot more passengers, thus helping to relieve our chronic road congestion.

Rsh, you write: 
There would also be scope for a future extension into Stockport town centre.

Do you mean extension, or would that be a spur off the line at Bredbury?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on February 03, 2012, 02:44:03 PM
Rsh, you write:  
There would also be scope for a future extension into Stockport town centre.

Do you mean extension, or would that be a spur off the line at Bredbury?

According to various speculative proposals it would be a spur off the line somewhere near Bredbury, yes. Although I don't expect it will be included in this particular report.

The original plan for the East Didsbury line now under construction was for it to continue east and terminate at Stockport bus station (there's a map in this old PDF (http://www.tfgm.com/upload/library/metdidsb.pdf)). From there, Stockport Council have been reserving a route towards Portwood with the idea of it joining the line at Bredbury (clearly seen on the plans for the new Sainsbury's (http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/9412/sainsburysstokportsitep.jpg)!).

However, with the East Didsbury - Stockport proposal now apparently dropped (very expensive due to a number of Mersey bridges being required), perhaps it's more likely trams could reach Stockport first from the East instead, if the Bredbury line is converted. It would surely do more to relieve traffic and boost the town centre itself, standing up better in a cost/benefit analysis.

It's also worth nothing that those delightful Pacer trains won't be compliant with new Disability Discrimination Act guidelines from 2019, and would be too expensive/not worth upgrading to meet the requirements. Unless we're just given the next worst rolling stock again, tram-trains would be the ideal replacement.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on February 03, 2012, 02:52:44 PM
It's also worth nothing that those delightful Pacer trains won't be compliant with new Disability Discrimination Act guidelines from 2019, and would be too expensive/not worth upgrading to meet the requirements.

You mean we've got to put up with them for another seven years?    :o
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on February 03, 2012, 07:16:49 PM
Perhaps not quite that long, but there's certainly life left in them yet (or so the DfT seem to think!).

From page 90 of the local transport plan:

Quote
A further issue post-2014 is the need to renew the life-expired Class 14X ‘Pacer’ vehicles. We will work with DfT to secure the next generation of rolling stock.

http://www.tfgm.com/ltp3/documents/Greater_Manchester_Local_Transport_Plan_Core_Strategy.pdf

This case study could begin a push for tram-trains as part of that new rolling stock.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on February 14, 2012, 11:51:27 PM
It's also worth nothing that those delightful Pacer trains won't be compliant with new Disability Discrimination Act guidelines from 2019, and would be too expensive/not worth upgrading to meet the requirements.

You mean we've got to put up with them for another seven years?    :o

What's wrong with them? They don't seem to break down and they get from a
To b in a timely fashion. They are warm in winter and you can open window in summer, no problem.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on February 15, 2012, 11:57:05 AM
Thay are uncomfortable, overcrowded, noisy and polluting.  If we had decent trains with greater frequency and capacity, as many other areas of the country already do, many more people would be inclined to use them, and we may at last see some relief of the chronic traffic congestion which we have to put up with round here  ::)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on February 15, 2012, 08:33:48 PM
Thay are uncomfortable, overcrowded, noisy and polluting.  If we had decent trains with greater frequency and capacity, as many other areas of the country already do, many more people would be inclined to use them, and we may at last see some relief of the chronic traffic congestion which we have to put up with round here  ::)

Eh? Uncomfortable? They are seats with cushioning, what more do to expect? Noisy? I can hold a conversation on the train so what else do you want? Polluting? If they have 30+ passengers they are more efficient than a car. Scrapping and building trains is not without it's cost, most vehicles take 7 yrs of use to create the pollution it took to build it, it must be similar for a train. More would use the train if there were more trains per hour and they ran until late. Capacity at picadilly negates more services, not the age of the trains.

The solution is to use trams but not out here in the sticks. Remove the local trains from the centre and have a train / tram interchange further should have been the solution when daft cocky leese was trying to get his con charge through
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Barbara on February 15, 2012, 09:42:01 PM
Well I only know that we caught a Class 150 (thanks for info husband!) from Piccadilly at 2.45 today, and it was packed to the doors! Really uncomfortable, and lots of people had to stand.  This was the Sheffield train, and a lot of people got off at each station - but there were still quite a few on after Marple.  And the Pacer we caught on the way in was tatty, not to put too fine a point on it. 

I shall be interested to see how the new timings work out when in place - can't see them being all that popular for a lot of us.  However - time will tell!!
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Barbara on February 16, 2012, 08:59:27 AM
ps to my previous post - the Rosehill train which left just before the Marple one had very few people on it!
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Michael Taylor on February 16, 2012, 10:16:54 AM
The Rose Hill rattlers leave Rose Hill with a small number of hardy commuters, but by the time they reach Piccadilly they're pretty much full.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on February 16, 2012, 10:44:50 AM
Duke writes 'Scrapping and building trains is not without it's cost, most vehicles take 7 yrs of use to create the pollution it took to build it, it must be similar for a train', but maybe he's not aware that the class 142s are now nearly 30 years old!
I guess it's all relative: some people may think our local trains are OK, but if you use local services in other parts os Greater Manchester or in other conurbations you quickly realise how much we are the 'poor relations' :-(
Meanwhile, something tells me that maybe Duke doesn't actually use the local trains very much... ;-)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on February 16, 2012, 02:32:34 PM
Duke writes 'Scrapping and building trains is not without it's cost, most vehicles take 7 yrs of use to create the pollution it took to build it, it must be similar for a train', but maybe he's not aware that the class 142s are now nearly 30 years old!
I guess it's all relative: some people may think our local trains are OK, but if you use local services in other parts os Greater Manchester or in other conurbations you quickly realise how much we are the 'poor relations' :-(
Meanwhile, something tells me that maybe Duke doesn't actually use the local trains very much... ;-)

As you well know Dave, I tend to get on my bike but I do take the train into Manky when I have to go. Whilst it is fairly well used I rarely struggle to get a seat and then it's fine. The few times I've got on a tram, I've had to stand pretty much every time so what gives?


If the train is 30 years old, is that so bad? Are the engines significantly mpre polluting?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on February 29, 2012, 07:52:23 PM
Right on cue, the first version of this report is now available. Details of the Marple tram-train proposal start from page 69 (page 72 of the PDF): http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/imagelibrary/downloadMedia.ashx?MediaDetailsID=5468

In summary, Transport for Greater Manchester are suggesting an electrified service from Marple connecting onto the Metrolink network just before Piccadilly and then (I'm surprised at this) running on to Eccles as an extension of that existing line (which goes via Salford Quays). Tram-trains would be brand new rolling stock running every 12 minutes via the Bredbury route, which would be entirely given over to this service. A new bay platform would be built at Marple for terminating services, I presume in the undergrowth behind Platform 1, where one used to exist.

They suggest passenger numbers on the line would rise by as much as 60%, and that the current subsidy on the route would no longer be needed with revenue helping to pay off the cost of the new rolling stock and infrastructure.

Stopping services to Sheffield would still call at Marple and Romiley but would then be diverted via Hyde Central and Guide Bridge. Again surprisingly, this specific example doesn't give any suggestion of converting Rose Hill, which I'd have thought would be the more obvious test bed, stating that its service to Piccadilly would remain, with all trains via Hyde. There's also no mention (unless I missed it) of what happens for New Mills, which currently has two trains per hour.

