NEWS ARCHIVE 2019
New Class 331 EMUs Make Their Debut on Hazel Grove to
New Class 331 EMUs entered service on the Hazel Grove -
Blackpool service as from the 16 December timetable.
Unfortunately this led to cancellations due to 'train crew
issues', with as many as 16 trains per day on the Hazel
Grove section cancelled each day in the first week. 3-car
Class 331/0 versions, some in double formation, worked most
of the services, although at least one 4-car 331/1 was seen.
The picture shows 331 008 calling at Davenport with the
15:02 Hazel Grove - Blackpool North (Blackpool N Pole
according to a whimsical festive change to the
information screen text).
Photo and text from Charlie Hulme.
Refurbished Class 323s for Northern
Refurbished Northern 323 238 at Manchester Piccadilly on 5th
December. It was intended that the Northern fleet of
17 323s would go off-lease (and presumably be scrapped) as
soon as the new 331s are available, but it has now been
decided to refurbish them and also transfer the rest of the
323s - 26 units - from the West Midlands and return the
ex-Thameslink Class 319s to the leasing company, possibly to
be turned into 'bi-modes'.
Photo and text by Charlie Hulme.
2019 AGM Report
The minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting held on the
15th November can now be found on the Members Only (password
required) section of the website. Also the minutes of
the November Committee Meeting (No 742).
Mystery Loco and Location
We have an archive of many thousands of photographs.
Most are complete with information, dates, locations etc but
this is one that we know absolutely nothing about. Can
anyone provide any clues?
New Northern EMU 331 009 rests at Stockport between
empty-stock training runs to Stoke-on-Trent and back, 26
Class 68 Trans Pennine Diagrams
- an update from Charlie Hulme
There are now two class 68-worked diagrams on the Liverpool
Victoria - Scarborough route, as below. Route is via Chat
Monday - Saturday
1E23 05:56 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1F60 09:41 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime St
1E37 12:56 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1F74 16:44 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime St
1E51 19:56 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1P98 22:46 Scarborough - Manchester Piccadilly
1F48 05:55 Manchester Victoria - Liverpool Lime St
1E25 06:56 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1F62 10:41 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime St
1E39 13:56 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1F76 17:44 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime St
1J53 20:56 Liverpool Lime St - Stalybridge
1E29 08:56 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1F66 12:41 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime St
1E43 15:52 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1F80 19:44 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime St
9M04 08:25 Manchester Victoria - Liverpool Lime St
1E31 09:55 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1F68 13:44 Scarborough - Liverpool Lime St
1E45 16:52 Liverpool Lime St - Scarborough
1P42 20:42 Scarborough - Manchester Airport
News Items for the November 2019 Mancunian
by Andrew Macfarlane
Transport for Wales Club 50 Offer
This new ticket offer started on 2nd September for outward
travel until 24th November for anyone aged 50 or over. The
fare is £29 return to anywhere on the Transport for Wales
rail network using their services only. It is not available
before 09.30 on Monday to Friday and the ticket cannot be
used to travel to or from Cardiff on Saturday 30th November
due to a rugby match that day (Wales v the Barbarians).
Return travel can be up to 8 days after the date of outward
travel (the day of outward travel is the first day of the
eight). The ticket can be purchased from any ticket office
on the day of travel but there are no discounts for railcard
holders or any add-ons using the services of other Train
Operating Companies. More details are at https://tfwrail.wales/club50.
Unit 142045, which was damaged by a low hanging Overhead
Line Equipment insulator at Guide Bridge on 22nd July was
not in fact withdrawn and remains in service. Unit 142005
was the first and so far only class 142 to be withdrawn this
year (with some fanfare) on 12th August.
Freight on the North Wales Main Line
Wednesday 18th September saw the last nuclear flask train
from Valley to Sellafield conveying fuel rods from the
now-closed Wylfa Power Station. However this is not the end
for freight traffic on the North Wales main line because
Glan Conwy yard and Llandudno Junction sidings are to reopen
for crushed slate waste traffic from Penrhyn Quarry (now
owned by Breedon Group plc) and granite traffic is to
restart from Penmaenmawr where a large sum of money has been
spent to bring the rail loading facilities back into use.
This traffic may be in connection with HS2.
West Coast Rail Franchise
A consortium of First Group and the Italian national rail
operator Trenitalia will take over the West Coast rail
franchise (including the running of Stockport station) on
8th December 2019. The Pendolinos will be retained but a new
fleet of trains will replace the Voyagers.
