No trains this weekend 21/22 March

March 19, 2015

Just a reminder that due to engineering works ALL TRAINS THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ARE REPLACED BY BUSES.

See National Rail Enquiries for further details


No trains Sat 14th, Sat 21st, Sun 22nd March

March 13, 2015

bussignPlease note due to engineering works there are NO TRAINS TO OR FROM WALKDEN STATION TOMORROW (SAT 14th).

A bus replacement service will operate – but is unlikely to carry bicycles or prams, and journeys will almost certainly take considerably longer.

The same applies next weekend, except trains will be replaced by buses on both Saturday and Sunday (21st & 22nd).



Come to the FOWS AGM !

March 7, 2015

The agenda for our Annual General Meeting can now be downloaded here.

It’s sure to be one of the most important AGM’s for years with the recent publications about electrification planning and increased services in the next Northern franchise, and we are delighted Northern Rail’s Matthew Worman will be joining us as Guest Speaker.

The meeting is open to all members of the public with an interest in the future of Walkden station – and we welcome views and ideas from members and non-members alike.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm in the Concert Room at Walkden Legion Club on Wilfred Road, M28 3AJ.



Electrification Task Force prioritises Walkden route

March 5, 2015

Hot on the heels of last week’s incredibly positive Northern franchise specification for Walkden’s train service, there was more good news today as the government’s North of England Electrification Task Force published its Final Report and Recommendations.

The report recommends a widespread programme of electrification across the whole region, but most excitingly for us the route between Southport/Kirkby and Salford, including Walkden, has been scored as the third highest priority in the entire north of England. If the report’s proposals are followed electrification work could begin in 2019.

FOWS have long supported the electrification of services as a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial way to provide faster services in more modern trains while remaining an integral part of the national rail network.



New Northern franchise promises dramatic service improvement from 2017

March 1, 2015

The DfT this week published the Invitation To Tender for operating the Northern franchise from 2017, and contrary to many people’s fears it includes some dramatic uplifts in minimum service levels across the network … and Walkden seems to be one of the biggest beneficiaries !

Our timetable geeks are running over the facts and figures so we may yet discover some catches, but on the face of things the new operator will be compelled to increase the number of services from Manchester on weekdays from 31 to 51 – that’s a quarter-hourly service during the day – and the Sunday service will become half-hourly during the day, and run later into the evening.

There’s “many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip” but so far as we can see this will be a legally binding minimum level of service that the winning bidder is bound to provide, and it’s difficult to imagine any shade of government that forms after May making such an unpopular move as to row back on commitments so closely linked to the main parties’ pledges to boost the northern economy.


FOWS Annual General Meeting date and venue confirmed

February 7, 2015

Our Annual General Meeting will be held at Wednesday 11th March starting at 7.30pm in the Concert Room, Walkden Legion Club, Wilfred Road, Worsley, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M28 3AJ.

Our AGM – like all our meetings – is free to attend and open to the general public, and we hope to see a mixture of old friends and new faces there.

Matthew Worman, Northern Rail’s Client & Stakeholder Manager has kindly agreed to give a short update on status and plans at Northern Rail.

Provisional dates for our 2015 meetings, which all start at 7.15pm @ Walkden Legion Club are:

  • Weds 13th May
  • Weds 15th July
  • Weds 9th Sept
  • Weds 11th Nov

Minutes of last year’s AGM are attached here for reference.


Good riddance to the Pacers ? Not so fast …

February 7, 2015
About as warm and comfortable as a bobsleigh, Pacers are the temporary solution that keeps on clinging on

About as warm and comfortable as a sleigh ride, Pacers are the temporary solution that keeps on clinging on

After the government’s Autumn statement where the Chancellor finally pledged to rid the railways of Pacer trains by 2020, the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has this week muddied the waters by telling journalists “There may be odd routes where they will still have a role but overall the Pacers have had their day”.

This latest development, which has caused dismay for travellers across the North, suggests the government have realised what industry insiders said at the time of George Osborne’s promise – at the current rate of electrification and without any plans to order replacement diesels, the pledge would not be honoured.

Meanwhile, the government continues to place orders for brand new trains to operate in the south-east.



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