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Network Rail consults on plans to increase Hope Valley capacity

Network Rail is consulting on plans to improve the railway in the Hope Valley to allow for more frequent and faster passenger services.

The consultation, which opened yesterday and runs until 19 June, is on plans to extend the existing Dore South Curve section of track, between West View Lane and Dore South Junction, to allow enough standing room for freight trains. This will allow passenger services to pass without a waiting freight train blocking either the Hope Valley or Midland Main lines.

Dore Map - June 2015

A second track serving Dore & Totley station will be installed and a new platform built.

East of Bamford station, Network Rail plans to build a new section of track to create a passing loop, which will allow faster passenger services to overtake freight trains. The new track would run alongside the existing railway, and be used by freight trains heading towards Sheffield.

East of Bamford Map - June 2015

Network Rail believes the work will allow for three fast trains per hour instead of two between Manchester and Sheffield, as well as an hourly local stopping service on the Hope Valley line (instead of one every two hours).

The application for a Transport and Works Act Order is to be submitted in the autumn.

The new consultation is an update on one conducted in January this year. It can be viewed here.

(Top image: FTPE Class 185 in the Hope Valley, from Manchester Airport. Credit: Alvey and Towers)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Jb   02/06/2015 at 12:46

May we hope that doubling the west to south chord at Dore and Totley will facilitate re-establishing Manchester to St Pancras services, thereby relieving the WCML and providing direct services to Derby and Leicester et al? St Pancras is a prime destination with connections to south of the Thames and Eurostar.

Nonsuchmike   05/06/2015 at 12:27

Hurray! It is only consultation at this stage, but at least this is a start. With a bit of luck and agreement all round work will start next year. Whilst they're at it, why not dual all of the line and upgrade the load capacity to 8 or 9 so that freight can pass along at a reasonable speed and more fast and slow trains can utilise the permanent way. As it is, the service to Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham, etc, from Manchester and Merseyside is arguably the worst between major cities in England when you consider the short trains and 2 hourly service at best for some connections. We are now in 2015 so these and other track improvements must be addressed before HS2 is even commenced.

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