Friends of Littleborough Stations

Newsletter - February 2017

Welcome …

To the first FOLS newsletter of 2017.  We aim to publish in February, June and October each year and distribute to members, as well as posting copies in local shops and notice boards

New Northern Timetables

Timetable 36 is the main timetable for Manchester Victoria to Leeds which all pass through our stations. Remember some trains go to Leeds via Halifax and Bradford, while others go through Brighouse to Leeds.  There is a "mini" timetable 44 for trains between Manchester Victoria and Blackburn, via the Todmorden curve and Burnley. All these trains stop at Smithy Bridge and Littleborough

"Sardine Express"

You may have read reports in the local press and social media about chronic overcrowding on trains along the Calder Valley line on Wednesday 11th and Thursday January 12th.  Extreme weather had brought trees down on to the railway line, which in turn caused delays and fewer carriages being available.  There were instances of passengers being unable to either board or leave the train. Hopefully such incidents will be a rarity.  Again, FOLS urges passengers to use the free Northern app on their smartphones to report any problems and give feedback

Northern - Free Mobile App

Northern have a free mobile app that you can download onto your smartphone. You can buy train tickets; view timetables; and report faults about stations and trains.  Search Northern on your phone’s app store and look out for the App with this logo.  Alternatively, click here for further information

Contacting Northern

It is important to give constructive and positive feedback, as well, and to alert them to problems.  There are many ways of contacting Northern at their Customer Experience Centre:
(t)     0800 200 6060
Twitter - @northernassist
Facebook -

Alternatively pick up a “Your Comments” form at staffed stations, which can be returned Freepost to Northern

British Transport Police

British Transport Police can be contacted on 0800 40 50 40 or by text to 61016 to report anti-social behaviour and crime.  Remember - in an emergency always call 999.  For non-urgent matters, BTP can be emailed at  There are BTP officers based at Manchester Victoria who will be happy to assist

Planting at Littleborough Stations

Recently several of our plants were deliberately removed from the planters at Littleborough Station.  FOLS Members had donated the plants, and it is FOLS volunteers that plant and tend these attractive displays.  Please report theft/vandalism such as this, if you see it happening

Clean Stations

Carillion have the contract for cleaning our stations. If you wish to report litter problems, contact Northern’s Customer Service Centre on 0800 200 6060

Revenue Protection

Please co-operate with the Revenue Protection teams along the Calder Valley line. Fare dodging is not only illegal but it means that our railways are deprived of the income that helps to improve the rail service

Book Exchange

On the Yorkshire-bound platform at Littleborough, FOLS have a book exchange in the waiting room.  Please feel free to borrow a book and return it when you have finished it. Donations of good quality books are always welcomed

Carriage Faults

Each carriage on Northern trains has a unique number (e.g. 55556).  If there are any problems in your carriage such as toilet issues, lack of heating & etc., Tweet @northernassist followed by the hashtag (#) and the carriage number.  Maintenance experts will be alerted and will deal with the matter as soon as possible

Passenger Numbers

The Office for Rail Regulation's annual estimated passenger usage for our stations, based on sales of tickets for 2015- 2016 are:

Smithy Bridge - 149,000
Littleborough - 392,000

These are almost certainly under-estimates as Greater Manchester concessionary passes and fare evaders are not counted!

End Note

Members of FOLS attend many meetings with Northern, Transport for Greater Manchester, Rochdale Council, other station Friends groups and rail campaign organisations. We do this so that we can have better facilities at our stations and a better train service along the Calder Valley line

FOLS members meet quarterly at The History Centre at Littleborough Station.  Our next meeting is 7pm on Monday 24th April.  Membership through to September 2017 is only £3.00!.  Come along to our next meeting, if you are interested in joining

Please send us an email if you have any queries or require further information

Contact Information

Friends of Littleborough Stations

Meeting times

The Friends of Littleborough Stations (FoLS) meets quarterly at The History Centre accessed via the Leeds platform at Littleborough Station.  See the Meetings page on our website for meeting dates.

FoLS members also meet up at regular intervals to undertake works to both Littleborough and Smithy Bridge Stations, as well as participating in the train company's annual Santa Specia to/from Manchester Victoria