Winter 2017/18 “Rail Report” postponed to January ….

Posted on December 17th, 2017, by The Chairman

We know some of you are wondering when our Winter Rail Report is going to arrive as it’s timed for despatch with the new Mid Cheshire LIne Winter timetable leaflet which started on 10 December.

We were expecting to hear the confirmation of the May 2018 “Two Trains an Hour” timetable by mid-November and were looking forward to including details of the much enhanced services in our Rail Report. That mid-November date was then postponed until the end of November, a bit tight to complete and despatch our Rail Report for 10 December, but just about achievable. We then heard confirmation is postponed into 2018, but by then it was too late to complete it and distribute it before Christmas.

So it will be the early part of January when this arrives in your email box / on your doorsteps.

We underatand there’s nothing sinister about the postponement of the confirmation of the May 2018 timetable. We hear that because the changes are so extensive, the confirmation process is taking longer than normal.

Meanwhile, you can access the Mid Cheshire Line December 2017 timetable through this link.

As we approach Christmas, MCRUA wishes all of you a great Festive Season and all the best for 2018.

Please leave a comment

  1. Jen Says:

    According to a local newspaper report the Manchester-Bolton-Preston electrification has been delayed by 6 months: http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/15821799.First_electric_trains_through_Bolton_delayed_by_a_further_SEVEN_months/

    It’s unclear how much impact that will have on the May 2018 enhancements. Cascades from GWR and Scotrail should still be happening, while the wires between Preston and Blackpool should still be live, plus Northern should get 8 x 319s converted to ‘Flex’ trains to allow them to run off the wires.

  2. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    I’ve been told that Northern will be announcing the detail of the May 2018 timetable on Thursday 8th March.

  3. mike james Says:

    I understand timetables should published 12 weeks in advance on the national rail database.
    Any (good) reason why this isn’t being done?

  4. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    Presumably because of the number of special circumstances:
    The delay to the Manchester-Preston electrification (only announced fairly recently).
    The delay to the introduction of the class 769 bimodes (class 319 conversions).
    The reduction in scope of the electrification programme (no longer including Victoria to Stalybridge for the moment for example).
    The fact that it is a major timetable re-cast also involving TPE.
    And perhaps crucially, the need for Northern to decide which changes they make in May and which are deferred until December (this decision will be governed by the number of diesel units which they will have available for traffic).

  5. mike james Says:

    I hope I have my facts right.
    the new timetable starts on 20th may
    twelve weeks back is 25th feb
    You say they intend to publish on 8th march
    i.e just under two weeks late

    None of the ‘reasons’ you list are unexpected – rumours/facts about them
    have been around for weeks – or months

    It seems to me to be insulting to break the rules/conventions for so little reason.

    I hope I can say (without being personally insulting) that your role is to support rail users against the ‘might’ of the TOCs – rather than be apologists for them.

    Basically TOCs need to follow the rules unless there are EXCEPTIONAL reasons
    and I don’t see the reason you suggest as exceptional.

    Mike j

  6. Jen Says:

    Hi Mike,

    I understand it was only last month that Network Rail confirmed it wouldn’t be able to deliver Bolton to Preston electrification by May, while Network Rail expect operators to submit provisional timetables 6 months in advance of the timetable change (so before Christmas.) My guess is if Northern were forced to submit a new timetable by next week it would be a timetable less favourable to passengers than if they are given an extra two weeks to work on it. Modern Railways journalist Tony Miles, who regularly appears on BBC North West Tonight, says he’s surprised Northern expect to have the revised timetable ready by the second week in March, not because it misses the 25th Feb target but because he thinks that’s quick for coming up with a reworked timetable.

  7. mike james Says:

    thank you for your thoughts
    and perhaps I was unduly hard on Northern
    but good information is vital for users.
    However perhaps in this case it does count as EXCEPTIONAL…

    More generally thank you to all the regulars who do report whats going on on the line

    regards
    mike j

  8. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    Mike,
    My views are my own. I don’t speak on behalf of the MCRUA Committee.

  9. mike james Says:

    sorry
    for some reason I thought you were a member of the committee
    I withdraw my comment as to your role
    sorry again
    mike j

  10. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    Mike,
    I am a member of the MCRUA Committee but my posts to this forum are entirely my own views.

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