Davenport Railway Station

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Note that most train services, including ours, will finish early on 24 December, and there will be no trains on National Rail on 25 or 26 December. The current franchise agreement states that 'within twelve months of the Start Date the Franchisee shall consult with passengers, user groups, Network Rail, other train operators licensed under the Act and who operate along the affected Routes and other relevant Stakeholders on the potential demand for passenger service on Boxing Day.'   A low-profile consultation was held, but nothing has resulted, and it's obvious that the proposal has been 'kicked into the long grass'.
                23 December 2018

Strikes and the RMT

Passengers might like to consider the RMT Union's press release about the recent failed 'talks' and the continuation of Saturday strikes for the rest of the month. It's clear that the Union are not willing to accept any compromises, and there is a very bad feeling between them and the company. A further document issued on 6 December see them attempting to bring 'Transport for the North' - a recently created body which is supposed to be overseeing local railways - into the fray, but only to support all the demand for 'safety-critical' guards on every train, rather than Northern's idea of a person who deals only with tickets and general passenger service on the train. Meanwhile, many rail users are obliged to travel by road, which is a much less safe option than rail with or without a guard.
6 December 2018


Many Buxton services at present are running with two coaches instead of four.  The 08:38 train to Manchester, for example, is 08:38 to Manchester  is formed from the 06:38 from Piccadilly to Buxton, which gets to Piccadilly as the 05:06 empty stock from Newton Heath depot via the reversal at Stalybridge. If not enough serviceable coaches are available, we see 'short forming.' The Journey-Check website has the information each day. (The first four services from Buxton in the morning use trains which have spent the night in Buxton station.)

This problem arises because many of the diesel trains, especially the 'Pacers', are out of service with 'wheel flats' caused by sliding on leaf-polluted rails when the brakes are applied. They have a 'wheel lathe' at Newton Heath to deal with this, but only one carriage at a time, and eventually the wheels have to be replaced. The two-minute earlier timings in the autumn are to allow drivers to approach stations more slowly - but we suspect that much of the damage is not occurring on our line.

Sadly there is not much the Northern schedulers can do about this. They have already replaced all the trains on the Preston - Ormskirk branch line by a bus, but this saves just one two-car set. People on the Rose Hill and Marple lines are already being left behind every day.

On 23 November as we write this, across Northern, there are 82 'train formation updates.'
23 November 2018

Friends Group update

Recent work by your Friends Group includes progress in installing frames to display art works in the Waiting Room, which will be available to local groups. We have also planted more donated daffodil bulbs and a number of wallflowers which should give a colourful display in the Spring.
04 November 2018

Moonlight Craft Fair

On Friday 9 November 3:00pm – 9:00pm from St George's Church are holding a  Moonlight Craft Fair with  Over 40 stalls and a huge variety of crafts and art works.
03 November 2018

Strike News

RMT Union has now instructed its Conductor members not to work on any Saturday for the rest of 2018. Nobody seems to be able to do anything about this absurdly-prolonged dispute, which is letting down Northern's passengers in a very serious way. We are 'lucky' in having a few trains on Saturdays: several stations in Cheshire get no trains at all forcing people to travel by car, a much less safe method than a train, even with no conductor, but the RMS maintain that safety is their main concern.

To be clear, the proposal by Northern Rail (under from the Government) is - as we understand it - that drivers will operate train doors on line with suitable rolling stock and equipment on stations. Trains will still run with conductors unless a member of staff is not available. How much money this will save in Government subsidy is hard to understand, but anyone who needs help to board or alight from trains may not be confident of assistance at small stations.

3 November 2018

Station manager meeting

On 10 October we attended the two-monthly meeting of 'friends of the railway' held by Mr Brooks, the manager for the stations in our area. We raised the question of the new ticket machine, and the need for people (possibly parents with buggies) heading in the Buxton direction to climb down and up the steps, and it was suggested that conductors would use their discretion when the 'penalty fare' regime starts. The machine will be covered by CCTV in due course

We pointed out that the wall behind the platform badly needs painting, especially since two poster cases have been removed leaving patches of a darker colour.

We also raised the question of lack of progress with the Japanese Knotweed' situation despite promises by Northern's facilities management company ISS.

Other station groups outlined their plans and problems.  Many stations, including ours, have serious problems of passenger access to platforms and trains, but there little chance of improvement, and it is claimed that the platforms are within the current standard which is 350mm diagonal from platform edge to train step. This is one point on which the much-derided 'pacer' trains have the advantage over the Class 150s which form most trains at Davenport which have a very high step.
11 October 2018

Friends activities

We now have permission to install some picture frames inside the waiting room to brighten up the place, and this will be taking place shortly. Hopefully something can be done with the door, which is quite hard to open. We have planted some more spring bulbs behind the Buxton-bound platform, with more to come, and added some extra plants to the existing bed.  The Davenport Guides group  have been caring for their plants on the Manchester-bound side.
11 October 2018

Bus service changes

There are changes to the 372 bus route from 28 October. The roundabout extension to Stepping Hill Hospital, Sainsbury's store and Torkington, introduced a couple of years ago, is abolished, and the buses will from Stockport will run round a loop in the North Park Estate before making the journey to Woodsmoor Crossway and back, then on to Stockport. It appears that passengers from Stockport to Woodsmoor stops will be expected to travel round North Park Estate first, as Woodsmoor calls will be 'northbound only'.

The route, which is subsidised all day by Transport for Greater Manchester, will no longer be run by Stagecoach, so their passes and day savers won't be accepted. Passenger numbers are already low; it would be no surprise if the route were eventually cancelled altogether. A far cry from the late 1980s where 'Bee Line' and 'Little Gem' buses were competing for passengers!

