Hawarden Bridge railway station
Hawarden Bridge railway station is a railway station near Shotton, Wales. It is situated on the Borderlands Line 13 miles north of Wrexham Central, on the north side of Hawarden Bridge over the River Dee; the station and all trains serving. The station was opened by the LNER on 22 September 1924 as Hawarden Bridge Halt, adjacent to the John Summers steelworks; the station was renamed as Hawarden Bridge in 1954. The station was busier in times past, being the nearest to the triangular junction with the former line to Chester Northgate and Mickle Trafford as well as the steel plant; the Chester line closed to passengers in September 1968, but remained open for freight until June 1992 whilst the shutdown of much of the works in 1980 led to a significant decline in use of the station. The signal box to the north of Dee Marsh Junction remains in use to control access to the remnants of the former Shotwick Sidings for the dispatch of finished steel products; the sidings were once used by heavy trains of iron ore from Bidston Dock in Birkenhead bound for the sidings Shotwick.
An industrial park and rail-connected paper mill now occupy part of the old Shotwick works site, whilst the rolling mill there is still operational receiving steel coil for processing from South Wales by rail. The signal box acts as the'fringe' to the Merseyside Integrated Electronic Control Centre at Sandhills; the station only has basic amenities. Step-free access is available to both platforms, but transfer between them requires the use of a barrow crossing; the station sees an infrequent service, with the only trains calling during the morning and evening peak periods towards Wrexham Central southbound and Bidston northbound. There are three northbound trains a day Monday to Saturday. In May 2013, Arriva Trains Wales introduced a Sunday service at the station. On a Sunday, all passenger services on the Borderlands Line will stop, on request. Mitchell, Vic. Wrexham to New Brighton. West Sussex: Middleton Press. ISBN 9781908174475. OCLC 859543196. Train times and station information for Hawarden Bridge railway station from National Rail
The Borderlands line is the railway line between Wrexham and Bidston on the Wirral in England. Passenger train services are operated by Transport for Wales between Wrexham Bidston. Bidston is an interchange station for Merseyrail services to the Wirral. Trains run every hour Monday on Sundays. Connections with other National Rail services are at Bidston and Wrexham General; the line is referred to as the Mid Wirral line, as most of the line runs north-south through the middle of the Wirral peninsula. The Wirral's other railway routes are provided with frequent Merseyrail electric trains; the Borderlands line has a service of one train per hour. From 2019 the service will improve to two trains per hour using refurbished metro trains with battery power plants and a diesel engine as a fail-safe. Holders of the Concessionary Travel Pass resident in Wrexham and Flintshire can travel free along part of the line, from Wrexham Central Station to Hawarden Bridge Station. Holders of the Merseytravel Concessionary Travel Pass can travel free along the section of the line that runs through Merseyside, from Heswall Station to Bidston Station.
The service is operated with Class 150s trains. It was operated by Class 153s, Class 101s, Class 142s. In October 2006, the operator moved to using Class paired Class 153 units; the latter disappeared in favour of the Class 150s in December 2006. This is designated as a community rail partnership. Upon privatisation, passenger services were transferred from Regional Railways to North West Trains known as First North Western. In 2003, a review led to the creation of the All-Wales Franchise, meaning services were transferred to Wales & Borders Trains. Arriva Trains Wales succeeded Wales & Borders on 8 December 2003, operated all passenger services on the line until October 2018, when Transport for Wales began its 15 franchise. Future electrification plans could see the line transfer to Merseyrail; the southern part of the line was built by the Wrexham and Connah's Quay Railway in 1864 and the northern part by the North Wales and Liverpool Railway, a joint committee of the WMCQR and the Manchester and Lincolnshire Railway in 1896.
The North Wales and Liverpool Railway northern terminus was at Bidston with the southern terminus at Hawarden Bridge Both railways were acquired by the Great Central Railway on 1 January 1905. Two Wirral stations on the line closed in the 1950s. No trace of the station at Storeton remains, yet Burton Point station is still entirely intact, the station buildings forming part of a garden centre. Further south, the high level platforms of Hope Exchange closed in 1958. New stations at Deeside Industrial Park and Beechwood have been proposed; the route was mentioned in Merseytravel's proposed 30-year plan of 2014. "New stations at Woodchurch in Birkenhead and Deeside Industrial Park. These changes would "Incorporate the line into the Merseyrail Wirral line to provide direct connectivity with Liverpool city centre."The draft of the Network Rail Welsh Route Study in March 2015 contained several suggestions for improving services on the line, including:. Replacing the High and Low levels at Shotton station with a dedicated interchange station, improving connectivity between the North Wales Coast Main Line & the Borderlands line The removal of level crossings to improve line speed.
