Echo – New trains arrive for Liverpool to Manchester electric services

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/new-trains-arrive-liverpool-manchester-7778273

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_319

I think the word ‘new’ is a little over the top as these EMU’s were originally built in 1987–88 and 1990!

The Giants, Liverpool & Merseytravel – Was the transport advice right?

Just a few thoughts on the transport implications of the massive Giants event in Liverpool over the last weekend.

The advice from Merseytravel was very clear – come into Liverpool by train or bus and the emphasis seemed to be very much ‘by train’. But was this advice right?

We travelled into Liverpool on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we drove to Bootle and got a train at Bootle Oriel Road Station. The train we got on the Southport – Liverpool Line was packed but OK and we got off at Moorfields Station. Coming back though was a very different story!

On return to Moorfields Station the queue, just to get into the station, was massive and trailing all the way back to Dale Street, indeed it seemed to be an ever lengthening queue. We did not bother waiting; it was going to be a long wait or a long walk. We settled for the long walk on the basis that we would probably be able to flag down a taxi. After about half a mile we did indeed get a taxi back to Bootle.

On Sunday we drove all the way into Liverpool, parked up in the large Council car park next to the Adelphi Hotel with no difficulties what so ever, walked down to the Stand (where the event was taking place) and all was fine. On the way back we walked to the car park, drove out without any delay what so ever and were home in Lydiate within half an hour.

Did Merseytravel over egg the advice and in effect get far too many folk to use the trains instead of spreading the load across all modes of transport? Our experience would indicate that they did. I hope the next time Liverpool hosts a major event the advice is reconsidered.

Motion – Sefton Council meeting 24th July – Liverpool City Region Draft Long Term Rail Strategy

A Southport bound Class 156 DMU at Burscough Bridge Station on the Southport - Wigan - Manchester Line.

A Southport bound Class 156 DMU at Burscough Bridge Station on the Southport – Wigan – Manchester Line.

I am moving the motion below at the meeting of Sefton Council tonight and am hoping it will get all-party support.

*****

That the Council welcomes publication of the Draft City Region Long Term Rail Strategy but is concerned that the Southport – Wigan – Manchester line, which supports commuter travel for Sefton residents living in the north of the Borough who work in Manchester and the tourist trade/economy in Formby/Southport/North Sefton, is omitted from the report.

The Council calls upon the City Region Cabinet Combined Authority to include this line and the development and promotion of it in the final draft.

All options to upgrade this line need to be fully considered within the strategy and should include:-

* Renewal of outdated/inappropriate rolling stock

* Increased passenger/train capacity

* A potential new park & ride station at Kew

* Electrification

* Adoption of Meols Cop Station by Merseytravel

* Connectivity with the Ormskirk – Preston line.

The benefits that could flow from including this line within the final City Region Long Term Rail Strategy will support the north of the Borough and help sustain Sefton’s tourist economy. It will also ensure that the north of the Liverpool City Region is well connected to West Lancashire, Preston and Manchester City Region by rail.

*****

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Railway Electrification – between Liverpool & Manchester – A look at Prescot

Works are continuing to electrify the lines in the Liverpool and Manchester area. I went along to Prescot Station the other day to have a look at how the project is progressing there.

Here are few shots I took:-

Cantenary on the way up

Cantenary on the way up

Looking north from Prescot Station

Looking north from Prescot Station

Another view northwards along the line

Another view northwards along the line

A Class 150 DMU on a Liverpool bound service with a 142 DMU in front of it.

A Class 150 DMU on a Liverpool bound service with a 142 DMU in front of it.

Whilst the electrification will be completed in the not too distant future many of the trains will still be diesel hauled because Northern Rail does not have enough electric multiple units (EMU’s) to run on the lines that are being electrified in the north of England. As ever Northern Rail’s rolling stock issues are the biggest concern here as they are across the whole of their franchise.

The photos above are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Meols Cop Station – Southport – Wigan/Manchester Line

I said not long ago that I would post about this station, so here goes. By the way a previous posting of mine from 29th July 2013 is worth referring back to:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/07/29/meols-cop-station-vandalism-destroys-the-work-of-volunteers/

Meols Cop is the first station reached when a Southport – Wigan/Manchester train leaves Southport’s Chapel Street Station indeed it is well within Southport.

A visit there immediately draws attention to the challenges of this station. Firstly, it has no car park or seemingly any land close by that could become a car park. This is a major disadvantage as it is used by folk who live in Southport but who often work in Manchester. It’s second major problem is that whilst the station is firmly within Merseyside it is not a Merseytravel run station. There is no ticket office, it does not have station staff and the facilities are no more than a couple of shelters.

The fact that Merseytravel have not adopted it and brought it up to the usual standard of a station across Merseyside is a long standing bone of contention with Southport folk.

The good news is that the Station has an active volunteer group which I made mention of in my posting of July 2013 and what a great job they do.

It was time for me to go have a proper look at Meols Cop and here are some photo’s I took on my visit.

Taken from the Station platform looking towards Southport.

Taken from the Station platform looking towards Southport.

Sadly Meols Cops is not a disabled friendly Station. The steps down to the platform.

Sadly Meols Cops is not a disabled friendly Station. The steps down to the platform.

How many stations can you find with a lawn? It looks great.

How many stations can you find with a lawn? It looks great.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Planted out by volunteers

Planted out by volunteers

What Southport really needs is a station that provides extensive free car parking for commuters on this line. It is achievable by building a new station right by the Kew Park and Ride site on the edge of Southport. This is a challenge for the future but for now let’s thank the Meols Cop Volunteers for the work they do in helping to keep Merseytravel’s forgotten station going and looking good.

PS. David Sumner (mentioned in my previous posting) is no longer a Sefton Councillor having decided to retire at the last local elections following years of dedicated service to the Southport (Norwood Ward) community. Happy retirement David and keep up the good work at Meols Cop.