Posts Tagged ‘Over-crowding’


Extra trains for Christmas Saturdays

November 27, 2014

Northern Rail are laying on some extra services on Saturdays, and extra carriages on Sundays, in the run up to Christmas.

It took us a while to find the announcement but here are the details of 5 extra trains into Manchester on Saturday mornings, and 9 coming back in the afternoon and evening: Christmas Comes Early for Festive Travellers.

Meanwhile, Sunday trains appear to have been upgraded to 4 carriages: last Sunday all trains ran as 4 carriages, but even then some were “full and standing”.

This is undoubtedly extremely welcome news from Northern, and we applaud them for finding some extra carriages from their very stretched resources. However, such is the demand for train travel at this time of year we can only echo Northern’s warning that trains will be very busy and you may not be able to get on your preferred service – so make plans to travel a bit earlier if you can.


More commuter misery

March 5, 2008

There have been severe over-crowding problems on Walkden’s busiest train – the 0804 to Manchester – every day this week as the service has been operated by low capacity 2-carriage “Pacer” units. Dozens of Manchester-bound passengers have been forced to travel out to Atherton only to board a train back to Manchester  – through Walkden ! – as their only means of getting to work on time.

Things went from bad to worse this morning as the train ran non-stop from Daisy Hill leaving around 70 passengers stranded at Walkden.

This situation is simply dreadful and actively driving passengers away from the railways. FOWS have raised the problem with Northern Rail and continue to press for the lengthening of Walkden’s platform so that longer trains can stop there in the rush hour.


Rush hour commuters stranded again

January 12, 2008

On Thursday morning approximately 30 passengers were unable to board the 08.04 to Manchester due to severe over-crowding on the 2-carriage train.

Oddly, FOWS understands that 4-carriage trains have recently been sent out to Wigan to work on the 08.04 but only 2-carriages have come back … what’s happening to our carriages at Wigan ?


Rush-hour chaos … on the 22.34 !

December 7, 2007

Evening services from Manchester to Walkden have steadily become busier over the last couple of years as more and more people discover the convenience of travelling back by train from nights out in Manchester, particularly from the big shows at the MEN Arena. Unfortunately some of these services are “victims of their own success” as the over-crowding problems that blight rush-hour services are being seen more and more frequently on the last two evening trains.

Last night mayhem erupted on the 22.34 waiting to leave Victoria when the guard announced that two of the crowded four carriages would not be making the journey due to technical failure. This triggered a rush onto the two operating carriages: the train was delayed 15 minutes, not all passengers were able to board, and those that did were terribly over-crowded – a dismal experience unlikely to encourage people to rely on the service in future.

Longer, more frequent, more reliable trains will be needed if the welcome growth in evening passenger numbers is to be sustained.


Northern Respond to FOWS Appeal for Longer Platforms

November 13, 2007

In the light of on-going over-crowding problems caused by the short trains that serve Walkden in the morning FOWS recently wrote to Northern MD Heidi Mottram to appeal for some of the disused section of platform to be returned to use, allowing the longer “Atherton Express” trains to stop here.

Mrs Mottram has replied saying that Northern are “very well aware” of the overcrowding problem at Walkden and outlining their plans to investigate the possibility of lengthening the platform.

Northern are considering whether some 20m of disused platform could be returned to use and are clearing an area behind the wooden barrier for further analysis. Although Mrs Mottram warns that no funds are currently available, FOWS are encouraged that the scheme is being actively pursued and will continue to persuade Northern of the business benefits of a longer platform.

If you have suffered because of rush-hour overcrowding at Walkden, you can write to Northern at to make a comment or complaint: as the Northern Rail website says “We know that we can always improve so if there is anything you think we should be doing please contact us.”