Archive for March, 2015


No trains this weekend 21/22 March

March 19, 2015

Just a reminder that due to engineering works ALL TRAINS THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ARE REPLACED BY BUSES.

See National Rail Enquiries for further details


No trains Sat 14th, Sat 21st, Sun 22nd March

March 13, 2015

bussignPlease note due to engineering works there are NO TRAINS TO OR FROM WALKDEN STATION TOMORROW (SAT 14th).

A bus replacement service will operate – but is unlikely to carry bicycles or prams, and journeys will almost certainly take considerably longer.

The same applies next weekend, except trains will be replaced by buses on both Saturday and Sunday (21st & 22nd).



Come to the FOWS AGM !

March 7, 2015

The agenda for our Annual General Meeting can now be downloaded here.

It’s sure to be one of the most important AGM’s for years with the recent publications about electrification planning and increased services in the next Northern franchise, and we are delighted Northern Rail’s Matthew Worman will be joining us as Guest Speaker.

The meeting is open to all members of the public with an interest in the future of Walkden station – and we welcome views and ideas from members and non-members alike.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm in the Concert Room at Walkden Legion Club on Wilfred Road, M28 3AJ.



Electrification Task Force prioritises Walkden route

March 5, 2015

Hot on the heels of last week’s incredibly positive Northern franchise specification for Walkden’s train service, there was more good news today as the government’s North of England Electrification Task Force published its Final Report and Recommendations.

The report recommends a widespread programme of electrification across the whole region, but most excitingly for us the route between Southport/Kirkby and Salford, including Walkden, has been scored as the third highest priority in the entire north of England. If the report’s proposals are followed electrification work could begin in 2019.

FOWS have long supported the electrification of services as a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial way to provide faster services in more modern trains while remaining an integral part of the national rail network.



New Northern franchise promises dramatic service improvement from 2017

March 1, 2015

The DfT this week published the Invitation To Tender for operating the Northern franchise from 2017, and contrary to many people’s fears it includes some dramatic uplifts in minimum service levels across the network … and Walkden seems to be one of the biggest beneficiaries !

Our timetable geeks are running over the facts and figures so we may yet discover some catches, but on the face of things the new operator will be compelled to increase the number of services from Manchester on weekdays from 31 to 51 – that’s a quarter-hourly service during the day – and the Sunday service will become half-hourly during the day, and run later into the evening.

There’s “many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip” but so far as we can see this will be a legally binding minimum level of service that the winning bidder is bound to provide, and it’s difficult to imagine any shade of government that forms after May making such an unpopular move as to row back on commitments so closely linked to the main parties’ pledges to boost the northern economy.