Friday 16 October 2015

Timetable Tweak

I noticed something rather odd in the daily updates to the timetable database this morning:  A number of schedules for the Liverpool / Preston services in the next timetable period (13 December 2015 to 14 May 2016) had been deleted and re-inserted.

Naturally I investigated, looking for the difference between the old and new versions, and I was surprised to see that the trains have been promoted from class 2 to class 1.  So, for example, 2N76 09:28 Liverpool Lime Street High Level to Preston has been deleted, and replaced by 1N82 09:28 Liverpool Lime Street High Level to Preston.

The timings remain exactly the same, and the rolling stock is still indicated as "DMU Class 150, 153, 155 or 156".

I wonder what the significance of this change is, if any?  Perhaps the signalmen will give these priority over the stopping services.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Carillion Is New Contractor

Carillion has won the Network Rail contract for the Northwest Electrification project formerly held by Balfour-Beatty.

Hopefully we will soon see work on the Manchester to Preston phase moving ahead once more.

Friday 9 October 2015

News Roundup

New Timetable

The new timetable, from Sunday 04 October, has introduced some more electric workings.  On Mondays to Saturdays almost all Liverpool/Blackpool services are cut back to Preston and operated by 319s, requiring a further three units in operation.  The extension of most of these services to Liverpool South Parkway still applies, so we have gained regular 319 operation in passenger service there as well.

Here we see 319369 basking in the autumn sunshine at South Parkway, having arrived from Preston via Lime Street and waiting to form the 11:03 return service.

On the other hand, the Liverpool/Warrington Bank Quay services remain mainly diesel operated, although I think the 17.50 off Lime Street and 18.52 return might now be electric.

Farnworth Tunnel

Fillie continues her slow progress under Farnworth.  The timetable database currently shows normal trains along this line from Monday 14 December, but I'm not sure how much weight we can give to that information.


Unless I've missed it, we still haven't had a formal announcement of which company or companies are to take over from Balfour Beatty and undertake the remaining parts of the project.