Archive for November, 2008


Meet The Manager – this Tuesday !

November 30, 2008


A reminder that this Tuesday (2nd Dec) from 5pm to 6.30pm Northern Rail’s Area Manager Natasha Wilding and Acting Station Manager Bill Robison will be at the station to meet passengers.

This will be a great opportunity to share your views with Northern Rail’s local management, and to ask questions about the station and services.

Thanks to the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), FOWS will be serving free mince pies and mulled wine for people stopping to chat, so why not drop by on your way home to say “Hi” and find out what’s really going on at Walkden ?!


Flower beds get a winter makeover !

November 30, 2008
Wigan border full of new plants

Wigan border full of new plants

Friends of Walkden braved the sub-zero temperature this morning to freshen up the flower beds on both platforms at Walkden. Weeds and dead plants were removed to be replaced with a collection of hebes, mini-conifers, pansies, peoris and ornamental roses amongst others.

The plants have all been funded by a Salford City Council “In Bloom” grant, which is also paying for some new planters currently being manufactured for FOWS by J. Hughes Engineering of Monton.

We hope all station users will enjoy and respect the new plants … and leave them where they are … J


Another new flower bed at Walkden

November 23, 2008
The new flower bed - before the FOWS makeover

The new flower bed - before the FOWS makeover

FOWS have planted up the vacant border at the west (road bridge) end of the Manchester platform with a collection of grasses, euonymous, cyclamen and primulas.

The plants have been funded by a new In Bloom grant from Salford City Council, which is also paying for improvements to the existing beds and some new planters – all to be installed by FOWS over the next few weeks.


FOWS volunteers with the newly planted bed

FOWS volunteers with the newly planted bed

This plot of land had been left vacant in the expectation that the station roof renovators would require access through this area, but that work is now understood to have been scheduled for the next financial year, so FOWS decided to “pretty it up” in the meantime.

FOWS are grateful to Salford City Council and the In Bloom project for their continued generous support of our efforts to improve the environment in and around the station.


Peak passenger numbers rocket 23% in one year

November 23, 2008

FOWS’ annual survey of passenger numbers conducted last Thursday recorded 511 passengers using the station between the first train at 0629 and 1330 –  representing a massive 19% increase from 2007.

The increase was even more pronounced in the morning peak (from 0730 to 0930) where numbers rose 23% from 242 to 298.

Although our survey only provides a snapshot on a single day, we have surveyed on the same day of the week and at the same time of year in order to make year-on-year comparisons as meaningful as possible. In combination with GMPTE’s survey figures the trend over the last 5 years is unmistakable, with peak time commuter travel from Walkden to Manchester having more than doubled (up 110%) in just 4 years.

For full details please visit the Passenger Numbers page on our website.


Download the new timetable from Northern Rail

November 19, 2008

The new timetable starting Dec 14th is now available for download from Northern Rail at


Timetable shake-up due in December

November 12, 2008

Long time users of the train service from Walkden will have grown used to patterns of trains that barely change from year to year … summer sees an additional train a day running through to Blackpool and back, and in the autumn many departure times slide forwards a few minutes to keep the trains on time during the “leaf fall” period.

But this December we will see one of the largest shake-ups of timetables in the Manchester area for 20 years or more as local services are moved around to slot in between more frequent trains on the Piccadilly to London route and “semi-fast” trains being introduced on the Victoria to Leeds line.

The Walkden line is less dramatically affected than many others in the area, but nevertheless the new timetable ushers in the most radical changes seen at Walkden for many years.

To see the new train times, you can query the National Rail Online Journey Planner and enter a travel date later than Dec 14th.

The main changes affecting Monday to Friday services appear to be:

1) increased number of trains during the morning peak with 7 inbound services to Manchester before 9am (compared to 5 at present)

2) decreased number of trains during the afternoon peak with 4 outbound services between 4.30pm and 6.30pm (compared to 5 at present)

3) more consistent departure times throughout the day (at xx20 and xx50 to Manchester and xx04 and xx29 to Wigan, from 10am to 4pm)

4) Overall number of departures per day is unchanged: 31 towards Manchester and 30 towards Wigan.

Whether the new timetable will represent a net improvement or deterioration remains to be seen – for some travellers that will no doubt depend on how their connecting services are affected too. The extra morning train (actually one of the two Atherton expresses that are not currently scheduled to stop at Walkden) will hopefully offer some relief to passengers on the dreadfully overcrowded 0734 and 0801 departures, but the thinning out of afternoon peak services must be a worrying development as these trains are often packed full already.

Disclaimer: Information about new train times has been obtained from the National Rail Journey Planner. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the data but FOWS cannot be held responsible for any errors made during our editing process. Please check your train times with National Rail or locally before travelling.


Walkden roof repairs “a priority” for FY 2009

November 9, 2008

Northern Rail have recently confirmed that the leaking roof will be repaired by landlords Network Rail as “a priority” in the next financial year. Although we haven’t heard a date, we’re hoping this means in mid-late spring 2009.

The water leaking in must be causing damage to the timbers and walls of the building, as well as making any internal improvements impossible until it’s fixed, so these repairs can’t come soon enough for us.