The doubling of the journey frequency on the line is one of the aims of the Growth Track 360 group, a consortium of business and public sector leaders. The group aims to improve transport and create jobs in the North Wales and Cheshire area over the next 20 years. During the 2017 Autumn budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond stated that part of the additional £1.2 billion funding Wales was receiving would be used to look into proposals to improve journey times on the line and developing a business case. Proposals exist to electrify a section or all of the line with incorporation into the Wirral line of the Merseyrail network, allowing through services to the underground sections of Birkenhead and Liverpool and onwards to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. A study conducted by Network Rail in 2008, investigated the costs of extending the Merseyrail network third-rail electrification to Wrexham. However, when the cost was estimated at £207 million, Merseytravel stated that cheaper overhead-wire electrification would be considered announcing a lower estimated figure of £66 million.
This scheme would require dual-voltage trains with overhead-wire capability. Network Rail's conclusion was that full line electrification is only feasible if it could be delivered for less than £100,000 for each km per single track; the twin track line would be £200,000 per line km, giving a total figure of £8.7 million, far below the estimate of full line electrification of £66 million. Another consideration is. Political pressure to electrify; the Welsh government is pressing for improved rail connections between North Wales and Liverpool which may accelerate the electrification of the line. Merseytravel Committee Chairman, Councillor Liam Robinson, revealed in 2016 that a working group had been set up to examine improving the line, it is believed that by increasing th
North Wales Coast Line
The North Wales Coast Line known as the North Wales Main Line, is the railway line from Crewe to Holyhead. Virgin Trains consider their services along it to be a spur of the West Coast Main Line. In April 2006, Network Rail organised its maintenance and train control operations into "26 Routes"; the main line through Crewe forms part of Route 18. The North Wales Coast Line from Crewe to Chester and North Wales has been designated Route 22 and this includes the line to Chester from Acton Grange Junction, south of Warrington; the line from Shrewsbury to Chester via Wrexham is Route 14. The line is not electrified, so Virgin Trains, the current operator of the InterCity West Coast franchise uses its diesel Super Voyagers, which they have done since December 2007, on routes to Holyhead. There are no official plans to electrify the line, but both the Welsh government and former Chancellor George Osborne have indicated that there is a strong case for electrification in the future; the line contains several notable engineering structures, namely Conwy railway bridge across the River Conwy, Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait.
The first section from Crewe to Chester was built by the Chester and Crewe Railway and absorbed by the Grand Junction Railway shortly before opening in 1840. The remainder was built between 1844 and 1850 by the Chester and Holyhead Railway Company as the route of the Irish Mail services to Dublin; the line was incorporated in the London and North Western Railway. Between Chester and Saltney Junction, the line was, from the start, used by trains of the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway to be incorporated in the Great Western Railway. So important was the line in the 19th and early 20th centuries to passenger and freight traffic between Britain and Ireland that the world's first experimental and operational water troughs were installed at Mochdre between Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction, their purpose was to enable steam engines to collect water without stopping. Considerable stretches of line between Chester and Colwyn Bay were quadrupled to increase line capacity but these sections have now been reduced to two tracks.
The main towns served by the route are listed below: Crewe Chester Line diverges to serve Wrexham and Cardiff Wirral Line diverges to serve Birkenhead and Liverpool - Route 21 Shotton The Borderlands Line from Wrexham to Bidston crosses at Shotton with interchange facilities. Flint Prestatyn Rhyl Abergele Colwyn Bay Llandudno Junction Lines diverge to serve Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno Conwy Penmaenmawr Llanfairfechan Bangor Llanfairpwll Line diverges to Amlwch Bodorgan Ty Croes Rhosneigr Valley Freight from Wylfa nuclear power station is loaded at a depot in Valley Holyhead Principal through passenger services are London Euston to Holyhead, Bangor and Wrexham General operated by Virgin Trains and Crewe to Holyhead, Cardiff to Holyhead and Manchester to Llandudno operated by Transport for Wales Rail. A revised timetable has operated since December 2005 incorporating a new service to and from Cardiff Central every two hours; the line still provides the UK railway part of the through passenger service to Dublin using fast car ferries from Holyhead to Dublin Port.
The Welsh Government would like the line to be electrified if Crewe becomes a rail hub due to HS2 in 2026. Chancellor George Osborne said in July 2015 that there was a "really strong case" for electrification of the line; the Electrification Task Force said that the Chester to Crewe line was a Tier 2 priority for being electrified in the CP6 period. A £50 million signalling upgrade programme is being carried out between Shotton and Colwyn Bay, which will see modular colour lights supervised from the South Wales Rail Operating Centre in Cardiff replace the manual signal boxes and mixture of semaphore and older colour lights in use, in March 2018. Allen, David. "Sun, sand...and semaphores". RAIL. No. 307. EMAP Apex Publications. Pp. 40–45. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699
St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway
St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway known as St Helens Railway, was an early railway company in Lancashire, which opened in 1833. It ran from the town of St Helens to the area which would develop into the town of Widnes. Branches were opened to Garston and Rainford; the company was taken over by the London and North Western Railway in 1864. The line from St Helens to Widnes and the branch to Rainford are now closed, the latter terminating at the Pilkington Glass' Cowley Hill works siding near Gerard's Bridge, but part of the lines to Garston and to Warrington are still in operation. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century there was a need for coal to be carried from the coalfields in the area of St Helens to the River Mersey for transportation to the growing industrial towns and cities; the first solution was to build the Sankey Canal which opened in 1755 and ran from the Blackbrook canal via Parr to Sankey Bridges, to the west of Warrington. It was extended to Fiddlers Ferry, five years later.
