We Need to Talk About Flowery Field Station

Is Flowery Field railway station really as bad as the reviews make it out to be?

Firstly, here’s what The Great Travelling Public have said about Tameside’s second newest railway station:

“Absolutely horrible im [sic] from woodsmoor and this platform is absolutely ugly and scruffy”

“proper scally asbo style”

“Name does not reflect the dump”

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Northern Powerhouse Rail: Railing Against a Lack of Ambition

In 2015 we were promised hoverboards, but Stalybridge had Pacer units instead (Shapps 4′ 8″ Remix)

In a professional capacity, Preston has become my second home. I know almost every nook and cranny of its railway station. On some occasions I hope for a slack connection, so I could do a bit of spotting between trains. In the last six months, I have seen many a passing Pendolino, many a diesel, electric and bi-mode unit, and the odd goods train.

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Hyde North station by Rept0n1x, 2013 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

Greater Manchester’s Rail Fares: An Un-Fare Advantage?

How an £8.00 ticket caused a fuss over London and Manchester rail fares

Take one single train ticket, then add the most powerful elected mayor outside of London. Introduce another single train ticket for a journey within Greater London. Simmer for 24 hours or more on social media then add to existing North-South Divide and Us Versus London arguments till the end of time.

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Lego GMT Standard double decker

Stalybridge Bus Station: A 2030 Vision

The shape of things to come with an all-singing and all-dancing bus/train/tram interchange

It has been a while since you could transfer from three modes of transport in Stalybridge town centre. 90 years ago to be precise. If you count trolleybuses as a third mode, that was 61 years ago.

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Now You Know What We Did This Summer: Bridlington By Bus, Train and Taxi

A look at Bridlington’s public transport offer

Thanks to previous lockdowns and pandemic conditions, it has been two years since we left our last Now You Know What We Did This Summer round-up. The last entry looked at Bournemouth’s buses, which we found were dirt cheap compared with Greater Manchester’s buses.

The last time yours truly went to Bridlington was nearly 12 years ago. I had an overnight stay there and used Lord Tennyson’s favourite resort as a halfway point between Doncaster and Middlesbrough. There, I was supporting the late great Donna Williams at what became her last UK lecture tour. After seeing her Doncaster lecture, I got Northern’s service to Bridlington (via Goole and Hull), then continued to Middlesbrough by bus via Scarborough.

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Cars on Trains: The Wonders of Motorail

How we let the train take the strain – by carrying us and our cars at the same time

If we put our minds to it, we can let the train take the strain even more. Not only passengers from A to B, also our worldly goods like parcels, raw materials and fuel oil. For carrying heavy loads at once, nothing beats the goods train’s ability at taking more cars off the roads.

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When are the Last Trains to London?

Beat of the M60 finds an excuse to combine trains with music

“It was 9.29, 29… 9.29 back street, big city/The sun was going down, there was music all round, it felt so right.”

Last Train to London, Electric Light Orchestra (1979)

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‘Bridge Bi-Mode Breakthrough

Class 769 bi-mode trains reach Stalybridge

At 1714, arriving three years and nine minutes late on Platform 5 at Stalybridge station was the 1531 train from Southport to Stalybridge. Though the journey itself seems far from headline-grabbing, the kind of rolling stock and its delay is even more so.

Instead of the usual Class 150 Sprinter unit, the 1531 was operated by 769 442. The four-car unit is one of eight Northern trains that are bi-mode units.

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Cross Processed Trams 3047 and 3068

Metrolink Extensions: Next Stop, Stalybridge?

East of the M60 looks at the possibility of trams returning to Stalybridge

It is 90 years ago since Stalybridge saw its last trams. Back then, the trams were facing competition with local express bus routes. In 1931, the Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, and Dukinfield Joint Tramway and Electricity Board began to phase out trams and replace most of its tram cars with buses.

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Northern Class 195, Manchester Airport

Rail Franchising, 1994 – 2020: An Honest Obituary

System exacerbated fragmented nature of National Rail network

Rail Franchising, a part of British railway policy since 1994, was laid to rest at the age of twenty-six. Its original aim was to raise standards across the rail network and improve on services launched by the outgoing British Railways Board. Today, it was announced by Transport Minister Grant Shapps that all franchised operations will be replaced by Emergency Recovery Management Agreements for six to eighteen month periods.

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