11 October 2018

Leaf Fall timetable

From Monday 1 October the 'Leaf Fall' timetable applies. Some trains from Davenport towards Manchester will depart a two minutes earlier than normal. Timetable leaflets are available at the station or online. The Marple line is also affected.
30 September 2018

Ticket machine

Northern have now installed a ticket machine (see item below) on the Manchester-bound platform which should be brought into use shortly. It's a shame they didn't take the chance to get the wall behind repainted after removing three poster boards,  but no doubt they have nother things on their minds.

We are assured that the present staffing of the station will continue.

30 September 2018

Jolly Sailor to be re-born

Some really good news is that the 'Jolly Sailor' is to re-open as a pub/restaurant under the aegis of local firm the Almond Group. As can be seen repairs to the structure are in progress and a planning submission has been made to the Council for some improvements, which will be mostly at the rear and in harmony with the historic style of the building. Full details of their application are on the Stockport Planning website.

The Almond Group run five successful pubs in the Stockport area, including the 'Three Bears' in Hazel Grove and the 'Hesketh' in Cheadle Hulme. Each has a carvery, as well as a choice of other dishes including vegetarian.
16 September 2018

Strikes continue

Unless something changes, which is unlikely, there will be a strike of RMT conductors every Saturday in September, and possibly beyond. These workings depend on Northern management staff, including administrative staff who have received training for the purpose.

It needs to be made clear yet again, we think, that the operation of some trains without guards was something that bidders for the Northern franchise are required by the Government to accept, in hope of reducing the necessary Government subsidy - £279 million to Northern Rail in 2016-17, supposedly 25p per passenger-kilometre. It's not being foisted on us by the greedy German owners of Arriva, as is being suggested by the Union.

The new trains which are being built now - but are unlikely to be seen at Davenport for a decade - will have provision for the driver to open and close the doors, but it has never been made clear by Northern what other equipment will be provided on stations and/or trains to allow the driver to close the doors safely. Elsewhere, trains have been equipped with cameras at every door, with the views shown on a screen in the cab, but perhaps that is not considered necessary on our shorter trains, and there will cameras on the platform. Who knows?

Neither have we been told who is going to help disabled passengers at small stations. Meanwhile, those of us for whom rail is an essential service continue to suffer.

07 September 2018

Ticket machines

Passengers will have noticed that the base for a ticket machine has been created on the Manchester-bound platform - the machines have already been installed at Woodsmoor and other stations. We are assured that this is not a prelude to taking away staff from the station, but a convenient way for people to pay when the office is closed.

The machines look large and impressive, and have a clever way for wheelchair users to lower the display, but they do appear to have some serious limitations. They do not accept cash, only cards, and can only issue tickets for the current day, but, perhaps more importantly they are (at the moment?) unable to issue some ticket types which may well offer a cheaper fare, such as the 'Northern Duo', or more flexibility such as Day Rangers, Train/bus savers, Wayfarers. etc.

You'll need to give yourself time to buy your ticket, too - especially if heading towards Buxton as there will be no machine on that side. If you have a TfGM concession cars and need to buy a ticket to travel beyond, e.g.  Middlewood to Buxton, you'll have to pay the conductor or at the office as the machine can't do that.
07 September 2018

Bank Holiday weekend changes

This August Bank Holiday weekend this year is not an ideal time to be travelling by train. On our line we are faced with yet another conductors' strike on Saturday 25th (and on the following two Saturdays). Northern are offering an hourly service, to Manchester Piccadilly calling at Davenport from 10:16 to 21:16, and departing from Manchester Piccadilly 08:35 to 19:35. The 'talks' which led to the cancellation of the 21 July strikes have clearly achieved little.  These strikes are being called by the RMT union on the basis of a ballot of members held back in 2016 before the law was changed to require ballots to be repeated every six months.

On Sunday 26th all trains through Stockport will be replaced by buses due to engineering work until 16:30. Trains will be running between Hazel Grove and Buxton. there is a timetable on the Northern website. Further afield, London Euston is closed all weekend and Derby station has a much-reduced service, due to engineering work.

Recent Sundays have seen our train service at Davenport reduced, in a planned (or in the case of 12 August, unplanned) way, with cancellation some or all of the additional trains introduced in May. Northern inherited a traditional system in which train crews work on Sundays, for extra money, on a voluntary basis. We understand that staff can give a week's notice that they will not be available for Sunday work; there seems to be no prospect of change to this archaic system.

Incidentally, on the subject of disruptions, passengers will note that Network Rail have installed anti-climb strips along the parapets of Stockport viaduct in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the absurd events of 19 July.
20 August 2018

Another business update

Some more news on the 'eating and drinking' front. Work continues at No. 203 Bramhall Lane, the former Garden of Eden, as a new version of their planning application for a new
bistro' to be called '203 The Lane' is considered by the Council.

Meanwhile, the Monkey Coffee Company at no. 175 is open again after a re-fit, and has been granted a licence to serve alcohol in the evenings, and the team are in the process of procuring the equipment and supplies.

Things are also looking promising regarding the re-opening of the 'Jolly Sailor' pub, following negotiations between owners Greene King and the locally-based Almond group. We understand that a refurbishment will commence soon, with hopes of a re-opening before Christmas.

About the former RBS bank we have no news at all.

20 August 2018

Coming events

On Sunday 5 August, help Mirrlees Fields Friends Group spread the wildflowers on Mirrlees Fields! With help from Cheshire Wildlife Trust, the group will  be collecting and spreading wildflower seeds across the meadows. Bring the family along for a fun-filled day creating more space for wildlife to enjoy. All tools, gloves and on-the-job training provided. Meet by the  Crossfield Grove entrance at 10am before walking on to the fields. Finish by 1pm. Bring some food and drink to keep you going.  Wear weather-appropriate clothing and sensible, stout footwear. This is a family-friendly event,  under 18’s welcome but they need to be
accompanied by an adult.

