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Author Topic: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport  (Read 44316 times)

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Dave

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2016, 10:08:55 AM »
standing all the way to Manchester, no toilets

Those of us who board a tram-train at Rose Hill terminus will almost always get a seat.  It's passengers getting on at later stops who may have to stand - but their journeys are shorter, of course.

Urban rail and tram systems don't normally have toilets.  London Underground trains don't, for example, also many suburban London overground lines.  They are not normally needed on short journeys.  Just cross your legs, wheels  ;)

GeoffAbell

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #87 on: January 10, 2016, 06:55:33 PM »
I was genuinely asking the question about what we want and how to get the best service.  There was something else - although trams have better acceleration, all trams currently stop at all tramstops, so you wouldn't get express to or semi-express services.

And I misspelt Cllr Finnie's name above.  Many apologies.

wheels

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2016, 09:09:42 PM »
Oh yes we definitley want it, standing all the way to Manchester, no toilets, no cycle space, sounds a real improvement to me.

Dave

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2016, 05:39:06 PM »
Thanks to Geoff for his long and informative post.  He asks:
The question is do we want it?  The advantage is the flexibility of using heavy rail systems that can access street-running networks.  In answer to one of hatter76 questions, yes, we could take a feed off the line near Ashburys and run it into the Ashton tramline that uses Piccadilly Undercroft.  Trams are quicker and 4-car units are easily joinable.  They are also cheaper to run than heavy rail units.

Here come some of the downsides.  If we had trams, then why not driver-only operation?  That will require a lot of negotiation with train crews and TOCs like Arriva.  And train modification.  And infrastructure would need changing.  And has been pointed out, it's difficult to run 2 systems of overhead electrification.

Yes, of course we want it.  A tram-train every 12 minutes from Rose Hill to Piccadilly and through the station direct to the city centre would be a vast improvement on what we have at the moment.  And Geoff's 'downsides' don't seem too negative to me - surely driver-only operation is a plus, not a minus, in saving staff costs?  The only major problem I can foresee is the shortage of car parking at Rose Hill, and the prospect of even more traffic congestion in that area in the morning and evening peaks.   :(

ringi

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #84 on: January 06, 2016, 05:12:19 PM »
No one will start to spend any real money looking at design issues etc, until the Sheffield Train/Tram system has been completed, and hence can be learned from. 

β€œSomething” will have to be done with the platforms at the Manchester end of the line, as there are not enough platforms for the predicted long term growth in train usage and length.   This could be train/tram, a new platform 0, or freeing up platforms by building a new station for HS2/3.

I expect that a lot of commuters on the Rose Hill trains will be retired by the time anything much is done apart from new trains.

GeoffAbell

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #83 on: January 05, 2016, 10:40:46 PM »
I lot of interesting posts over Christmas, and a level of detail that I applaud!

TfGM and trams
The only project currently under construction is the second Manchester crossing (incidentally partially funded with the EU regional development fund) and the associated revamp of Victoria Station.  There are plans for a line to Trafford Centre and beyond.  Anything else has not got to the planning stage.  This includes tram-train to Marple/Rose Hill.  Stockport MBC is one of the few boroughs of GM not to have trams.  Anyone know who else?

Technically speaking it is possible to run trams on rail lines and vice versa.  Karlsruhe were the first to do this in modern times, and places in Germany and the Netherlands followed suit.  In the UK there are issues with different voltage, loading gauge and signalling but they are not insurmountable.  Indeed in Essen, if memory serves, there was a bus that turned into a railcar!   

And vehicles can use a dual voltage system (I think there was a loco in Belgium that handled3 different systems and a loco in Southern Region that could use 3rd rail DC or overhead AC) and Sheffield are the first UK city to develop this.

The question is do we want it?  The advantage is the flexibility of using heavy rail systems that can access street-running networks.  In answer to one of hatter76 questions, yes, we could take a feed off the line near Ashburys and run it into the Ashton tramline that uses Piccadilly Undercroft.  Trams are quicker and 4-car units are easily joinable.  They are also cheaper to run than heavy rail units.

Here come some of the downsides.  If we had trams, then why not driver-only operation?  That will require a lot of negotiation with train crews and TOCs like Arriva.  And train modification.  And infrastructure would need changing.  And has been pointed out, it's difficult to run 2 systems of overhead electrification.  (I have a dream of riding an electric train from Manchester via Marple to Sheffield one day.  Northern Powerhouse is a great concept that Osbourne fronted.  But even that ran into difficulties at the design planning stages.)

