Thursday, 5 March 2015

Northern Electric

I marched up to Huyton station to find a special notice on the departure panel.
A few minutes waiting on the platform, and then an unfamiliar train rolled in.
Yes!  This was 1F92, the 07.35 Manchester Airport to Liverpool Lime Street, the first ever electric train to call at Huyton, and 319363 was looking shiny in its new "Northern Electric" livery.
At Lime Street the regular commuters left the train.  I wonder how many of them noticed anything different.

The inside's a bit purple, isn't it?  Clean and bright, anyway.
It was soon time for '363 to head off on another run to the airport.

Phase Two In Action

This morning, the 06:16 Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport was worked by 319363, forming the first electric passenger service on the phase two route.

More details and hopefully pictures later ...

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Passenger Service Next Week?

The test runs were successful on Monday night, and another test run, which included the Earlestown West curve and a run to Warrington Bank Quay, took place on Tuesday night.

The general consensus seems to be that we can expect the first passenger-carrying 319 to be the 06:16 Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport on Monday 2 March.

The following services are expected to be usually worked by 319s on Mondays to Fridays up until the May timetable change, when more will be introduced:

The 0616, 0716, 0916, 1215, 1416, 1516 1713 and 1814 from Lime Street,
and the 0735, 0840, 1040, 1340, 1540, 1640, 1840 and 1940 from Manchester Airport.

Update:  The rumour mill now seems to think Monday is off due to last minute paperwork problems;  maybe Thursday instead?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Test Trains!

It's all happening tonight!  First a test train topped and tailed with class 37 locos ran up and down a few times, with the pantograph on the test coach up.

Then two EMU ECS workings popped into the timetable running from Allerton to Newton-le-Willows.  And two 319s ran up and down between Lime Street and Newton.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

New Timetable (from 17 May)

I've noticed a few comments at other places on the internet about "Electric services from May", so it might be timely to point out that we are now twelve weeks away from the timetable change and currently the new timetable is pretty much exactly the same as the old one.

So, while we can expect to have electric trains soon (My guess is March for Liverpool to Manchester Airport, April/May for Manchester Victoria, and Wigan at the same time or soon after.), they are probably going to be gradually phased in, running in diesel timings for a good few months, perhaps until December.

Of course, all this is guesswork.  I am not privy to the internal planning processes of the railway, and a new electric timetable could appear at any moment to prove me wrong, but I doubt it.