Archive for the ‘Network Rail’ Category


More engineering works this weekend

April 22, 2017

Due to the Ordsall Chord work trains will not be able to use Manchester Victoria again this weekend: a reduced timetable is in operation with services diverted to Oxford Road instead:


Service changes over Easter

April 12, 2017

Please note Network Rail will be carrying out engineering work connected with the Ordsall Chord (the new piece of track that will allow trains to run directly from Victoria to Piccadilly via Salford Central and Deansgate) from Good Friday to Easter Monday, and a special timetable will operate from Walkden.

Of particular note, all Victoria services will operate to/from Oxford Road instead, and some (mainly late evening) services will be replaced by buses.


As always we recommend checking National Rail Enquiries before you travel.


Ordsall Chord and Northern Hub info

July 2, 2016

If you’ve heard talk of the “Ordsall Chord” and “Northern Hub” plans for our local railway network and wondered what it’s about you may be interested in some videos from Network Rail explaining the Network Rail video of recent works at Victoria and showing a computer generated “fly-through” of the extra platforms and tracks that will be added between Piccadilly and Oxford Road.

While good for the wider region there is still uncertainty whether local services will be net winners or losers from the project … direct trains between Victoria and Piccadilly will no doubt be a boon to passengers travelling south with luggage, but it seems unlikely Walkden will gain direct services to Piccadilly (the new track will be busy with trains coming in from further afield) and we may see more congestion getting into and out of the Salford area as more trains pass through.

FoWS are campaigning for local interests to be protected by TfGM and Northern when the Ordsall Chord is opened.


Farewell Northern Rail … Hello Northern

April 3, 2016

Northern Rail

After 12 years of operating our local train services Northern Rail passed into history on Friday. Despite being contracted to maintain a “standstill” (no growth) service by the government Northern actually presided over an unprecedented growth in rail travel and proved inventive at turning new tricks from exhausted trains and budgets.

At Walkden some of the good things we will remember Northern Rail for include:

  • re-introduction of Sunday services for the first time since the 1970’s
  • lengthening the platform to accommodate longer trains
  • installing CCTV to improve safety and massively reduce anti-social behaviour at the station
  • installing electronic passenger information displays
  • netting the station canopy and bridges outside to solve the problem of pigeon mess

Northern Rail gave generous financial and support to FoWS and we remember station managers Pam Williams and Chris Ingham with particular fondness.

Northern Rail’s legacy is slightly tarnished by the slow response to the damaged roof that has caused so much water ingress and decay, and this is one area we will be looking for Arriva to quickly remedy.

ARNlogoArriva Rail North, operating under the brand name “Northern”, will now operate the franchise covering most local trains in the north of England until 2025.

As previously reported Arriva made some very significant commitments to improve stations and trains during their tenure, and have already started to place orders for new trains.

There will be an opportunity to meet Arriva Rail North staff and hear more about their plans for our area at the FoWS AGM in May (watch this blog for confirmation of the date and venue).


Salford Central and Manchester Victoria to close for a week at Easter

March 2, 2016

As part of Network Rail’s “Ordsall Chord” project there will no be trains running to or from Salford Central or Manchester Victoria from Good Friday 25th March to Saturday 3rd April.

Trains to/from Walkden will use Manchester Oxford Road instead (and still call at Salford Crescent  as usual). Bus replacements will also run between Salford Crescent, Salford Central, and Victoria.

The train departure/arrival times shown on National Rail Enquiries appear to be very similar to our regular timetable, but things may change and we always advise passengers to check online before travelling.


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.



Bus replacements next week

May 31, 2014

The last train out from Victoria (the 23.20) is replaced by a bus each evening next week from Monday (2nd June) until Thursday (5th).

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.