Saturday, 3 September 2016

Lymm to Lime Street

Having worked out a route for HS2 to connect to Liverpool with minimum fuss and cost I thought I had better price it. I found some estimates done in 2007 by Network rail for upgrading various lines to GB & GC gauge to take double decker trains or extra long trains. It is Version: 1.21Preliminary Evaluation of Double Deck Extra Long Train Operations Table 1.3 provided most of the information.

The plan I outlined requires the upgrade of the Ditton to Lime Street section which already has OHLE, so I used the figures for the London-Ipswich Route which is similar.

For Bank Quay to Ditton, the line exists but is not electrified, so I took the low from London -> Brighton and the high from London to Southampton.

To estimate the reinstatement of the line from East of Lymm to Bank Quay was a little trickier, I took the numbers from HS2 own estimates for Phase 2 and took out the irrelevant bits. Such as there being no Tunnels this gives a cost of £64 million per mile of which on £17 is construction costs.

Route Miles Min m£ Max m£ Low Per Mile High Per Mile
London →Brighton 51 810 1200 15.8823529412 23.5294117647
London →Ipswich 68 890 1340 13.0882352941 19.7058823529
London →Southampton 79 610 1440 7.7215189873 18.2278481013
London →Oxford 63 800 1720 12.6984126984 27.3015873016
HS new build

64.375 126.333504

Ditton-> Lime Street 10 130.8823529412 197.0588235294

Warrington BQ->Ditton 8 61.7721518987 188.2352941176

192.6545048399 385.2941176471

2007->2016 Pounds 1.31 252.3774013403 504.7352941176

East of Lymm 8 515 1010.668032

Total 26 767.3774013403 1515.4033261177

from my spreadsheet East of Lymm to Lime Street.

If we take the cost of East of Lymm down to just construction, then the total cost is £469m, if you wanted you could knock another £130 million off and just have the classic compatible running into Lime Street. I'm assuming that there would be little to saved by using only W10 on reinstatements and upgrades. So that should be done to GC gauge.
These numbers do not include building a new station at Lime Street or a complex remodeling of Ditton junction, to bring the lines in from Warrington to the centre 2 without crossing at grade, which would be needed for optimal performance, as would a complex junction between HS2 and this spur or the extra work needed on the viaduct over the Manchester Ship canal. Nor does it involve and remodelling of the route around Warrington Bank Quay. This is simply to get the trains through with no traffic.
So a cost of between £0.5 billion and £1.5bmillion doesn't sound unreasonable, just to be on the safe side say 1 billion. It is still less than Liverpool City council offered to pay.


  1. Excellent calculation wise, but someone must start do estimates HR wise, as money doesn't seem to be problem any more!..

  2. Excellent calculation wise, but someone must start do estimates HR wise, as money doesn't seem to be problem any more!..