Rail service improvements and disruptions


Long-awaited Hope Valley Line plans given the green light

Plans for a scheme aiming to reduce delays and improve reliability for trains on the congested Sheffield to Manchester route have been given the green light.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has approved the granting of the Transport and Works Act order, a key step in the process to secure the improvements to the Hope Valley Line.

The route between Bamford and Dore is affected by slow freight trains, and the planned improvements will allow passenger trains to overtake.

Two fast passenger trains an hour and one stopping train every two hours currently use the line, but the scheme would allow that to rise to three fast trains per hour and one stopping train each hour.

Under the Northern Hub plans, a 1,000-metre loop would be built at Bamford alongside the existing railway line, and the Hathersage West foot crossing replaced with a footbridge. The Dore South Curve will also be extended and the capacity of Dore and Totley station improved, including a second track through the station.

The news has been welcomed by longstanding supporters and promoters of the improvement, Sheffield City Region (SCR) Local Enterprise Partnership.

“Improved rail connections to Manchester are a key SCR priority and something we have been pressing very hard for with ministers, and something the private and public sectors have been working together to achieve for some time,” said Martin McKervey, lead member for transport.

“It's good to see that the secretary of state has been listening to us, and our collaborative efforts have paid off with this important decision. We will now be working with Network Rail to make sure the scheme happens.”

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Mmlred   14/02/2018 at 15:07

Good developments, but only necessary because of the short-sighted destruction of the Woodhead route!

Manchester Mike   14/02/2018 at 16:34

Agree with Mmlred, and add that reopening the Woodhead route will add capacity and cut travel times as an express route across the North.

James Miller   14/02/2018 at 18:04

At the Sheffield end of the route, there are a few lengthy tunnels. Why not electrify theae with a roof rail, as has been sucessfully used on Crossrail and the Severn Tunnel? This might enable bi-mode trains or hydrogen-battery hybrids a la Alstom, to work the passenger route more efficiently!

Andrew Gwilt   15/02/2018 at 00:44

And what about upgrading the Coventry-Leamington Spa Line to become double track between Coventry and Leamington Spa despite Kenilworth station will reopen this Sunday coming as it will only have 1 platform with trains heading Southbound and Northbound (or Westbound and Eastbound). But Network Rail could of built a 2nd platform so that platform 1 will be used for trains heading towards Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Nuneaton and further afield. And platform 2 for trains heading to Leamington Spa and Crosscountry trains coming from Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry towards Oxford, Reading, Southampton and Bournemouth that would be using platform 2. Aswell fast passenger trains and freight trains passing through Kenilworth. And also to build a spur line for trains heading towards Warwick and Stratford coming off the Coventry-Leamington Spa line. Even though it’s not relevant to this article.

Andrew Gwilt   15/02/2018 at 20:42

By saying about Kenilworth station that was planned to reopen on the 18th February. It has now been put forward to Monday 26th February because there isn’t no Sunday service at all between Coventry and Leamington Spa. Due to performance concerns. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenilworth_railway_station

Geoff Kerr   16/02/2018 at 12:40

Capacity on the Hope Valley line would be helped by reopening from Matlock through Bakewell to Peak Forest. Much of the stone traffic could then be rerouted away from Hope Valley, and of course a passenger service such as Buxton - Derby introduced.

Sreevesjc   16/02/2018 at 14:14

Any chance to reopen the Blackwell to Matlock line was effectively killed by the Scott Wilson report of 2004. Quote: 'stated intention of the Strategic Rail Authority and Network Rail not to use the re-opened line as part of a strategic – or diversionary – freight route'. As for consultation: 'the level of potential opposition is greater than might normally be expected for such a proposal... due, in part ... effects on the Monsal Trail'. It won't get any easier since the tunnels have been reopened to cyclists.

Boris   18/02/2018 at 09:02

Wtf does any of that have to do with the Hope Valley mr AJG? Is it a bad thing to have investment in the north?

Andrew Gwilt   19/02/2018 at 08:46

No Boris. I just got blamed for causing so much speculation.

Mmlred   19/02/2018 at 11:02

Get in and enjoy those Hope Valley semaphores while you can, their days are numbered. And visit that café at Grindleford too while you're at it. Great spot.

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