News of the latest Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail Electrics strike this Saturday

Once again, Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail Electrics staff will be taking industrial action. This shall take place on the 03 March 2018.

Therefore passengers travelling between Manchester or Preston and Merseyside will see little or no trains by Northern and Merseyrail Electrics. With their latest strike falling on a Saturday, services will start later than on a weekday under strike conditions. Season ticket holder who choose not to travel on the Saturday can claim compensation via the Delay Repay scheme.

Timetable Overview:

East Midlands Trains/Transpennine Express

Normal Saturday service. Even with the winter weather and snow causing problems, you should expect to see busier trains on EMT and TPE services.


Normal Saturday service. Allow more time for your journey and expect to see busier trams.

FirstGroup/Stagecoach/Arriva/independent bus operators

Normal Saturday with delays. In addition to delays caused by congestion, expect to see further delays and diversions due to snow and ice on the roads.

Northern services east of the M60 motorway

Northern Rail Class 142 - 142036
The Nation’s Favourite Bus Conversion: a four-car Class 142 Pacer train seen at Manchester Piccadilly station on the 23 June 2017. Image by Transport Pixels (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).
  • Huddersfield to Stalybridge: hourly service departing at Huddersfield at 0916 then 1015 and hourly till 1815. Journeys from Stalybridge depart at 0812 and hourly till 1712.
  • Stalybridge to Manchester Victoria: bus replacement service departing at 0721 and hourly till 1921. From Stalybridge, 0855 and hourly till 1855.
  • Manchester Victoria to Huddersfield: two bus replacement journeys leaving Manchester Victoria at 1721 and 1821 (arriving at Huddersfield for 1931 and 2031).
  • Hadfield/Glossop line: limited hourly service. From Manchester Piccadilly: 0718 and hourly till 1618; then 1646, 1746 and 1846. From Hadfield: 0759 and hourly till 1659; then 1729, 1829, and 1929.
  • New Mills Central route: hourly service from Manchester Piccadilly to New Mills Central (0749 then hourly till 1849); to Manchester Piccadilly: 0830 and hourly till 1930. No trains will be calling at Belle Vue, and Ryder Brow stations.
  • Rose Hill Marple route: six return journeys. From Manchester Piccadilly: 0835, 1003, 1203, 2334, 1534 and 1735; from Rose Hill Marple: 0923, 1053, 1253, 1423, 1623, and 1823. Please note that Hyde North will only have two return journeys: the 1018 and 1218 to Rose Hill Marple, and the 1107 and 1307 to Manchester Piccadilly. These trains will not be calling at Fairfield.
  • Calderdale line: limited service with some Yorkshire trains terminating at Rochdale, Hebden Bridge, and Halifax. A bus replacement service will be in operation between Blackburn and Todmorden or Hebden Bridge.

Merseyrail Electrics service changes

Class 507 at James St
The dependable workhorse that is the Class 507 EMU, seen at James Street station. Photographed by Matthew Black, 20 February 2010 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).
  • Liverpool stations to Southport: limited half hourly service with no trains calling at Freshfield, Hall Road, Bootle Oriel Road, Bank Hall, and Sandhills.
  • Liverpool stations to Ormskirk: limited half hourly service with no trains calling at Aughton Park, Town Green, and Sandhills. All journeys will begin at Maghull instead of Ormskirk.
  • Liverpool stations to Kirkby: no service.
  • Liverpool stations to West Kirby: limited half hourly service terminating at James Street. No trains will call at Bidston, Manor Road, Birkenhead Park, Conway Park and all other Liverpool stations (Central, Moorfields, Lime Street Low Level).
  • Liverpool stations to New Brighton: limited hourly service terminating at James Street. Again, no other Liverpool stations will be served.
  • Liverpool stations to Chester: limited half hourly service between Hooton and James Street. No other Liverpool stations, nor stations south of Hooton will be served.
  • Liverpool stations to Hunts Cross: no service.
  • Liverpool stations to Hooton and Ellesmere Port: no service.

Please note that Merseyrail and Northern tickets will also be valid on Arriva buses on Saturday. Also, valid Cross River train tickets will be valid on Mersey Ferries. Being a Saturday, off-peak restrictions apply all day.

Alternative methods of transport

If your nearest station has little or no services on Saturday, here’s our list of alternative ways to get to Manchester, Huddersfield and Marple. Please note that season tickets along affected routes are valid on all Arriva bus routes (plus Yorkshire Tiger routes). With the winter weather and icy conditions affecting some bus routes, expect further delays and diversions.