So although this case study finally gives a good bit of detail to the seemingly eternal proposal of converting the line, it might not ring entirely true to how it'll eventually happen... if it ever does. I don't know if TfGM, Network Rail, the council or our councillors want us to "get behind" a proposal like this, but I'm sure if just the first highlighted sentence below were suggested to any user of the service, it'd be met with an immediate: Yes please!

Quote
Concept

Connection of an existing tram system to the existing heavy rail network, for example the tram train pilot between Rotherham and Sheffield to provide connectivity with city centres and their suburbs to create new journey opportunities, tap new markets, opportunities for new stations. This option is illustrated with reference to modeling conducted by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) of the proposed conversion of the Marple line in Manchester to tram train. The Manchester – Marple route is one of a number of potential tram train schemes in Greater Manchester and the relevant local planning authorities will need to consider the route along with other tram train possibilities in an appropriate strategic context.

The TfGM modelled proposal is a tram train extension of the Metrolink Eccles to Manchester Piccadilly services to run through to Marple, at a 12 minute headway, with:

• all tram train services calling at all stations

• the existing rail services modified as follows:

• all Manchester Piccadilly– Marple / New Mills via Bredbury services are withdrawn
• existing local services from Manchester Piccadilly – Marple Rose Hill via Guide Bridge service are retained
• existing local services from Manchester Piccadilly to Chinley and the Hope Valley (one train per hour) serving Ashburys and Maple are diverted to call at Guide Bridge and Hyde Central, continuing to Romiley, Marple, Strines, New Mills etc.

Infrastructure

Specific Marple line infrastructure and rolling stock includes:

• tram train rolling stock
• connection to the Metrolink line
• electrification of Ashburys to Marple rail line for through running and track sharing by Metrolink services
• new bay platform at Marple for terminating Metrolink services

Impact

The Marple line tram train proposals are expected to deliver the following changes:

• improved journey times and network connectivity, with the creation of direct journey opportunities from stations on the Marple line to the city centre and beyond, linking into the existing Metrolink network
• extension of programmed Metrolink services running through the city centre to Manchester Piccadilly through to Marple, offering services every 12 minutes thereby delivering a net increase in trains on the route, especially at inner suburban stations. Tram train services would replace some existing heavy rail services, whilst other existing services would be modified
• a more balanced pattern of demand by time of day through attracting a less work dominated range of trip purposes, in large part due to providing a much more attractive service from the inner urban area, which has a much higher trip rate to Manchester city centre for non-work purposes than the outer part of the route
• Adoption of Metrolink fares and ticketing on tram train services.

Loads more general details in the PDF at the link above.

Hope this is interesting to someone! ;)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: marplerambler on March 03, 2012, 04:53:09 PM
A little more lateral thinking is required here. Does Marple need a tram service to Manchester via Bredbury or Guide Bridge?  The answer to this is no. The railway infrastructure is already there, electrification may be beneficial in the long term but the only obvious change for the passenger would be a change in rolling stock, yellow trams designed with few seats primarily to carry as many standing passengers as possible are the alternative to existing blue trains with more seats but little leg space and a large number of standing passengers. The peak period service recently has been improved by the addition of extra carriages. Marple’s main transport problem is not Manchester trains, it is the link to Stockport: a rush hour bus (and car) journey from Marple or Rose Hill to Stockport takes longer than the train journey to Manchester and this is the problem which needs to be addressed: this is a problem which could be solved by a tram. If money is going to be spent, invest in a Marple-Stockport tram. Possible options include a tram from Rose Hill/Marple along the existing line to the Reddish Vale viaduct then a tram link onto the old Stalybridge to Stockport railway line. Another option could be tram down the road from Marple centre to Rose Hill with a tram track on the Middlewood Way via High Lane and a loop onto the Buxton – Stockport line at Middlewood. Trams by their very nature can use road and rail. Why not use the railway track as far as the M60 and construct a tram link onto Lingard Lane/Brinnington Rd, use Brinnington Road from the M60 bridge as far as the Jack and Jill and then use the old railway track to the old Stockport Tiviot Dale station? Future extension of the Hazel Grove bypass to Bredbury at a future date will incorporate a junction with the A626 making the road journey to Stockport even worse. A tram scheme to Stockport would be much more valuable to Marple.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on March 03, 2012, 05:20:22 PM
Some very interesting ideas there, re connecting Marple with Stockport by tram, but that doesn't mean the Marple - Manchester proposals set out here aren't good too - they are!  Marplerambler writes: 
the only obvious change for the passenger would be a change in rolling stock, yellow trams designed with few seats primarily to carry as many standing passengers as possible 

......but there are more benefits than that.  The improved frequency is an obvious one, but a major factor will also be the prospect of being able to take a direct tram from, say, Marple and travel straight through to a city centre tram stop - say St Peter's Square, for example.  Also to step off a tram at Piccadilly Gardens and then step on to one to Bury or Altrincham.  And if it really does turn out to be self-financing, with no subsidy required, then it's a no-brainer! 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Belly on March 03, 2012, 05:55:13 PM
Future extension of the Hazel Grove bypass to Bredbury at a future date will incorporate a junction with the A626 making the road journey to Stockport even worse.

Not strictly true I think. My understanding was that the Hazel Grove bypass would go under the A626 - with the two roads joined together by a short link road with 'at-grade' junctions on each route.

What Marple railways really need is the relatively small investment to deliver the 'Brinnington Curve' to link the Bredbury Line to the Stockport - Stalybridge line. Delivery of this link (across unbuilt on fields just to the north of Reddish Vale) would give the town a direct rail link to Stockport - whilst not the most direct route, it would certainly be preferebale to a bus of car journey. 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 03, 2012, 09:40:55 PM


Dave, this is a Mysty eyed world where we can go all the way from Marple to Bury, I mean, that's what dreams are made of.

But can't we do that already? We get a train to manky & then travel to lots of spots, why waste money on something we already have?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Steptoe and Son on March 04, 2012, 09:21:46 AM
We'll all chip in and buy Duke Fame a Penny Farthing, then he can cycle round in his own little Victoriana while the rest of us take advantage of the investment and improvements that are always necessary to any infrastructure. ;D
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 04, 2012, 02:15:18 PM
We'll all chip in and buy Duke Fame a Penny Farthing, then he can cycle round in his own little Victoriana while the rest of us take advantage of the investment and improvements that are always necessary to any infrastructure. ;D

You know, a bit of private investment would be great. There seems to be a fewgood ideas which will pay for themselves. Why not set up a company to take over the franchise and create a private tram way. No need to pander to unions, overblown quangos like GMPTA and we can all be incentivised to make sure it works well.

 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on March 04, 2012, 04:35:07 PM
A little more lateral thinking is required here. Does Marple need a tram service to Manchester via Bredbury or Guide Bridge?  The answer to this is no.

But you need to think about the line as less solely focused on serving Marple. Marple may not be crying out for trams, in your opinion, but stations such as Reddish North, Ryder Brow, Belle Vue, and so on are all massively underused because the service terminating at Piccadilly makes it worthless. Converting it to a tram-style service and running across the city centre, especially to somewhere like Salford Quays, would immediately bring a massive increase in custom from these stations. It's not all about us.

The report suggests that the majority of the 60% boost in passengers would come from these under-served inner city areas, as people are drawn by the frequency of the tram and the fact that it actually goes right through the city. For Marple, this would give the trickle-down effect that increased patronage from the inner-city areas means being able to justify a better, higher frequency service all the way along the line to cope with the new demand. We all benefit.

