MML future extension (yes, already!)

  • Hi all,

    I am new to the forum but I have been a TS user for many years so I am pleased to have found this forum (although I don't know how it has eluded me until now!). Having used the excellent Western Mainlines route quite extensively (much to the dismay of my ageing laptop!), I'm excited to see the current in-development extensions to the MML route and another high-mileage network in the pipeline.

    Without sounding far too eager and getting ahead of ourselves (or myself, in this case), I wondered if I could please get in early in making a suggestion for another future expansion (should JT and the development team wish to extend the route further once the Erewash and Leicester extensions are complete): adding the North Staffordshire line from Derby to Crewe, via Stoke-on-Trent, and freight-only Castle Donington branch in another extension DLC add-on.

    Potential points of interest with this are:

    • Adding Crewe TMD (E) and Stoke Marcroft onto a route which already has Toton TMD and yards, thus completing DB Cargo's three major hubs for wagon and traction repair;
    • Direct Rail Services' Crewe Gresty Bridge to the south-west of Crewe station;
    • Sinfin Sidings for Rolls Royce in Derby, which has seen weekly aviation fuel deliveries in recent times with Classes 37 / 56 / 60 / 66 / 67 providing traction;
    • Longport with associated traction facilities for GB Railfreight;
    • Cliffe Vale china clay sidings in Stoke;
    • East Midlands' new rail hub at Castle Donington, now seeing a regular intermodal service.

    In terms of scenario potential:

    • Class 222 Meridian services on football match-days between Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Nottingham;
    • HST services from Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham / Leicester on horse racing meetings at Uttoxeter;
    • Hourly Class 153 / 156 / 158 / 170 services, and in the near future direct Nottingham to Crewe services with East Midlands Railway;
    • Frequent Class 60 / 66 / 67 wagonload and light engine moves between Crewe TMD (E), Stoke Marcroft and Toton TMD;
    • DB Schenker / DB Cargo / Freightliner coal services (originating at Liverpool Bulk Terminal) between Crewe and Ratcliffe Power Station via Castle Donington and Toton Yard;
    • Aviation fuel services between Crewe (originating at Warrington Arpley) and Sinfin Sidings, complete with run-round and locomotive stabling at Derby station;
    • Direct Rail Services, EWS, Colas and Network Rail-operated test trains from Derby RTC to Crewe Carriage Sidings;
    • Frequent rail charters between Sheffield, Leicester, Nottingham and Crewe.

    I understand this perhaps takes away the "Midland Mainline" aspect of the route, but there is scope in my opinion for producing another grand-scale Western Mainlines-style route but this time covering the North and East Midlands, of which there is a rich history in railway heritage.

    Otherwise I am extremely excited for the forthcoming extensions and please keep up the great work.