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SOCIETY NEWS ITEMS
A Class 90 at Hazel Grove. photos by MLS member Lee Stanford.
On the 14th January Class 90 no 90014 'Over The Rainbow' made a surprise appearance on the electrified Hazel Grove line on a test run from Crewe.
Photo İLee StanfordThe loco is seen passing through Davenport Station.
Photo İLee Stanford90014 arriving at Hazel Grove.
January News Items by Andrew Macfarlane
Class 142 Pacers finish in service with Northern
27th November was actually the last day in passenger service for class 142 Pacers on Northern. Their withdrawal was brought forward due to worn tyres. 142004 was the last unit in service and the last working was the 16.36 from Kirkby to Manchester Victoria. Several 142s are to be retained by Northern for route learning between York and Scarborough in advance of the introduction of a Northern service between those places. 24th December was the last day in service for class 142 Pacers on Transport for Wales (TfW). Fifteen class 143 Pacers are now due to continue in service with TfW until the end of May 2021.
Class 86 survives December timetable change
Freightliner class 86/6s continued in service after the December timetable change but have gradually been placed in store since then as they are due for examinations. At the time of writing (23rd January) only 86613 and 86632 remained in traffic.
TfGM £10 payment for tram and train extended to 31st March 2021
TfGM has announced that anyone whose £10 annual payment for tram and train expires in January, February or March can continue to use the tram and train in the TfGM area until 31st March. TfGM do not want people travelling to visit Travelshops at the moment. Greater Manchester residents will be able to renew their £10 payment for tram and train from 7 days before 31st March or they could wait until they plan to use the tram or train. Incidentally Stockport bus station Travelshop has moved to a temporary location in Mersey Square while the bus station is being rebuilt.
Reduced rail timetable due to national lockdown
Northern introduced a much reduced timetable from Monday 18th January. Also Avanti West Coast is currently running only four trains an hour from Euston, one each to Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester.
Local News Items by Andrew Macfarlane
Rose Hill Marple line
Northern had planned to withdraw the service from Piccadilly to Rose Hill via Hyde completely from Monday 14th September to Sunday 13th December. Local councillors then arranged for West Coast (Carnforth) to run the service (between Guide Bridge and Rose Hill) for a week from 14th September. In the event this didn't happen because Northern had a slight change of heart and chose to run three trains each way per day to Rose Hill for schoolchildren. Northern plan to introduce a service every 90 minutes on the Rose Hill line from 26th October and an hourly service from 14th December. The episode is a worrying example of what could happen to any service in the present circumstances.
The train service to and from Rose Hill was temporarily suspended in September due to the challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many organisations have faced difficulties due to COVID-19 and the railway is no exception.
This is an update to the above:
During the pandemic, training programmes were paused and there was an urgent need to begin this training again to enable Northern to provide a reliable and resilient railway service across Greater Manchester and beyond in the future.
Train operators have now been able to recommence training and through this, Northern has been able to restore a 90-minute timetable between Manchester Piccadilly and Rose Hill, Mondays to Saturdays.
Gorton, in addition to the re-introduced Manchester to Rose Hill service, will continue to be served by the Manchester to Hadfield and Glossop services.
The Ring and Ride pre-bookable taxi service will continue and, between the hours of 1800 and 2100, a shuttle bus will serve the Marple area. Ticket acceptance will also remain valid on Metrolink services between Manchester City Zone stations to Droylsden for customers travelling between Manchester and Fairfield.
Northern has made and is continuing to make several improvements at stations along the line, including:
General repairs and maintenance
Repainting (including; canopies, railings, columns, benches and fencing)
Relacing assets (including; signage, canopies, doors, gates and fencing)
Ian Allan bookshop to close
The last surviving Ian Allan bookshop, which is at 45/46 Lower Marsh near London Waterloo station, is sadly due to close on 31st October. It's loss will be mourned by many who like to browse before they buy.
Pacers return to the Mid Cheshire Line
As from Monday 14th September 9 of the 24 daily trains on the Manchester-Northwich-Chester line are operated by a class 142 coupled to a class 150. Class 142s no longer operate to Sheffield. They have been retained by Northern due to delays in bringing the class 769 bi-mode units (conversions of class 319 units with a diesel engine) into service.
Failure of Manchester South signalling centre
There was a major failure of the Manchester South signalling centre (located on the site of Edgeley steam shed) on the evening of Wednesday 16th September. Disruption lasted until normal working was resumed on Monday 21st September.
The plan for Transpennine Express to operate part of this service between Liverpool and Nottingham from December 2021 has been dropped and the whole service will remain with East Midlands Railway. The service may still be split at Nottingham.
The section of the Bury line between Whitefield and Bury was converted to TMS operation (line of sight) from Monday 24th August. Trams now have to stop at Hagside Crossing and proceed at 10mph over the crossing. Such is progress?
Euston to Blackpool open access operation is off
It was announced on 10th September that plans by Grand Central to start an open access service between Euston and Blackpool North from May 2021 had been dropped due to the virus. This cancellation came at a late stage after staff had been recruited and class 90 locos and Mark IV stock had been reliveried.
First of new Metrolink trams due to arrive
The first of the new batch of 27 Metrolink trams is due to arrive in Manchester in October 2020.
Stockport-Stalybridge service restarts
The famous Stockport-Stalybridge service restarted on Saturday 19th September after a gap in the service due to the virus. The train leaves Stockport at 09.45 and arrives at Stalybridge at 10.05. It only operates in one direction.
Tornado Visits the North WestPacific no 60163 'Tornado' was in charge of 1Z63NC, a West Coast Railway charter from Darlington North Road to Liverpool Lime Street on Saturday September 19th. As expected, some of our members turned out to record the occasion on film.
Photo: Andrew MacfarlaneThe special passes through Manchester Victoria station.