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Say “No” to trains skipping stops

August 30, 2015

Were you among the passengers stranded at Salford Crescent last night when the 2138 service to Wigan was ordered to pass through the station without stopping ?

If so please be sure to register a complaint with Northern Rail using either

The stop was skipped due to “unusually heavy passenger flows” but when the 2-coach Pacer train passed through the station it was clear there was plenty of standing space available in both carriages. Moreover, 6 empty carriages (class 150 and 156, all bigger coaches than the Pacer) passed through Salford Crescent into Victoria only 10 minutes earlier.

As a result of the skipped-stop some 20-odd passengers had to wait over an hour for the next service or buy a ticket to go home by bus.

So called “skip-stopping” is a highly unpopular practise used on other Northern routes to recover lost time when a train is running late, and we do not wish to see it spreading to our services to/from Walkden.

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Next FoWS public meeting

August 22, 2015

The next meeting of FoWS will be held on Wednesday 16th September starting at 7.30pm in Walkden Legion Club, on Wilfred Road, a few minutes walk from the station.

We hold meetings every 2 months, and they’re open not only to existing members but to anyone who has as interest in the station or our work.

If you’ve heard about our success in being awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year and would like to find out more, please come along … you are assured of a warm welcome !

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FoWS on the airwaves

August 22, 2015
FoWS Chair Andy Barlow has given an extensive interview about the work and achievements of FoWS on Salford City Radio. Salford City Radio podcast to hear the podcast (it’s the 20th August show, and the interview starts in the 8th minute).
Over half an hour Andy covers just about anything anyone could want to know about Walkden station and FoWS, from In Bloom to disabled access, local heritage to the demise of Pacers, franchising to the QAVS.
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Discount entry to the Southport Flower Show with Northern Rail

August 19, 2015

If you’re heading to the Southport Flower Show over the next few days you may be interested to know you can net a £6.50 discount by buying your entrance ticket at the same time as your train ticket.

Northern Rail’s Southport Flower Show offer

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Volunteers help Walkden bloom again

August 2, 2015

FOWS have been busy at the station today replenishing a few of the troughs and planters that have suffered mistreatment from human and animal vandals.

FoWS volunteers by the Wigan platform flower bed

FoWS volunteers by the Wigan platform flower bed

Over the last few months the low troughs at the end of the platform have been a magnet for young foxes who regard the fresh compost as a kind of play pit with the added attraction of yummy worms and grubs. Their digging has almost emptied one trough and left deep holes in the other, all of which we were able to repair today.

The new Weeping Willow

The new Weeping Willow

We also planted a weeping willow in place of the lilac that was mindlessly uprooted and snapped recently and weeded the flower beds, where the astromeria is looking particularly gorgeous this year.

We hope station users and passing train passengers will enjoy the colours and textures of the summer “display” at Walkden station !

As always, we are immensely grateful to Salford City Council‘s Community Committee In Bloom scheme for their financial support which makes the upkeep of the station gardens possible, and to Albert and the team at Linnyshaw Garden Centre for their excellent plants and friendly service.

The worst fox-damaged planter, before today's gardening

The worst fox-damaged planter, before today’s gardening

A train arriving from Manchester Victoria passes the newly re-planted troughs

A train arriving from Manchester Victoria passes the newly re-planted troughs

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Engineering cancelled: Sunday trains will operate as normal tomorrow

July 4, 2015

We’re told by local Northern staff that a normal Sunday train service will operate at Walkden tomorrow (5th July).

Online journey planners are still showing bus replacements, but in fact the planned engineering works have been cancelled – unfortunately it seems no-one told the national timetable computer !

It’s a good job we still have a manned Booking Office at Walkden for situations like these when online resources go bad.

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Consumer Champions fight back for passenger threatened with court for 70p short fare

June 30, 2015

FoWS applauds Northern Rail’s efforts to cut down on the fare-dodging that was endemic when they took over the regional franchise, and have no truck with passengers who deliberately seek to avoid paying their way.

However, the approach has been a infuriatingly inconsistent (no barrier checks at Oxford Road on a summer Sunday afternoon … really ?!) and press stories about heavy-handed treatment of people making innocent mistakes appear with worrying frequency. The afternoon/evening peak rules that were introduced last year are a classic example of fare rules so complex even some ticket office staff admitted they couldn’t understand them, so what hope infrequent passengers ?

Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unfairly accused of fare evasion it may be worth noting that newspapers’ “Consumer Champions” sometimes have more success at challenging Northern Rail than individuals, as demonstrated by this story about a traveller from Bolton in last weekend’s Guardian threatened with a criminal record for a 70p short fare.

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