Encouraged by the success of the Stockton and Darlington Railway which opened in 1825, in 1829 a group of local businessmen arranged for a survey for a line from Cowley Hill Colliery, north of St Helens, to Runcorn Gap on the River Mersey. At this time the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which ran to the south of St Helens, was being built and its surveyor, Charles Blacker Vignoles, was commissioned to undertake the survey. An Act of Parliament was obtained on 29 May 1830; the original capital was £120,000, one-third of, raised from local coal owners, salt-makers and Liverpool merchants. These included James Muspratt and alkali manufacturer, Peter Greenall, who had interests in the brewing and glass manufacturing industries. Peter Greenall was elected as the first chairman of a board of ten directors. At the south end of the railway, Widnes Dock was built; this was the world's first rail-to-ship facility. Because of perceived competition from the railway, the Sankey Canal was extended from Fiddlers Ferry to Runcorn Gap by what was known as the "New Cut".
The railway terminated between the dock and the end of the canal and Runcorn Gap station was sited to the north of the canal. Work on the line proceeded and its costs overran the estimate, it did not open until 1833 but in November 1832 a train with coal wagons ran over the track because of a wager between one of the owners and the engineer that a train would pass over it by December 1832. The line opened on 21 February 1833 but the dock was not completed until August 1833; the extension to the Sankey Canal opened on 24 July 1833. From Widnes Dock a single line crossed the extension to the canal by a swing bridge and climbed steeply, so steeply that for a section trains had to be pulled by a stationary engine. Haulage by a stationary engine was necessary for a section further north at Sutton near St Helens; the Liverpool and Manchester line was crossed by an iron bridge south of St Helens. The line was intended for freight but public demand led to passenger coaches being added to the rear of the trains, this service starting in September 1833.
There was intense competition between the railway and the canal leading to financial difficulties for both companies. The companies agreed to a merger, with the railway company buying out the canal company to form the St Helens Canal and Railway Company. Royal assent for this was received on 21 July 1845; the company, which owned nine-second-hand tank engines and had a staff of 122, was described as being "ramshackle". It set about to improve the situation, doubling the track and easing the gradients so that the whole line could be operated by steam locomotives; the new company set about planning branch lines and connections. There had been a plan to build northwards from St Helens towards Southport to join the Southport and Euxton branch at Rufford; however this line was built only as far as Rainford. Here it joined the Lancashire Union Railway at Gerards Bridge Junction; the company bought land at Garston with the intention of building a dock and linking it with a line to Runcorn Gap. This opened as a single line on 1 July 1852, although the dock was not opened to shipping until 21 July 1853.
On 21 May 1851 a sharp curve connection had been made on this line from the main line at what was to become known as Widnes Dock Junction. The following year a new Runcorn Gap station was opened nearer to the growing town of Widnes; the next project was to build a branch line to Warrington. This was opened on 1 February 1853, extending to a temporary station at Warrington. In the following year it was extended to meet the Stockport Railway. A station on this branch was opened at Cuerdley but this closed in January 1858; the creation of these branch lines created an unusual feature on a flat crossing. In the 1860s people could travel eastwards from Runcorn Gap to Warrington and, from there, to Manchester and many other places, they could travel west to Liverpool by taking a ship at Garston. By 1860 there was considerable competition between the railway companies; the London and North Western Railway wanted to build a line between Edge Garston. Following discussions, the LNWR leased the line from Garston to Warrington with effect from 1 September 1860, paying £5,000 for the first year and £12,000 annually from 1861.
On 29 July 1864, an act was passed which allowed SHCR to be absorbed by LNWR, the transfer took place on 31 July 1864. Runcorn Gap station was renamed Widnes station on 1
Chester and Connah's Quay Railway
The Chester & Connah's Quay Railway ran from Chester Northgate in Chester, England to Shotton, Wales. It was in use for its full length from 1890 to 1992. At Dee Marsh Junction it connected with the North Liverpool Railway, it crossed the River Dee by means of Hawarden Bridge before joining the Wrexham and Connah's Quay Railway at Shotton. The only section of the Chester & Connah's Quay Railway which remains in use is between Dee Marsh Junction and Shotton, forming part of the Borderlands Line; the rest of the line closed to passenger trains in 1968, but remained open to freight trains until 1992. Though steelmaking operations at the British Steel plant at Shotton ceased in March 1980, freight continued to use the double-tracked line until 20 April 1984. Goods services resumed on a single-track line on 31 August 1986 before final closure in June 1992; this was precipitated by the closure of Ravenscraig steelworks in Motherwell, Scotland, as freight trains using the line ran between Ravenscraig and Shotton rolling mill.
