Crewe - Manchester (1990s)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Cameron's Gaming, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    I'm suggesting the 30-mile line from Crewe to Manchester via Stockport, in the mid-1990s, immediately before privatisation.

    The main route runs for 31 miles, but has some branches, including the Styal line, which runs for around 7 miles, diverging at Wilmslow and re-joining north of Levenshulme. This line also includes a short 1 mile branch to Manchester Airport, which, until 1996, has access to the north only. The maximum speed on the line is 110mph.

    In addition, I'd personally recommend an 8-mile branch to Macclesfield, to allow more Intercity services and a 1-mile extension to Deansgate, as in the 1995 timetable, most stopping services from Crewe terminated here, not at Piccadilly. This could also open up an extension for a few more miles to Trafford Park where there is a container terminal, which has many freight services.

    I feel this would be a good route to introduce the West Coast Main Line into TSW.

    Map.png

    Possible Rolling Stock:
    Class 90

    [​IMG]
    These mixed-traffic locomotives were introduced to the WCML in the late 1980s to supplement the Class 87 fleet, and to replace the Class 81/82/83/84/85 Locomotives, which were some 30 years old. They are simpler to drive than the electrics before, being more like a diesel in that you don't have a tap-changer, but a linear throttle handle. They are visually similar to the Mk3 DVT with an almost identical cab (main difference being there's no ammeters in the DVT cab, which also has a traction indicator light). Once the Class 390s came in, they were transferred to Greater Anglia (along with the DVTs), or freight duties. In 2020, the GEML locos were replaced by new Class 745 EMUs. All bar 90001 and 90002 are with either Freightliner or DB Cargo.

    Class 87
    [​IMG]

    Photo © Roger Geach (CC BY-SA2.0)
    These older electric locomotives were introduced in the mid-1970s. At the time, they were the fastest electric locomotives in the UK, with a top-speed of 110mph. They featured a tap-changer which would allow the driver greater control over the power of the locomotive. It can be rather difficult to get the hang of but can make this locomotive really fun and interesting to drive in game. When the Class 390s were introduced by Virgin, these locos were either stored, scrapped, preserved or exported to Bulgaria. One saw a brief return to service with Caledonian Sleeper shunting coaches in and out of Euston.

    Mk3 DVT
    [​IMG]
    These unpowered vehicles were introduced shortly after the Class 90s, and allowed WCML trains to be in fixed formation, with the DVT (Driving Van Trailer) at the southern-end of the train, by the first class. Their design, along with the cab, is visually similar to the Class 90 as mentioned above, although the front appears more slanted (can someone correct if necessary?). After use on the WCML, they worked with Greater Anglia, Wrexham & Shropshire and Chiltern Railways. Under Intercity, DVTs worked with Class 47/7s, 87s and 90s, and more recently with Class 67s and 68s. WCML trains were formed of loco-hauled versions of the mk3 coach, which were identical to the HST ones bar the coupling.

    Class 309 'Clacton Express'
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/37190-dalzell/40395087372
    In 1994, 7 Class 309 units, 309613/616/617/623/624/626/627, were transferred north following withdrawal on the GEML and after a brief period of storage, entered service with Regional Railways on commuter services between Manchester and Stoke, Macclesfield or Crewe. They were painted in quite a few liveries in the mid 1990s, either NSE with the red stripe in blue, some half-way-house between RR and NSE, or full RRNW - so they could make good use of the system introduced to SEHS whereby a specific livery is tied to a specific loco/unit. 309624 was also in a special livery advertising Manchester Airport They were the first AC EMUs to reach 100mph, and were originally ran almost exclusively on London - Clacton/Walton-on-the-Naze services. In the North West, they worked alongside the Class 323s, to aid in the withdrawal of the Class 304 and 305. They were withdrawn in 2000, with 2 put to departmental use after. Both were preserved.

    Class 323
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/40172673@N03/50281451906/
    This EMU was introduced from 1994 to the West Midlands (primarily for the Birmingham Cross-City line) and Greater Manchester (primarily to replace the aforementioned Class 304 and 305 types). In Manchester, they were painted in the GMPTE varient of the Regional Railways livery, as pictured. They operated commuter services, and in 1995 would've ran the same, or similar, services to the Class 309s, as well as some shorter trips, such as stoppers from the Airport to Piccadilly, or Hazel Grove - Piccadilly.

    Class 158
    [​IMG]

    Photo © Les Chatfield (CC BY-SA2.0)
    These express DMUs were introduced in the late 1980s, and allowed Regional Railways to replace its fleet of loco-hauled trains. In the mid-1990s, they'd have operated long distance services from Manchester Airport, to exotic destinations such as Blackpool, Cleethorpes and Grantham, as well as "Alphaline" services to Wales and the south-west. On the proposed section of line, these routes were typically similar stops to the Intercity trains, and often were non-stop between Piccadilly and the Airport. In the 1995 timetable, there appears to be a shuttle service between the Airport and Piccadilly, and it alludes to it being a 158, given it shows refreshments and reservations available.

