Archive for March, 2011

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FRECCLES AGM next Monday

March 26, 2011

Just a quick reminder that our friends and colleagues at FRECCLES – the Friends of Eccles Station – will be holding their AGM next Monday (28th March) at 7pm in Community Room 3 at Eccles Gateway (Library), 28 Barton Lane, Eccles, M30 0TU.
The indefatigable FRECCLES are always at the forefront of ideas for improving local stations and an inspiration to FOWS. THis year’s AGM will feature guest speakers from Alliance Rail and Network Rail.
See the Freccles website for full details.

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Northwich station gets platform raise … how about Walkden ?

March 26, 2011

Northwich station has recently been fitted with a “Harrington Hump” ramp to assist passengers boarding and alighting from trains.
As FOWS have long been warning, the notoriously high and wide platform gap at Walkden is a serious accident waiting to happen, and we renew our call for Northern and Network Rail to take some effective remedial action.
Details of Northwich’s ramp can be read here on Network Rail’s wesbite.

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Manchester rail improvements get green light

March 26, 2011

Some good news in this week’s budget for long-suffering rail user in Manchester, when the chancellor gave the go-ahead to Network Rail’s Northern (a.k.a. Manchester) Hub plans, a package of capacity upgrades including a couple of extra through platforms at Piccadilly and a new curve from Salford Central station to Deansgate allowing trains from Leeds and Rochdale to come into Victoria before following the new route round to Piccadilly and the Airport.
It’s not yet clear how this will impact services to/from Walkden – but hopefully it will mean better facilities at Victoria and an improvement on the woeful connections for trains to/from Yorkshire.
There are more details of the plans – which could be running as soon as 2016 – on Network Rail’s website here.

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Priddy new flowers, we try again …

March 26, 2011

After some miserable soul helped themselves to half a dozen new flowers from the station last weekend FOWS volunteers have plugged the gaps with flowers purchased by themselves.
It’s very sad anyone would want to take the flowers which give pleasure to so many, just for their own greedy possession. Discussions with council crime officers and police suggest that flowers in the local parks and street planters are generally safer, so we suspect we’re looking for one lone individual who frequents the station.
We appeal to all passengers to help keep the station looking attractive by keeping an eye out for anyone interfering with the flower beds or planters – thanks !

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Spring arrives at Walkden station !

March 13, 2011

Another glorious Sunday has seen the people of Walkden heading out and about on the Sunday trains – including more than a few would-be bus passengers fed up waiting for buses disrupted by the St Patricks Day celebrations in Manchester.

Meanwhile FOWS’ gardeners have been busy making the most of a generous £50 grant from Northern Rail’s Pam Williams. We’ve used the cash to lay in some fresh compost, and spruce up the borders and planters with a colourful collection of flowers including petunias, daffodils, and some new hostas.

As a result, the station’s looking lovely again in the beautiful March sunshine.

Our thanks to Pam and Northern Rail for once-again demonstrating their support for FOWS with this latest grant.


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Platform gap at Walkden – we want to hear your experiences

March 12, 2011

A long-standing aim of FOWS has been to tackle the large step between trains and the platform at Walkden – it’s a well known health and safety hazard and source of extreme inconvenience and discomfort to many.

Several years ago we asked the Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation to investigate, and they concluded the step was indeed outside of modern tolerances – but that they had no obligation to fix it.

We have recently checked again with Network Rail and found that 3 years later they still no have plans to address the situation.

FOWS don’t believe this is acceptable and would like to hear from anyone who has been injured, frightened, or experienced other difficulties trying to board or leave trains at Walkden. If you’d be prepared to share your story with us, please write to friends@walkdenstation.org.uk or come along to our next meeting at the Walkden Legion club on 4th May at 7.15pm.

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AGM Minutes now available

March 12, 2011

The minutes from our recent AGM are now available from our website – please click here to download