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Network Rail’s “Northern Hub” plans published

February 17, 2010

As you may have seen on the local news, Network Rail this week published its proposals for major investment to improve the frequency, speed and connectivity of rail services around Manchester and the north of England.

The plans can be downloaded from their Press Room website and run to 70+ pages. Although the plans understandably focus primarily on the network bottlenecks in the centre of Manchester, they also have implications for the kinds of services that can be run on routes like ours in future.

FOWS will be analysing the report in more detail over the days ahead but already we are intrigued to see the possibility of more trains along the Atherton line and more through services to destinations such as Bradford being touted.

At first reading it appears Network Rail favour an option that centres around improvement and enlargement of Victoria station, with TransPennine services from Leeds being re-routed there. The report goes on to suggest the intriguing prospect of a city centre loop with trains running every 15 minutes from Victoria to Salford Central then round a new piece of track at Ordsall to Oxford Road and Piccadilly – a truly radical change to Manchester’s rail services if it happens !

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