Archive for February, 2010

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Enjoy your clean(-ish) shelter

February 27, 2010

The disgraceful condition of the platform shelter has been a common grievance amongst Walkden station’s users, but today FOWS have given the filthy thing a thorough clean. It’s not perfect, but it’s better and at least the windows aren’t smeared with chips and worse any more !

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Beware – bus replacements ahead

February 27, 2010

Next Monday to Thursday (1st to 4th March) the last train from Victoria to Walkden (departing Victoria at 2320) will be operated by replacement bus.

All services other than the last one from Victoria will be operating by train as usual.

Bus replacements take longer, have no toilets, and won’t carry prams, bikes, or non-folding wheelchairs. Our advice is to avoid it if you can.

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GMITA claim progress in DfT talks for more trains

February 27, 2010

Local politicians returned from Whitehall this week claiming some progress in their battle to get the Department for Transport to honour its promises for more trains in the north.

Exact timescales and figures were vague but GMITA Leader Keith Whitmore insisted “we are confident that we are going to see additional rolling stock coming to Greater Manchester this year“.

Worsley councillor and GMITA Vice-Chair Cllr Ian Macdonald acknowledged the plight of local rail users saying “we understand that commuters’ patience is wearing thin whilst this dialogue continues. We would like to give passengers an absolute assurance that we will continue to put pressure on government to end the misery of their daily journeys.”

Meanwhile the DfT response was depressingly and familiarly non-committal: “We are currently involved in detailed commercial negotiations to deliver additional trains for the busiest services in the north of England. We hope to make an announcement about this in due course

FOWS advice passengers affected by the severe over-crowding on our trains to continue to submit complaints to Northern Rail. We believe that the more complaints received the greater Northern Rail’s motivation to find a solution to the problem.

Northern Rail Customer Relations can be contacted by:

  • phone: 0845 000 0125
  • email: customer.relations@northernrail.org
  • post: Northern Rail Customer Relations, FREEPOST RLSL-ABEC-BGUU, Northern Rail Limited, Leeds, LS1 4DY
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    More cable theft misery for commuters

    February 27, 2010

    Cable thieves caused misery for commuters again on Friday morning when trains were left stranded in Northern Rail’s Newton Heath depot by the theft of signalling cable from the depot area.

    Many morning rush-hour services were cancalled and others over-crowded as a result.

    On the 0737 from Walkden I counted over 180 passengers disembarking at Salford Central and Victoria – an incredible number for a 2-carriage Pacer train.

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    Come to the FOWS AGM !

    February 24, 2010

    Our Annual General Meeting will be held next Wednesday (3rd March) starting 7.30pm in the Walkden Legion Club (Wilfred Road, Walkden M28 3AJ). We like to encourage all users of the station to attend to get the widest range of views possible – you do not need to be an FOWS member to be welcomed.

    The AGM is our opportunity to meet the passengers who use Walkden station, give an update on what FOWS has been able to achieve (or not) in the past year, and – with your help – set priorities for our campaigns in the year ahead, trying to match the priorities of the station’s users.

    We also have a Q&A session where you can put any question to FOWS or our special guests representing Northern Rail, GMPTE, and British Transport Police.

    All in all it’s an evening not to be missed for anyone with an interest in how the services and facilities at Walkden can be improved !

    Here’s the full agenda below (or download it as a PDF from our website):
    1 Chair’s Welcome & Introductions
    2 Chair’s Keynote
    3 Secretary’s Review of the Year
    4 Treasurer’s Report
    5 Webmaster’s Report
    6 Gardening Projects Report
    7 Election of Officers: Chair/Secretary/Treasurer.
    8 Planning for Sunday Service Launch Gala (May 23rd)
    9 Planning for 2010 – Setting Objectives and Priorities
    10 Audience Q&A session

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    GM transport bosses head for showdown with DfT

    February 24, 2010

    You may have seen on the local news that leaders of GMITA (including Worsley councillor Ian Macdonald) and various local MPs have been to London today to meet Lord Adonis, the Secretary of State for Transport.

    Their objectives for the meeting are quite clear – to get the DfT to honour their own pledge to provide more carriages for the grossly over-crowded trains in our region.

    You may recall a government announcement last year that over one thousand new carriages would be added to the railway in the next few years, with 182 (mainly second-hand ones) destined for Northern Rail and 42 for Trans-Pennine Express. After a few months of stalling the DfT started leaking revised lower totals, and avoiding any commitment to a published schedule for delivery. The latest rumours were that Northern’s allocation would be reduced by over half (still no timetable for receiving these either), and that TPE had heard nothing.

    Anyone boarding the 7.38 this morning – and no doubt the equally over-crowded services which followed it – must be wishing our local representatives luck, and wondering how a modern country can make such a mess of the simple task of building trains that have been clearly and urgently needed for years !

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    Sunday Service details – provisional timetable

    February 24, 2010

    FOWS have learnt that the provisional timetable for Sunday services begining on May 23rd consist of 9 trains a day in each direction, running back and forth between Wigan and Victoria.

    Although the details are unconfirmed and could yet change, we understand trains to Manchester will depart from Walkden at 0937 (arr. Victoria 0958) and then at 37 minutes past each hour until 1737.

    In the other direction the provisional timetable has the first Wigan bound train leaving Walkden at 1029 and departures hourly at 29 minutes past each hour until 1829.

    We will post the confirmed details as soon as we learn if/when this timetable is confirmed.