Archive for October, 2009

North Wales Coast Railway – Notice Board ….

Posted on October 31st, 2009, by The Chairman

For those with more than a passing interest in the operation of railways in our area, especially the Chester and North Wales end, if you don’t already know about it you really should look at the North Wales Coast Railway – Notice Board. The site is very well balanced and despite being a hobby for […]

Sunday train patronage goes from strength to strength ….

Posted on October 29th, 2009, by The Chairman

Back in 1992, GMPTE needed to save some money, so temporarily enforced on what was then British Rail a cut back on the Sunday services on our line from two-hourly to only three trains a day and only between Chester and Altrincham. (They also knocked off the Sunday services between Bolton to Blackburn at the […]

Mid Cheshire Line Stations ….

Posted on October 27th, 2009, by The Chairman

At our meeting yesterday evening we applauded the many volunteers who give up their time freely to keep our stations clean and tidy and promote our rail services within their local communities. Our volunteers cannot be out everyday, neither can the Northern Rail Clean Team, but what do you think of the stations on our line? We […]

New Northern Franchise – No improvements again? ….

Posted on October 27th, 2009, by The Chairman

When the Northern franchise was let 6 years ago, it was let on what the Department for Transport (DfT) called “Steady State”. What it meant was the franchise would be run with no improvements to services and on the assumption there would be no growth and no new or replacement trains. Thus at the end […]

Leaves on the line – this will make you smile! ….

Posted on October 25th, 2009, by The Chairman

One of the drivers told me yesterday he had “shouted at ISS” last week! ISS are Northern Rail’s contractors who maintain the unstaffed stations. Apparently, as he arrived slowly into Navigation Road taking care to prevent his train from slipping, ISS were on the platform using a blower to blow all the leaves off the […]

Chester Station First Class Refreshment Rooms reopen as “Carriages” ….

Posted on October 23rd, 2009, by The Chairman

Back in 1966 (or thereabouts) the refreshment rooms adjacent to what was platform 2 at Chester General Station, the platform used for the express services to London Paddington via Birmingham Snow Hill, were closed due to the unstable condition of the floor. Years later, given the listed status of the building, the rooms were reopened […]

The free Chester Zoo shuttle bus is back for half-term ….

Posted on October 20th, 2009, by The Chairman

If you’re planning your visit to Chester Zoo for the October half term, go by train and you can take advantage of the free Chester Zoo “Tiger Shuttle” bus. The “Tiger Shuttle” bus is back in operation for the October half term. The service runs frequently from Chester Station to Chester Zoo from Saturday 24 […]

A more relaxed (and possibly cheaper) way to London and the South ….

Posted on October 14th, 2009, by The Chairman

If you live towards the Chester end of our line and are thinking of going to London or points south of Banbury and aren’t in a hurry, have you thought of using the Wrexham & Shropshire services from Wrexham and Shrewsbury? Whilst not as fast as Virgin from Chester to London (it’s similar to Banbury […]

Tram/Train to cure our poorer timetable since December 2008? ….

Posted on October 13th, 2009, by The Chairman

An article on Tram/Train appeared in our Summer 2009 “Rail Report”. In brief “tram/train” is a concept where the “trains” involved can run on both conventional (heavy rail) railway lines as well as on tramway systems with their lighter rail and tighter curves. The best example of this is Karlsruhe in Germany, where this has […]

An Autumn Treat if you’re 55 or over ….

Posted on October 11th, 2009, by The Chairman

Both Arriva Trains Wales and TransPennine Express are currently running promotions for those aged 55 and over. All you need is proof of being over 55 and the ticket can be bought at the station or on the train for unstaffed stations. ATW tickets can even be bought to/from certain stations on our line using […]