New lifeline for East Lancs train service

Changes could free up rolling stock for line

Changes could free up rolling stock for line

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

ELECTRIFICATION of one of the railway lines between Liverpool and Manchester could throw a lifeline to East Lancashire’s delayed inter- city service.

Talks have been ongoing after the Lancashire Telegraph revealed that no diesel trains were available for the new Blackburn-Burnley-Manchester Victoria service next May.

Work has been progressing well on the reinstatement of the Todmorden Curve, which will provide an improved service to the city, also calling at Accrington, Rosegrove and Todmorden.

And engineers are at the halfway point in repairing the Holme Tunnel, at Cliviger, as it was anticipated that traffic would at least double on the Burnley to Todmorden line.

Councillors in Burnley have continued to press the authorities over the prospect of trains being deployed on the line this spring. But Coun Shah Hussain, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said in a full council report that a May start was still not on the cards. It is hoped the service will begin this December, when next winter’s timetables get underway.

He said: “Members can be assured we have held discussions with both the rail operator, Northern Rail, and the Government but at this stage rolling stock to commence the service in May has not been identified.

“The electrification of the Liverpool to Manchester line later in the year will ‘liberate’ rolling stock for use on the rail link.”

Network Rail is set to hand over the track development to train operator Northern Rail later next month when signals testing is complete.

Comments (5)

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8:37am Mon 3 Feb 14

Sue Lee says...

What will be the new routes from next May?
What will be the new routes from next May? Sue Lee
  • Score: 2

10:38am Mon 3 Feb 14

Noiticer says...

This isn't a news' story as we already know that surplus rolling stock won't be available until later in the year when secondhand from the south electric trains replace diesel units between Manchester & Liverpool. As for calling the new service between Blackburn & Manchester via Todmorden an 'inter-city' service one can only laugh as it doesn't fit that description by any stretch of the imagination. The lack of rolling stock in the north of England only goes to show the total lack of planning by the Dept of Transport (i.e. successive governments) and lack of investment in the north's infrastructure despite all the hype about the Northen Hub. All we get up here are the secondhand cast-ofs from the south east where most of the rolling stock is relatively new or very new and where the rate of investment in public transport infrastructure is more than double up here in the North. Perhaps, instead of just repeating news stories reporters on the lancashire Telegraph could do some real investigative journalism as to how and why the North is treated so badly.
This isn't a news' story as we already know that surplus rolling stock won't be available until later in the year when secondhand from the south electric trains replace diesel units between Manchester & Liverpool. As for calling the new service between Blackburn & Manchester via Todmorden an 'inter-city' service one can only laugh as it doesn't fit that description by any stretch of the imagination. The lack of rolling stock in the north of England only goes to show the total lack of planning by the Dept of Transport (i.e. successive governments) and lack of investment in the north's infrastructure despite all the hype about the Northen Hub. All we get up here are the secondhand cast-ofs from the south east where most of the rolling stock is relatively new or very new and where the rate of investment in public transport infrastructure is more than double up here in the North. Perhaps, instead of just repeating news stories reporters on the lancashire Telegraph could do some real investigative journalism as to how and why the North is treated so badly. Noiticer
  • Score: 11

6:38pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

If anyone has watched the latest batches of Michael Portillo's, "Great Raiway Journies", the difference in condition between Northern Rail stock and that of other companies is as clear as a punch in the face.
If anyone has watched the latest batches of Michael Portillo's, "Great Raiway Journies", the difference in condition between Northern Rail stock and that of other companies is as clear as a punch in the face. Darren1951
  • Score: 1

10:52am Tue 4 Feb 14

RicPou says...

