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.



  1. The new timetable is available to view in its entirety at:

    It’s a big file so be patient!

    Hope this is useful.


  2. […] The Friends of Walkden Station outline December’s timetable changes […]

  3. Thanks for the early warning of these changes. I’m still trying to get my head round the reasons and wondered what others thought. I’ve long argued that one if not both of the express trains should stop, the argument about the platform length is nonsense given that the 2nd express regularly stops when the 8.01 is 2 carriages.

    However if only one express was to stop I would have thought common sense would dictate the 1st one. The 7.34 soon to be 7.38 is already one the of the worst for overcrowding. Now there will be a 40 minute gap between the 6.56 and the 7.38 this will make it even busier.

    On the occasions when i’ve been unable to get the 8.01 and the express has stopped, it has often been even busier but sheer determination has got me on it most times. With this in mind I see little benefit to this extra train at this time.

    I know i’m probably expecting far too much but I would have hoped some common sense could be used. Thanks again anyway for the information, I have meant to post a few times how much I appreciate this blog and the info it provides.

  4. Hi,

    I’m a fellow regular Northern rail customer that has become fed up with the low level poor service, overcrowding and general poor level of customer service that seems to occur all too frequently when i travel by Northern Rail.

    I use the services from West Yorkshire into Manchester – and here too, peak time services are ridiculously overcrowded with people actually being left behind in Manchester, unable to board.

    The problem is that these ‘low level’ inconveniences are not picked up by the formal complaints process as many people don’t bother to complain.

    Eventually, I’ve decided to try and do something about the situation by launching a website where people can register their complaints online, in public. I’m hoping that this can be used to bring pressure to bear on Northern Rail to improve the service.

    I hope you don’t mind my mentioning this site here. It’s http://www.northern-rail.co.uk

    I’d welcome your suggestions for improvements as it has only recently been put together and if you think the idea is good, then please encourage any Northern Rail users to register their complaints.



    Best of luck in walkden

  5. […] December 14, 2008 The new winter timetable starts from Walkden tomorrow (Mon 15th Dec) and as previously discussed contains some radical changes to the […]

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