I agree the Stockport problem would be far better to solve, but perhaps we should see tram-train conversion of the existing line as the precursor to that. Stockport MBC appear to be (very slowly) progressing the case for a line from Stockport Bus Station, through Portwood and across to Bredbury, roughly following the old Tiviot Dale line/current M60. It'd be a rather expensive build, but having this ready-and-waiting converted tram-train line from Bredbury to Marple for it to connect onto could just move things along. I doubt otherwise a tram to Stockport would ever come before a tram-train to Manchester.

As it stands, the line to Manchester has to take priority because it's currently operated by life-expired diesel rolling stock that, as well as being clapped out, is going to be falling foul of new disability regulations come 2019. They could order new diesel units (not going to happen), or wait until better spare units become available from electrification projects elsewhere, or they could just go ahead and finally convert our line to tram operation - increasing income, removing the subsidy and ultimately saving taxpayers' money through a little investment.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 04, 2012, 07:41:44 PM
A little more lateral thinking is required here. Does Marple need a tram service to Manchester via Bredbury or Guide Bridge?  The answer to this is no.

But you need to think about the line as less solely focused on serving Marple. Marple may not be crying out for trams, in your opinion, but stations such as Reddish North, Ryder Brow, Belle Vue, and so on are all massively underused because the service terminating at Piccadilly makes it worthless. Converting it to a tram-style service and running across the city centre, especially to somewhere like Salford Quays, would immediately bring a massive increase in custom from these stations. It's not all about us.

The report suggests that the majority of the 60% boost in passengers would come from these under-served inner city areas, as people are drawn by the frequency of the tram and the fact that it actually goes right through the city. For Marple, this would give the trickle-down effect that increased patronage from the inner-city areas means being able to justify a better, higher frequency service all the way along the line to cope with the new demand. We all benefit.

I agree the Stockport problem would be far better to solve, but perhaps we should see tram-train conversion of the existing line as the precursor to that. Stockport MBC appear to be (very slowly) progressing the case for a line from Stockport Bus Station, through Portwood and across to Bredbury, roughly following the old Tiviot Dale line/current M60. It'd be a rather expensive build, but having this ready-and-waiting converted tram-train line from Bredbury to Marple for it to connect onto could just move things along. I doubt otherwise a tram to Stockport would ever come before a tram-train to Manchester.

As it stands, the line to Manchester has to take priority because it's currently operated by life-expired diesel rolling stock that, as well as being clapped out, is going to be falling foul of new disability regulations come 2019. They could order new diesel units (not going to happen), or wait until better spare units become available from electrification projects elsewhere, or they could just go ahead and finally convert our line to tram operation - increasing income, removing the subsidy and ultimately saving taxpayers' money through a little investment.

I sort of accept the idea that a tram running on the train line is a solution. The cheapest solution surely must be to put a tram link, BR terminus and huge multi storey car park between Ashburys & Ardwick, that takes out all local traffic from Picadily and links the likes of Stockport, to the tram sytem. The only new lines need to be laid parallel to Gt ancoats to link in to the bus & car park at Suedehill. That means we'd have trams running Marple to Ardwick to Victoria and Stockport to Ardiwick to Victoria, similarly from Glossop , Guide bridge and StalyBridge. In fact Our Sheffield line can start at Marple, Main Sheffield line start at Stockport and Leeds line start at Stalybridge. The latter could then up it's frequency to every 15 mins which is very much needed.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on March 04, 2012, 08:04:29 PM
A lot of very good sense there from rsh. But we should be grateful that Duke isn't reponsible for planning public transport - stick to riding the bike, Dukey ;-)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Heritage on March 04, 2012, 08:46:39 PM
"....adoption of Metrolink fares and ticketing..."

That's a significant change for Marple.....the days of the cheapie evening return into town will be gone!!
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 04, 2012, 08:52:35 PM
"....adoption of Metrolink fares and ticketing..."

That's a significant change for Marple.....the days of the cheapie evening return into town will be gone!!

Good point, When I've used the tram, I've been stunned by the price - basically i've jumped the fare every time.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 04, 2012, 08:53:17 PM
A lot of very good sense there from rsh. But we should be grateful that Duke isn't reponsible for planning public transport - stick to riding the bike, Dukey ;-)

Cheeky, so where's the problem with my brilliant plan?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Barbara on March 04, 2012, 09:25:27 PM
'When I've used the tram, I've been stunned by the price - basically i've jumped the fare every time' 

Well done, very public spirited.  Good job we don't all think like that!!  And watch out - the inspectors were on the last two trams I have used.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 04, 2012, 09:35:10 PM
'When I've used the tram, I've been stunned by the price - basically i've jumped the fare every time' 

Well done, very public spirited.  Good job we don't all think like that!!  And watch out - the inspectors were on the last two trams I have used.

I'm not public spirited at all, the public have plenty of my money, I'm not giving away more than I need to.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on March 05, 2012, 10:37:47 AM
where's the problem with my brilliant plan?

Well it's hard to know where to start, Duke.  But let's just say that if the trains from Manchester to Leeds and Sheffield started at Stalybridge and Marple respectively, hardly anyone would use them and the services would soon disappear.  Btw, there is already a 15 minute service between Manchester and Leeds. 

As for this
When I've used the tram, I've been stunned by the price - basically i've jumped the fare every time.

... if it's a joke, ho ho.  If it's a confession, you should be ashamed of yourself.   :-[
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Heritage on March 05, 2012, 04:13:09 PM
Jumping train fares is against the law, simple as that. Same principle applies to supporting local shops I guess? Okay to not pay for the fruit and veg because someone else will pay for theirs? That's how prices go up....and...hey presto! End of local shop. And that's without the criminal record.... ???
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on March 05, 2012, 07:32:31 PM
Good point, When I've used the tram, I've been stunned by the price - basically i've jumped the fare every time.

You know that you're allowed to use the tram free in the centre with a train ticket anyway? ;)

No cheap evening returns or railcard discounts would be a downside, but Metrolink fares aren't that much higher than rail. I presume Marple would be in the same price bracket as Altrincham (the maximum), so at current prices that'd be £6 peak return (currently £5.90 by rail from Marple) and £4.30 off-peak return (£3.60 from Marple). A strange quirk, though, is that this is also the maximum price for a Day Saver ticket, so we'd pay 10p/70p more but get the run of the whole tram network. Currently having to add tram onto train you pay considerably more - £6.90 for an off-peak combined train & tram ticket! As the trams go to more places, it'd be much better for Marple to be part of the same tickets than stuck on the outside.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 05, 2012, 09:17:38 PM
Jumping train fares is against the law, simple as that. Same principle applies to supporting local shops I guess? Okay to not pay for the fruit and veg because someone else will pay for theirs? That's how prices go up....and...hey presto! End of local shop. And that's without the criminal record.... ???

Apparantly I can use my rail ticket so apparently I didn't jump the fare. Also, I've only been on the tram twice to go to Old Toilet,  once was for the football & i really didn't know where to buy a ticket. The 2nd was for a concert and i was in a rush.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on March 06, 2012, 09:30:42 AM
Apparantly I can use my rail ticket so apparently I didn't jump the fare. Also, I've only been on the tram twice to go to Old Toilet

Sorry Duke - the free tram travel only applies to the city centre.  If you go to Old Trafford you have to pay.  But what amazes me is the lack of remorse.  Normally I would expect a fare dodger to keep quiet about it, but you actually bragged about it on this forum!

