AndrewJ wrote:turdo170 wrote:
It isn't yet 100% certain it won't happen, they are currently looking to split the Stoke/ Macclesfield-Blackpool services at Oxford Road or Deansgate. Deansgate would work as there is a reversal siding across from Manchester United football ground which is currently used once a day Monday-Friday by the 1710 Deansgate - Stoke.
The extra services always used to terminate at Deansgate until 8 or 9 years ago, until they were cut back (only that 1710 remaining!), so I guess it is just a matter of reinstating the same services, unless the paths have since been taken by other services. However they may as well wait and get it right.
I think eventually all services will be electric, but I wouldn't have thought that they'd have enough trains at the moment to be able to do that - the new timetable requires more trains for longer journeys! May be wrong though, it is surprising what a short extra bit of line can do to improve service options.
The hourly Macclesfield - Deansgate service was in operation until the December 2008 timetable change when the Virgin High Frequency service was introduced.
Northern have most of the additional diesel trains they need with more currently on the way from Scotrail and have 16 unallocated Class 319 electric trains available for a full May timetable, so with some work they can balance it out and still implement many of the proposals by uterlising the Eccles / Wigan route and using the class 158s from Scotrail to allow Manchester Airport - Barrow / Windermere to be 158 operated.
It just means that the existing diesel trains on the Bolton corridor won't be available to work elsewhere.
The paths to Oxford Road / Deansgate will be as per the May 2018 timetable Stoke / Macclesfield - Blackpool services, if the temporary Oxford Road / Deansgate split is approved.
There are a lot of issues with conflicts at Slade Lane which mean that many services sit at Stockport for 5 minutes or have a lot of time to complete the journeys - for instance the xx44 from Manchester - Stoke will have 12 minutes vice the usual 7/8 with lots of pathing allowance built in.
The journey times won't be the fastest.
All our services to Blackpool are pathed for electric trains once the wires are live via Bolton.