Hope for weekend reliefNovember 6, 2010
As usual at this time of year weekend services are filling up as more people travel to Manchester for Christmas shopping and events.
FOWS have asked Northern Rail if any extra carriages can be made available to ease the inevitable over-crowding, and we’re pleased to say there is some hope – for Sundays in December at least.
Northern Rail have confirmed they are planning to add extra carriages to some weekend services across the region in the 4 weekends before Christmas, and some of the Sunday trains from Walkden are expected to be among those to benefit.
The shortage of carriages in the North is well known, but occasionally it’s possible to bolster weekend services as the demand on Northern’s fleet isn’t so high as during the working week. Northern have promised to let us know when their plans are finalised.
Unfortunately we’ve no indication that Saturday services will be lengthened, so our advice to passengers is to consider travelling a bit earlier to avoid the busiest period from mid-morning to early afternoon. For example, the 1018 to Manchester this morning had plenty of room for all the people boarding at Walkden.
We also asked Northern about lengthening trains when special events are on as we know many passengers were unable to board when there were big rugby and football matches on recently. Northern assure us that:
“we consider all Premier league and major rugby events – theres a lot of them – with BT Police and various departments within Northern and plan crowd control, strengthening and all other operational aspects. Not all trains to a given location can be strengthened, but we do debrief from each event to learn for the future.”