Frequently Asked Questions

Would the Woodhead tunnel be capable of accommodating the height of lorries?

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 of 4.86M.

How will the viaducts cope with the weight of the Rolling Stock, which will be far heavier than the current passenger trains using the line?

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 of stations).

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 retained);

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. What’s 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 Meadowhall.

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 this have?

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 we’re 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.

© Translink 2006