Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category


Guard off but train sets off regardless

January 7, 2012

Commuters on the 0738 had a rude awakening on their return to the rails Tuesday morning – not only did they find fares having been increased by 6% or more, they were also victims of train operating cock-up that saw the train pull out of Walkden without a guard.

As a result passengers were deposited in the pouring rain at Moorside while the lonesome driver took the train out of service and ran empty to Victoria.

Leaving aside how such an incident could even happen when the guard’s on board signal is required before a train can leave, the experience was worst of all for those passengers who – having waited at Moorside in atrocious conditions – could not even board the next train due to over-crowding.

The story was covered later in the day in this Manchester Evening News article.


Ooh … even more cameras !

September 18, 2011

Some of the new CCTV cameras at Walkden station

What a nice surprise to spot even more new cameras on the outside of the canopy at the Manchester end of the platform !

Well done Northern for fitting providing the station with such comprehensive CCTV coverage 🙂


Safety boost as extra CCTV cameras installed

September 15, 2011

 FOWS have welcomed Northern Rail’s recent improvements to passenger security at Walkden as the number of CCTV cameras operating at the station has more than doubled.

The first cameras at Walkden, a temporary system, was installed in summer 2010 thanks to a link-up between FOWS, Northern Rail and Salford City Council, and led to a dramatic reduction in the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour. Now we’re delighted that Northern Rail have taken the solution a step further with an extra 4 cameras covering previously exposed areas, and allowing clear views of everyone entering or exiting the station.

Meanwhile work on installing Customer Information Screens is understood to be progressing, with the screens expected to be fitted in the next few weeks.


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.


Walkden station improvements fall victim to government cuts

January 18, 2011

At a recent meeting of GMITA’s Capital Projects committee it was announced that because of government spending cuts the DfT are reviewing their funding of the Small Station Improvement scheme. This is the scheme that was supposed to be contributing  towards the ÂŁ100,000 safety, security and passenger information improvements due to be installed at Walkden this spring. As a result GMITA have had to put the planned improvements on ice until such time as the DfT funds are confirmed … if they ever are.

Naturally this is a bitter blow for the hundreds of thousands of passengers passing through Walkden each year. In fact the news could have been even worse: Ashton Under Lyne and Marple’s improvement plans have been turned down entirely by DfT, whereas Walkden’s still has at least a theoretical chance of going ahead later in the year.

Meanwhile we are keeping fingers crossed for another GMITA meeting coming up this Friday when a recommendation to continue funding for Sunday services is to be debated. Feedback from contacts at GMPTE and Northern Rail suggest there is little doubt the service is proving popular and living up to forecast usage levels, so we are anxiously waiting to see if it will survive the cuts.


CCTV Breakthrough

August 26, 2010
Passengers frustrated by the vandalism and graffiti inflicted on Walkden station this summer will be pleased to hear a breakthrough deal has been struck between Northern Rail, GMPTE, and Salford City Council‘s Neighbourhood Team which should see temporary CCTV fitted by Northern Rail in the next few weeks. A permanent system from GMPTE should follow soon after.
FOWS are delighted that passenger safety, and security of the station itself, will benefit from CCTV coverage, and wish to thank all the parties above – plus British Transport Police – for the way they’ve joined forces to find a solution at a time when – as everyone knows – money is very tight.