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16.11.15

Four tracks needed for TransPennine route improvement – Alex Hynes

Improving the TransPennine route in the long term can only be achieved by four-tracking – “otherwise you are always going to compromise”, says Alex Hynes, managing director of Northern Rail. 

During the panel discussion at RTM’s TransCityRail North on 13 November, Hynes noted that improving the route will deliver a better two-track railway which will help in the short and medium term. “[But] it will not help us in the long term,” said Hynes. “How do you create great local rail services, and great inter-city services? You separate them out, which means you need other track: a second line or a new line. You need four tracks, otherwise you are always going to compromise.” 

He added that there are ambitions to make the north one of the best regions in the world. “So we’ll have our own high-speed line, thank you, from port to port. And we’ll be able to move round this region like people already move round Kent.” 

He also said that ultimately passengers don’t want new steel structures across railway lines – they want more frequent, faster journeys. He said electrification was the means to that, not an end in itself, and so it was sensible to consider other journey upgrades alongside electrification. 

Graham Botham, strategy & planning director for the north at Network Rail, said that through the Transport for the North partnership, Network Rail with HS2 are looking at real concepts now as to what HS3 could and should look like.

Comments

John Gilbert   14/11/2015 at 16:57

Yes, of course quadruple track will be needed. And so will the only trains suitable for the curving tracks of the Pennine region, in other words Pendolinos. These are the only tilting trains available and they will deal with the curves through the Pennines totally.

Lutz   16/11/2015 at 20:36

Mission creep.

Sandy   17/11/2015 at 12:32

Does anyone have any idea of the geography and topology of the Pennines? New track means either tunnels or going round, i.e. further, via Huddersfield or Burnley. If the central towns like Bradford and Halifax that are going to miss out are not to have their miserable service further disrupted, the high speed trains will have to go round and not up the Calder Valley. Further means huge expense- can the Govt. afford this or will it come out of the non-existent Northern Powerhouse pot?

Kerl   17/11/2015 at 16:24

Perhaps this would be an oppurunity to look at the Woodhead route again, if a second way across the Pennines is desired? I seem to remember that was capable of operating express services and could at least provide some relief capacity.

Neil Palmer   18/11/2015 at 02:53

Was there not a lot of 4-track that was chopped back to 2-track back in BR days to "save" money ?

Michael Still   19/02/2016 at 19:35

Opening up the Woodhead would speed services up but I believe they are used for other services now. Segregating services with the new Spanish trains running faster is a must. Big plans ahead for the North in the future. With Alex at the helm I can see it happening.

Michael Still   19/02/2016 at 19:55

Opening up the Woodhead would speed services up but I believe they are used for other services now. Segregating services with the new Spanish trains running faster is a must. Big plans ahead for the North in the future. With Alex at the helm I can see it happening.

Michael Still   19/02/2016 at 20:11

Opening up the Woodhead would speed services up but I believe they are used for other services now. Segregating services with the new Spanish trains running faster is a must. Big plans ahead for the North in the future. With Alex at the helm I can see it happening.

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