The þ- shaped route and its services
The þ- shaped route runs between London and Glasgow, the two furthest apart big cities of this country, and along its way it serves all the big centres east of the Severn. A complete national network would have to have routes from Birmingham and London to Wales and the West Country, but that is not this project.
Notice that the only terminals are London, Liverpool, Blackpool, Glasgow and Hull. Newcastle is a partial terminus; trains for Scotland run straight through, others reverse at Heaton, only 2 miles beyond. All through stations other than Waterdale are simple 2-platform stations, except that Leeds may need a central pair of platforms to allow for reversing movements. The secondary stations, where fast trains overtake slow trains, need 4 tracks.
HS2 developed a route running from London to Birmingham. And Terminated it! Although their layout allows for trains to run from Birmingham to Liverpool, Manchester, and Leeds, I do not feel that that is satisfactory. North-going trains will fork two-ways at Rugby, not three-ways as HS2 propose, one of them into dead-end at Birmingham. In my scheme all trains to the west of the Pennines will bear west at Rugby, call at Birmingham, and go on to Liverpool or Manchester. This gives better connection between all 4 towns and the simplification of the route network allows Euston station to be simplified. This requires a route through Birmingham, overhead (my preference) or underground (expensive). It is important to give Birmingham as much access to its north as to its south. Through routes keep down the variety of trains; some of those Manchester trains will go on to Hull.
Going straight on at Rugby allows Leicester, a significant Midlands town, to be served and by crossing the Pennines at Leeds and Manchester, Preston and Blackpool can be served.
Money may be short. Then we should not allow the whole route to be built to a lower standard; that would make the lower standard permanent. Non-stop trains can run at full speed through Northallerton, Middlesbrough and Middle Rainton. All trains will call at Newcastle and will be slowed down for only a mile. To accept 125 mph through Penmanshiel (north of Berwick) rather than the full line speed over the top would add less than 3 minutes to total journey time.
Berwick is a loop off the main route. Taking it will add 10 minutes to journey time.
Middle Rainton is on the A690 Sunderland – Durham road. It serves both towns.
Middlesbrough is on low embankment like the A191 road, parallel to it and 1 km to the west of it. To honour George Stephenson, whose Stockton and Darlington Railway stopped only 2 miles away, it might be called “Middlesbrough, Stephenson”.
Northallerton interchanges with the ECML, which will still run.
The route closely follows the M62 from Manchester to Leeds, climbing on high viaduct over the village of Newhey, a gradient of 1:83, very average for British Main Lines.
I have replaced the green wellies town of Crewe by the much bigger cloth cap Stoke.
Waterdale is at the junction of the M1 and M25. That will make it a very important station. It will have park and ride, bus and rail connection. The route runs to it on viaduct over the M1 from S Pancras or the east side of Euston. We have many stations called “Victoria”, maybe this should be called “Watford, Elizabeth” to honour the Queen of our own time. Further details of this route are described under “Waterdale rather than Old Oak Common”.
Route 1 Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds (reverse), Waterdale, London. 2 tph. (Trains per hour). This is a journey of just under 500 miles and at a line speed of 100M/sec (224 mph) with six stops taking 6 minutes each and no slow-downs, it would take 2 hrs 40 mins. It should capture all the Central Belt - London air traffic, 4.2 million passengers/year.
Route 2 Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds(reverse), Sheffield, Nottingham/Derby, Leicester, Waterdale, London. 1 tph starting 00:05
Route 2A Glasgow, Edinburgh, Berwick loop-off, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds(reverse), Sheffield, Nottingham/Derby, Leicester, Waterdale, London. 1 tph starting 00:55. This train leaves the main route to stop at Berwick and re-joins the main route a regular 30 minutes behind Route 2
Route 3 Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Manchester Victoria, Stoke, Birmingham New St. Waterdale, London. 2 tph starting 00:20 & 00:50
Route 4 Newcastle, Middle Rainton, Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Leeds, Manchester Victoria, Manchester airport, Stoke, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham New St. Birmingham Airport, Coventry, Waterdale, London. 2 tph.
Route 5 Newcastle, Middle Rainton, Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Leeds(reverse), Barnsley, Sheffield, Nottingham/Derby, Leicester, Waterdale, London. 2 tph
Route 6 Hull, Leeds, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Airport, Stoke, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham New St. Birmingham Airport, Coventry, Waterdale, London. 2 tph
Route 7 Blackpool, Preston, Manchester Victoria, Leeds, Barnsley, Barnsley, Sheffield, Nottingham/Derby, Leicester, Waterdale, London. 2 tph.
Route 8 Liverpool Lime St. Stoke, Birmingham New St. Waterdale, London. 2 tph.
Trains must “layover” = “waste time” at their terminus, so that if a train finishes a journey late, it can still start its next journey on time. Trains will still layover at the terminals, but not along their routes.
Route 9 Liverpool Lime St. Circular, stopping at all stations round the ring, Manchester, Leeds, Barnsley, Sheffield, Nottingham/Derby, Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham New St, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Stoke, Manchester Airport, Liverpool Lime St. 4 tph. There will be a "standby train", if a train is late coming in, the standby train will take its place, and the late returner will become the new standby train.