Saturday 11 August, 10.30 to 14:30, is the Flowery Fields Allotments open day, with tea and cakes, a barbecue, and produce sales. Admission £1, Concessions 50p, Children free.

Bank Holiday Monday 27 August: the annual Woodsmoor Classic Car show, jointly organised by our colleagues from the Woodsmoor Station Friends Group.
Updates 03 August 2018

Business News update

The new 'bistro' at 203 Bramhall Lane (ex-Garden of Eden)  is to be called '203 The Lane' - currently awaiting 'change of use' and 'conservation area' permission and an alcohol licence.  It now has a page on Facebook which tells us that the décor with be 'rustic'.  The planning application we linked to in our earlier item has now been withdrawn, soon to be be replaced by a new one after discussions with Council officers. It's likely to be controversial, but there and many supporters who believe that it will be an asset.

Further down the Lane, the excellent  Monkey Coffee Company (@funkymonkeycc) at no. 175 has been undergoing a re-fit, retaining its historic style, and should be open again soon. Their building, also in the conservation area, is a most interesting one: originally built simply as a house, its ornate first-floor frontage appears to date from when it was a furniture store, selling the products of the cabinet-maker's workshop which still operates in a building behind.

The 'Direct Workwear' shop at no. 179 has closed, and a new owner has already been found. We await developments.
25 July 2018


The week from 15 July was not a great one for passengers, due to two very different events. Sunday 15 July was the day of the World Cup final, and some Northern train crews decided to exercise the right under current staffing agreements dating back to before privatisation, not to work 'overtime' by turning out on a Sunday, if seven days' notice was given to the management. Of course England did not make the final, but the result for our line that many trains (in the enhanced Sunday timetable from May) did not run, a situation not conveyed to passengers of their representatives - as far as we know - until the day before. 'What a way to run a railway' you might say, but it doesn't seem likely to be resolved in the near future.

Something even more drastic, and perhaps even more difficult to resolve, began at around 05:30 on the morning of Thursday 19 July when a man said to be 'in his 50s', equipped with various essential items, made his way from the Heaton Norris area on to the eastern parapet of Stockport viaduct and made himself comfortable.  Whether he intended suicide, or just to cause a disruption is not clear, but he refused to leave, despite pleas by the police, trained negotiators, and - some hours later -  members of his family. A paramedic was summoned when it was realised that he was under the influence of drugs and apparently drinking petrol.

All four tracks across the viaduct were closed to trains, and trains from Buxton were being turned back at Hazel Grove. By 10:00 it was decided that the two tracks towards Manchester could be used, if trains ran slowly 'under caution'. The 10:15 from Davenport and subsequent Buxton trains reached Stockport where passengers were transferred to a Virgin 'Pendolino' from London for the journey to Manchester, offering passengers  a grandstand view of the trespasser and his minders. (The trains returned to London by the Styal line to Wilmslow.)  Clearly no-one was prepared to take a risk by manhandling him,  until about 03:30 when he finally fell asleep and was taken away by waiting police officers to 'a place of safety' and Friday's service ran normally.

What else could have been done? It's had to prevent people getting on the viaduct, although fences have been erected at the station platform ends.

At least there is some good news: the strike planned for 21 July was averted, and the Union and the Company seem to be talking again.  What they can achieve since the Department of Transport is 'pulling the strings' is hard to see, but we hope that an end is in sight.

22 July 2018

Bus Changes

From 23 July, the 310 bus will no longer run along Oakfield Road, and the two stops there will be out of use. Buses will run direct along Garners Lane. See the Stagecoach website  for this and other Stagecoach alterations. Another bus change from the same day is that the 'TransPeak' service will no longer service Stockport and Manchester, running between Buxton and Derby only.
13 July 2018

No Rail changes

It has been announced by Northern - without any consultation with users or their representatives -  that their present (inadequate) timetables will not, as previously suggested, be altered in December 2018 to a hopefully improved version, and any significant changes will not now occur until May 2019.

Some good news is that the strike of RMT conductors announced for 21 July has been called off.
13 July 2018

Oakfield Road issues

Above: Oakfield Road, July 2018.  The subject of the Oakfield Road 'industrial estate' was discussed by the local Council Area Committee recently. The topic was the containers and refuse bins that were placed on the former footpath last autumn by the firm in units 8-10. Planning permission was needed but not applied for until months later when this came to the attention of the Planning Officers and  Permission is to retrospectively been approved form 12 months from the date of the decision, subject to 'screening' of the bins.  What was not up for discussion is the constant obstruction by vans, piles of boxes, parked cars and so on which is ongoing. The report by the Planning Officer completely glosses over the obvious congestion issue, and overrides the ten objections by local residents.

It appears that the firm is aware that it has 'outgrown its premises' and intends to re-locate to somewhere more suitable. They have a site in mind, on a real industrial estate (Newby Road) but there have been planning difficulties leading to the withdrawal of their planning application. The video of the discussion is worth watching; Councillor Wilson summed up the dilemma well, and several councillors questioned what would happen if (when?) a second extension was applied for.

See also our 2016 report to the Council.
14 July 2018

New Features

We have recently added two new features to our site: one about suffragist Hannah Winbolt and her family and another, in the cycling section, about the improvements to the path across Mirrlees fields. As ever, all comments welcome.

Business news

Some work is in progress at 203 Bramhall Lane, the former Garden of Eden greengrocery, which we understand is to become 'Davenport's New Bistro'. An application for the necessary Planning Permission (enter 69265 in planning.stockport.gov.uk) for the necessary change of use, with proposed opening hours 08:00 - 22:00 was registered by the Council on 30 May, the applicant being a Mr Peter Sweeney. Apparently it is yet to be discussed by the Council or offered for consultation; it surely would be well used, but it's very possible that objections will be raised.