East Midland Railway
The Liverpool-Norwich service will be split at
Nottingham from the December 2021 timetable change.
TransPennine Express will operate the Liverpool-Nottingham
service from that date.
Class 323 Electric Units
It has been announced that Northern will be retaining its 17
class 323 units and that they will also be acquiring all of
the class 323s currently operating in the West Midlands. The
class 319 units will be returned to the train leasing
company. They are unable to keep to existing class 323
schedules on the Manchester-Stoke line. Class 323s are
currently however banned from travelling via Bolton due to
potential interference between their traction motors and the
type of track circuits used on that line. The 8 class 769
bi-mode conversions of class 319s are still scheduled to
enter service with Northern.
Minutes of the September MLS Committee Meeting
The minutes of the above Committee Meeting can now be
found on the Members Only section accessed by
password. Click on Reports.
8F No 48151 passes through Hazel Grove in torrential rain on
Saturday 27th July with a Carnforth to Burton ECS working.
Photo ©Peter Cross
Cemex - liveried 66 780 (ex DB Cargo 66 008), newly
named 'The Cemex Express' is pictured passing through
Davenport Station with the daily Peak Forest to Salford Hope
Street stone train on the 21st June. This GBRf
locomotive, with its special livery, was officially named at
a ceremony in Buxton the previous week attended by Peter
Photo: Charlie Hulme.
May Committee Meeting Minutes
Introduction to Service of Northern Class 195 DMUs
As seen on TV, the new Class 195
Northern DMUs (should) enter service on
Monday 1 July on Manchester Airport to Barrow (via
Manchester Airport to Liverpool via Birchwood.
The following (SX) daytime diagrams are courtesy of a
writer on the WNXX
07:46 Barrow - Man Airport
10:29 Man Airport - Barrow
13:53 Barrow Man - Airport
16:34 Man Airport - Barrow
13:06 Windermere - Man Airport
15:30 Man Airport - Barrow
10:46 Barrow - Man Airport
13:29 Man Airport - Barrow
16:45 Barrow - Man Airport
09:29 Man Airport - Barrow
14:46 Barrow - Man Airport
17:29 Man Airport - Windermere
15:16 Liverpool - Man Airport
16:45 Man Airport - Liverpool
09:49 Man Airport - Liverpool
11:16 Liverpool - Man Airport
12:50 Man Airport - Liverpool
14:10 Liverpool - Man Airport
15:50 Man Airport - Liverpool
17:15 Liverpool - Man Airport
09:16 Liverpool - Man Airport
10:50 Man Airport - Liverpool
12:16 Liverpool - Man Airport
13:50 Man Airport - Liverpool
15:16 Liverpool - Man Airport
16:45 Man Airport - Liverpool
The minutes of the May Committee Meeting can now be
found on the Member Page (password required). Click on
the Reports Link.
Local Rail and Metrolink News by Andrew
Tornado passes through Altrincham
The famous new-build steam locomotive no. 60163 Tornado came
through Altrincham hauling “The Mad Hatter” return excursion
from Chester to Darlington North Road on Saturday 11th May.
It was the first visit of the loco to the mid-Cheshire line.
The special train was routed from Altrincham via Northenden
Junction, Cheadle Heath, Hazel Grove High Level Junction and
Disley Tunnel to reach the Hope Valley line and
Transpennine Express Club 55 Offer
Tornado approaching New Mills South Jct. Ken
TransPennine Express has a current Club 55 offer (until
Tuesday 4th June for outward travel) for those aged 55 or
over. The prices are £22 return to anywhere on their network
in the North of England, £32 return to anywhere on their
network in Scotland. First class fares are £42 return in the
North of England and £62 return to Scotland. Travel is not
permitted before 09.30 on Monday to Friday. There are no
restrictions on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays. Senior,
Disabled or Two Together Railcard holders get 20% off
(Disabled and Two Together railcard holders must be aged 55
or over). Travel is not permitted to or from Manchester
Airport station. A new condition is that tickets must be
bought in advance (at least the day before travel) but they
can still be bought at stations as well as online. There is
no need to specify particular trains or to reserve seats
(although you can reserve seats if you wish to). Return
travel can be up a month after the date of outward
Sunday Bus Replacements
Trains between Stockport and Chester will be replaced
by buses due to engineering work all day on Sundays 30th
June and 7th July.
