Archive for December, 2007

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Chamber of Commerce Support for Walkden

December 11, 2007

We were pleased to note the letter in last week’s Salford Advertiser expressing Greater Manchester’s Chamber of Commerce’s frustration at the lack of investment from GMPTE in stations like Walkden, and the lack of clear commitments on spending plans for future years.

The letter shows that the lack of investment is viewed as a problem by the business community at large, and not just the passengers who face years of waiting for substantial improvments.

 

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Watch out for timetable errors

December 11, 2007

Passengers are warned that at least one of the newly amended train times does not appear to be in effect yet.

The 20.21 departure from Victoria is still showing on platform screens and leaving at the old time of 20.20.

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FOWS in the Press

December 11, 2007

FOWS are featured in an article entitled “Walkden: from neglect to nurture” in the Winter 2007 edition of Northern Rail’s stakeholder magazine “Connections”.

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Vandals Strike Again

December 11, 2007

Both litter bins have again been ripped off the wall in the last few days. Replacements are on order.

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Rush-hour chaos … on the 22.34 !

December 7, 2007

Evening services from Manchester to Walkden have steadily become busier over the last couple of years as more and more people discover the convenience of travelling back by train from nights out in Manchester, particularly from the big shows at the MEN Arena. Unfortunately some of these services are “victims of their own success” as the over-crowding problems that blight rush-hour services are being seen more and more frequently on the last two evening trains.

Last night mayhem erupted on the 22.34 waiting to leave Victoria when the guard announced that two of the crowded four carriages would not be making the journey due to technical failure. This triggered a rush onto the two operating carriages: the train was delayed 15 minutes, not all passengers were able to board, and those that did were terribly over-crowded – a dismal experience unlikely to encourage people to rely on the service in future.

Longer, more frequent, more reliable trains will be needed if the welcome growth in evening passenger numbers is to be sustained.

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Winter Timetable

December 5, 2007

The winter timetable – running from Sunday 9th December through to 17th May 2008 – includes no major improvements to services from Walkden.

The number of trains is unchanged in both directions, and connections from Salford Crescent to the Airport do not appear to have improved (for example, the 06.29 still misses the Airport connection from Salford Crescent by 3 minutes).

Many trains – particularly Manchester bound – are timed to depart a couple of minutes later, but passengers should check the departure time of their train carefully as a few trains depart slightly earlier than before.

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Ticket Inspections

December 5, 2007

This week saw the first ever barrier ticket check at Walkden, part of Northern’s on-going crack down on fare evasion.

FOWS believe fare-dodging pushes up travel costs for all legitimate passengers, and undermines the station’s passenger-usage numbers which can negatively affect how the station is prioritised for future investment. We applaud Northern’s effort to tackle this menace more vigourously than First North Western did.