Merseyrail – Encounters on a suburban rail network

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/things-only-happen-merseyrail-commute-15367569

This Echo article made me think of a journey from Liverpool to Maghull late one night a few years ago. There was a guy so stoned that he kept falling asleep whilst he was trying to eat his chips. He was a happy drunk but trying to stay awake long enough to find his mouth with a chip was a challenge and he entertained a number of his fellow travellers. I guess he would not even be allowed to get on a train in that state now, which is probably for the better I might add.

Also, our daughter Jen is not someone you should get on a Merseyrail train with because there seems to be a remarkable chance that if you do the train will break down. It’s happened to her a number of times whilst so far it’s not happened to me at all. Jen thinks Merseyrail is unreliable and she can’t understand why it has such excellent on-time stats for its trains.

And yes I’ve seen the electronic on-train indicator panels that are in all the carriages showing duff information. I recall once that no matter which station we stopped at on the way into Liverpool it kept saying each one was Aughton Park!

Remembrance day in Liverpool – Singing Our Socks Off

I’ve never been to a large city Remembrance Day event before but today I went into Liverpool seemingly with half the rest of the world as our 3 car Ormskirk Line Merseyrail train was packed out and cosy standing room only by the time we got to Liverpool Central Station.

This was the scene outside St. Georges Hall where the main event was taking place:-

And here’s a shot of hundreds of thousands of poppies being released from atop St. John Beacon:-

I then went on to Liverpool’s famous bombed out church – St. Lukes – at the top of Bold Street to see a performance by local Sefton Borough based community choir – Singing Our Socks Off. They were excellent – www.facebook.com/sosoclubchoir/

They were singing war songs and a large crowd had gathered to hear them:-

I always think of my dear old friend Charles ‘Uncle Albert’ Walker who died last year in his mid-90’s as he was fire watching on top of George Henry Lees Department Store the night the incendiary bomb hit St. Lukes. Charles was a proud former RAF Sergeant who as an aircraft electrician worked on virtually every type of Allied aircraft during WWII.

On my way into Liverpool on the over-crowded Merseyrail train, I got talking to two elderly gents proudly wearing medals. It turned out that they were brothers and one was wearing their Grandfather’s medals from the Boer War and WW1 and the other was wearing their Father’s medals from WWII.

All in all an unforgettable day in Liverpool

The 2nd and 4th photos are also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

https://www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Runcorn/Widnes – The Ethelfleda Railway Bridge pedestrian footpath

Here’s a fascinating bit of Liverpool City Region railway history which I have only just caught up with – The story and write-up is from ‘Old Liverpool Railways‘ and can be accessed on YouTube via the link below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMtl3HCSHw0

Click on the photo (which is also amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/) to enlarge it.

Merseyrail – Should their fare structure copy Bandwagon Burnham’s Manchester approach?

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station


The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/1-ticket-manchester-commuters-been-15395226

Well, I’m certainly no fan of Andy Burnham, who has always struck me as popularist who jumps from policy to policy depending on which way the political wind is blowing, but has his latest pronouncement as Mayor of Greater Manchester hit the right note in terms of trying to reduce congestion on our roads?

A Manchester Metrolink Tram

Here’s a link to Transport for Greater Manchester’s website with details of their low fare scheme:-

www.tfgm.com/press-release/early-bird

Would I be right that Mersey Metro Mayor was caught on the hop by the Echo in effect challenging him to come up with a similar deal for Merseyside? The fact that a spokesperson from Merseytravel responded for the Mayor makes he think so.

My own view is that public transport needs to be cheap, reliable, convenient and of high quality and frequency if we are to get folk to leave their environmentally challenging cars at home.

Lydiate – Cyclists and the Kenyons Lane/A59 traffic lights

A fellow cyclist recently raised this junction with me as they were concerned that the detection wires under the tarmac on the Coronation Road side of the junction may not be picking up approaching cycles.

Oddly a similar thought had crossed my mind a while back as I had an encounter with these traffic lights where they did not change to green when I expected them to. I had all but forgotten about this incident but when approached it came back to mind.

The resident has raised their concerns with Sefton Council Highway Dept. and shared the exchanges with me. It seems that if a cycle is ridden too close to the edge of the road the bike may not be recognised and the advice is that cyclists use the middle of the eastbound carriageway when approaching the lights as this should lead to a bike being detected. So now you cyclists know but let me know if problems persist.

Oh, and by the way, it is not recommended for cyclists to ride near to the kerb anyway as these links illustrate:-

www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership/article/20140102-Road-safety-tips-for-members-0

www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/10-tips-for-safer-city-riding-47029/

Sefton Highways tell us that the advice given in the links above has been endorsed by Chris Boardman who’s currently working alongside Transport for Greater Manchester to improve Cycling Safety Standards.

With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting

Click on the photo to enlarge it