Greater Manchester’s Railway Stations: Less Accessible Than Those in the Scottish Highlands

Twice as many potential passengers lacking step free access at local stations

Greater Manchester seems to have had a rough deal with its railways over the last five years. Over the last five decades, it has more than its fair share of broken promises, from the cancellation of The Picc-Vic Project to today’s meddling with the HS2 project. In the 1990s, we were promised Regional Eurostar trains but we thought the market wasn’t there in the late 1990s thanks to easyJet, Ryanair and Friends. In more recent times, sleepers and international services are having a bit of a revival in mainland Europe.

Today, a simple train trip from Ashton-under-Lyne to Mossley can be an ordeal. Since 2018, you have had to change at Stalybridge (and the connections are pretty tight). Even Stalybridge to Mossley can be an ordeal if you have restricted mobility or a wheelchair. You have to change at Huddersfield due to stepped access on the Yorkshire platform!

Continue reading “Greater Manchester’s Railway Stations: Less Accessible Than Those in the Scottish Highlands”

The Duffers’ Guide to Rail Operations #2: Sleeper Trains

A rough guide to nocturnal and, mainly horizontal, travel options

Imagine boarding a long distance train by night and waking up in another part of the world the following morning. In another country, or another part of the country. Most of the great long distance trains, for example the Trans-Siberian Express, traverse more than one country. If you are an EU citizen, the journey from France to Czechia is as easy as one from Glasgow Central to London Euston (thanks to the lack of border controls in most of mainland Europe).

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The Joy of Silence and the Music of Being

Why Silence is Golden

The road to Gairloch in the Scottish Highlands
The road to Gairloch, leading to one of the most tranquil places I have ever had the joy of visiting in 2013. Image taken by Shearings Holidays (2014), who introduced me to this part of the world (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

I am probably the last person on Earth to be associated with silence. In nearly ten years of running East of the M60, my online life has multiplied. Firstly, my first online experience was via college, since 1996. This was in The Good Old Days of Netscape 2.0, when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser was a mere upstart. We chatted to distant friends by email. As for our friends closer to home, we used to go to the pub. Continue reading “The Joy of Silence and the Music of Being”

The Roads Least Travelled: Contemporary Bus Operations in Gairloch

Or ‘Now You Know What I Did This Summer (2013 Edition)’

Westerbus Bova TLZ 2656, Shieldaig, Highland
Taking a morning break in Shieldaig on an excursion to Applecross. The bulk of Westerbus’ work are school contracts and excursions from Shearings’ Gairloch Hotel, next door to its depot.

East of the M60‘s series of obscure bus routes have covered Transport for Greater Manchester’s boundary in the last two months. Thanks to one of Miry Lane’s finest, I booked a Mystery Break with my Dad and we only found where we were going a week before leaving Ashton-under-Lyne bus station. Continue reading “The Roads Least Travelled: Contemporary Bus Operations in Gairloch”