Archive for December, 2012


Winter timetable starts today

December 9, 2012

The new winter timetable starts today, and as previously noted on this blog there are some significant changes on the Mon-Sat services starting tomorrow.

In particular, please note the changes to evening departures times from Victoria to spread services more evenly and improve connections from the east:

  • The 1910 now departs at 1935
  • The 2010 now departs at 2035
  • The 2110 now departs at 2135
  • The 2210 now departs at 2245

Have you been sardined ?

December 9, 2012

If you’ve travelled on evening or Saturday services recently there’s a fair chance you’ve witnessed the over-crowding that’s resulting from the number of shoppers and revellers travelling to and from town. No-one could deny it’s caused some pretty serious over-crowding issues as Northern Rail don’t seem to have enough carriages to cope with the surge, and some would-be passengers have suffered the inconvenience of not being able to board their train at all.

There don’t seem to be any easy solutions here, but there are some things we can – and definitely should not – do when over-crowding strikes:

1 – Don’t take it out on the local Northern Rail staff. If you take the time to speak to them you’ll find they’re exasperated by the situation and powerless to change it. They’re having to deal with unprecedented numbers of travellers and a totally unacceptable level of abuse.

2 – Do make a formal complaint to Northern Rail. It won’t magic up an extra carriage next week but it will make sure that bosses at the top of Northern Rail, and the Department of Transport who allocate carriages to the train companies, know what’s going on here. In the longer term, given the odd way that the government runs railways in this country, this is the way to make sure local problems get noticed at national level as complaint statistics are measured for each train company and route.  You can ask for a complaint form at any manned station or use the contact details below.

Make sure you clearly state you are making a complaint or else it will just get counted as a “comment” (!)

Telephone: 0845 00 00 125

Textphone: 08456 045 608
(Calls are charged at local rates for these numbers from anywhere in Britain)


Customer Relations Department,
Northern Rail Limited,
PO Box 208,
LS1 2BU.


Winter Timetable starts Sunday Dec 9th

December 1, 2012

There are some significant changes to Walkden services in the Winter timetable starting on Dec 9th:

  • Off-peak trains to Manchester at 50 minutes past the hour (from 0850 to 1450) to continue beyond Victoria to Ashton Under Lyne and Stalybridge. This opens up lots of “day out” opportunities to visit Ashton market and towns like Marsden, Huddersfield, and Leeds which are accessed by connections from Stalybridge. And the legendary Stalybridge Station Buffet of course !
  • Evening services from Victoria overhauled so departures are spread more evenly and connect much better with trains from east Manchester and west Yorkshire. After 7pm trains will depart Victoria at 35 minutes past the hour instead of 10 minutes (e.g. the 1910 becomes the 1935, the 2010 becomes the 2035, etc). This change addresses the long-standing complaints that evening arrivals from Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford, Halifax, Rochdale, Hebden Bridge (etc etc) all miss the xx10 departures from Victoria by a matter of minutes, turning what should be easy connections into nearly hour-long waits at Victoria.
  • The evening changes also plug the 1.5 hour gap between 2110 and 2245 on Saturday evenings with trains at 2135 and 2235.
  • Saturday departure times have been brought into line with Monday-Friday.
  • However, please note the 1910 will depart Victoria at 1935, spreading the evening services more evenly but introducing a longer gap after the 1845.

Bus Replacements next week

December 1, 2012

The last train out from Victoria (the 23.20) is replaced by a bus each evening next week from Monday (3rd Dec) until Thursday (6th Dec).

The usual warnings about the bus being slower, lacking toilets, and not being able to carry bicycles, non-folding prams, wheelchairs  etc apply.

Only the last Wigan-bound train of each evening is affected by bus replacement – all other services are due to run normally.


Ordsall Chord – had your say ?

December 1, 2012

If you missed Network Rail’s displays and consultations about the Ordsall Chord project you can still check out the plans and have your say at the official Ordsall Chord website.

One of the designs for the Ordsall Chord bridge (picture by Network Rail)

One of the designs for the Ordsall Chord bridge (picture by Network Rail)

There’s a decision to be made over the design for the river bridge with a modern curved option (left) up against a plain motorway flyover style alternative … have your say and help influence how this part of our city will look for the rest of our lives !