Up the road at the former Royal Bank of Scotland, a 'viewing day' was held recently, and the building is now to be sold by Informal Tender (Info here). Other RBS branches are also scheduled for closure, including Bramhall (31 July), Cheadle Hulme and Poynton (November), and even Stockport Underbank (December). Even the weird modernistic building next to the John Rylands building in Manchester is to be vacated.

The Jolly Sailor pub further along Bramhall Lane remains closed. However a local company is in negotiations with owners Green King with regard to taking it on. If these are successful, it will undergo a refurbishment, so will not re-open immediately.

17 June 2018

Normality (on our line at least)

Recent performance on the Davenport line seems to have settled down recently, with the great majority of trains running more or less as timetables, although the faults in the new timetable are still very much evident. The train information system seems to be slightly wonky though: when we took the above picture the 16:15 train had already departed on time.

This picture attempts to show one of the timetable problems. Passengers alight from the 16:25 to Manchester which has been dispatched on-time from its starting point at Hazel Grove. Stopped at a signal in the far distance, being further delayed, is the East Midlands Trains Nottingham - Liverpool express which should have run ahead of the Northern service. Every hour the signaller at Hazel Grove, if the EMT train is slightly late, has to decide which train to run first.


Our optimistic comment about train running (below) has sadly been followed in the second week of the new timetable by a situation which has degenerated to the point where we just cannot rely on the service at all, with random cancellations at any time of day on all the South Manchester lines, and late running of the rest becoming all too common. Thursday 31 May saw  the 07:40 train 'short-formed' and the 08:25 cancelled. We even had the last train of the day from Buxton to Manchester at 23:40 cancelled.  Our line ran reasonably well the first week, especially during the strikes!

Shortage of drivers is often cited by Northern as the reason for all this. We are told that Mr Burnham and Mr Grayling should 'do something' but what? The obvious action, which has been done in the past, is to remove selected trains from the timetable on a temporary basis, publicising that the same ones will not run every day until further notice. This has been done in the past in such situations.

Note: two hours after we wrote the above, Northern announced that temporary timetables will begin from 4 June on some lines; our line does not seem to be affected.
One thing which passengers may not have realised is that drivers (and conductors to some degree) are required to be familiar in detail with the signalling, speed restrictions, station locations etc. by a long-standing rule of railway operation, and drivers also have to have training if a different type of rolling stock appears. Rumour has it that these preparations has not been done in advance as well as they could have been before expecting crews to cover different lines than before; it's not just the new signalling on the Blackpool branch.
Northern also announce, despite the fact they they have been announcing many cancellations as caused by shortage of drivers, there is no shortage of drivers! They currently have 1,529 train drivers, 180 more than when they started the franchise.

While we are sympathetic to the problems generated by Network Rail,  Northern really has to take responsibility for the way these problems have been spread beyond the original area. It's clear that the network is so congested, even though not all the services originally planned have been introduced, the network with all its 'flat junctions' is so congested that a slight delay to one train can have a 'domino effect' across several others.

For example, at Hazel Grove most hours, an express from the Norwich direction is timetabled to pass non-stop through platform 2 at Hazel Grove at xx.18, three minutes before the departure time of the xx.21 Hazel Grove - Manchester. which starts from Platform 1 and has to follow, stopping at Woodsmoor and Davenport. Should the express present itself three minutes late, the signaller is likely to allow it to pass ahead of the local train immediately delaying the local train which will then run late, and lose its 'path' towards Manchester causing more delay. Sometimes it seems that trains depart a minute or two late for no reason at all.

The Wigan North Western to Alderley Edge through train which has been introduced, and seems to be causing problems,  has to negotiate a number of 'flat' junctions on its 88-minute journey, all of them possible sources of conflict: Wigan Station Junction, Crow Nest Junction, Lostock Junction, Bolton West Junction, Windsor Bridge North Junction, Windsor Bridge South Junction, Ordsall Lane Junction, Water Street Junction (new), Castlefield Junction,  Slade Lane Junction, Heaton Norris Junction, Edgeley Junction No.2, Edgeley Junction No.1, Cheadle Hulme Junction, and Wilmslow Junction. A total of 16. Piccadilly station's through platform 13 is also a frequent cause of delay if a previous train encounters overcrowding, or troublesome passengers. The long freight trains which have to be threaded through there are an extra complication. If one is stopped at a signal, it can be in two stations at once.
01 June 2018

New timetable News

There had been a lot of media coverage of the 'Northern Fail' situation which has afflicted part of the Northern Railway network since the timetable change on 20 May. However, the Manchester - Hazel Grove - Buxton route has (so far!) suffered only very slightly from this problem: trains have been running more or less as scheduled.

Of course the new schedule itself has some serious deficiencies, particularly at peak periods, and there are yet more strikes on 24 and 26 May.  The times for trains on both 24 and 26 May are now available at northernrailway.co.uk/strike.
24 May 2018


The 'Wayfarer' ticket has a price increase from 21 May:Adult: £13.50; Senior Citizen (holders of English bus passes only): £8.50; Child: £6.75; Family (up to 2 adults + 2 children): £27. This very useful ticket is hardly visible on the new TfGM website, but is very useful for leisure journeys over a wide area around and beyond Greater Manchester.
19 May 2018.

Timetable change

The Northern Railway timetable changes from Sunday 20th, so on that day the train times will follow the new, improved, Sunday schedules - although the Sunday through trains to Southport no longer operate; all trains terminate at Piccadilly. Check the Journey planner for times, or the timetable leaflet can be downloaded as a PDF.

Note: Although there has been little publicity, the engineering work on the Bolton line has been suspended for the weekend of 19-20 May (only), so trains between Manchester and Blackpool will be running.

