Archive for November, 2009


Winter colour for Walkden station

November 15, 2009


Flowers, and litter, at Walkden station !

FOWS’ crack gardening team Angela and Barbara have been making the most of the unseasonal sunshine today to refresh the flower beds and planters on the station with some stunning winter colour.

After spending an hour clearing up Saturday night’s litter, much of which had been deliberately created by tearing up newspapers (how bored must you be to do that ?!), the flower beds were weeded, fresh compost put down, and a colourful array of new shrubs and flowers planted.

The new plants have been purchased with another grant from Salford City Council’s Community Chest who have once again demonstrated their support of FOWS efforts to improve the station environment.

Our sincere thanks to Salford and the community committee again !



Help Network Rail find out about Walkden !

November 14, 2009

Network Rail are currently running an online survey to find out what people think of railway stations and how to improve them.

It asks questions such as what you think of your local station and what facilities you would like to see there. Needless to say, the more people that complete the survey for Walkden the better our chances of making it into the improvement programme that Network Rail are planning.

Please take 15 minutes to visit Action Stations and complete the survey.

PS You will also be entered into a Prize Draw for an Annual Season Ticket or cash equivalent !


They say “It’s your Salford” … so don’t let the planners forget Walkden station !

November 14, 2009

You may have read about the council’s Draft Core Strategy for Salford’s long-term development in your “Life in Salford” magazine. This plan has serious implications for Walkden station …

Conspicuous by its absence
The “Life in Salford” article doesn’t mention Walkden station at all, just a new park and ride facility at Irlam.

But in the Transport section of the full strategy document (available from, the outlook for Walkden is grim … there are improvements for Swinton, Eccles, Irlam, Salford Crescent and Central stations: but nothing for Walkden station.

Metrolink Takeover ?
The strategy also reveals plans for a feasibility study into adapting the route for Metrolink trams. Trams may provide a more frequent service, but journey times may be longer as more stops are added to the route, fares will quite probably be higher, and the carriages themselves will be smaller, have less seats than trains, and no toilets.

Moreover, conversion to Metrolink could spell the end of through train services to places like Southport and Blackpool.

FOWS believe trains provide the very best fast, green route into the city and we do not want the line to be taken over by trams.

If you share our view, make sure you take part in Salford’s consultation process.
Let’s get proper improvements for Walkden built into the plan now !


Passenger count – full details now on FOWS website

November 13, 2009

The full results of yesterday’s passenger count by FOWS are now available on our website.

We only survey up to 1.30pm (for consistency with GMPTE’s passenger surveys) but with a grand total of 524 passengers using the station during this time, it’s a reasonable assumption that the station’s daily passenger count is over 1,000 !


FOWS Passenger Count 2009 and passenger numbers keep on rising … !

November 12, 2009

Today we conducted our annual passenger count and we’re now collating the data. The full stats will appear on our website in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, here are the headline figures:

* Overall number of passengers using the station from 6am to 1.30pm up 2% since last year: from 511 to 524 passengers

* Peak-time travel into Manchester is down 7% from 227 to 210

* Passengers boarding trains towards Wigan were up 44% from 48 to 69

As we say every year, our survey provides only a snapshot on a “typical” working day. All the same, it is quite amazing that passenger numbers have continued to climb – albeit at a lower rate – after the economic downturn the country has experienced this year.

And, even though peak-time travel into Manchester was slightly down on last year (in line with rising unemployment), and the fact we now have an extra train during the morning peak, there were still 20 passengers left stranded as they were unable to board the jam-packed 0818.

FOWS encourage all passengers let down in situations like this to fill in a Complaint Form and send it Freepost to Northern Rail. It’s not the Booking Office staff’s fault (they wish there were more trains too), but they do stock Northern’s Complaints Forms.

Only by filing complaints each time the train is overcrowded will Walkden climb up Northern Rail’s priorities … so stand up for yourselves !


Renovated roof revealed

November 11, 2009

The renovated Booking Hall roof

The scaffolding has been removed from the station now and the renovated roof can be seen in all its glory.

Thanks to the clean, new skylights and repainted lower walls the Entrance Hall, and Booking Hall, and Upper Stairway are all brighter, cleaner, more welcoming, and weather proof.

Thanks to Network Rail and their contractors for a grand job, and a special thank you from FOWS for taking care not to damage the plants in the flower beds during the course of the works.


The brighter Entrance Hall


More waiting for the tannoy …

November 11, 2009

We understand the local tannoy system installed at the station last week has some further technical issues so we must continue waiting for it to come into use.

Meanwhile Swinton station now boasts CCTV, departure boards, a departures TV screen in the booking hall, and a Help Point. Truly the railway works in mysterious ways …