Additional Information


A Growth Vision for the Economy of North Wales


Mersey Dee - Our Unique City Region ‘Unlocking our true potential’


Briefing – GT360 Priorities - October 2016 (document is below)







The GT360 campaign has identified key priorities to help give definition to the immediate requests to government and industry. These priorities address both the infrastructure improvements that are needed to unlock the sub-regional network and also service improvements that are required in franchise renewals.


Growth Track 360 remains fully committed to the long-term aim for electrification and connectivity to Crewe Hub and HS2. A key lobby point remains for increased HS2 services to Crewe with the potential for long-term of classic-compatible services to Holyhead which intrinsically requires electrification.




The North Wales and Mersey-Dee Cross Border Rail Task Force has established and embedded a governance structure for the GT360 programme (Appendix A). This delivers both political and strategic leadership and technical project development with industry in the Growth Track Industry Group.


Priority Infrastructure Projects for inclusion in CP6 Planning – £130 million



This suite of infrastructure improvements has been identified in the Wales and Border Route study and will help provide the catalyst for growth. These improvements will allow increased service capacity with quicker journeys and will provide the first step towards transformational change within the cross-border economy. These initial infrastructure projects are required to enable enhanced services to be delivered.

Detailed Table of Prioritised Infrastructure Improvements


Improving Todays Railway (Initial Industry


Estimated Cost

Comments / Benefits

Wrexham – Chester Capacity

  • Track and Platform capacity at Chester Station
  • Track and Platform capacity at Wrexham General Station
  • Redoubling Wrexham – Rossett




£40 million


£10 million


£45 million

Three linked projects combining;


Additional track and signalling infrastructure with additional capacity at Chester and Wrexham General stations,  all of which are critical to enable service growth and improving connectivity with the Northern Powerhouse and other regions.




Rail Capacity Supporting Economic Growth

Line Speed Improvements  Holyhead to Warrington / Crewe



£20 million

Capacity and journey time reductions linking North Wales, Chester, with Manchester and Liverpool City Regions and Crewe HS2 Hub

Deeside – Wrexham – Wirral Corridor

  • Wrexham Bidston Improvements
  • Shotton Hub




£10 million

Service, line speed and capacity improvements linking Enterprise Zones, Higher Education and Further Education provision and population


HS2 Enabling Project

Preparation for Electrification CP7

Preparation work for CP7 Delivery – Warrington / Crewe – Holyhead Electrification




£5 million

Funding to undertake development work towards electrification to ensure that North Wales and cross border services can fully benefit from HS2 and enable classic compatible services after 2027.



Essential Minimum Franchise Commitments For Service Improvements


Two way service patterns providing a minimum 4 trains per hour (tph) along the North Wales coast and 2 tph between Wrexham and Chester by combining through trains, joining up of trains at Chester or robust connections to provide the connectivity of:


•          1 x tph Holyhead / Bangor / Llandudno / Chester to London through services (Inter City West Coast franchise)






For N Wales coast services alternative trains could operate  from either of Holyhead / Bangor / Llandudno to give a balanced service to all destinations.


An optional approach would be to have stopping services along the coast from Holyhead to Llandudno / Chester allowing longer distance services to be accelerated by not having to stop at all intermediate stations.


All stations to have at least 2tph (Llandudno Jct to Chester) and 1 tph (Llandudno Jct to Holyhead).


Rolling Stock

The new Wales and Borders franchise should include a rolling stock strategy that should be:


Flexible - To avoid using too many train paths at busy parts of the network, consideration to link trains at hubs should be given. E.g. 2 coach train from Bangor joins a 2 coach train from Llandudno at Llandudno Jct. A further 2 coach train from Wrexham would join at Chester giving a 6 coach service to Manchester / Liverpool at peak times.


Long distance rolling stock to be min 100 mph, with good quality Wi-Fi, plug sockets and plenty of tables for business use. Local and commuter stock would be configured differently.


Franchise Management Options

The new franchise could include options for more localised management of the franchise to ensure close connections with communities and rail users.

Having scope for a local management unit for "local / stopping" services on the N Wales Coast and between Wrexham - Bidston and on the Conwy Valley line would be useful. Local management issues could include

•          Ticket and fare strategy

•          Marketing

•          Time table

•          Demand improvement measures including car parking and station facilities




Flexibility to vary the franchise and service specification to suit changing services is essential. If the franchise extends beyond the period when HS2 or electrification takes place, there should be scope for a fundamental review of services.



Appendix A