Since the line between Chester and Dee Marsh closed, the track has been lifted and the route is now a cycle path, forming part of Route 5 of the National Cycle Network. Images of the line in its final operating days National Cycle Network Chester to Connah's Quay Railscot article on the Chester & Connah's Quay Railway Virtual stroll along the railway
A double-track railway involves running one track in each direction, compared to a single-track railway where trains in both directions share the same track. In the earliest days of railways in the United Kingdom, most lines were built as double-track because of the difficulty of co-ordinating operations before the invention of the telegraph; the lines tended to be busy enough to be beyond the capacity of a single track. In the early days the Board of Trade did not consider any single-track railway line to be complete. In the earliest days of railways in the United States most lines were built as single-track for reasons of cost, inefficient timetable working systems were used to prevent head-on collisions on single lines; this improved with the development of the train order system. In any given country, rail traffic runs to one side of a double-track line, not always the same side as road traffic, thus in Belgium, France, Sweden and Italy for example, the railways use left-hand running, while the roads use right-hand running.
In Switzerland, the Lausanne Metro and railways at the Germany border area use RHT as well as all tram systems. The Semmering Railway in Austria uses LHT while most of the country is RHT. In countries such as Indonesia, it is the reverse. In Spain, where roads are RHT, metro systems in Madrid and Bilbao use LHT. In Sweden, the tram systems in Gothenburg, Norrköping and Stockholm are RHT; the railroads use LHT in general. In the Ukraine, some sections of Kryvyi Rih Metrotram use LHT due to tramcars have doors only on right side, which makes it impossible to use RHT at stations with island platforms. On the French-German border, for example, flyovers were provided so that trains moving on the left in France end up on the right in Germany and vice versa. Handedness of traffic can affect locomotive design. For the driver, visibility is good from both sides of the driving cab so the choice on which side to site the driver is less important. For example, the French SNCF Class BB 7200 is designed for using the left-hand track and therefore uses LHD.
When the design was modified for use in the Netherlands as NS Class 1600, the driving cab was not redesigned, keeping the driver on the left despite the fact that trains use the right-hand track in the Netherlands. The left/right principle in a country is followed on double track. On single track, when trains meet, the train that shall not stop uses the straight path in the turnout, which can be left or right. Double-track railways older ones, may use each track in one direction; this arrangement simplifies the signalling systems where the signalling is mechanical. Where the signals and points or rail switches are power-operated, it can be worthwhile to signal each line in both directions, so that the double line becomes a pair of single lines; this allows trains to use one track where the other track is out of service due to track maintenance work, or a train failure, or for a fast train to overtake a slow train. Most crossing loops are not regarded as double-track though they consist of multiple tracks.
If the crossing loop is long enough to hold several trains, to allow opposing trains to cross without slowing down or stopping that may be regarded as double-track. A more modern British term for such a layout is an extended loop; the distance between the track centres makes a difference in cost and performance of a double-track line. The track centres can be as narrow and as cheap as possible, but maintenance must be done on the side. Signals for bi-directional working cannot be mounted between the tracks so must be mounted on the'wrong' side of the line or on expensive signal bridges. For standard gauge tracks the distance may be 4 metres or less. Track centres are wider on high speed lines, as pressure waves knock each other as high-speed trains pass. Track centres are usually wider on sharp curves, the length and width of trains is contingent on the minimum railway curve radius of the railway. Increasing width of track centres of 6 metres or more makes it much easier to mount signals and overhead wiring structures.
Wide centres at major bridges can have military value. It makes it harder for rogue ships and barges knocking out both bridges in the same accident. Railway lines in desert areas affected by sand dunes are sometimes built on alternate routes so that if one is covered by sand, the other are still serviceable. If the standard track centre is changed, it can take a long time for most or all tracks to be brought into line. On British lines, the space between the two running rails of a single railway track is called the "four foot", while the space between the different tracks is called the "six foot", it is not safe to stand in the gap between the tracks when trains pass by on both lines, as happened in the Bere Ferrers accident of 1917. Narrow track centres on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway contributed to a fatal accident on opening day. A US naval scientist and submarine pioneer, Captain Jacques, was killed getting out of the wrong side of a train at Hadley Wood in 1916. Narrow track centres contribute to "Second Train Coming" accidents at level crossings since it is harder to see the second train – for example, the accident at Elsenham level crossing