May 2019 Timetable Changes
There is virtually no change to the train service
through Altrincham but the following changes are happening
across the wider Northern network:
New hourly service between
• Chester and Leeds (via Warrington Bank Quay and Manchester
Victoria) except Sundays.
• Sheffield and Gainsborough (including weekday services for
the first time at Gainsborough Central)
Hourly services between
• Blackpool North and Manchester Airport (via Piccadilly)
• Blackpool North and Hazel Grove (via Piccadilly)
• Preston and Manchester Victoria
Currently the service from Manchester Victoria only goes as
far as Buckshaw Parkway so this is a welcome
New West Coast Partnership Franchise
On 10th April it was announced by the Department for
Transport that Stagecoach/Virgin had been barred from
bidding from this and any other rail franchise due to their
unwillingness to provide open-ended funding for the railway
pension scheme. Stagecoach has now mounted a legal challenge
against their disqualification from the East Midlands
franchise. The new West Coast Partnership franchise, for
which Stagecoach/Virgin were bidding in conjunction with
SNCF, is due to start in March
Winner Announced for East Midlands Franchise
Abellio (Netherlands Railways) will be the new operator
of the East Midlands franchise taking over from Stagecoach.
Unfortunately it is planned to split the current
Liverpool-Norwich service at Nottingham from an early stage
in the new franchise. Either Northern or Transpennine
Express will operate a service between Liverpool and
Nottingham and there will be a separate Derby-Norwich
service via Nottingham operated by the East Midlands
Another Special Train Through Altrincham
On Saturday 13th July UK Railtours are running through
Altrincham with their “Buxton and Peak Forest” trip on its
way back from Buxton to London Euston.
Crewe Open Day Now Sold Out
The Open Day at the former Crewe Diesel Depot on
Saturday 8th June is now sold out.
The pointwork for the new bay platform at Crumpsall was
installed over the Easter weekend. This will be the terminus
for the new Metrolink service to the Trafford Centre, due to
start in early 2020. The Trafford Centre will be in fare
Member Syd Williams has written an interesting, amusing and
thoroughly alarming article chronicling a week at Saltley
Motive Power Depot in the early fifties. The article
is appropriately titled A
Bad Week for Saltley.
There is a very interesting new
feature article concerning loco 37 422 at work on the
Cumbrian Coast in 2015 and 2017. It is written by
Charlie Hulme and features the photographs of Dave Garrett
and the text of Charlie's recent Mancunian article.
MLS Committee Meeting No 738 Minutes (March)
The above document can be found in the Members-only
section of the website. (Password required).
A Mystery Chair
This chair, which has been in the Society's possession for a
considerable length of time, was brought back into view
recently at our headquarters. The chair was certainly
in use when our meetings were held at Sale Station up to the
beginning of the nineties and before we moved to
Stockport. It could very well have been present when
the Society was inaugurated at Manchester Central back in
1935! If that was so, could it's origins be traced
back to before the Grouping?
The front legs of the chair have castors which has led to
speculation that it could have been used in a dining
car, the castors enabling the attendant to wheel the
chair behind the diner, to make the sitting process easier.
Although the leather covering is showing a great deal of
distress, the wooden frame is in excellent condition.
It carries simple but pleasing carvings on the woodwork.
Can anyone shed any light on this fine piece of furniture?
MLS Committee Meeting No 737 (January 2019)
The minutes of the above meeting can now be found on the
Members Only section (password required). Click on
Same Date.........Same Train? by Ken
These two photographs were taken on May 5th 1980 on the
occasion of a family day trip to North Wales.
at Helsby to photograph the
impressive semaphores, 40038 came by with a fully fitted
empty ballast train (left). Two and a half hours
later what appears to be the same working is seen from the
town walls at Conwy. Because I cannot read the loco
number in the second shot, it's impossible to be certain
whether it is the same train....but it could be!
Trans - Pennine Express Test Working.
Older items can be found on the 2018 Archive
68 032 is photographed propelling the
09.38 Carlisle - Manchester International Depot empty
stock trial working through Manchester Oxford Road
station at 13.00 on the 24th January. This was
booked to run Monday - Friday that week in an 'as
required' path, which is included in the winter
timetable, but was cancelled on two days.
Photo and information by Charlie
Members' contributions welcome
Page updated December 2019