    Class 47:
    [​IMG]

    Photo © Ron Hann (CC BY-SA2.0)
    The Class 47 has been seen before on Northern Trans-Pennine and West Somerset Railway. On this route, however, they'd be slightly different. BR used Class 47s on container traffic (in Railfreight Distribution), which was (and still is) the main freight over the line. Freight trains are primarily destined for Felixstowe, Southampton or Crewe Basford Hall. For Intercity, Class 47/8s also ran with Mk2Ds south from Manchester to the South West and South Coast, and also north to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Class 47/8s have a slightly different cab to what's been seen before in TSW.

    Mentions to the Class 142, 150 and 101 - all of which were operated on some of the route (primarily between Piccadilly and Stockport).

    What would this route bring to TSW?
    It would, as I said above, be a great entry point for WCML electric services. The Class 87 has a tap changer, which we've not really seen in the game (I know the DB BR 155 has a tap changer, however, it's a different system).
    It would also bring neutral sections. They are Just south of Levenshulme, West of Cheadle Hulme, East of Chelford, east of Crewe North Junction, just west of Slade Lane Junction, south of Prestbury and just west of Heald Green. I don't believe these have been in the game before. The driver must idle the throttle here. On older trains such as the 87, you'd otherwise get a fault. Neutral sections are a gap in power to move the train from a section controlled by a power station, to a section controlled by another, and add an additional challenge for the player.
    It would also be the first UK route to be entirely electrified on the overhead system (also bringing us UK electric locomotives) - having been electrified all the way back in 1964, as a trial for WCML electrification.
    Also, Crewe.

    What does everyone think of this?
     
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  2. david5150

    david5150 Active Member

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    I would like to see this. I really like the 87’s.
     
  3. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Same. I really enjoy driving it (and the 86) in TS1 and I've been thinking of what routes wouldn't be too long for a TSW route (currently) but would make an 87 worthwhile. I think in this route there'd be enough to do to justify the arguably short section.
    The 87 has something of a soft spot for me even though I've never travelled behind one (or even seen one 'in the flesh') as when I was about 5, my grandma's neighbour gave me 2 VHS tapes - they were the Video 125 Royal Scot driver's eye view, which features a Class 87. I know that's a rather silly reason though :D
     
  4. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Also, addendum. Having dug around my 1995 timetable a bit more, I've found these approximate service patterns, from what I can see:
    - 1 train per hour (off-peak) between Manchester Airport and Liverpool (operated by Class 142/150/156/158/cats/dogs)
    - 1 tph between Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly via Stockport (Class 309/323)
    - 2 tph between Hazel Grove and Piccadilly, join at Stockport (Class 323)
    - 1 tph between Buxton and Blackpool, join at Stockport (Class 101/150)
    - 1 tph between Macclesfield and Piccadilly (Class 309/323)
    - 1 tph between London and Piccadilly via Macclesfield (Class 87/90 + DVT)
    - 1 tph (roughly) between the South West and Piccadilly (Class 158)
    - Irregular cross-country and trans-pennine services operated by 47s/HSTs and 158s respectively, plus occasional services from Euston via Crewe.
    - Class 309s also ran peak-time semi-fast services from Piccadilly to Birmingham (journeys to Manchester via Macclesfield, journeys from Manchester via Crewe) - these were 1 train each way in the morning (dep. Manchester 0140, arrive back at 0831), and the same in the evening (dep. Manchester 1716, arrive back 2108).
    There is also a once-per-day return from Piccadilly to Waterloo operated by a HST for connections to Eurostar.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. david5150

    david5150 Active Member

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    I have that very one on DVD :D
     
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  6. hibiki

    hibiki Active Member

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    1995 would a great year, as you could have 304/5s, as IIRC they didn't get fully withdrawn until 1996.

    305515.jpg

    323230a.jpg



    I remember the 101s used to run from Warrington Central to Wilmslow, although I can't remember the year that was. Also I would love to see the 101 being in RR livery too

    101664.jpg

    And of course they could do a trainbow style with 101685 being in green.

    101685b.jpg
     
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  7. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the 304s went in 1996 as the last 323s entered service, a couple 305s limped on to 2000 as the 323s couldn't run to Hadfield due to something happening regarding Dinting (Wikipedia's not making a whole lot of sense to me), after that was corrected it seems they were just on "I'm sorry, this is all we had in the sidings" trains (although would be happy to be corrected). I must admit I'd forgotten they were withdrawn later.
     
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  8. 43050

    43050 Active Member

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    I’d definitely be interested in this!
     

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