Greater Manchester Set to Lose Another 17 Trains

Anger as bankers move electric trains to the West Midlands

Class 323 EMU, Manchester Piccadilly station
The Class 323s first arrived in Greater Manchester in 1996, originally for services to and from Manchester Airport. Following issues with Railtrack’s Safety Case, the Hunslet TPL built units’ introduction was delayed by two years. They first appeared on the Hadfield line in November 1997, replacing slam-door Class 305s.

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”

In Praise of the Aggborough Pie Hut

Supporters’ survey fails to do justice to Murdoch’s delectable dishes

Regular readers may be familiar with some of my ramblings on The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic®, whom I have followed home and away through thick, thin, thinner and thinnest of times. In nearly 20 years of supporting them, I have been to a fair number of grounds and tried several epicurean delights from Blyth to Weymouth.
Continue reading “In Praise of the Aggborough Pie Hut”

HS2 Northern Section: East of the M60’s Verdict

East of the M60 on the High Speed Two proposals

East of the M60 would like to apologise for the late arrival of this article and the inconvenience this has caused to your reading.

So, £32 billion for a thousand or so miles of high speed track, new trains and new stations? Sounds good to me. Sounds like an opportunity to bring our rail network towards Mainland Europe during the noughties. The only problem is the wait: 2033 is the proposed year of completion, by which time a great many of us would be working from home. Continue reading “HS2 Northern Section: East of the M60’s Verdict”