The Translink Solution
Translink propose to construct a rolling highway over a period
of two years by re-opening the Woodhead Rail Link . The Woodhead
rail link was once part of the Great Central Railway line,
a major commercial conduit carrying freight and passengers
between the large industrial hubs of the North and South of
England. It runs alongside the A628/A616 trunks roads between
Hadfield and Deepcar. However, the route was a victim of the
railway decline during the 70's and 80's and closed for rail
traffic in 1982. The line was subsequently removed and abandoned.
- Environment - to improve
the local environment in Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle,
and to minimise the impact on the Peak District National
- Safety - by removing
most of the HGV traffic from the A628/A616 safety for all
future users of these roads will be improved, both inside
and outside of the villages.
- Economy - to bring
greater prosperity to the North of England through reduced
congestion and delays for transpennine traffic, shorter
journey times and lower freight costs.
- Accessibility - to
reduce community severance, to improve access to Glossop
Dale for all who live there and to ensure that unspoilt
ancient woodland of great natural beauty is accessible to
- Integration - to support
national, regional and local transport strategies, the South
Pennine Integrated Transport Strategy, and to take account
of the views of the Regional Planning Conferences. To work
closely with the National Highways Agency to ensure seamless
access to and from the Eastern and Western Translink Terminals.
It is intended that the Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) terminals
would be situated in Hattersley, at the end of the M67 link
to the M60 Manchester orbital, and Tinsley, Sheffield close
to Junction 34 of the M1.
Map showing the Translink route and terminals
Most of the ‘Woodhead' Route was built to the Bern gauge
and therefore, with the type of rolling stock already available
on the market, construction and commissioning of the line
could be completed within a two year time frame. The 3-mile
long tunnel at the Woodhead summit, together with the various
bridges and viaducts along the route are in excellent condition
and whilst some realignment will be required, few challenges
lie ahead. The RoRo terminals themselves will be of simple
design and construction, since they will not require any special
loading/unloading facilities involving heavy lift equipment.