Strike of Northern guards on 24 and 26 May. Reduced services will apply, but may not be the same as previous strikes, as the new timetables start on 20 May - almost certainly leading to their own problems. On top of this we are now facing daily cancellations due to lack of drivers; this appears to be because the agreement with the Union regarding 'rest-day working' has expired and not been renewed. On 15 May the 07:55 and 08:40 to Manchester were cancelled.
15 May 2018

Late evening changes

Several times each year, our last trains of the day on Mondays - Thursdays are partially replaced by buses to allow track maintenance. Until recently the timetables were posted at the station, but Northern have decided to cease this, although the PDF timetable is still created and posted online.  Now, we are expected to read a long list, spot our line on it, and check online. 21-24 May is the next week of changes, as well as being a strike week and the first week of the controversial new timetable - this link goes to the replacement timetable, which will presumably apply from Monday to Wednesday as there will be no late trains on Thursday.
15 May 2018

Sounds of the Summer

This summer there will be a series of Saturday afternoon free musical events in Cale Green Park bandstand under the banner of 'Sounds of the Summer', starting on 19 May. All events will start at 16:00.

The full list, with thanks to organiser Chris Hunt (who is also a staunch supporter of our train service campaign):

Sat 19 May – Paul Silve. Matt Downes (DJ)

Sat 26 May – Matt Downes

Sat 2 June – Stockport Silver Band

Sat 9 June – Baltik. Paul Silve

Sat 16 June - Daisy Valentine from Fuzzy Sun

Sat 23 June – Cale Green park Summer event

Sat 30 June – Nick Wright. The Outsiders
15 May 2018

Last Words on the New Timetable (updated 3 May)

Note: the new timetable booklets  are now available in PDF on the Northern website.

It's clear now that there is no way we can obtain changes to the inadequate morning peak timetable to apply from 20 May, with its gap between 07:40 and 08:25. Northern insist that they wished to run a train to Manchester around 8am, and following the earlier consultation prepared a revised timetable (which was supposedly shown to politicians but not to user groups) and submitted it to Network Rail who - we are told - refused to allocate a path for the extra train on the grounds of congestion at Piccadilly station.

This was then followed by the short-notice announcement of delay to the Bolton line electrification, which means that diesel trains would have to run there and much re-arranging on the part of their planning teams.  Northern's regional director Liam Sumpter apologises to those who will have to 'change their morning routine' and promises that they will try to improve matters for the next timetable change in December.

We asked if the morning train (07:36 departure from Buxton) which runs non-stop from Hazel Grove to Stockport could stop at Woodsmoor and Davenport, but this is refused by Northern on the grounds that only two coaches will be available at Buxton to form this service, and if we were allowed on board it would be too full to serve the much busier stations at Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme which will also be suffering from poor service patterns.

The people who travel from the Peak District on the current 08:06 arrival to work or study at Davenport (also Woodsmoor) will have the option of changing trains at Hazel Grove and arriving - at Davenport at 08:25, or arriving at either 07:40 (too early) or 08:40 (too late). 

We doubt, however, whether there will be any movement to restore through services beyond Piccadilly as these have been, or will be in December, transferred to new Macclesfield - Blackpool and  Alderley Edge - Wigan services. Connections at Manchester Piccadilly from the 07:40 from Davenport for stations to Salford Crescent will need some punctual operation and smart movement over the bridge to reach platform 14 in five minutes. However there will be a later connection to an Alderley Edge - Wigan train which will depart from Stockport at 08:05 and call at Oxford Road at 08:20 and Salford Crescent at 08:28.

Out of interest, we attended Davenport station on the morning of Monday 23 May to observe the usage of the trains at the time most affected:

Boarding trains to Manchester from Davenport:

07:27 to Manchester, 42 people (2 coaches)
07:33 to Clitheroe via Oxford Road and Salford, 14 people (2 coaches)
07:55 to Manchester, 58 people (4 coaches)
08:06 to Manchester, 44 people (2 coaches)

28 people, mostly students, alighted from the 08:06 arrival.

(On the following day, the 07:55 was only 2 coaches.)

The 07:40 service, which starts from Buxton, is expected to carry the 100 people who currently use the 07:55 and the 08:06, as well a similar number from Woodsmoor, on top of quantities from Hazel Grove and Buxton line stations. Whether everyone from Davenport will be physically able to board, only 21 May will reveal. Four coaches are, of the course, the longest train our platforms can handle.

Residents are assured that passenger representatives, Friends Groups Davenport and Woodsmoor have spent many hours collecting responses, attending meetings, and writing to councillors, railway managers, and everyone we could think of, about these proposals over several months, and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, nobody from Hazel Grove has felt the need to represent users there. We do know that local station staff have been making their own representations.

We did succeed in restoring many stops at our stations which would have meant rail travel between here and the High Peak towns very difficult, but on other issues we have been blocked at every turn. It has to be said that most of the blame for the current situation has to be levelled at bodies other than Northern Railway, especially the Government departments  - and their regional delegated offshoots what have appeared lately - for specifying a franchise specification which could not be achieved due without infrastructure improvements.

One point that we find odd about the latter from Liam Sumpter is that he attributes the problem partly to the TransPennine trains Between Manchester Airport and Yorkshire which cross the other lines to the south of Piccadilly. This may be the case now, but from 20 May most of the these will be diverted to run between Piccadilly (platform 13/14) and Victoria using the new Ordsall Chord line, leaving only the Cleethorpes - Manchester Airport service to make the awkward reversal.

18 May 2018

Wrong sort of weather?

