The Glossop Line is already served by clean, comfortable 3 coach Class 323 electric units with seats for 284 passengers. At peak times passengers joining from Godley onwards may struggle to get a seat. Passenger numbers continue to rise – use of Glossop Station alone totalled 765,364 in 2012. Along with Hadfield and Dinting well over a million passengers now use these 3 Derbyshire stations. In their own analyses TfGM recognize that use of tram train vehicles would significantly increase overcrowding and they also note that economic/social costings are only medium compared to converting the Marple Line – phase one. We would like to stress that we feel that Heavy Rail ie conventional style trains should be retained on the Glossop Line. With the huge numbers using the trains longer ie 4 coach and more frequent trains would seem to be the logical solution. We are also concerned that any tie in with Metrolink would mean loss of staff at booking offices and the withdrawal of being able book to anywhere in the country. And closure of ticket offices would negate all the recent improvements to the new ticket office and waiting rooms! Ironically too journeys would be no quicker!
Northern’s recently introduced skip stopping timetable ie most trains not stopping at Gorton has been broadly welcomed by Glossop users. And with no news of any concrete proposals for relieving traffic on Mottram Moor it would seem sensible to keep a window open for a possible rail revival of the Woodhead route to Sheffield. Running Tram trains could prevent this. Glossop needs better East connectivity which is often overlooked! The Station Friends’ groups at Glossop, Hadfield, Dinting, Broadbottom and Hattersley are in the process of forming a Glossop Line forum. The vision being to present a unified voice on the future of the Glossop line - in terms of trains, timetabling and staffing. Our ideas/conclusions will be made available, we hope, next Spring. We will use these as the basis for discussion with new franchisees next year and in the run up to the new 2016 Franchise start. We will seek through the High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership to engage in discussions with TfGM to ensure they are fully aware of the local issues/concerns they have raised with their consideration of tram trains for the Glossop Line. So far we are unaware of TfGM doing this outside GM. The national Tram Train pilot project involving these vehicles is due to start in 2016 between Sheffield and Rotherham. Your comments / thoughts welcomed!! Read the full Press Release here (PDF file - relevant section from page 41)