Letter: Northern Railway timetable decision
Date published: 17 February 2018
Photo: Network Rail
Railway between Manchester Victoria, Rochdale and Littleborough
A decision will be taken by Northern railway on 8 March as to what timetable they will be able to operate from 20 May.
It is highly unlikely that the draft timetable currently shown on Real Time Trains and other websites will be possible.
This is due to Network Rail's overrun on delivering electrification to several routes.
This means that diesel units will have to continue in operation on routes which had been planned to be electrified and so the diesel units which should have been available for increased services on other routes are not yet available.
The next available date for full implementation of the augmented timetable will be December next.
Northern railway may have to continue with the present timetable.
The alteration to Trans Pennine services in May should go ahead as planned with three or four services per hour each way passing through Victoria.
This is likely to mean that more of the Rochdale trains will be starting from platforms 5 and 6.
There are continuing total suspensions of weekend services on the Bolton lines due to overrunning engineering work at weekends.
To help, Northern are operating an hourly service of additional trains from Manchester Victoria to Preston via Rochdale and Burnley stopping at Blackburn and Preston only.
The ticket gates at Rochdale station seem to have bedded in reasonably well although they are not staffed all day long.
The off-peak hours when they are staffed seem to be varied.
However, there is not always someone on duty at the lift gates which are then left open.
Travellers with passes at the ordinary gates aren't always spotted promptly by the staff.
Rochdale Council and Transport for `Greater Manchester are intending to upgrade the original part of the subway at Rochdale station to bring it into line with the more recently re-opened section.
The upgrade of Mills Hill station including a lift for the down (Rochdale bound) platform will start soon but the present station car park will be taken over as the site compound.
The lack of provision of a more extensive station car park at all stations in the area is a matter for concern.
In Littleborough most streets in the centre of the village are taken over by rail park and ride passengers. Smithy Bridge is no better.
Work on the new link road from Oldham Road to Rochdale's Rail and Metrolink car park has started which unfortunately will remove a few parking spaces.
Additional parking at Rochdale station is badly needed.
Rossendale bus Company has been taken over by Blazefield Holdings who run bus services in the Keighley, Pendle, Burnley areas.
At least it's not one of the big, impersonal companies.
The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.
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