And in case you ever encounter an inspector, be warned that if you offer an excuse, it will need to be a lot better than these  ::)
i really didn't know where to buy a ticket..... i was in a rush.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on March 06, 2012, 05:19:08 PM
I don’t see the value of a link to Stockport, after all Manchester has better shops and more jobs.


What Marple railways really need is the relatively small investment to deliver the 'Brinnington Curve' to link the Bredbury Line to the Stockport - Stalybridge line. Delivery of this link (across unbuilt on fields just to the north of Reddish Vale) would give the town a direct rail link to Stockport - whilst not the most direct route, it would certainly be preferebale to a bus of car journey. 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Heritage on March 06, 2012, 05:30:45 PM
I'd imagine that a fastish [Marple-Romiley-Bredbury-Stockport] train service would be extremely busy. Need only be a peak-time commuter service. Now what were you saying, Dr Beeching.....?  ;)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Belly on March 06, 2012, 07:54:36 PM
I don’t see the value of a link to Stockport, after all Manchester has better shops and more jobs.


What Marple railways really need is the relatively small investment to deliver the 'Brinnington Curve' to link the Bredbury Line to the Stockport - Stalybridge line. Delivery of this link (across unbuilt on fields just to the north of Reddish Vale) would give the town a direct rail link to Stockport - whilst not the most direct route, it would certainly be preferebale to a bus of car journey. 

But where are all those people queued from nose to tail on Stockport Rd and through offerton going? Stockport also provides great links to other rail services without the need to go to Manchester. And the buses to Stockport are a joke as they are stuck in the same traffic as the cars. Plenty of Marple / Romiley / Bredbury people work 'local' I suspect.

I do take your point though. I live here because I moved here 10 years ago to allow me to commute in on the train to Manchester.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on March 06, 2012, 10:11:03 PM
I think part of this is down to the lack of platforms at Manchester Piccadilly station and the over capacity line/junctions going into Piccadilly station.   There has been talk about building 1 or 2 new platforms for the Marple trains, so as to fee up other platforms.  The benefit from rail/tram may be as match to over rail services then to the Marple service it’s self.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on March 07, 2012, 12:21:17 PM
I think part of this is down to the lack of platforms at Manchester Piccadilly station and the over capacity line/junctions going into Piccadilly station.   There has been talk about building 1 or 2 new platforms for the Marple trains, so as to fee up other platforms.  The benefit from rail/tram may be as match to over rail services then to the Marple service it’s self.

This is exactly why I suggest local trains terminate & meet a tram interchange around the Ardwick area to relieve Picadilly. Alternatively the national trains could terminate at such an interchane with a shuttle to Picadilly, it seems the obvious and cheap solution. 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on March 07, 2012, 12:34:50 PM
the obvious and cheap solution. 

Cheap?  All solutions are cheap if you're a fare dodger!   ::)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on June 19, 2012, 09:36:02 PM
A little nugget in here, within an otherwise rather vague Manchester "masterplan" for the next 15 years... http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1581573_masterplan-to-take-manchester-into-the-future

-----

Transport

An efficient and sustainable public transport system is seen as key to driving the city's economy and connecting people to jobs. Every job would be accessible by public transport, foot or bike, under the blueprint.

It commits to pushing forward with the expansion of the Metrolink to Trafford Park, Stockport and Marple – as well as introducing a cross-city bus package.

-----

Metrolink just opened to Oldham using the old rail line and extensions are currently under construction to Rochdale, Didsbury and the Airport/Wythenshawe. The Trafford Centre line is unfunded but will probably come soon after. It looks like Marple and Stockport will then finally be at the top of the list.

About the tram-train plan in particular (linking Marple into the Metrolink using special trams that are also allowed to run alongside Sheffield trains on our heavy rail lines), I believe Transport for Greater Manchester will be publishing some kind of draft document later this year about their intentions.

For anyone wondering about trams vs trains, this article from Oldham (http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/70620/tram-v-train-facts) is good for some examples. Oldham now has 76 tram services to Victoria on a Sunday (a tram every 15 minutes!), versus just 13 trains when it was a rail line. Also a consistent 15 minute service into each evening and a last tram home at 12.36am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Marple currently has 11 trains to Piccadilly on a Sunday from May to September and just 7 trains for the rest of the year.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Stockport Classic Bus on June 19, 2012, 09:45:13 PM
Worth noting that the demographics for Oldham, and the tram route into Manchester from there, are quite different from the Marple line. It's a densely populated line through Limeside, Hollinwood and Failsworth into Manchester, so it can justify much more frequent trams. The fact they have more trams than they did trains at the start doesn't mean it'll stay that way. The trains were hopeless and pretty empty on the Oldham loop and Oldham is a relatively poor and car-light town compared with Marple. I spent many years living in Oldham as a younger guy before eventually ending up in Marple!
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on June 20, 2012, 10:26:30 AM
Worth noting that the demographics for Oldham, and the tram route into Manchester from there, are quite different from the Marple line. It's a densely populated line through Limeside, Hollinwood and Failsworth into Manchester, so it can justify much more frequent trams.
You mean Bredbury, Brinnington, Reddish, and Ryder Brow aren't densely populated?  I must have been imagining all those houses, obviously!  ;)

rsh  dealt with this issue very well, a few months ago: 
But you need to think about the line as less solely focused on serving Marple. Marple may not be crying out for trams, in your opinion, but stations such as Reddish North, Ryder Brow, Belle Vue, and so on are all massively underused because the service terminating at Piccadilly makes it worthless. Converting it to a tram-style service and running across the city centre, especially to somewhere like Salford Quays, would immediately bring a massive increase in custom from these stations. It's not all about us.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Stockport Classic Bus on June 20, 2012, 12:06:09 PM
Not that they are not densely populated, but the train line doesn't cut through the main centres of that density in the way that the new Oldham tram line does. And there is not a significant demand on Manchester travel for areas such as Brinnington in the same way as there is for Marple. Reddish and Ryder Brow already have a very dense bus network which can get people into Manchester quite quickly and - important point I think! - more cheaply than a tram. Tram fares are steep!! Marple of itself doesn't gain anything from Metrolink-style carriages. It's the route in between which is important as others have said. And the Bredbury or Hyde North lines wouldn't generate much extra footfall simply by running trams on them.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on June 20, 2012, 02:24:48 PM
Marple of itself doesn't gain anything from Metrolink-style carriages.

It's not really about 'carriages'.  Marple stands to gain hugely from the tram-train, in the following ways:

1.  Increased frequency (every 12 minutes), and convenient through services to the city centre.  This will lead to:
2.  A big increase in the number of people using the service, which will lead to:
3.  Less traffic congestion on the roads

And on top of that, it will run without subsidy, unlike the third-world service which we currently put up with!  What's not to like!

For more detail, see rsh's informative posts near the beginning of this thread.

Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: wheels on June 20, 2012, 02:51:43 PM
Whats not to like is that the trams don't take cycles and so would exclude many.

The tram offers nothing whatsoever that could not be provided by heavy rail and the reddish Loop into Stockport which is the real issue the lack of direct contact to Stockport.

The people of Shaw to totally fed up almost before it begins of the poor quality substandard expensive service they are being provided with to replace what was a perfectly acceptable service.

God keeping the trams out of marple is even more important than keeping ASDA out.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Howard on June 20, 2012, 03:31:37 PM
God keeping the trams out of marple is even more important than keeping ASDA out.