The line to Blackpool North re-opened, with much publicity, on 16 April after being closed for some weeks while Network Rail tried to finish the signalling updates and electrification work.  However, only a limited service was running, and work was continuing overnight for the rest of the week, with the consequence that passengers faced an 'over-running engineering work' situation on the morning of 19 April. This severely affected our service, with several cancellations of the Preston - Hazel Grove service. On arrival at Manchester the 12:40 to Preston became overwhelmed by passengers, many with luggage, who were forced to wait in the hot 2-car train for 15 minutes before it was able to leave for Preston.

This situation was improving by mid-afternoon, but then just before the evening peak a 'points failure' occurred (due to heat perhaps?) near Oxford Road station, leading to horrible delays on our line. Arrivals at Davenport from Manchester were as follows:

        Due         Arrived

        16:39        17:25
        17:03        17:52
        17:15        17:34
        17:41        17:49
        18:06        18:17
        18:40        19:12
        19:41         Cancelled.

We should mention that under Northern's Delay and Repay scheme, anyone delayed more than 30 minutes is entitled to 'Compensation of one single ticket to anywhere on the Northern network. Or 50% of the cost of your single ticket or relevant portion of your return ticket.' You can apply online via the above link.

21 April 2018

The 2018 Summer Timetable

(Download this item as a PDF)

Northern have now issued their timetable applicable from 20 May 2018 ... well, at least they have put the times online via the online journey planner. The printed and PDF timetables will not be available for some weeks, and the printed version will only be available in limited quantities in future as Northern claim a PDF saved on your phone is just as easy to use.

Our response to the publication of the May 2018 Northern timetable, on behalf of Davenport passengers, is one of considerable disappointment. What we have is basically the 'consultation' timetable issued months ago, with the one concession that stops at Davenport and Woodsmoor are provided on most, but not all, services, at least enabling travel to stations beyond Hazel Grove. The proposed extra service to New Mills Newtown is replaced by a service to Buxton, and there are more services late in the evening.

The result is that we have three trains per hour to and from Manchester for most of the day Monday to Friday, and two per hour to Manchester on Sundays. An improvement perhaps, but on closer study of the timings it seems less useful.  The following points become clear on comparison with timetables of recent years:
  • There are no additional services at weekday peak times, except a new, very early, service at 06:15 which some may appreciate. In fact there are fewer services in the main part of the peak than in the off-peak, due to the fact that the 07:36 Buxton to Manchester and the 17:11 Manchester to Buxton do not call at Davenport and Woodsmoor. Notably, we have no departures to Manchester between 07:40 and 08:25.  In addition to inconveniencing travellers to Manchester, this also ignores the needs of those from towns beyond Hazel Grove who work, attend school, or visit hospital, at - Davenport and Woodsmoor. We urgently request that stops are provided on these services, which would not affect any other parts of the network.
  • There are no longer any through services to points beyond Manchester Piccadilly, except one departure at 08:40 which runs to Manchester Victoria via Deansgate and arrives at Manchester too late to be of use for many commuters; it is clearly included as a convenient way for the operator to send a train to Newton Heath depot for servicing. This change is a major setback for many passengers: commuters to education facilities in Manchester, Salford and Bolton who, in some cases, have chosen to make their home here because of these through services, will suffer as well as many off-peak travellers to the Palace Theatre, Bridgewater Hall, etc. This is a significant reduction in the service provided at Davenport. The fastest time from Davenport to Salford Crescent,  at Piccadilly via the busy footbridge to platform 14, will be 46 minutes, compared with 31 minutes direct by the current service. There will be a convenient cross-platform change at Stockport from the xx:15 train to an East Midlands train which calls at Oxford Road, but no viable connection from Stockport to Deansgate or Salford Crescent.
  • The interval between the three weekday services per hour is irregular, especially in the Manchester direction at xx:15, xx:25 and xx:40. The xx.25 service is an electric train starting from Hazel Grove, and using the 'fast line' from Stockport which has no platforms at Heaton Chapel or Levenshulme; this gives an arrival in Piccadilly just four minutes after the xx.15 service. Effectively there are just two useful trains per hour to Manchester, no improvement over the current timetable. Return services are more evenly spaced, but oddly, there is a later train from Manchester on Mondays to Fridays than on Saturdays.
Sunday services offer two trains per hour to Manchester at reasonable intervals, but only one per hour beyond Hazel Grove to Buxton for visitors to the Peak District. As now, trains stop at Middlewood only every two hours on Sundays (as on weekdays), despite the station's value to users of the Middlewood Way walking and cycling trail. All trains terminate at Piccadilly; the current services to Southport will no longer run.

The overall feeling that Davenport and Woodsmoor are not to participate in the great improvements promised by Northern, despite all our campaigning over the last few months which emphasised all the above points. We accept that some (perhaps all) of the problems are not of Northern's making, but the recently-announced delay to the Bolton electrification cannot be the cause of the above issues, as the Buxton line plan as published was made well before this was announced. Station users are encouraged to contact their local representatives with a view to (at least) inspiring improvements in future timetables.

Nor are we likely to see new trains on the Buxton line: second- , third-, and possibly fourth-hand Class 150 diesel units will remain in service for the foreseeable future, with refurbished interiors but still with the narrow and cramped seating we have suffered for 30 years. Disabled passengers will benefit from the new toilets and information displays, but Davenport station is inaccessible by disabled passengers and likely to remain so.

10 April 2018

Strike news

RMT Unions have called two more strikes for Monday 26 and Thursday 29 March. A modified train service will run on our line until early evening: Northern's website has timetables. A curious feature of the strike timetable is that all trains to and from Buxton call at Middlewood, rather than alternate trains on a normal day. Better opportunities for a walk or cycle on the Middlewood Way, perhaps.
23 March 2018

Snow - in retrospect

There were no trains running between Hazel Grove and Buxton for two days, Sunday 18 March and Monday 19 March, due to snowfall combined with strong winds which led to drifting snow building up on exposed parts of the track.  It's most unusual to have such a severe disruption, so what happened? We can piece together the story from various reports; it should be understood that the Northern Railway company, or the freight train companies, had no ability to do anything about it; state-owned Network Rail is responsible for the track. It's also a fact that the summit between Dove Holes and Buxton is one of the highest on a passenger line in England at well over 1000 feet above sea level.

