Thursday, 23 July 2015

"New" Timetable

It's about that time of year, so I wasn't at all surprised to find that the new timetable, which starts on Sunday 13 December, had appeared in my database overnight.

When I looked into the details of the new schedules, however, I was startled and disappointed to discover that the timetable for trains at Huyton is exactly the same as the old one.  Was I wrong to expect an "electric" timetable this time?

What we have is a timetable up to 14 May 2016 in which all the trains are still timed for diesel units, running exactly the same service as they do now.

As expected, on Mondays to Saturdays Liverpool/Blackpool services are truncated at Preston, just as they will be in the current timetable from 5 October.  (A few daily peak hour trains, and all the Sunday services work through.)

The small print:  As I always say in posts about new timetables, the data is well outside the twelve week limit and so must be considered provisional.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Something Different

For a complete change of style I wandered up to Huyton station this morning to see 45699 "Galatea" storming through with The North Wales Coast Express on its way from Liverpool Lime Street to Holyhead.

P.S. Unfortunately Galatea only made it as far as Llandudno Junction and was removed from the train there with a hot box.  The rest of the tour was diesel powered.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Liar (anag.)

The current edition of Rail magazine includes an article on the Northwest electrification which marks a disappointing return to the low level of accuracy that earned it the nick-name "Liar" in the 1980s.

I was particularly startled to read that the four tracking at Huyton is in the last stages of resignalling, testing and installation.  In fact, the fourth track is isolated at both ends, has no signals, and no overhead equipment.

A map of the electrification shows the Manchester to Wigan via Walkden line as AC electrified.

Another paragraph states that twenty 319 units will be used but a further ten should move north this year, which I'm fairly sure is also wrong.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

TransPennine Electrification Postponed

It has emerged today that Network Rail have postponed the project to electrify the route from Manchester to York.  No new completion date has been set.

The DfT says Network Rail has discovered more work will be needed than was originally proposed.

What effect this will have on the Northwest Sparks area is not clear, but I would guess that Manchester Victoria to Stalybridge and Guide Bridge to Stalybridge are probably under threat.  And perhaps also the fourth track through Roby and Huyton.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Current 319 Rosters

I have received a number of emails from people enquiring as to which services are 319 worked, or reporting a particular train as diesel operated, so I thought it might be useful to create a list.  I was just beginning the process of doing so when a correspondent kindly pointed me to this page on the Rail website, where they have the complete rostered workings for the 319s, thus saving me a job!