Archive for the ‘Timetable’ Category


Countdown to more Sunday trains begins

October 15, 2017

The uplift in Sunday services promised in the new Northern franchise is coming into touching distance now as details of the new timetable – which starts on Dec 10th – have been published on the National Rail Enquires website.

Sunday trains were re-introduced to Walkden in May 2010 following a successful campaign by FoWS, but have been restricted to an hourly service in daytime hours. From December 10th this year the service leaps from 18 trains a day to 44, with a half-hourly service until 6pm, then hourly until 10pm.

The extended timetable will open up many more journey opportunities on a Sunday, and allow people returning from a weekend to Manchester Piccadilly or Airport to catch the train home to Walkden on a Sunday evening.

The full list of scheduled departures is below.

To Manchester:

0928, 0949 and then xx28, xx49 each hour until 1728, 1749

1828, 1928, 2028, 2128, 2228

To Wigan:

1029, 1100, 1129, 1159 and then xx29, xx59 each hour until 1729, 1759

1828, 1928, 2129, 2229

As previously reported on this blog, the increased intensity weekday and Saturday service has been postponed until May 2018 due to lack of rolling stock and delays to electrification schemes in other parts of the UK


Service improvements from December this year and May next year

March 18, 2017

ARNlogoFoWS have obtained details from northern about the introduction of increased service frequencies as promised in the Arriva franchise contract.

Unfortunately delays to engineering projects in the south have had a knock-on effect on the availability of extra trains for northern so many of the improvements planned for December this year have been deferred 6 months.

However, we are pleased to confirm that our suggestion that Sunday improvements could start without the additional trains being ready has been accepted and thus:

  • From Dec’ 2017 Walkden will have an improved Sunday service with 2 trains per hour (tph) in each direction from 8am to 6pm and an hourly service until 10pm
  • In May 2018 all other services changes:
      • 4 tph (each direction) during the daytime and 2 tph evening
      • All services will continue to serve Victoria as now, but many will continue beyond Victoria including:
        • 1 tph Southport to Leeds via Brighouse
        • 1 Southport to Burnley/Blackburn via Todmorden
        • 1 Kirkby-Rochdale

By the of end 2019 all Pacer trains should be withdrawn from service and all northern trains will either be new or refurbished.


Timetable changes start tomorrow

December 10, 2016

Northern’s Winter Timetable comes into effect tomorrow (Sunday 11th Dec)

The booklet has a new look but – at first glance – changes to train times are minimal

However, we haven’t checked all times and your usual train may have been moved … please check before travelling:




Winter timetable starts Monday

December 11, 2015

The winter timetable comes into effect from Monday (13th Dec.) and is essentially a return to train times before the Farnworth tunnel and “leaf-fall” amendments.

There are minor changes to some departures so be sure to check your train before heading off to the station. Times can be checked online at National Rail Enquiries or the timetable may be downloaded from the Northern Rail website.

One loss from this timetable is the Airport service that left Piccadilly at 22.38 (mon-sat) and travelled directly to Walkden. This very convenient service now reverts to its pre-Farnwoth tunnel route via Bolton instead of Walkden.


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.


Train times change from tomorrow (Sun 18 May)

May 17, 2014

The summer timetable starts tomorrow and contains quite a few significant changes to train times.

In summary:

  • Several morning peak services have been re-timed. For example, the 07.38 will leave at 07.21 instead, leaving a 37 minute gap until the next Victoria service at 07.58
  • The daytime spacing of trains towards Manchester is less even than before – a 20/40 minute waiting pattern instead of 30/30;
  • Connections at Victoria to destinations in Yorkshire are generally excellent and open some new day trip opportunities;
  • Some Walkden services will continue past Manchester to Todmorden, Huddersfield, and even Leeds, but the pattern is irregular;
  • A morning peak service to Wigan has been lost: this is particularly likely to inconvenience students travelling to Winstanley College;
  • The evening schedule is virtually unchanged;
  • Sunday services are largely unchanged  but please note trains to Manchester run about 10 minutes earlier.

Whatever time you are planning to travel, please check the train times first at National Rail Enquiries website  or download the new timetable from Northern.


Summer timetable now available online

March 1, 2014

The summer timetable, which starts Monday 19th May, can now be accessed on the National Rail Enquiries website – simply search for a journey with date May 19th to see the new Mon-Fri train times.

We have not had time to do a full analysis yet but it is clear that the introduction of an hourly Transpennine Express service direct from Victoria to Liverpool and Newcastle has had a significant knock-on effect for local services.

The following “highlights” have been selected from our first look at the timetables, but please bear in mind they are subject to late changes and possibly error on our part

Morning peak services from Walkden to Manchester will undergo major changes:

  • Current 0624 – new 0628 (continues to Huddersfield)
  • Current 0658 – new 0656
  • Current 0738 – new 0721 (terminates at Victoria)
  • Current 0759 – new 0758
  • Current 0818 no change (although this train will leave from Wigan NW and not stop at Hindley)
  • Current 0835 – new 0826
  • Current 0851 – new 0849
  • Current 0912 – new 0901

On the face of it these changes seem to make better connections for Rochdale, Huddersfield/Leeds, and the Airport, although inevitably they will not be beneficial to everyone’s journey.

Daytime trains will depart at xx04 and xx33 to Wigan, and xx29 and xx49 to Manchester. As a general rule the xx04 is the Southport train, the xx33 is the Kirkby train, the xx49 runs to Victoria and the xx29 to Todmorden.

There are the odd exceptions: the 0628 runs through the Huddersfield and the 1649 runs through to Huddersfield and then carries on all the way to Leeds.