All these things cost.  Would we get a much better service?  E.g. you wouldn't be able to take your bike or your dog on a tram under present regulations.  We don't have a rapid urban transport "metro" style system, but we do have something close with tram + electrified urban routes.  Like Marple.  I haven't seen a business case that is definitive either way.

Northern
On the heavy rail side, Arriva have arrived.  And with their franchise, there is a contract to make trains more frequent and longer.  This should include Marple.  The 142 Pacers will be phased out of the whole UK by 2020 (or it’ll have to be modified but I don't see that coming).

We are building a chord from Victoria to Piccadilly, adding platforms 15 and 16 to Piccadilly and then much later getting HS2/3.  Unlike in the 60s, we get trains and their use now.

Friends of Marple / Friends of Rose Hill
If you are interested in railways and in making the train trip and stations locally more pleasant, may I tactfully suggest that you come to one of our meetings?  In the past we've had Annette Finney (now Cllr) and then John (of this blog) too.  And of course, more people of other political opinions! We've recently had passenger counts, got children singing at Christmas at Marple, and Father C came to Rose Hill.  By train of course.
http://www.friendsofmarplestation.co.uk/news.html
http://www.forhs.org.uk/

A bit of a long post, but I hope that I've answered some of the questions above.  And if you want a Manchester-Sheffield electrification, perhaps lobby your MP?


 

marplerambler

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2015, 11:04:35 AM »
One very valuable lesson which could be learnt from Sheffield trams is the way the guards do the job of old fashioned bus conductors - no hiding in the cab at the back, they watch everyone getting on and race up and down the tram ensuring that everyone has a ticket and have ticket machines which issue tickets quickly. Such a system would have a big impact on the fair evasion, evasion which will grow considerably if there is free access to the tram platforms in Manchester, especially by passengers on the afternoon rush-hour trains to Rose Hill and especially by passengers who disembark prior to Hyde who realise that even if the guard does check tickets starting at the rear of the train he is unlikely to have time to reach passengers at the front : just every now and then the train guard will immediately head for the front of the train to check tickets and it is hilarious to see all of the fare dodgers unsuccessfully trying to stampede into an already full back carriage. 

JohnBates

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #81 on: December 23, 2015, 11:07:09 PM »
The problem is that both the tram DC system and main UK system use overhead wires so you either have one or the other.

John i understand your comments but Cllr Geoff who is on the GM transport body stated earlier that the trams electrification was not compatible with the UK system and we would have to stick to diesels. This suggests to me that we are getting DC tram trains for the Rose Hill route. To me this is crazy as it would prevent the other Marple route from using electric trains at some point in the future.

Will the Conservatives in Marple push for Rose Hill tram trains to be to the UK electrification system and oppose the DC scheme?
Also regarding street running, what is your understanding of the proposal. If it involves a long stretch along the Hyde Road for example stopping at lights etc. would the Conservatives still support it?

I think there is some misunderstanding. Cllr Abell is correct re Trams, but if Tram train trial successful then Marple would be tram/train with dual standard working. Therefore as I stated above, the idea would be to have the dual electric standard tram/trains that would be able to run on both National Rail AC and Metrolink DC overhead lines. If you look at links in my previous post you will see that this is exactly what the class 399 tram/trains are able to do  :)

I don't think any finalised route has been worked out yet (to my knowledge) but the fairly certain bit would be to come off current rail lines at Ashburys and run along side Gorton road to Ashton old road, after that could be along Ashton old road or possibly across to Holt st.

To link in to metrolink it will need to join existing line, hopefully without to much hindrance from any on road running/ traffic lights. Obviously would not be able to comment till plans are in the offing, but yes the local Conservatives and MP support the tram/train in principle.

CllrKennyBlair

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #80 on: December 23, 2015, 10:55:56 PM »
I will certainly do my best to find out and let you know.

Merry Christmas.

hatter76

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #79 on: December 23, 2015, 10:49:36 PM »
Hatter76, not sure what Cllr Abell has stated is correct, although he may be privy to more information than I have. However, according to Network Rail, 64% of the electrified network is 25kvAC with 36% being the 750V DC. The current Metrolink network runs on 750V DC, but the tram trains being trialled in Sheffield run on both. So the sensible thing to do would be to electrify the Marple - Piccadily line to AC and where it joins the Metrolink line it changes to DC. This is what I believe is happening in Sheffield.

