Trans Pennine - The History and Future of the Trans Pennine Main Line, by Alan J Haigh, subtitled 'Liverpool - Manchester - Leeds - York -Newcastle, and Manchester - Sheffield - Hull, and the associated routes'
Published by Xpress, 64 pages. Large A4 size softback (N5444)
From the introduction: There were once six main railway routes from east to west traversing the northern Pennine hills two of which have now been closed. These will be considered in outline but in this work we will concentrate on the main trunk Trans-Pennine Standedge line which has been developed as the premier cross Pennine route linking the great northern cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull. As passengers have to be dispersed from these city centre stations we will also consider the various connecting transit systems of the major northern cities.
The railway from Liverpool to Newcastle via Manchester and Leeds is currently being electrified. Of course some sections, such as the east coast main line and the main stations of Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, already have overhead electric wires but once the missing links are complete electric trains will run over the full route.
Trans-Pennine services date from the pre-grouping era when the London & North Western Railway and the North Eastern Railway provided a joint express service via Leeds and the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and North Eastern via Wakefield. These were continued from 1923 jointly by the London Midland and Scottish and London and North Eastern companies. Services from Liverpool to Newcastle also survived during the nationalised British Railways era from 1948 to 1994 but direct services between the two cities were withdrawn in the privatised railway era in 2007 but were resumed in 2014.
The other historic service was from Liverpool to Hull. It was however British Railways who first introduced the Trans-Pennine branding on this route and expanded services to Middlesbrough, Scarborough, North Wales and Manchester Airport.
The Standedge route involves formidable infrastructure and gradients which required steam locomotives to be worked very hard for long stretches. This was eased with the introduction of the diesels but electric traction is ideally suited to this terrain and it is difficult to understand why it has taken so long to electrify this key route.
In times past Inter-city services in the north were orientated to reaching London with cross country lines playing a secondary role. Despite this the northern lines serve areas of character with outstanding countryside, great cities, industrial heritage and a strong sporting culture. The forthcoming electric Trans-Pennine services therefore have a very bright future as services are expanded, frequencies increased and journey times reduced. Chapters include:
- Reminiscences of Trans- Pennine
- The Pennine hills
- Trans- Pennine rail routes, including The Woodhead route, The Hope Valley route, Calder Valley, The Standedge route, Aire Valley routes, The Stainmore route
- Liverpool to Newcastle rail history
- Train services
- Railway operation in the days of steam
- The change to diesel
- Trans- Pennine rail routes in pictures
- Electrification and HS2/HS3
- The future and conclusions
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