Archive for June, 2009


Support the Colne to Skipton re-opening campaign

June 16, 2009

You may have heard of the campaign to open the 11-mile stretch of railway between Colne in east Lancashire and Skipton in North Yorkshire, the victim of one of British Rail’s most spectacularly short-sighted closures in the 1970’s.

A local campaign group called SELRAP have enlisted an impressive line-up of organisations and individuals to back the re-opening campaign, and until June 26th you have the opportunity to add your support to their campaign by signing their on-line petition … it only takes a few moments to do.

Check out the group’s impressive website to learn more about the campaign and see the imaginative series of events they’ve organised to publicise it.


An appeal from a fellow passenger

June 13, 2009

FOWS recently received this “Open Letter to Rail users boarding Manchester bound trains at Walkden Station in the morning”.

The author’s central point is valid … it’s courteous and common-sense to let people off the train before trying to board. Of course Walkden’s not the only place where this happens, but let’s see if we can make an improvement (before anyone gets injured !)


Every morning I drive the short journey from home to Pemberton near Wigan where I get the train to Walkden. When I get on the train I politely stand away from the doors to let people off the train before I get on. Treat others as you would have them treat yourselves. People from where I come from do small things that; It goes a long way.

When arriving at Walkden station, & attempting to leave the train, I have given up politely asking “excuse me” to the groups of people on the platform who ignorantly crowd around the doors, making it so difficult for other people off the train first. I have given up saying “Excuse me!!” in a slightly forced aggravated tone of voice at the jobsworth businessmen who stand directly infront of the doors, completely blocking the path of people getting off the train because they are late for their sales meeting & desparate to get a seat so they can have a loud work related mobile phone conversation for the entire duration of their journey. I have thought long and hard about saying “excuse me – I have just broken wind!” in order to get a clean exit from the train without people blocking my path. I have even considered strapping on a parachute & exiting the train mid-journey becaue that is the type of guy I am. Failing all other options, I press the button marked “open”, put my head down, brace myself, & walk. Pick up speed and just walk forward. They soon move out of the way. No doubt I shall let you know how my game of human skittles progresses.



Marion on shortlist for national award

June 13, 2009

FOWS were delighted to learn that Walkden’s very own Marion Bainbridge has reached the shortlist of a prestigious national award.

Marion, our wonderful Ticket Office Clerk, was nominated by Northern Rail for “Frontline Employee Of The Year” at the National Transport Awards. This competition is open to all public transport operators (not just railways) so to reach the final shortlist of just 8 people is a phenomenal achievement.

Congratulations Marion and Good Luck in the final !


Free off-peak travel for people over 60

June 6, 2009

Are you over 60 ? Did you know that you can use the national concessionary travel pass (often refered to as the concessionary bus pass) for free travel on off-peak trains in the Greater Manchester area.

That is to say, FREE travel on …
* trains between 9.30am and midnight (Monday-Friday), and all day on weekends & Bank Holidays
* trains to all stations in the GM area which includes Wigan, Bolton, Salford, Eccles, Manchester, Stockport, Glossop, Altrincham, Flixton, Cheadle Hulme, Marple, Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Smithy Bridge (for Hollinwood Lake) … to name just a few !

The national concessionary travel pass also gives you half-price travel in the same area before 9.30am on Mondays to Fridays.

For more information ask for the leaflet “National Concessionary Travel Pass for Greater Manchester” from any manned station or check the details on the GMPTE website.


Marion’s our Northern Star !

June 6, 2009

Regular passengers from Walkden will be familiar with the friendly face of Marion Bainbridge who’s been our Ticket Office Agent for the last few years. At FOWS we think Marion’s enthusiasm and desire to help makes her a real asset to the station, and a great help to anyone needing information about the trains.

Northern Rail are currently running a scheme called “Northern Star” where members of the public can nominate Northern staff who’ve provided great service. So if you agree with us that Marion deserves some praise, why not pick up a Northern Star leaflet from the station ?

As an extra incentive from Northern, everyone submitting a Northern Star entry is entered into a monthly draw for a year’s free Northern travel !


Give Trains a Fighting Chance

June 6, 2009

The Campaign for Better Transport have produced a short, humourous video about the highly subsidised air fares which make train travel uncompetitive by comparison.


DalesRail update

June 5, 2009

Passengers on board the DalesRail train last Sunday (as advertised in a previous post) were treated to a glorious day out on one of Europe’s most beautiful railway lines – the Settle & Carlisle route that runs up the spine of the Pennines through spectacular dales and moorland scenery.

If you are planning to use DalesRail please note the service is suspended for most of July because the line is closed for engineering work. After 5th July, DalesRail takes a three week break, returning on Sunday 2nd August.

For latest details of times and fares, please check the DalesRail website.


Cancer and Us

June 5, 2009

FOWS had the pleasure of spending an evening this week with Cancer And Us, a cancer support group based in the day centre at St Anns Hospice, Little Hulton.

We were made most welcome by the lovely folks there, and gave a short presentation about our work at the station. We were also able to talk with the members about some of the station’s main issues such the lack of access for disabled or mobility-impaired people.

Cancer And Us meet once a month, and also organises occasional days out and special events. If you are interested in learning more about the group you can visit their website where contact details can be found.