  • Ashton-under-Lyne: if you cannot be bothered with the strike day services, the tram or several 216s and 219s to Piccadilly Gardens could be a suitable alternative. If you’re heading towards Stalybridge, First Greater Manchester’s 348 is your most direct route. Stagecoach Manchester’s 236 and 237 services are a good choice too. For Mossley and Greenfield (First Greater Manchester’s 350, 353, and 354 services are worth considering.
  • Belle Vue: Stagecoach Manchester’s 201, 203, 204, 205 and 206 continue to Piccadilly Gardens (a Stagecoach Day Rider may be a good option, as well as a good book and a fully charged smartphone). For journeys to Marple, Romiley, and Bredbury, the 203 to Stockport then a 383 or 384 could be a good option.
  • Fairfield: Stagecoach Manchester’s regular 219 service is a good alternative to the train.
  • Gorton: as with Fairfield, the 219 is worth considering. Or you could walk a little further in the opposite direction for the 201, 203, 204, 205 and 206 services.
  • Greenfield: the easiest way of getting to Manchester, besides the train, is a 180 or 184 bus straight to Piccadilly Gardens. Or you could alight at Mumps Bridge and change over to a tram. First Greater Manchester’s 184 service offers an hourly connection with Marsden, Slaithwaite, and the other Colne Valley villages without a station. Travelling to Ashton-under-Lyne and Mossley means First Greater Manchester’s and 350, 353 and 354 services. The 353 and 354 also call at Stalybridge bus station.
  • Hyde North: for Manchester Piccadilly, you could also try the skeleton service from Flowery Field station. Better still, get a 330 to Ashton-under-Lyne and change for a tram, or walk along Johnson Brook Road for the 343 or 389 buses to Stalybridge and change for a Transpennine Express service.
  • Hyde Central: Stagecoach Manchester’s 201 service is a viable alternative. You can also catch the 204 (after 7pm) or the 206, though they offer a less direct route than the 201. Hyde North passengers could also try for the same buses by catching a Hyde-bound 330.
  • Marsden: First West Yorkshire and First Greater Manchester have buses every ten minutes to Huddersfield in the daytime. The 184 from Manchester and Oldham is only once hourly. With the snow and ice across the Pennines, expect delays.
  • Mossley: there are two ways of getting to Manchester on Monday besides the bus replacement service. You can get the 340 (early evenings), 343, 353, or 354 into Stalybridge for Transpennine Express’ journeys. Or you could take the 350, 353, or 354 into Ashton-under-Lyne for a tram. Travelling to West Yorkshire is more finicky: you need to get a 350, 353, or 354 to Uppermill for the 184 service to Huddersfield (plus Marsden and Slaithwaite).
  • Slaithwaite: a few miles east on the A62, Slaithwaite benefits from the same high frequency corridor of buses as Marsden.
  • Strines: your next nearest station is Marple, where Northern’s skeleton service will start from. A taxi or short drive may be needed, especially as the 358 bus stops some distance away from Marple station.
  • Woodley: try Stagecoach Manchester’s 330 service to Bredbury station for the skeleton service into Manchester Piccadilly as an alternative. Or, get the 330 to Ashton-under-Lyne for the tram. As the 389 bus hasn’t served Woodley since April 2009, a journey to Romiley or Marple may be best done on foot along the Peak Forest Canal.

With the weather and conditions underfoot, only go out if you need to and allow extra time for your journey.

Before You Go…

Allow extra time for your journey, keep your digital devices fully charged (that free WiFi access will come in handy), and take a good book with you as well. You may prefer to stay at home or play in the snow (subject to availability). On the skeleton services, expect them to be busier than usual. Likewise with the trams and the buses.

Useful References and Resources

For further updates on the strike, Northern’s website and Twitter feed will stand you in good stead for Saturday. If your normal journey involves the Northern, City, or Wirral lines, Merseyrail Electrics’ Twitter feed and website should be of help.

In Brief:

  • Industrial Action is about the safety issues of DOO (Driver Only Operation), involving the RMT union;
  • Normal service on First Transpennine Express, Virgin, Arriva Trains Wales, East Midlands Trains, and London Midland routes;
  • Limited service on Northern routes, with some areas having no service at all (where alternative modes may exist);
  • Season tickets valid on Arriva Bus services (including Yorkshire Tiger services) in Yorkshire, Merseyside, and Greater Manchester.

S.V., 01 March 2018.

2 thoughts on “Northern and Merseyrail Electrics Rail Strike Update: 03 March 2018

  1. Surely, if walking is an acceptable/safe option for part of the journey, then from Hyde North the 201 is the best option rather than changing buses – let alone modes – in Ashton. Note though that it will probably have to be the 201 as the 206 (or 204 in the evening) will be running from Haughton Green only if Mill Lane is still ice-bound.
    TBH, with City’s match not being until Sunday and the weather likely to be bad (it is a Saturday, don’t forget), I can’t see much “discretionary” travel happening, so wouldn’t worry about congestion on main roads.


    1. Hi Phil,

      A good shout though with the weather at present, a 330 to Hyde (from Dukinfield Road, outside The Village) may be better than the 15 – 25 minute walk to Hyde town centre. At least with a 330 and 201/204/206 combination to Manchester, a Stagecoach Manchester Day Rider will suffice.

      In present conditions, I wouldn’t wish the walk from Hyde North to Flowery Field stations via the footpath on my worst enemy. Even with spikes or crampons. It can be bad on muddy days, let alone with snow and ice.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s