Ride the Halton Curve on 4 June! ….

Posted on May 22nd, 2011, by The Chairman

Ride the Halton Curve to Liverpool South Parkway – Saturday 4 June 2011.

North Chester Rail Users’ Group is arranging for an extended run by the weekly “parliamentary” service from Chester to Runcorn Mainline.

The Northern service departs Chester at 0750 for the single journey to LSP with alternative options for a return to Chester after a visit to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

There are more details on the North Wales Coast Railway website. Look under forthcoming events on the left-hand side of the page.

It would be helpful if those looking to travel let Ced Green of NCRUG know, this to ensure there’s sufficient capacity available on the associated trips. Please email him on cw.green(at)talktalk.net

Might see you there!

Please leave a comment

  1. Rail Officer Says:

    The Halton Curve parliamentary train was an excellent morning out last year with the option of return by vintage bus which I believe is being offered again this year if you contact the organisers & request a seat on the bus.

    Phil & I will be taking the 6.56 train from Ellesmere Port to Helsby to then catch the Halton Curve train. Well worth the early start & nearly an hour wait at Helsby in order to take 2 rare train services!

  2. Sarah Says:

    Relating to journeys to and from Liverpool South Parkway I wonder if anyone can answer this question. The Norwich-Liverpool provides a good connection with the Chester-Manchester service for Liverpool South Parkway but in the other direction the Liverpool-Scarborough service arrives at Manchester Piccadilly 8 minutes before the service for Chester leaves, which doesn’t allow you to officially connect. However, the Chester service usually arrives at Stockport at 26 minutes past but waits until half past to leave. Is there a reason why the Chester train can’t leave at 19 minutes past to offer a connection?

  3. The Chairman Says:

    Hi, Sarah!

    I think you know that the railway between Piccadilly and Stockport is very crowded and running at capacity almost all of the day, Monday to Friday.

    We’ve discussed the Piccadilly departure times quite a lot in the Rail Performance Quality Improvement Team (QIT).

    From memory, the whole idea of getting the Chester train out at xx17, in effect 3 minutes early as this is how long it’s timed to sit at Stockport, is to give it a fighting chance of getting to AND leaving Stockport on time, as it needs to get across Edgeley Junction onto the line towards Altrincham on time at xx31 otherwise there are conflicts with services coming the other way.

    Basically, adding a 3rd London service an hour and speeding up the London services in December 2008 on a railway that was already full meant removing our half-hourly services in the peaks and providing reduced local services on the lines to/from Hazel Grove, Macclesfield and Crewe, and also made it very difficult to provide a resilient timetable. After all the longer distance services were timetabled, Northern were provided with “what space was left”, hence the reduction in local services. This was looked at long and hard by Northern’s train planners who we know put a huge amount of effort into this.

    In practice the Liverpool – Scarborough service tends to be on time as it causes a lot of difficulty to the signallers at Piccadilly if it isn’t, since it’s the one eastbound train an hour that crosses from platform 13 all the way across to the “Eastern Lines”, in effect stopping everything going into and out of the main trainshed whilst it is signalled to do this. Thus, I think you should make it from platform 13 to platform 11 for our train without too much difficulty.

    Once the Northern Hub comes with platforms 15 & 16, this will free up the station approaches to Piccadilly to quite an extent and there will a major re-timetabling exercise. HS2 with a separate alignment into Manchester will free these up even more, all giving the opportunity to reintroduce and improve on local services that are not currently providing the service levels required and in our view stifling demand.

  4. Trevor Gauntlett Says:

    Another great campaigning event. Congratulations to all those at NCRUG, MCRUA, Northern Rail and any other organisations involved. What a shame that those alighting from North Wales at 0740-ish were not directed to the train for Frodsham and Helsby (what a shame that ATW elected not to run trains to Warrington, as they could have). However, a single regular punter did ride from Runcorn to LSP as well as the 69 who rode the curve 🙂

  5. Jen Says:

    Re: Trevor Gauntlet. You probably have more idea about passenger loadings from North Wales than I do but I would imagine not many people arriving at Chester from North Wales at that time in the morning would be going to Helsby or Frodsham.

    Arriva Trains Wales certainly have run Llandudno-Earlestown services in the past during engineering works. It seems this time they preferred to send their trains over the Mid Cheshire line non-stop over going via their usual route and terminating early, which with hindsight is probably just as well with Northern cancelling services on Saturday afternoon due to a train fault.

    This week the late evening Arriva services between Manchester and Chester will be taking an unusual route via Hartford and reversing at Crewe due to engineering works.

  6. The Chairman Says:

    Hi, Trevor & Jen!

    We’ve had poor experiences on the Mid Cheshire Line when Arriva don’t run their services to Manchester. This leads to our trains being full and standing from Chester and/or Piccadilly and aspiring passengers along our line finding they are unable to board them.

    I think whichever way they go, it’s important for ATW to run their services to Manchester. I suspect ATW don’t have enough resources to run services to both Piccadilly avoiding the Chat Moss line and also to Earlestown, in which case the current arrangement works better in my view.

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