Tuesday 1 November 2011

More Network Rail Exhibitions

Network Rail has scheduled some more exhibitions of their plans for the rail network in the region:

Thursday 3 November, St Helens Central station, 15:00 – 19:00
Tuesday 8 November, Huyton station, 15:00 – 19:00
Friday 11 November, Lime Street station, 07:00 – 09:30, 15:00 – 19:00
Saturday 12 November, Lime Street station, 10:00 – 17:00

Monday 24 October 2011

Scotland Trains Still Missing

A few months ago we were told the new trains to run electric Manchester - Scotland services in 2013 would need to be ordered by September 2011 at the latest. The latest report is that an order might be placed "by early 2012."

This will leave Siemens with very tight timings if they are to deliver the trains on time.

Friday 7 October 2011

Network Rail Launches Consultation

Network Rail today launched a series of exhibitions in the Manchester area as part of a consultation exercise for their plans for the Northwest, including the electrification project, the Ordsall Chord, and the Northern Hub development.

Exhibitions will be held at the following locations:

Friday 7 October: Museum of Science & Industry 15.00 – 19.00
Saturday 8 October: Museum of Science & Industry 10.00 – 17.00
Tuesday 11 October: Salford Central Station 07.00 – 09.30, 15.00 – 19.00
Wednesday 12 October: Salford Civic Centre 14.00 – 20.00
Thursday 13 October: Eccles Station 07.00 –13.00
Friday 14 October: Manchester Victoria Station 07.00 – 09.30, 15.00 – 19.00
Saturday 15 October: Manchester Victoria Station 10.00 – 18.00
Wednesday 19 October: Manchester Piccadilly Station 07.00 – 09.30, 15.00 – 19.00
Thursday 20 October: Manchester Town Hall (foyer) 14.00 – 20.00
Friday 21 October: Arndale Centre, Manchester 10.00 – 18.00
Saturday 22 October: Arndale Centre, Manchester 10.00 – 18.00

Monday 3 October 2011

Buckshaw Parkway Opened

New station Buckshaw Parkway located between Chorley and Euxton Junction was opened today.

Monday 19 September 2011

Walrus Card Launched

Merseytravel have launched a smart card called Walrus which will be used for season ticket and pay-as-you-go travel in the area.

The first product to be transferred to Walrus is the annual all-zones trio ticket. Other products will gradually be added over the next two years. "Non-transport products" will also be available.

Thursday 18 August 2011

Update on our "Missing" Trains

I have received a communication from the Department for Transport in response to a query about the lack of available electric trains for Liverpool-Manchester and Liverpool-Wigan services in 2014.

They say that "... it was assumed that Class 319s would be cascaded from Thameslink to operate the service. Whilst that still may be the case, it has emerged that vehicles from other sources could be available too."

They don't go on to explain what those sources are.

Monday 1 August 2011

First Stage Completed

Network Rail are trumpeting the completion of the first stage of the Electrification project: £3 million has been spent on rebuilding three bridges between Eccles and Patricroft, ready for the installation of overhead wires "next year".

Sunday 10 July 2011

Bridge In Place at Buckshaw

In the early hours of this morning a crane lifted into place the pedestrian bridge for the new Buckshaw Parkway station. The station is expected to open in the Autumn.

Friday 1 July 2011

Scotland Train Order Delayed

An order for new Siemens Desiro emus of class 350/2 to operate the Manchester to Scotland service from December 2013, running on the first part of the electrification project to be completed, from Manchester to Newton, has been delayed. It is hoped that DfT approval for the trains will be granted in September.

Thursday 16 June 2011

"New" Trains Running Late

Today Rail Minister Theresa Villiers announced details of the new trains to be built by Siemens for the Thameslink line in London. The first of these is scheduled to arrive in 2015. Some of the displaced Class 319 trains are to move to the Northwest.

So, the lines from Liverpool to Manchester and Wigan are scheduled to be electrified by 2014, but the electric trains won't arrive until a year later?

Monday 23 May 2011

New Liverpool South Parkway to Blackpool Service

From May 23 the existing Liverpool - Blackpool North service was extended in off-peak daytime hours to and from Liverpool South Parkway. This does not require any additional stock, as the trains previously stood for 55 minutes at Lime Street.

Monday 4 April 2011

Website Launched

The website www.nw-sparks.co.uk has been launched today. The site will monitor and record progress on the project to electrify railways in Northwest England.

Friday 4 March 2011

Work Under Way

Network Rail has announced the beginning of actual work on the ground: Work has commenced on the demolition and rebuilding of one pedestrian bridge and two road bridges over the railway between Eccles and Patricroft. This section of the line is scheduled to be electrified in 2013.