Extension and ElectrificatioiL of Loop and Main Lines
The London and North Eastern Railway Company announced last week that they had approved the expenditure of £2,500,000 on the largest "all-in " electrification scheme ever attempted in this country. The scheme involves more than seventy miles of the company's railway lines, and includes the forty-two miles between Manchester and Sheffield, as well as a line which runs approximately round Manchester.
Linking London Road and Central Stations
This route will link London Road and Central Stations, and a short arm will serve the sidings at Trafford Park.
The present service over the lines to be electrified is maintained by 181 steam locomotives. These will now be superseded by 88 electric locomotives with 40-ton vacuum-fitted brake-vans. of which there will be 41 in all.
The average speed of passenger trains between Manchester and Sheffield will be increased by electrification from 40 m.p.h., as at present, to 50 mph., and the quickest train of the day will do the journey in 45 minutes instead of 55 minutes. Freight trains will be proportionately accelerated, and the average speed of the suburban passenger services will be increased by about six miles an hour.
An important factor will be the increased capacity of the three-mile-long tunnel between Woodhead and Dunford Bridge. At present only four trains an hour can pass through the " up" tunnel (there are separate tunnels for up and down traffic), but with an electrified line the capacity will be increased 25 per cent.
Manchester people will be pleased to learn that the company proposes to institute multiple-unit electric trains for the suburban service between London Road Station and Glossop and to increase the "density " of this important suburban service by 40,000 miles annually.
Garden City Applications
Following upon this scheme for electrification it is more than possible that Wythenshawe, Manchester's " garden city," will again make application to be included in the scheme through the Manchester Car
It has been suggested that a new electric line could be constructed from Alderley Edge to Manchester Central Station by way of Baguley, Wytheshawe and the South Manchester suburbs; and further that the Manchester and South Junction line could be extended from Altrincham to Wythenshawe to link up with the Alderley Edge route.
Councillor W. P. Jackson, chairman of the Wythenshawe special committee of the Manchester Corporation stated that a move would almost certainly be made to ask the railway companies to extend the loop line to Wythenshawe, to bring electric trains to London Road Station or any of the intermediate stations if desired.