Firstly can I thank you for your reply Cllr Blair

The Network Rail DC system you refer to is a 3rd rail system that only operates in the South East and Merseyside. The problem is that both the tram DC system and main UK system use overhead wires so you either have one or the other. I note your comments favouring the UK system for tram trains to Marple. However, I am not sure that this is what GM Transport and Cllr Able is proposing, in your capacity as councillor is it possible to find out? As I stated earlier to go ahead with the tram DC system would prevent future electric trains from running from the other Marple line. I hope that yourselves locally and the MP are putting the case for Marple to be included in any future Manchester to Sheffield electrification to the Department of Transport.

Also are you able to find out what route GM Transport are planning to use for tram trains to get to Piccadilly. Street running would add considerably  to journey times?

CllrKennyBlair

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #78 on: December 23, 2015, 09:59:54 PM »
John i understand your comments but Cllr Geoff who is on the GM transport body stated earlier that the trams electrification was not compatible with the UK system and we would have to stick to diesels. This suggests to me that we are getting DC tram trains for the Rose Hill route. To me this is crazy as it would prevent the other Marple route from using electric trains at some point in the future.

Will the Conservatives in Marple push for Rose Hill tram trains to be to the UK electrification system and oppose the DC scheme?

Hatter76, not sure what Cllr Abell has stated is correct, although he may be privy to more information than I have. However, according to Network Rail, 64% of the electrified network is 25kvAC with 36% being the 750V DC. The current Metrolink network runs on 750V DC, but the tram trains being trialled in Sheffield run on both. So the sensible thing to do would be to electrify the Marple - Piccadily line to AC and where it joins the Metrolink line it changes to DC. This is what I believe is happening in Sheffield.

hatter76

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #77 on: December 23, 2015, 08:41:06 PM »

They are equipped to run on 750v DC Tram electrification and 25Kv AC National rail electrification with dual safety systems etc.

So in terms of use will seem like trams, will be able to run under rail electrification, so do not have to be alongside just diesels, so would be futureproofed if Marple line electrified in future
John i understand your comments but Cllr Geoff who is on the GM transport body stated earlier that the trams electrification was not compatible with the UK system and we would have to stick to diesels. This suggests to me that we are getting DC tram trains for the Rose Hill route. To me this is crazy as it would prevent the other Marple route from using electric trains at some point in the future.

Will the Conservatives in Marple push for Rose Hill tram trains to be to the UK electrification system and oppose the DC scheme?
Also regarding street running, what is your understanding of the proposal. If it involves a long stretch along the Hyde Road for example stopping at lights etc. would the Conservatives still support it?

JohnBates

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #76 on: December 23, 2015, 08:09:38 PM »
For those who like lots more detail I attach a brochure with lots of technical details and an idea of internal layout.

[attachment deleted by admin]

JohnBates

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #75 on: December 23, 2015, 07:53:24 PM »
The tram/trains are likely to be similar to those being used in the trials in Sheffield.

These have interiors similar to the Sheffield Trams, but with slightly larger seats.

They are equipped to run on 750v DC Tram electrification and 25Kv AC National rail electrification with dual safety systems etc.

The trial is to assess modifications to wheels etc needed to run on Rail lines and Tram lines, as well as integration of the separate systems.

So in terms of use will seem like trams, will be able to run under rail electrification, so do not have to be alongside just diesels, so would be futureproofed if Marple line electrified in future.

more info on trial here http://www.sypte.co.uk/tramtrain/

see photo of Tramtrain attached

[attachment deleted by admin]

marplerambler

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Re: Tram Train Strategy for Marple to Stockport
« Reply #74 on: December 22, 2015, 10:52:31 PM »
The proposal for Piccadily to Rose Hill is not for trams, it is for tram- trains, which I understand are designed to run on the same tracks as trains.

If we are to get tram/trains rather than the trams currently in service or something very similar does this mean:

i) that the new rolling stock will be of a similar design to existing railway carriages (though hopefully not Pacers) and incorporate more seats and therefore fewer standing passengers than the existing trams?

ii) that the train/tram will be more like existing electrical multiple unit trains making them considerably heavier than existing trams and therefore be unsuitable for usage on the streets of Central Manchester and therefore not be able to use the Piccadilly street level platforms, and

iii) if the train/tram is superior to the existing trams and is suitable for usage on the tram lines crossing the streets of Central Manchester then users of other Metro lines will say 'cattle trucks are used on all of the other Metro lines in Manchester, why should it be that Marple gets preferential treatment? The new tram/train can be used on our line as well so should the new superior tram/trains not be distributed throughout the entire network rather than just on the Marple line?'

Why should Marple users seem to receive preferential treatment? Is it possible for us to have our cake and eat it?