The snow fell overnight Saturday - Sunday, accompanied by a hard frost, and by Sunday morning it was clear that no trains could run, even if staff living in the Buxton area could reach the station to drive them. Frozen points were, we believe, also a problem. Network Rail's snowplough train was clearly required, but the snowplough wagons which were once kept at Buxton are long gone. Trains were able to run between Manchester and Hazel Grove, in a limited manner as some rolling stock and staff were trapped at Buxton.

It was Monday morning before the snowplough train, worked by Class 56 locomotives from Colas Rail, made its way from Crewe and headed up the line from Stockport to Buxton.  (See this video).

Unfortunately, but this time, due partly to lack of passing trains, the icicles which can form in these conditions inside Eaves Tunnel (between Chapel and Dove Holes) had grown to giant proportions and struck the front of the leading locomotive, causing window and roof damage. Plans to run trains from 13:00 had to be abandoned, even though it was fine and sunny in Davenport.  Eventually, after much work by Network Rail staff, the line opened as normal on Tuesday.

It's easy to say that 'back in the day' things would have been handled differently, but we are now dealing with a railway fragmented into dozens of companies, and for economic reasons there is no longer a Buxton train depot, or a Buxton Area Manager who at one time could have arranged for a freight locomotive to shuttle back and forth all night to keep the line clear. Snow is far less common than it was, which makes it less economic to maintain the sort of equipment found on railways in Alpine countries.
23 March 2018

Steam train

A steam-hauled special train from Carnforth to Hindlow passed through Davenport in the morning and evening of Saturday 17 March. The timings were:

The train is being routed through Manchester Victoria then Guide Bridge and Denton (for a water stop), then via Heaton Norris Jct into Stockport. The route and timings are here: 1Z56 Preston 0625, Wigan NW 0648, Eccles 0715, Man Vic 0729, Denton 0755-0843, Stockport 0856, Hazel Grove 0904, Chinley 0921, Peak Forest 0939, Buxton 0959. Loco runs  Buxton to Buxton via Chinley triangle to turn. Then 1Z59 Buxton 1438 to Hindlow 1531-1540. Then back via Peak Forest 1659, Chinley 1710, Hazel Grove 1727, Denton 1756-1838 then back to Carnforth via Man Vic, Eccles, Wigan NW.

The picture was taken - in the snow -  of the return journey. A day later and the train, which reached the highest point on the English rail network, would have been unable to run.

17 March 2018

Still no Summer Timetable

We had been told by sources at Transport for Great Manchester that the final version of the timetable from 20 May would be available by 12 March, in time for a Meeting of the TfGM Committee, but it appears that another deadline has been missed. There is no sign of any actual timetable, although there have been hints that more trains will be stopping here than in the unacceptable consultation version. Also, it's clear that the proposed Macclesfield - Blackpool service which was to take over 'our' paths through to Oxford Road and Salford, which would have used electric trains, cannot be electric in May because the electrification of the line to Preston will not be finished in time.

A date of 7 April for publication of the timetable is now being proposed according to the National Rail website - just six weeks before it has to take effect.

Train times are supposed to be available twelve weeks ahead so people can book advance tickets - currently anyone wishing to travel to e.g. London, beyond 19 May will get a rather strange answer if they choose Davenport as a starting station on booking websites, as the current booking database contains just one train per day to Manchester at 07:25! But Virgin services are not changing, so you can choose one of the trains offered from Stockport, and 'on the day' use whatever Northern trains which finally become available.
13 March 2018

Fares jungle

What the fare might be for any given Northern Railway journey is becoming very difficult to understand. There are 'anytime' tickets, 'off-peak tickets' and 'advance' tickets.  The meaning of 'off-peak' in terms of times of day depends on the route of the journey being made, notably whether or not you are travelling entirely within Greater Manchester. That definition has some qualifiers regarding some places outside, which in our view are not clearly understood by the average user, and station staff can be too busy to attend to someone who asks about all the permutations.

Then there are 'advance' tickets, some of which seem to be available (Online or at stations) up to just 15 minutes before departure, require you to travel on nominated Northern trains, at a fare which can be very cheap, depending on whether selected quotas are used up. These 'advance' fares generally do not offer seat reservations, which are not available on most Northern services.

A new member of the family from 25 February is the 'Northern Only' ticket between Manchester and Liverpool, which comes in 'anytime' and 'off-peak' versions and is valid only between Manchester (Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Deansgate) and Liverpool Lime Street. It's not restricted to a particular train so long as it's a Northern one, and is valid via either of the two routes, via Urmston or via Eccles. We wondered if you are not supposed to use one between, say, Urmston and Liverpool as it is cheaper than the normal fare from there, but we've been assured by Northern's Twitter staff that it is allowed.

What you can't do, which you can on an ordinary ticket to 'Liverpool Stations', is catch the Merseyrail underground train onward from Lime Street to James Street for the Pier Head. They can also be hard to find online unless you use the Northern website or app, as the general Journey Planner sites will try to give you the fastest journey. And of course other companies on the route have their own special offers.

One point worth mentioning is that the Stockport to Chester journey (via Altrincham) has its own Northern cheap fares, which are not shown if you ask for Davenport to Chester. If you are happy to go that way it is considerable cheaper to book separate tickets Davenport to Stockport and Stockport to Chester. For an off-peak day return, it comes to £14.90 instead of £18.60 'anytime' fare via any company. Absurdly, there is an even cheaper way if you are willing to travel Stockport to Chester via a change at Crewe, using only Virgin Trains services, as there is a Virgin-only off-peak day return for just £10.60 giving a total from Davenport of £13.10.  These cheaper options will, however, mean you need to avoid the 16:01 to 18:29 evening peak period for departures from Stockport on the way back as well as the morning peak.

