Archive for the ‘Platform Height’ Category


Spread the word … Walkden station is on the up !

August 25, 2013

The newly resurfaced platforms don’t just look good – they’re also higher than the old ones and that’s great news for everyone who used to struggle with the large step between the platform and trains.

We know that some people stopped using the station in recent years because of the big gap, and maybe they don’t know about the new platforms yet.

So why not to help to spread the word … Walkden station is (literally) on the up !



Platform 1 re-opens and the dreaded gap is gone !

July 29, 2013

Great news !

Platform 1 has re-opened today with a smart new red-brick surface and – crucially – the gap between platform and train is much reduced. We await feedback from passengers about whether they feel the reduced gap is small enough, but certainly our impression is that the problem has been solved – a great outcome to a 5 year campaign !

Judging from the recent rate of progress, we can expect Platform 2 to be re-open, also at a raised height, within the next week or so.


Going up … Network Rail raise the platform level

July 13, 2013
Resurfacing work in progress on the Wigan platform at Walkden

Resurfacing work in progress on the Wigan platform at Walkden

Construction work is under way at Walkden to re-surface the uneven platform area beneath the station canopy, and raise the platform level to reduce the gap between platform and trains. This has been a long-standing campaign issue for FOWS and we are delighted it’s finally being tackled.

We understand the work, which is primarily being carried out overnight to avoid disruption to train services, is due to be completed at the end of August and will see the entire platform area covered in the same red-brick surface with tactile edging as already seen on the recently extended section.

A temporary platform extension has been provided while the main platform is repaired

A temporary platform extension has been provided while the main platform is repaired


New track laid at Walkden – and the level slightly lowered ?

August 14, 2011

New track ... same old trains at Walkden

New track has been laid through Walkden station in the Wigan direction this week as can be seen from the fresh ballast beneath the rails.

The new rails are “continuous weld” which the track is made up of much, much longer pieces of rail with far fewer, and smoother, joints between them. The result is a smoother ride and less wear & tear on the trains and rails.

We also have a suspicion the running height of the rails has been very slightly reduced, making for a smaller step up between the platform and trains. We suggested to Network Rail last year that the track-relaying would be a good time to reduce the track height, and although we don’t get much information back from Network Rail it does seem that the suggestion may have been taken on board.

Let us know what you think … is the stepping distance slightly better now ?


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.


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 or come along to our next meeting at the Walkden Legion club on 4th May at 7.15pm.


GMPTE Local Transport Plan response

January 15, 2011

Some of FOWS’ work for the improvement of the station is long-term and behind-the-scenes. A good example of this are the responses we submit to transport planning consultations that potential impact the future development of the station. Although these typically affect long-term planning only, FOWS take every opportunity to ensure the best interests of the station’s ever-increasing users are taken into account.

In December we submitted a response (click here to download from our website) to GMPTE’s Local Transport Plan 3, a “5-year strategy for the management, maintenance, development and monitoring of the County’s transport system”.

Supporting our vision of “a series of affordable and sustainable enhancements to services and facilities, providing a more frequent service to a wider range of destinations, seven days a week”, the suggestions we make for Walkden include:

  • introducing services serving Piccadilly and Oxford Road, in order to provide access to the Universities, Manchester Royal Infirmary and other healthcare provision such as the Childrens’ Hospital and the various employment areas and entertainment venues in this part of Manchester;
  • direct service from Walkden to Manchester Airport;
  • Disabled access;
  • Longer staffing hours at Walkden to improve passengers’ perception of personal safety, along with safe and comfortable waiting conditions;
  • Provision of adequate car parking close to the station is desperately needed;
  • Improved connection times at Victoria especially evenings and Sundays, and on services to Rochdale, Ashton and Yorkshire;
  • Bus services which pass by the station need to be improved for better connectivity;
  • Better cycle facilities;
  • Better waiting areas both on the platform and within the station building need to be provided;
  • Lengthening of the platform to accommodate longer trains;
  • Raising of the platform level closer to the door level of trains;

In our submissions we try not to make unrealistic claims on what we recognise to be severely constrained transport budgets, but neither do we shirk from explaining the sometimes long list of areas for improvement, with constructive suggestions on the most cost-effective solutions available.

If your key issues aren’t represented in our response, please let us know – by email ( or attending out public AGM on March 2nd (more details of the time and venue to be confirmed nearer the date). We are an open-minded group and our objective is to make sure the voices of all station users are heard 🙂