I fail to see why you consider divine intervention is required to keep trams out of Marple.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on June 20, 2012, 03:42:09 PM
The fact they have more trams than they did trains at the start doesn't mean it'll stay that way.

No, you're right - once patronage builds and the line extends to Shaw (and East Didsbury in the other direction), there will be a tram every 6 minutes at peak times!

That said, the Oldham line was just an example. Marple's service, especially if sharing the line with heavy rail, obviously wouldn't be so frequent. Probably every 15 minutes. The point is the huge step-change.

The people of Shaw to totally fed up almost before it begins of the poor quality substandard expensive service they are being provided with to replace what was a perfectly acceptable service.

Before the line opened to Oldham there was an incredible backlash against the tram, at least if you believed the comments section of the local online rag (always the best place to find informed opinion). Now it's open and literally from the moment the first tram departed, they can't say enough how much better it is.

http://www.metrolink.co.uk/oldham/
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: wheels on June 20, 2012, 04:04:12 PM
Not my experience I have lots of family in Shaw and the town seems to be up in arms about how poor it is. Not a good word can be found to be said for it as you walk round the town.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Stockport Classic Bus on June 22, 2012, 01:34:12 PM
What's the latest on the Rotherham-Sheffield pilot analysis referred to in that much earlier posting?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on June 22, 2012, 06:31:32 PM
Post removed. Howard
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: marplerambler on June 22, 2012, 07:27:47 PM
Post moderated. Howard

As for the comments about customer statements about improvements in the service on the line to Shaw, well surprise, surprise, they are on www.metrolink.
I know a number of people who live on the Bury tramline and commute and they are pretty unanimous that the tram was the worst thing that ever happened to the Bury line but even worse was to come with the new yellow rolling stock. Cattle trucks with few seats without any kind of suspension and an overhead power system which is so poor it is virtually guaranteed to 'crash' whenever carriages are coupled together. Everybody is whingeing about the old rolling stock on the Marple/Rose Hill line but to be fair you get a seat in Marple or Rose Hill, it does generally run on time and there have been additional carriages during the last few months. It is when you hit the tram platform at Piccadilly that you really feel the commuter rage sparked by an absence of trams and the removal of indicator signs telling you the time to the next tram (or even confirming that there are trams somewhere in Greater Manchester). Leave the trains on the line, Northern Rail found it worthwhile to start running the trains to Glossop and Clitheroe on Sundays: they may be pleasantly surprised if they introduce a more frequent Sunday and evening service. If a tram loop to Stockport can avoid the crawl along the road in the rush hours we just have to take what we can get.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: wheels on June 22, 2012, 08:06:40 PM
I have no truck with Richard Leese but you have just publicly suggested he is corrupt.Hope his lawyers don't see your post.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on June 22, 2012, 11:17:31 PM
I have no truck with Richard Leese but you have just publicly suggested he is corrupt.Hope his lawyers don't see your post.

Did I? I thought I just asked a question.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Water Rat on June 24, 2012, 09:55:40 PM
Going back to the March 6 post about Manchester Piccadilly being overloaded and platforms not being available could Mayfield station be reopened?  The train shed is still there even if the booking halls etc are damaged.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on June 25, 2012, 09:25:06 AM
could Mayfield station be reopened? 

I seem to recall that this possibility was considered quite recently, but then ruled out for cost and other reasons.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Mayfield_railway_station

But the solution now proposed is surely much better anyway - i.e building new lines linking the approach to Piccadilly down to the Metrolink lines. 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Duke Fame on June 25, 2012, 05:22:30 PM
Going back to the March 6 post about Manchester Piccadilly being overloaded and platforms not being available could Mayfield station be reopened?  The train shed is still there even if the booking halls etc are damaged.

I think the problem with Mayfield is there is still a shortage of capacity in the junctions ahead of the station. Rail & trams are not the best use of space as there has to be large gaps between moving trains.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on November 02, 2013, 05:26:47 PM
Finally an update on the prospect of "tram-trains" on the Marple line I thought I'd share, from the TfGM Committee papers.

To summarise: having studied the cost-benefit of six proposals for tram-train services, Marple has come out well in the lead with the only "High" value score and is being progressed as a possible Phase 1 of a wider tram-train strategy across the whole of Greater Manchester.

For us, that could mean 5 or even 10 services to Manchester per hour (tph) - that's a tram-train every 6 or 12 minutes! These would then leave the standard heavy rail line near Ashburys, travelling down onto a new tramway route that would lead into the Metrolink station underneath Piccadilly.

Since one benefit of a Metrolink-like operation is that the vehicles run right through the city, Altrincham is being touted as a possible terminus for trams from Marple (every other tram from Altrincham currently turns back at Piccadilly). If 10 trams per hour were chosen, they could even terminate at Altrincham and Bury alternately. That'd mean you could hop on Marple, having waited only about 6 minutes, and hop off again right at St Peter's Square, Market Street, Old Trafford or even Bury!

Estimated cost with 66% contingency allowance for 5tph to Marple is £170m or £200m for the full 10tph. As well as electrification of the line and the new link to Piccadilly, that includes 24 new electric vehicles, which would be a different design to the existing yellow trams, longer with more seats and built to a standard for heavy rail lines (crashworthiness etc).

It could happen as early as 2020 - just in time for the awful Pacer trains' last gasps!

One thing the report doesn't make clear is the division of services between Marple and Rose Hill, or the effect on Strines and New Mills. Curiously, the Rose Hill stub is marked on the map but everything simply refers to just "Marple". Which could mean they don't know, or it could mean Rose Hill is expected to remain a heavy rail route via Hyde, which I think would be a terrible situation for the station unable to compete. Oh well, six years still leaves plenty of time to work out the details (and enjoy our overcrowded diesels)...

(http://imageshack.com/a/img577/4919/8rg1.png)

Here are some snippets:

Introduction and Background

In the context of Greater Manchester, tram-train means extending  Metrolink onto the local heavy rail network, sharing track with remaining  heavy rail services. Track-sharing between heavy rail trains and LRT  with street-running capability is established in continental Europe, especially in Germany. Recently, a tram-train trial was approved in the UK, with services to run between Sheffield and Parkgate (near  Rotherham) which is planned to open in 2016.

At its meeting of 10 February 2012, TfGMC requested the development of a tram-train strategy for Greater Manchester and at a meeting of the GMCA on 29 June 2012 (report entitled “City Deal: Future Transport Prioritisation”), it was agreed that the following potential tram-train routes would be investigated:

• Manchester – Bredbury – Marple
• Manchester – Glossop
• Manchester – Atherton – Wigan
• Manchester – Sale - Altrincham – Hale/Knutsford
• Manchester – East Didsbury – Hazel Grove
• Stockport – Altrincham.

The work carried out since April 2012 to develop a Greater Manchester tram-train strategy has considered the feasibility, costs, and benefits of these routes [...]

A phased approach to implementation looks appropriate, with potential for the first phase to open around 2020.

Marple

In view of its strong performance, develop further as a potential first full tram-train line in Greater Manchester, subject to:

• confirming that an acceptable route between Piccadilly Station and Ashburys looks to be achievable (several options are currently under consideration); and
• confirming that the longer tram-train vehicles can be introduced into the city centre without creating substantial delays to existing Metrolink users.

It is recommended that Marple be developed as a potential Phase 1 of a Greater Manchester tram-train strategy, comprising the best-performing routes. For a six-minute headway service in which Marple services operated alternately to Altrincham and Bury, it is estimated that approximately 24 new tram-train vehicles would be needed, although many other service patterns would be possible, and so vehicle requirements at this stage are uncertain.

