Frequently Asked Questions
Would the Woodhead tunnel be capable of accommodating the height
In single configuration there would be no problem, but this would
restrict expansion and prevent other rail traffic from using the
route. Translink plan therefore to lower the track bed through the
tunnel by 700 mm to allow twin tracks and a maximum lorry height
How will the viaducts cope with the weight of the Rolling Stock,
which will be far heavier than the current passenger trains using
The weight will be spread over eight axles not four, as was the
case with the EM2 Bo-Bo driven coal trains using the route prior
to its closure, which carried a similar load. By spreading the weight
over eight axles, the maximum per axle would 8.25 T not 10T, as
was the case with the old Coal Wagons.
Wouldn't using Hattersley as the location for the Translink Western
terminal just bring the HGV traffic to this community?
Yes, HGV traffic would be diverted along the wide stretch of the
currently underused A560, which used to be a dual carriageway. However,
the distance between front door and lorries would be at least 11.3
metres. Currently, in the villages the distance between front doors
and lorries can be as little as 1 metre. Also, Translink propose
to line the A560 Stockport Road with trees, which are an effective
and natural means of sound absorption.Translink would also bring
much needed jobs and prosperity to the local community.
How is the project going to be funded?
Translink have a robust business case and are confident that the
entire project can be funded privately. That is at effectively no
direct cost to the tax payer. Any revenue through grant subsidy
will be refunded annually through taxation on Translink's profits.
Translink compares its Rolling Highway proposal with Roll-on Roll-off
facilities used on the continent to cross the Alp and Eurotunnel
to cross the Channel. Surely these are used to cross major geographical
obstacles and thus not comparable.
Take the Eurotunnel example. There are many ways of crossing the
channel with numerous ferry crossings, but few ways of crossing
the Pennines, hence the massive congestion problems. The Woodhead
route is 32 miles long and in many ways similar to Eurotunnel. However,
if Eurotunnel had cost only £160 Million it would today be
making a massive profit. The advantage of Translink is that the
route is already built.
What are the possibilities of additionally using the line for:
through freight; through passenger services (diversionary and/or
regular); and local passenger services (requiring the re-building
A main component of the revenue stream is through traffic, both
passenger and freight. This answers both your points 1 and 2. The
problem with 3 is that it would cause major congestion on the route,
however we are looking at signaling options which may allow us to
better synchronise such traffic.
What will happen to the Longdendale trail for walkers, cyclists
and horse riders (This is a valued resource within the local community
which I assume many people, including myself, would like to see
There was always a footpath by the line before it was closed and
Translink will re-instate this and maintain it. It will probably
have a few more hills, twists and turns in it, however some say
the current path is a bit boring anyway.
How will the rail passenger service to Hadfield and Glossop be
accommodated. Are any passenger stations likely to close as a result
of your proposals? Note that there is a proposal to provide a new
station at Gamesley which may conflict with your operation. How
will your proposals affect the passenger service?
We plan to demolish the current station at Hattersley and move
it further down the line. If you make a visit on any day of the
week you will find the current station ticket with the shutters
down and the car park deserted. Whats needed is just a small
platform with hop on hop off facility. As regards Gamesley, this
can be accommodated as the HGV service allows for a 15 minute headway.
The current Glossop Hadfield link will continue, but we are hoping
to merge this into a service that will provide a link to Sheffield
What will be the access arrangements for the terminal at Hattersley?
Will major road changes be required and how will the impact on Hattersley
residents be reduced or eliminated?
The major changes will be to the A560 as discussed on our website
and a better approach to Hattersley station is envisaged.
During the 1980's the height of Woodhead damn was raised which
cut across the original railway alignment. At times of flood I assume
that the alignment adajacent to Woodhead reservoir would also be
flooded. How do you propose to deal with this and would extensive
new concrete or earthworks be required? What visual impact will
The height of the damn has indeed increased but the water line
is still well below that of the track bed. Whilst some re-alignment
will be required this is the least of our challenges.
Woodhead new tunnel only has one ventilation shaft (since it
was built as an electric line). I see you propose to run 5 trains
an hour and use diesels. How do you propose to ensure adequate ventilation?
The Woodhead tunnel was indeed designed for the electric line,
but diesels, though not at the same frequency as were planning,
still used it. To cope with the additional traffic, we have allowed
for longitudinal tunnel ventilation in our costing, combining this
with the air available in the adjacent tunnel.