Posted 8th April 2024 | 2 Comments

Monday briefing: Hope Valley Upgrade completed

Hope Valley
The £150 million project to increase capacity on the Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield has been completed. Rail minister Huw Merriman is visiting Dore & Totley station today, where he will open a second platform, reversing British Rail cutbacks in the 1980s. The existing platform has also been lengthened, and new loops laid elsewhere on the route so that faster trains can pass slower ones.

Train services are seriously disrupted on c2c, Greater Anglia, Govia Thameslink Railway, Southeastern and South Western Railway today because of a 24-hour strike by ASLEF drivers in their continuing pay dispute. Many stations in south east England are closed. There has already been a new series of strikes at other operators, which were staged on Friday and Saturday. An associated ban on overtime and rest day working, which can also affect services, is continuing at most National Rail operators in England until tomorrow. A further ASLEF walkout is planned on LNER on 20 April, with an overtime ban from 19 to 21 April, in a separate dispute over bargaining procedures.

A major investigation of ground conditions by geological specialists is under way at Grange-over-Sands on the Cumbrian Coast line, where a Northern train was derailed on 22 March. No one was hurt, but the track was damaged. Engineers found a void in the ground 150m away from the crash site. The six coach train has now been removed by crane, and engineers have been drilling test bore holes to gather information about the conditions of the underlying soil and rock. Network Rail said the line is likely to be closed for the rest of April.

Heritage train operator West Coast Railways has enlisted the support of MPs in its continuing campaign to allow the use of hinged doors without full central locking on its fleets of Mk1 and Mk2 coaches. The steam-hauled Jacobite service between Fort William and Mallaig has been cancelled because the Office of Rail and Road refused to renew an exemption which had allowed the trains to run. WCR is asking rail minister Huw Merriman to intervene, while a petition opposing the ban has been launched by a shopkeeper in Mallaig.

Reader Comments:

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  • david C smith, Bletchley

    A further re - jig of Northwest to East Midlands / East Anglia service could be for EMR to boost Liverpool to Sheffield to class 222 trains, some of which go forward to Peterborough via Retford and ECML, and then on to Norwich / Cambridge.

  • david C smith, Bletchley

    A need for a better connection beweem Manchester on the one hand with Leicester and Nottingham on the other has been apparant for some years ( ever since the peak forest line was closed north of Matlock Bath ?).

    I hope EMR might utilise some of this extra capacity to extend some St Pancras - Nottingham trains on to Manchester ( using the direct Erewash valley to Hope valley Totley curve ).