WOT NO TRAINS! This is yet another Department for Transport - DafT as it is now known - for not having enogh trains. There are no spare diesel units, and no new ones being made. Elsewhere 40 year old diesel locomotives and 30 year old coaches are being pressed into service. This is because a rolling stock cascade is planned but it is in chaos. The trains are owned by Rolling Stock Companies and they are giving a three-quarter life refurbishment of existing 1980s Electric Units but there is no strategy to this renovation programme. A 1983 built 317 type train from North East London has been rebuilt, part of a fleet of 48 4-car train sets. These include 9 trains previously upgraded for the Stansted Express, which would be ideal for the Blackpool - Manchester Airport service. The remaining 40 odd units would become the inter-urban and suburban trains for the North West, releasing the Diesel Units - BUT WHEN? They are sound robust trains, used on my local line from Kings Cross, and this would consolidate train types in one specific locality as opposed to 10 here, 15 there etc. These are very sound trains despite their age, and 5 - 8 years younger than the famous Inter-City 125s. But it is yet another DafT **** Up. The diesels released from the services to be operated by the recycled electric trains can operate the Blackburn Line.
But it is very complicated and there will be problems for several years yet.
The only way Blackburn will get it's through train to Manchester is to overhaul some old diesel locomotives and refurbish 30 odd coaches to run what is known as push-pull trains but perhaps not as frequently as passengers would like. It can be done.
WOT NO TRAINS! This is yet another Department for Transport - DafT as it is now known - for not having enogh trains. There are no spare diesel units, and no new ones being made. Elsewhere 40 year old diesel locomotives and 30 year old coaches are being pressed into service. This is because a rolling stock cascade is planned but it is in chaos. The trains are owned by Rolling Stock Companies and they are giving a three-quarter life refurbishment of existing 1980s Electric Units but there is no strategy to this renovation programme. A 1983 built 317 type train from North East London has been rebuilt, part of a fleet of 48 4-car train sets. These include 9 trains previously upgraded for the Stansted Express, which would be ideal for the Blackpool - Manchester Airport service. The remaining 40 odd units would become the inter-urban and suburban trains for the North West, releasing the Diesel Units - BUT WHEN? They are sound robust trains, used on my local line from Kings Cross, and this would consolidate train types in one specific locality as opposed to 10 here, 15 there etc. These are very sound trains despite their age, and 5 - 8 years younger than the famous Inter-City 125s. But it is yet another DafT **** Up. The diesels released from the services to be operated by the recycled electric trains can operate the Blackburn Line. But it is very complicated and there will be problems for several years yet. The only way Blackburn will get it's through train to Manchester is to overhaul some old diesel locomotives and refurbish 30 odd coaches to run what is known as push-pull trains but perhaps not as frequently as passengers would like. It can be done. RicPou
  • Score: 1

11:03am Tue 4 Feb 14

RicPou says...

WOT NO TRAINS! This is yet another Department for Transport mess - DafT as it is now known - for not having enough trains. There are no spare diesel units, and no new ones being made. Elsewhere 40 year old diesel locomotives and 30 year old coaches are being pressed into service. This is because a rolling stock cascade is planned but it is in chaos, The trains are owned by Rolling Stock Companies and they are giving a three-quarter life refurbishment of existing 1980s Electric Units but there is no strategy to this renovation programme. A 1983 built 317 type train from North East London has been rebuilt, part of a fleet of 48 4-car train sets. These include 9 trains upgraded for the Stansted Express, which would be ideal for the Blackpool - Manchester Airport service. The remaining 40 odd units would become the inter-urban and suburban trains for the North West, releasing the Diesel Units - BUT WHEN. They are sound robust trains, used on my local line from Kings Cross, and this would consolidate train types in one specific locality as opposed to 10 here, 15 there etc. These are very sound trains despite their age, and 5 - 8 years younger than the famous Inter-City 125s. But it is yet another DafT **** Up. The diesels released from the services to be operated by the recycled electric trains can operate the Blackburn Line.
But it is very complicated and there will be problems for several years yet.
The only way Blackburn will get it's through train to Manchester is to overhaul some old diesel locomotives and refurbish 30 odd coaches to run what is known as push pull trains but perhaps not as frequently as passengers would like. It can be done.
WOT NO TRAINS! This is yet another Department for Transport mess - DafT as it is now known - for not having enough trains. There are no spare diesel units, and no new ones being made. Elsewhere 40 year old diesel locomotives and 30 year old coaches are being pressed into service. This is because a rolling stock cascade is planned but it is in chaos, The trains are owned by Rolling Stock Companies and they are giving a three-quarter life refurbishment of existing 1980s Electric Units but there is no strategy to this renovation programme. A 1983 built 317 type train from North East London has been rebuilt, part of a fleet of 48 4-car train sets. These include 9 trains upgraded for the Stansted Express, which would be ideal for the Blackpool - Manchester Airport service. The remaining 40 odd units would become the inter-urban and suburban trains for the North West, releasing the Diesel Units - BUT WHEN. They are sound robust trains, used on my local line from Kings Cross, and this would consolidate train types in one specific locality as opposed to 10 here, 15 there etc. These are very sound trains despite their age, and 5 - 8 years younger than the famous Inter-City 125s. But it is yet another DafT **** Up. The diesels released from the services to be operated by the recycled electric trains can operate the Blackburn Line. But it is very complicated and there will be problems for several years yet. The only way Blackburn will get it's through train to Manchester is to overhaul some old diesel locomotives and refurbish 30 odd coaches to run what is known as push pull trains but perhaps not as frequently as passengers would like. It can be done. RicPou
  • Score: 0

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