Over-crowding on a train with empty carriages

November 14, 2010

Late-night travellers were treated to cattle-class travel last night as the 2320 from a very busy Manchester Victoria operated as a 4-carriage train, with only2 carriages open to the public.

As regular travellers will know 4-carriage trains are permitted to stop at Walkden but due to the short platform it’s at the discretion of the train crew and therefore somewhat unpredictable.

The situation was exacerbated last night by the larger of the two trains being the one selected for closure – so all the passengers not only had to cram into 2 carriages but the smallest 2 carriages out of the 4.

FOWS have long campaigned for the platforms at Walkden to be lengthened so 4-carriage trains can be regularly and reliably scheduled to stop here – the public demand is clearly there for it. We have offered to help with platform clearance and maintenance of the additional 10 meters or so that are required, but there is still no sign of progress on this from the railways.

It’s perhaps understandable if the crew of a late night train are nervous of the possible legal consequences of using 4-carriages – but this issue has been a problem for years now and needs to be sorted out by Northern Rail, Network Rail, and GMPTE.


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