Archive for March, 2010

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Rail strike set to wipe out all Walkden services next week

March 31, 2010

Northern Rail have published plans for the trains they hope to operate during next week’s planned industrial action, and unfortunately for us there are currently no services expected to run to or from Walkden on the strike dates (that’s Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th April).

For full details of Northern’s strike-affected service, and details about how season ticket holders will be affected, see Northern Rail’s strike information page.

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Trackside litter cleaned up

March 31, 2010

As promised Network Rail have been to clean up the track side litter from alongside the platforms at Walkden.

Without wanting to sound churlish, it’s not exactly the most thorough clean up ever, but the biggest pieces of rubbish have been removed and that’s something to be grateful for.

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More good news – now the trackside gets a clean up

March 25, 2010

Hard on the heels of yesterday’s action by Northern Rail to clean up the areas outside the station, we were delighted to hear from Network Rail that clearing the trackside litter has been scheduled for next week.

Our thanks to Network Rail for arranging this and we look forward to seeing the improvement !

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Station gets a clean up

March 24, 2010

Our thanks to Northern Rail and Station Manager Pam Williams for organising a clean up of the station this week. The piles of pigeon mess on the platform have been removed and today all the litter has been removed from the grassy areas to the left and right of the station entrance. The litter behind the fenced area left of the station entrance had got particularly bad recently.

Credit where credit’s due … Northern have been good to their word and tidied these areas for us before May’s gala.

Now we just need Network Rail to sort out the litter along the trackside … something else we are also pushing for.

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DfT announces more carriages for Manchester

March 20, 2010

You may have read in yesterday’s papers that the DfT has agreed to fund some additional carriages for Manchester to alleviate over-crowding.

Eight carriages have been promised to Northern for “routes serving Manchester and Liverpool”, and eight more for East Midlands Trains services into Manchester.

It’s not clear whether any of the extra carriages are destined for the Walkden line.

In any case there is no prospect of imminent relief … the carriages are not due for over a year, in April 2011.

See the full DfT Press Release here.

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AGM Minutes available

March 17, 2010

The minutes from the recent FOWS Annual General Meeting are now available for download from our website here.

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“Mind the Gap” … warning signs installed

March 14, 2010

New "Mind The Gap" sign at Walkden station
“Warning – Mind the Gap” signs have been installed on 6 of the 8 pillars at Walkden. The large gap between platform and train has been a long-running concern and the warning signs will undoubtedly be useful for alerting first-time visitors to the station about the hazard.

For those of you who have difficulty boarding or stepping down from the train at Walkden because of the high and wide gap, we are waiting confirmation from Northern Rail as to options for your assistance.

Previously Northern have advised passengers to ask the guard to deploy the wheelchair ramp that all trains carry, but recent conversations have uncovered the fact this advice might not apply any longer because of Health & Safety changes. As soon as we have an answer from Northern we’ll post their latest advice here.

A mid-term solution might be provided by the so-called “Harrington Hump” … a pre-formed plastic ramp that can be fixed to a small length of station platform. This technology has been trialled successfully by Network Rail at several locations.

Around this time last year FOWS asked Network Rail to consider Walkden as a site where the hump could be piloted, but unfortunately our emails were never answered.