The early implementation of the tram-train route with the strongest business case is expected to improve the case for implementing the other routes in the proposed network, which will benefit from shared infrastructure.

Recommended way forward for the Marple proposal: Develop as a potential first full Tram-train line in Greater Manchester, possibly as part of a Phase 1 network comprising Marple and Altrincham.

Starts at page 41 of this PDF for those who wish to read: http://www.agma.gov.uk/cms_media/files/capital_projects_and_policy_agenda_papers_8_11_13.pdf
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on November 02, 2013, 07:24:14 PM
Thanks rsh - that's interesting and very encouraging.  As you say, if this were implemented it would completely transform our connections with Manchester City Centre and indeed other places too.  Bring it on!

rsh writes:
One thing the report doesn't make clear is the division of services between Marple and Rose Hill, or the effect on Strines and New Mills.

I seem to recall in an earlier paper there was reference to the existing 'heavy rail' stopping service to Sheffield via Marple and New Mills continuing alongside a new tram-train service from Marple.  So presumably that's all that New Mills and Strines can expect. 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on November 02, 2013, 10:05:17 PM
Just thinking out loud…

Could the stopping service from Sheffield terminate at Marple (or Romiley) so connect with the trams?

Would the trams be better going to Rose Hill rather than Marple, so as not too effect the service past Marple?

What would it take to allow a tram to go to Rose Hill on the way to (or form) Marple?

If I ever needed to commute into Manchester again and the trams went to Maple and not Rose Hill, I may get my bike out and cycle to Romiley over the new bridge.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: marplerambler on November 09, 2013, 01:49:54 PM
No reference is being made to Rose Hill in the TfGM study but have a look at the proposed map for the new system. Close to its terminus, the route suddenly changes from a route heading south east and suddenly switches to a south west direction: surely an indication that the tram is headed for Rose Hill after crossing the viaduct! Perhaps not a bad idea - do not forget that part of the width of Middlewood Way could provide a tram link to Middlewood station and then on to Hazel Grove and Stockport: time wise it probably wouldn't be much quicker than the bus at quiet periods and you would also be dumped at Stockport station rather than the centre of Stockport but in the rush hour it would be a godsend.A tram would also bring a proper evening and Sunday service from Rose Hill to and from Manchester. Also if the tram can follow the road to the centre of Marple this would have to be via Rose Hill because the gradient of the hill from Marple station is so steep (though thinking about it a tram could come into Marple using the route of the 383/384).

Heaven forbid that trains from Sheffield terminate at Marple and passengers have to change. Don't forget, prior to the Hazel Grove link for express trains, if you wanted to travel to Sheffield you got off the train at New Mills and the train went into the tunnel. The train from Sheffield went onto a siding and both had to wait for the express trains to pass through. If things went wrong you stood in the cold for ages. There are too many people travelling to New Mills Central on this line for a change at Marple to be viable.

I suspect that a huge obstacle would be Network Rail and the trams sharing track (and particularly responsibility for the viaduct) south of Romiley. Between Navigation Road and Altrincham, Network Rail has one track, the tram has the other. Upgrading of the Network Rail track took place years ago and the tram track was allowed to decay resulting in a terrible tram journey into Altrincham for many years.

 I have said it before and I will say it again. If there is already a train line leave it alone and invest in trams on new routes which currently do not have a rail service. Many on the Altrincham, Bury and Oldham lines have considered incorporation into the tramway system to be a retrograde step. If the rolling stock used by the existing train company is inadequate let the train company electrify and use tram type rolling stock, if appropriate, when the existing trains need to be replaced.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on November 09, 2013, 05:17:38 PM
No reference is being made to Rose Hill in the TfGM study but have a look at the proposed map for the new system. Close to its terminus, the route suddenly changes from a route heading south east and suddenly switches to a south west direction: surely an indication that the tram is headed for Rose Hill after crossing the viaduct! Perhaps not a bad idea....

I see what marplerambler means - but it certainly is a bad idea!  Far more passengers use Marple than Rose Hill, partly because Marple has a great deal more car parking.  If the trams only served Rose Hill a lot of drivers would want to switch to there, and a whole lot of new car park would have to be built (where?).  And this would add to the already serious peak hour traffic congestion at that end of the town.  Let's hope the kink in the line on the map is just a mistake!

I suspect that a huge obstacle would be Network Rail and the trams sharing track (and particularly responsibility for the viaduct) south of Romiley. Between Navigation Road and Altrincham, Network Rail has one track, the tram has the other.

Some confusion here.  Trains and trams can't share track, but trains and tram-trains can, and do in other parts of Europe.  The separation of lines between Navigation Road and Altrincham is irrelevant - those are trams, not tram-trains. 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: BennyBlue on November 09, 2013, 09:30:11 PM
Tram-train plans given backing

Councillors have backed plans to develop a tram-train strategy in Greater Manchester.

A report outlining proposals for a network of specially-designed vehicles, running on both street tracks and sharing tracks with other trains on railway lines, was approved by members of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee’s Capital Projects and Policy Sub-Committee today.

An initial study into the feasibility, cost and benefits of several potential routes identified Manchester to Marple via Bredbury as the most economically viable route to develop as the region’s first tram-train line.

The other routes that are under consideration as part of a potential tram-train network are:

Manchester – Glossop
Manchester – Atherton – Wigan
Manchester – Sale – Altrincham – Hale/Knutsford
Manchester – East Didsbury – Hazel Grove
Stockport - Altrincham
A tram-train system would make greater use of Greater Manchester’s local rail network, facilitating more frequent services.

It would also provide better and more frequent access to the city centre and better connections with other public transport services there.

It is also expected that the ongoing cost of most routes would be more than met by fare revenue, making those services financially self-sustaining. 

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will now look at how the proposals can be taken forward for further development, as part of a long-term transport strategy.

The TfGM Committee Chair, Councillor Andrew Fender, said: “I am delighted that clear progress has been made with the identification of the potential for tram-train in Greater Manchester.

“Track-sharing between heavy and light rail trains with street-running capability is already well established in continental Europe, especially in Germany.

“Not only are there numerous benefits to commuters, such as increased capacity and frequency and better inner-city connectivity, but tram-trains also have the potential to be financially self-sustaining.

“At this point however, tram-train very much remains a long-term project for Greater Manchester, making it difficult to identify potential implementation dates or funding.”
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: marplerambler on November 11, 2013, 02:38:49 PM
Interesting to see the costs of the proposed change to trains-trams: £200million for the Manchester - Marple (or is it Rose Hill as indicated on the map?) £240million for the Manchester - Glossop line? Dream on! I will believe when I see it. I regularly cross Manchester I don't mind using the escalator at Piccadilly to get the tram to Victoria and couldn't care less about a through train to Wigan. What I do hate is the twenty odd minute walk from the far side of Rose Hill to Marple station in the evenings and on Sundays when the Rose Hill trains are not running. The 383/384s do not connect and what is supposed to be a public transport system serves primarily as a feeder system from Manchester to the car parks on Brabyns Brow (and just watch how many of the cars head for New Mills because the season ticket subsidised by the Council Tax payers of Stockport is so much cheaper than that from New Mills). Marple puts its two fingers up at people who cannot drive the second that they arrive on Marple station platform by confronting them with a steep hill and a long walk (for the less able) to its centre: it declares itself to be a no-go zone to people with mobility problems who cannot make it up the hill without a car. What is wrong with a dream that trams do not pander to the whims of car users and which could take the person who doesn't have a car via Rose Hill to the centre of Marple? Marple station will still be there on the through line to provide a link to the car users and the residents of Marple Bridge and the areas of Mellor within walking distance.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on November 11, 2013, 03:04:02 PM
Part of the case for tram-train is that Piccadilly is starting to run out of platform space and by switching some services to tram-train there is a reduced demand for platforms at Piccadilly.  

