Rail Curves – Vital rail connections – 3 projects come to mind

Curves on railways – in reality pieces of hardly or never used track/trackbed that folks are campaigning to have reinstated so that better services can be delivered.

I can think of 3 of them in the north west of England:-

The Burscough Curves – They should connect the Ormskirk – Preston and Southport – Wigan lines but were taken out of use in the 1960’s. OPSTA, John Pugh (MP for Southport) and others across the political spectrum have be fighting for years to get the curves brought back because Southport – Preston trains would be a possibility and indeed Ormskirk – Southport trains as well. Sadly, the powers that be continue to drag their heels whilst giving tea and sympathy.

Looking towards Wigan at Burscough with the Ormskirk - Preston line crossing the Southport - Wigan line via the bridge. The Burscough Curves would reconnect these two lines.

Looking towards Wigan at Burscough with the Ormskirk – Preston line crossing the Southport – Wigan line via the bridge. The Burscough Curves would reconnect these two lines.

The Todmorden Curve – It has recently been reinstated and trains from Burnley will be able to reach Manchester far more quickly. Burnley’s last MP Gordon Birtwistle was a big driver for this work to be done.

The Halton Curve – down near Runcorn/Widnes and it looks like it is on the verge of being slated for reinstatement. When it is it will improve rail services for Merseysider’s and folks in North Wales.

So two out of 3 north west rail curves (2 out of 4 in reality as the Burscough Curves is plural of course) is not bad but rail travelers in West Lancashire and Sefton should not rest from their campaigning until all 4 are slated for being brought back into use.

Liverpool – A map for its future rail connections across the region?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/how-liverpools-rail-system-could-8979832

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

Anyone would think that I am a railway enthusiast because today two people have sent me a link to the above Liverpool Echo article. So thanks Keith Page and Andrew Brown you have me banged to rights it seems.

A Merseyrail electric unit at Bootle New Strand Station

A Merseyrail electric unit at Bootle New Strand Station

Seriously, this forward thinking by Kayla Bibby is worthy of significant consideration as Merseyside’s rail network desperately needs to grow so that it encompasses the whole of the travel to work area for Liverpool. Not only that but major towns like Southport need far better rail connectivity especially with Preston but also with Ormskirk.

This promotional Merseytram bookmark is about all that Liverpool City Region has to show for its big tram ideas.

This promotional Merseytram bookmark is about all that Liverpool City Region has to show for its big tram ideas.

Merseytravel went off the rails a few years ago when it got pulled into the tram mania that has been sweeping city after city in the UK. Don’t get me wrong I think trams are a great idea but on Merseyside we already had a good heavy rail network which could reasonably easily be expanded. To wander off dreaming about trams was an unnecessary waste of a few years and a huge amount of public money; no wonder the last Labour Government said no to Merseytram.

Let’s see what from Kayla Bibby’s map can reasonably be achieved and then get the ball rolling or the train on the tracks.