Wednesday 9 October 2013

Phase One Still Incomplete

I took a ride to Manchester today to check on progress on the Phase One works.  Don't believe everything you read on the internet, there's lots more work to do:
  • One stretch of catenary and contact wire is missing from the Down line.
  • On both lines, a few support arms are missing, with the wires temporarily hung from pulleys attached to masts or gantries.
  • Long lengths still have temporary droppers - Basically a bit of bent wire twisted round the catenary and the contact wire.
So, a few more week's work, I think, and until these items are completed there's no chance of the much vaunted Class 92 test runs.

On a more positive note, I noticed the first signs of work between Huyton and Earlestown - A number of locations for mast bases have been cleared, east of Rainhill.

Friday 4 October 2013

Huyton and Roby Details

I attended the public consultation for the fourth track at Huyton Library today, so I've now got a few more details about what is going on.  For the sake of brevity, I've omitted "if permission is granted" from a lot of the following.

A Two Stage Project

The third track will be entirely within existing boundaries, so construction is under way and it should be operational by December 2014.  The fourth track requires the acquisition of a strip of land from the BT Telephone Exchange site and Huyton Bus Station.  Consequently this will need a TWAO (Transport and Works Act Order) with  public consultation before submission to the Secretary of State in Spring 2014.  Assuming the order is granted, the fourth track will be operational towards the end of 2017.  Thus we have the annoyance of two major disruptions at Huyton Junction three years apart, to do work which could all have been done in one go with a little more forethought.


The area will be resignalled and the signal box will be demolished, along with the adjacent relay room.

The stairs on the south side will be reconstructed around a lift shaft, requiring the current ramped and staircase access from the road to be moved.  A temporary access ramp is currently under construction, to allow passengers to access the station during those works.

Platform extensions will be built, extending in the Roby direction.

North side access will be via a new ramp from Derby Road to platform 4, with the existing ramp to platform 2 being demolished.

The public subway will need to be deepened as it currently rises at the point where the third and fourth tracks will pass over.  A small flight of stairs will be necessary to get the subway back up to street level, and a ramped route will loop round to avoid the stairs.


Next week, pedestrians arriving from the north side will be diverted in to the reopened subway on platform 4.  This will allow the existing access which is at platform level across the trackbed to be dug out.  Construction vehicles will then be able to use the trackbed to access areas east of here from the Roby works site.

Work has begun on eastward platform extensions, 52m will be added to the existing platforms 1 and 2.

Three lifts will be installed, one within the existing building and the other two in new lift towers on the island and on platform 4.

Track Layout

At both stations, platform 1 is the existing southernmost platform and platform 4 is the re-opened northern platform.  2 and 3 form the central island.

In the three track layout the line through platform 1 will become the Down Fast, platform 2 will be Down Slow, and platform 3 will be Up.  Down trains from St Helens will use platform 2, down trains from Earlestown will have access to platforms 1 and 2.

In the four track layout platform 3 becomes Up Fast and platform 4 is Up Slow.