I think some of the car heading to New Mills are due to Marple getting a lot better service then New Mill also anyone that lives on the Marple side of New Mills might as well drive to Marple instead of New Mills.
So if the Tram comes to Marple, we may get lots more people driving from New Mills.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on December 19, 2013, 09:56:16 AM
There's a rather alarming letter from Cllr Craig Wright in this week's Stockport Express about the tram-train scheme.  This confirms what marplerambler spotted some weeks ago:
No reference is being made to Rose Hill in the TfGM study but have a look at the proposed map for the new system. Close to its terminus, the route suddenly changes from a route heading south east and suddenly switches to a south west direction: surely an indication that the tram is headed for Rose Hill after crossing the viaduct!

As far as I can recall, Cllr Wright has some kind of special responsibility for transport issues, so we can only assume that he knows what he is talking about, and that Rose Hill really is seriously intended to be the tram-train terminus.   

This is madness!   If Rose Hill were to become the terminus of a tram-train service into Manchester every 12 minutes, it would generate a huge amount of additional traffic at the west end of Marple on and around Stockport Road, just where traffic congestion is already a log-jam at peak times.  And the commuters who park at Marple Station, where there is ample parking, would switch to Rose Hill.  And where would they all park?   It's crazy! 

Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: bluebelly on December 20, 2013, 09:07:38 AM
it wont be manned as well
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on December 20, 2013, 12:09:33 PM
Just using Rose Hill would certainly be simpler from an operational point of view, and a good way to start off with a 12 minute service on the line. But I agree long term it would create too much disparity between the stations, especially if Marple not only continued at just a half hour frequency but all its trains had to presumably go right round via Hyde.

An ideal situation in my view would be a 12 minute frequency to both Rose Hill and Marple, giving a 6 minute frequency from Romiley onwards. Stopping at every station the line could absolutely justify this.

(Or an absolute ideal situation would be to extend the wires right out to New Mills or even Chinley for tram services to terminate there, with fairer fares to Manchester for those stations to stop everyone understandably driving and parking up at Marple, but I know that'll never happen!)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on December 20, 2013, 12:28:52 PM
What about a bus (maybe free) that links Rose Hill station with the centre of Marple etc?
Or if the parking charge more than the bus fare.

A  bus running every 10 minutes should be good enough.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on December 20, 2013, 01:50:49 PM
Just using Rose Hill would certainly be simpler from an operational point of view, and a good way to start off with a 12 minute service on the line. But I agree long term it would create too much disparity between the stations, especially if Marple not only continued at just a half hour frequency but all its trains had to presumably go right round via Hyde.

I thought the whole point of tram-trains was that they can share track, as the name implies.  If they are going to be separated, as ringi suggests, then why not simply use the existing trams?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: amazon on December 20, 2013, 02:58:57 PM
What about a bus (maybe free) that links Rose Hill station with the centre of Marple etc?
Or if the parking charge more than the bus fare.

A  bus running every 10 minutes should be good enough.

More congestion . There's a fifteen minute service now . Why complicate the matter .
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Steptoe and Son on December 20, 2013, 06:55:35 PM
Dave,

Re your reaction to the possibility of a Rose Hill Terminus

This is madness!   If Rose Hill were to become the terminus of a tram-train service into Manchester every 12 minutes, it would generate a huge amount of additional traffic at the west end of Marple on and around Stockport Road, just where traffic congestion is already a log-jam at peak times.  And the commuters who park at Marple Station, where there is ample parking, would switch to Rose Hill.  And where would they all park?   It's crazy!

Can I refer you to your dismissal of the concerns of residents who flagged up very similar potential traffic problems linked to Asda proposal...

1.   A 'massive increase' in traffic?    Most of the traffic to Asda is already on the roads, heading for other shops and supermarkets.   Asda will not magically create new shoppers.   Obviously there will be more traffic in and around Hibbert Lane, but this will be offset by less traffic elsewhere.

There no real difference is there?...unless the potential Rose Hill Terminus is closer to your house ;)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: bluebelly on December 21, 2013, 08:42:47 AM
you can have as many trams as poss between marple / rose hill , when they come to the junctions at ashburys and hyde that is where the problems will be. new inferstructure will have to be built. the station i work at has just been rebuilt. the time it took was unbeliverble.this idea for the trams coming to marple has been around for ten years now.its a political policy thats bounded around by all parties. it would be nice if one commited to it,stuck by it and built it.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on December 21, 2013, 11:29:59 AM
Dave,

Re your reaction to the possibility of a Rose Hill Terminus

This is madness!   If Rose Hill were to become the terminus of a tram-train service into Manchester every 12 minutes, it would generate a huge amount of additional traffic at the west end of Marple on and around Stockport Road, just where traffic congestion is already a log-jam at peak times.  And the commuters who park at Marple Station, where there is ample parking, would switch to Rose Hill.  And where would they all park?   It's crazy!

Can I refer you to your dismissal of the concerns of residents who flagged up very similar potential traffic problems linked to Asda proposal...

1.   A 'massive increase' in traffic?    Most of the traffic to Asda is already on the roads, heading for other shops and supermarkets.   Asda will not magically create new shoppers.   Obviously there will be more traffic in and around Hibbert Lane, but this will be offset by less traffic elsewhere.

There no real difference is there?...unless the potential Rose Hill Terminus is closer to your house ;)

There is a huge difference!  One the one hand we have Stockport Road, the main artery in and out of Marple and a notorious traffic congestion black spot.  On the other, we have Hibbert Lane, which leads to nowhere except Hawk Green and High Lane, and has far less traffic.    Adding more traffic to Hibbert lane would not, IMO, have created undue congestion.  Adding even more traffic to Stockport Road, on the other hand, would be a complete disaster.  As it is, traffic from Dan Bank is already backed up as far as the Texaco garage in the  mornings.  What would it be like if everyone commuting by car to Marple Station switched to Rose Hill instead (if they could find a parking space)?   Not just the 200 + who park at Marple, but also all the people who are dropped off (I believe that is known in transport circles as 'kiss and ride', which is rather nice!)   It doesn't bear thinking about! 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: marpleexile on December 21, 2013, 06:28:17 PM
you can have as many trams as poss between marple / rose hill , when they come to the junctions at ashburys and hyde that is where the problems will be. new inferstructure will have to be built. the station i work at has just been rebuilt. the time it took was unbeliverble.this idea for the trams coming to marple has been around for ten years now.its a political policy thats bounded around by all parties. it would be nice if one commited to it,stuck by it and built it.

More than 10 years, going on for 25. I remember covering the then proposed Metrolink scheme in first year Humanities class at Marple Hall way back when. Marple was one of the places that was due to be connected during "phase two".
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on December 21, 2013, 10:15:53 PM
you can have as many trams as poss between marple / rose hill , when they come to the junctions at ashburys and hyde that is where the problems will be. new inferstructure will have to be built. the station i work at has just been rebuilt. the time it took was unbeliverble.this idea for the trams coming to marple has been around for ten years now.its a political policy thats bounded around by all parties. it would be nice if one commited to it,stuck by it and built it.

