We’ve got the Hump! ….

Posted on March 30th, 2011, by The Chairman

Northwich’s Humps were installed last weekend.

Here’s some pictures taken yesterday by Sally ….

The Manchester-bound platform with the Zone in the background and some of the new cycle racks.

Manchester-bound platform - (c) Sally Buttifant

Manchester-bound platform - (c) Sally Buttifant

The Chester-bound platform.

Chester-bound platform - (c) Sally Buttifant

Chester-bound platform - (c) Sally Buttifant

In use.

One of our "posher" trains - (c) Sally Buttifant

One of our posher trains - (c) Sally Buttifant

No more “Launching into Space” at Northwich!

Please leave a comment

  1. Uther Pendragon Says:

    How do we get on with our 12 coach train to Newcastle ?

  2. Rail Officer Says:

    Hello Uther, the Harrington Hump should be long enough that one door is covered ….. however the hump has been positioned to cater for 142/150/156 unit combinations not excursion trains so it will be interesting to see where our 12 coach train stops in relation to the humps.

    If access to our train is an issue at Northwich – I’m sure that one of the helpful stewards will assist any passenger. Otherwise access to the train from the platform will be as previously.

    Apologies that I can’t be more specific.


    Sally (Mid Cheshire Community Rail Officer)

  3. Mick Says:

    My reaction to this is that, while it’s positive, it is surprising that such a small hump was installed: it’s a modular unit, so it would have I think been possible simply to install additional centre sections between the ramp sections. I say this because Northwich really isn’t Aberdovey or Harrington: it’s relatively busy and would, I would have thought, justify a larger unit. The bottom photo shows the shortcomings: you can see that the ‘156 has stopped a couple of metres short, so that the door to the second carriage isn’t properly over the hump. So: better than nothing but not ideal!

  4. railofficer Says:

    Hello Mick,

    A longer hump would have been lovely but unfortunately cost was the restricting factor. We struggled to finance this hump – unfortunately longer humps cost more. So looking at funding and what was required – the hump we have was what Network Rail suggested. The drivers are still getting used to stopping on the hump – that is another complication – we have different unit combinations which require different stopping points – notice the new stopping signs for drivers on the Manchester platform. I will forward your photo to Northern if I can access it.

    Thank you for your feedback.



  5. The Chairman Says:

    The drivers are slowly getting used to stopping in the correct places.

    For the Chester-bound platform the instructions are the driver stops the unit with the front door on the platform. The “S” stop board was put up on Tuesday last week to remind some drivers who seem to be forgetting. I was on on Tuesday this week and the driver stopped in the wrong place despite the new “S” board!

    For the Manchester-bound platform with a 2-car set the driver stops the front door on the ramp, i.e. not as in the picture above! For a 4-car set the driver stops as per the relevant stop board depending on whether the front set is a 142, 150 or 156.

    All of this is done so the conductor knows where to load passengers who may be likely to struggle disembarking at Northwich with the drop on the rest of the two platforms.

    Our line uses Piccadilly and Victoria drivers; they have recently been reminded of the instructions.

  6. Jen Says:

    I appreciate Sally’s point about cost constraints.

    However, it seems to be all too often the case that stations like Northwich and Knutsford get treated like village stations when it comes to budget.

    There are quite a lot of stations around the country that get similar passenger numbers to those of Northwich and Knutsford stations which have heated waiting rooms, display screens with train running information and sometimes even passenger toilets.

  7. Edd Says:

    I made an observation on Saturday when there were some 4 carriage workings in operation. As usual in the Manchester bound direction people boarding at stations like Chester, Mouldsworth and Delamere were all told to board the front train. However, when the train arrived at Northwich two ladies with baby buggies were on the front train and had difficulty alighting (the hump being lined up with the front doors on the rear train.)

    I understand the arrangement of keeping the rear train locked on the Chester-Northwich part if due to poor visibility on the Manchester bound Mouldsworth platform. The arrangement also means at Delamere it would not be possible for bikes to be loaded on to both the front and rear trains if there were more than 2 people with bikes. Can something not be done to rectify that problem?

  8. Conductor Says:

    Depends on the traction used. Stations west of Northwich can’t fit some formations of trains onto platforms. I once had a 156+156 which made things very problematic during a race day. Northwich or Greenbank in the Manchester direction is a suitable place to unlock units.

    It’s a bit of a design flaw at Northwich. If you board at the ramp with a buggy, cycle or wheelchair then you could be boarding at the wrong door for the storage area on the unit and then obstruct the doorways. Some 150s, mainly the ex London Midland ones have very limited storage for wheelchairs, buggys and cycles as they are only at one of the train. Similar with certain 142s as well.

  9. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    It shows the need to raise both platforms at Northwich along the entire length used by a four-coach train.

  10. Edd Says:

    The combination I was on in the Manchester direction was a Merseytravel 142 at the front and a 150 on the rear. There was also a pair of 142s on a different diagram on Saturday.

    If the train is a pair of 150/2s, a pair of 156s or a 150/2 and a 156 then is the conductor not allowed to manually release one door in the middle if the platform is not long enough, like what happened at some stations when Northern had the 180s?

  11. Conductor Says:

    When a train is longer than a platform then the procedure is to open only one local door or two doors on each effected unit if it’s a non walkthrough train.

    142s also have the unique problem of only a single leaf opening when the above procedure is been used which is a near impossible gap for prams and bikes to get through. It’s preferred to lock an entire unit out if the passenger loadings are quiet to save time wasting and the potential of people missing their stops.

  12. Jen Says:

    Some 3 car class 172s for the Mid-Cheshire line would solve most of the problems mentioned above.

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