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.
Today, East of the M60 has learned that a small number of the universally derided Class 142 Pacer units will be making a comeback on Northern rail services. Thirteen of the units will be reinstated to provide extra capacity, and to ensure that social distancing practices will be maintained.
Or: is the Grayling Curse to blame for Northern’s woes?
The rail franchising system is dead. Long live the rail franchising system. In the last year, we have seen a recasting of the rail franchising system in favour of management contracts. Since 1994, rail franchises in Great Britain have mirrored former British Rail profit centres, which in turn have roots in BR’s sectorisation programme by Sir Robert (Basil) Reid.
Why is Greenfield station – the only railway station in Oldham Council boundaries – still inaccessible for mobility impaired passengers?
The Trans-Pennine route via Huddersfield should be given the same level of importance as the West Coast Main Line. Or at least any commuter route in the South East of England. Between Manchester and Huddersfield you have six trains per hour. All good and proper if you travel between the two points, but what if you want to travel from Stalybridge, let alone Mossley or Greenfield?
East of the M60 EXCLUSIVE: Nodding Donkeys become beautiful bi-modes with revolutionary technology
10-car Pacers set for DDA compliant overhaul;
New breed of Nodding Donkeys go electric.
Set to carry on for a longer period of time than the UK’s Brexit negotiations is the fate of Northern’s Pacer units. Due to disability legislation, the much-maligned family of diesel units were scheduled for withdrawal in 2019. In reality, the delivery of Northern’s replacements have delayed the Pacer family’s withdrawal. So much so that one of the units scheduled for inclusion in the National Railway Museum’s collection is still in service.
According to reports from an informed source, East of the M60 can confirm that the Pacer family of units will be seeing continued service for another 40 years.
In the last week, you will have heard about the appalling terrorist attack at Manchester Arena, after Ariana Grande’s concert. As well the loss of 22 lives and severe injuries to 59 concertgoers, this led to the temporary closure of Manchester Victoria station. Tram and train services were affected. At face value, this could have stopped the city going about her day-to-day activities. Continue reading “Manchester Victoria Station to Reopen”→
Some of the best laid plans are never planned at all. Some of them are made on the hoof, or they just fall into place. Serendipity and spontaneity can make for the greatest of journeys as we lose ourselves in another town, village, open space, or on a bus you never thought of catching.
FirstGroup and Keolis retain Transpennine Express franchise
Pacers peddled with new rolling stock in place;
Evolution of Smart Ticketing and free WiFi at stations;
New connections throughout Northern England.
The Department for Transport today [09 December] has awarded the Northern franchise to Arriva/DB Regio today. As part of their franchise, the unpopular Class 142 and 144 Pacer units will be scrapped. In their place would be a mix of brand new and nearly new rolling stock. Their franchise term will be active from April 2016 to March 2025. Continue reading “Serco Loses Northern Franchise to Arriva”→
Anger as bankers move electric trains to the West Midlands
Almost a year after the DfT’s imposition of an evening peak for Greater Manchester’s rail users comes another body blow. Porterbrook Leasing, who owns most of Britain’s trains has refused to offer 17 Class 323 electric trains to Northern Rail’s successors in 2016.
Instead, the rolling stock leasing company (owned by Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Allianz Capital Partners, EDF Invest and Hastings Fund Management) has decided to move them to the West Midlands. At present, the Centro West Midlands boundary sees a number of local services utilising Class 323, and the move allows for greater standardisation. The reason, to reduce maintenance costs. Continue reading “Greater Manchester Set to Lose Another 17 Trains”→