It's most likely that from Ashburys onwards there will be a dedicated Metrolink line into the lower level of Piccadilly, completely bypassing the rail junctions with some kind of flyover. It's this that's probably bumping up the £200m estimated cost. Here's the most recent proposal:

(http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu267/smartcma1/Map_124.png)

Planning documents for the new Network Rail signalling centre going up there (ugly black building that will swallow up our remaining signal boxes) show a "protected Metrolink alignment" north of the existing railway line.

In the 1987 Metrolink proposal Marple was indeed considered for the first line, linked to Bury. Good ideas like this tend to happen eventually (see the fight to get the current lines to Didsbury, etc finally built and now already huge successes), but since we're not in London it's always a longer struggle than it should be.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: marplerambler on December 23, 2013, 06:24:50 PM
The comment from RSH that ‘since we're not in London it's always a longer struggle than it should be’ perhaps may have been added almost as an afterthought but it is incredibly perceptive. The Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive was created by the 1968 Transport Act. In addition to amalgamating the Corporation Transport Departments and the local bus operations of North Western, the PTE became responsible for local train operation. A primary aim of the PTE in the 1970s was the creation of a north-south rail link in a mile long tunnel from Manchester Piccadilly to Victoria to overcome the problem encountered by anyone travelling from Stockport or Marple intending to head north (and west and east) from Manchester. What happened? A second rate tram system on lines which were previously served by trains. The goal of a north-south service was partially achieved by creating the link from Deansgate to Salford Crescent at a much later stage but the fundamental principal of the mile long rail tunnel beneath Manchester was deemed to be too expensive. So what happens in London? Simple! Crossrail with its 26 miles of tunnels beneath the most densely populated area of Britain is constructed using £14.8 billion pounds from national coffers (NB this was not funded by Transport for London, this was paid for by the Marple commuter as well as by hippopotamus on the line at Croydon). The proposed Manchester train/tram link will cost the local taxpayers of the Manchester area £200m and will take the passengers off the track at Ashburys thus increasing the journey time from 30 to 45 minutes and lead to a very significant increase in fares. No thank you very much. As much as I would like an evening and Sunday train/tram to Rose Hill I am quite happy with what we have.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on December 23, 2013, 06:50:49 PM
People living in London were sensible enough to have a congestion charge, as I understand it the people living the North West decided that sitting in traffic jams was good when they were give the choose.

Most taxes in the UK are pay by people the live in London.

Given the two above statements why should we not have to wait a lot longer than London to get transport upgrades?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on December 23, 2013, 10:51:59 PM
The proposed Manchester train/tram link will... take the passengers off the track at Ashburys thus increasing the journey time from 30 to 45 minutes

That's interesting, marplerambler.  We're all aware of the plan to re-route the tram-trains to connect with the Metrolink lines under Piccadilly, but what's your source for the information about the extended journey times?   
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Belly on December 23, 2013, 11:17:06 PM
The comment from RSH that ‘since we're not in London it's always a longer struggle than it should be’ perhaps may have been added almost as an afterthought but it is incredibly perceptive.

Amen to that. Even fairly senior members of the Cabinet agree.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25444981 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25444981)

Whilst this view might be a little self serving in the case of Mr Cable (what a politician, never) it has more than a ring of truth about it. Who's for grabbing their pitchfork and joining the march on those southern softies spending all our cash.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: rsh on December 23, 2013, 11:35:02 PM
Perhaps you know more marplerambler, but I do have to doubt journey times would be increased by so much as 15 minutes. A new Ashburys link like the one previously proposed would surely only add around 5 minutes, even factoring in an extra stop somewhere near those new houses in East Manchester.

Then remember that electric trams have much faster acceleration from standing than diesel Pacers which slowly rumble out of stations. This would gain time all the way along the route or at least perhaps negate the fact that a tram would (more sensibly) stop at every station rather than skip-stop like some of the trains.

And at Manchester itself, a tram-train to Bury for example would then continue on the regular tram line through Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street, meaning you can get off there and not have to walk or get the free bus from Piccadilly, probably saving at least 10-15 minutes itself and making travel into the city centre so much more convenient. Plus if you ever missed a train, you'd know the next was only 6 or 12 minutes away! I'd happily trade a few extra minutes on the journey for that alone.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on December 24, 2013, 09:57:59 AM
What rsh writes makes good sense to me.  Even if it takes a bit longer around Ashburys, the other advantages of the tram-train clearly outweigh that small disadvantage.

As for this: 
Most taxes in the UK are pay by people the live in London [so] why should we not have to wait a lot longer than London to get transport upgrades?

Have a look at this:  http://www.govtoday.co.uk/transport-news/30-public-transport/16255-transport-spending-north-south-divide-2600-for-londoners-but-5-per-head-in-north-east

The government spends twenty times more money per head on public transport in London than they do in the North West.  Londoners may pay more tax overall, but they don't pay twenty times more tax! 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Victor M on December 27, 2013, 10:46:08 AM
Quote
Londoners may pay more tax overall, but they don't pay twenty times more tax! 

Actually they pay less Tax when you take into account how low their Council tax is (as a result of Government subsidies)
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Melancholyflower on January 06, 2014, 09:33:35 PM
I'm a regular commuter from Marple-Piccadilly and am following this thread with interest.

Currently commuter trains are poorly maintained, break down a lot, and have too few carriages.
Is it likely this tram-train thing is basically going to replace the existing system instead of new rolling stock being ordered?
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on January 07, 2014, 09:18:00 AM
I believe that is the plan, but the problem with that is that the rubbish 30-year-old Class 142 trains which we currently put up with may not last until tram-train finally arrives.   However, if that happens we won't get new trains, we'll get old Class 150s and Class 156s etc, 'cascaded' (as the jargon has it) from other lines which are being electrified. 
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on January 07, 2014, 09:46:34 AM
Given how many lines are being updated to allow electric trains, I would be amazed if many new diesel trains are built for any passage service.    There are plans to upgrade (rebuild) some old diesel trains before they are reused, the upgraded trains can be very nice.   

As I understand it the costs of running the current trains we get is very low, as the rental charges on them is so low.   So it is hard for any business case to be made for new trains unless the new trains will totally transform the service.
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Dave on January 07, 2014, 10:24:31 AM
There are plans to upgrade (rebuild) some old diesel trains before they are reused, the upgraded trains can be very nice.   

Depends what you mean by nice!  Some of our Class 142 trains are currently being fitted with new seating.  It looks OK, but once you sit down you find that the seats are so close together that your knees are rammed up against the back of the seat in front of you (and I am no more than average height).   :(
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: Barbara on January 07, 2014, 04:16:21 PM
Dave I couldn't agree more!  The seating is appalling, and I am always relieved when I get off one of these trains.  Talk about packing sardines into a tin can!!!
Title: Re: Marple - Manchester tram-train case study
Post by: ringi on January 07, 2014, 04:30:20 PM
Depends what you mean by nice!  Some of our Class 142 trains are currently being fitted with new seating.  It looks OK, but once you sit down you find that the seats are so close together that your knees are rammed up against the back of the seat in front of you (and I am no more than average height).   :(

I would not expect any new trains or trams to be any better – passenger comfort does not seem to come into it these days, just fitting on more sardines.   When I was commuting into Manchester I would have been happy to pay 50% more to get first class if it was on offer, however being at the end of the line we have to put up with the seats for longer than anyone else.