Enough! Any corrections to the above very welcome... and always check our suggestions with Company websites.
13 March 2018

Carillion update

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Carillion empire, which included the cleaning and upkeep of Northern stations, a contract has now been signed with the ISS company, which had the contract with the previous Northern franchise holder, to take on the appropriate Carillion staff and continue the station duties from April 2018.

Meanwhile, we have added some more spring plants, primroses and aubretia, to the station garden.
13 March 2018

Yet again, strikes...

Two further strike days on Northern have been announced by the conductors' union RMT, for Monday 26 and Thursday 29 March. This dispute, created by the Government's insistence that some train services (using the new trains being built, presumably) should have doors controlled by the driver rather than the conductor who may or may not be present, looks like it may never end; the Department for Transport have underwritten any losses by the company, while the passengers get no compensation at all.

Reading the pronouncements by the Union and the company is an odd experience. The Union claim the dispute as about safety, while the Company rarely mention this, and concentrate on guaranteeing job security. No details have been released about how the 'Driver Controlled Operation' will work, but based on existing operations in the south of England, there will be need to be cameras at every train door, displaying their pictures on a screen in the driver's cab, even in conditions such as we have seen recently. You can read about the things to be considered in a PDF document on the Office or Rail and Road website.

Obviously there are some advantages of DCO, notably that an on-train person can sell tickets without interruption, but on the other hand it's far from clear who would deploy the wheelchair ramp when needed at small stations.
10 March 2018


RMT have announced another conductors' strike, for one day on Saturday 3 March. An hourly train service will run on our line, with trains to Manchester 10:08 to 21:08 and return from Manchester Piccadilly at 08:21 to 19:21. Trains call at all stations except Levenshulme and Heaton Chapel. See www.northernrailway.co.uk/strike for details of all Northern lines. Other companies' trains will be running as normal between Stockport and Manchester.
28 February 2018

Tree news

Some good news is that the large section of fallen tree has finally been removed from the Waiting Room roof. The owners of neighbouring Davenport Lodge have obtained permission from the council to remove the horse-chestnut trees which have been dying due dying due to the imported diseases and parasites which are affecting such trees all over the country.
28 February 2018

News from Woodsmoor

Our comrades at Woodsmoor Station Friends now have a website, which you can find at woodsmoorstation.strikingly.com.  They are holding their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday13 February at the Dog and Partridge pub on Buxton Road from 19:30. Here is the Agenda.
03 February 2018.

Station updates

We have been informed that contracts have been issued to eradicate (?) the japanese knotweed on the station, and also to remove the broken tree which has been lying on the waiting room roof for almost a year. The latter job will, we hear, be carried out in March 2018. It is to be hoped that the owners of the part of the dead tree which remains standing will do something out it before it falls. We have also discussed with the local Station Manager the possibility that contractors could cut back the trees which are growing on the Manchester-bound platform, to enable us to engage in more tidying and planting. Volunteers are not allowed to bring power tools into use on the station.

The Carillion staff working on Northern's contracts are now being paid by Northern, so station cleaning, etc. continues as normal, although some sub-contractors are not willing to continue their services.

The proposal by Transport for Greater Manchester to take over the management and staffing of all the stations in Greater Manchester has been turned down by the Government, although TfGM may try again. We still cannot see how this would benefit users of our station.
03 February 2018

Timetable Updates

Some readers may have noticed that the timetable supposed to apply from 19 May 2018 has appeared on the railway's database which can be view by searching for our station on websites such as realtimetrains.co.uk.  However, we have to point out that this may not be the final version, which we are now told will not be available until March, assuming that it goes ahead at all since the electrification of the Preston line, which should have freed some diesel trains for use on our line, has been delayed yet again.

The suggested service adds some improvements following the appalling consultation version, in that nearly all trains on our line do stop at Davenport and Woodsmoor. The concept of turning back trains at New Mills Newtown has been abandoned in favour of a half-hourly service to/from Buxton, which will be a much greater benefit to Buxtonians than the few minutes' shorter journey of an hourly train in the earlier example. New Mills has no facility to transfer trains to opposite track, so they would have had to travel to Furness Vale before returning.

The weekday daytime off-peak pattern of departures to Manchester Piccadilly from Davenport is xx.15, xx.25 and xx.40, which seems odd and looks even more odd when you look at the proposed arrival times at Piccadilly which are xx.36, xx.40 and xx.56. The xx.25 is to be an electric train from Hazel Grove, running non-stop from Stockport to Piccadilly.

There are more trains in late evening than now, although nothing between 20:15 and 21:29. The biggest problem is the morning peak service to Manchester, which starts well enough with trains at 06:15, 06:53, 07:15, 07:25 and 07:40, but then a massive gap until 08:25, and again until 09:15 when the off-peak sequence starts.

Sundays are an improvement of sorts over the present hourly service, with two trains per hour most of the day, but spaced just 20 minutes apart, which is less than ideal. Our request for more to stop at Middlewood on Sundays for Middlewood Way users has been ignored, with a two-hourly service most of the day as on weekdays.

Also, despite protests from user groups and Transport for Greater Manchester officials, all trains will terminate at Manchester Piccadilly, losing our useful current through links to Oxford Road, Deansgate and Salford Crescent which are much used by Davenport commuters. There are few convenient connections at Stockport,or even Manchester Piccadilly, either.

It seems the best we can hope for is that the whole plan is abandoned.
03 February 2018

The Jolly Sailor

Some encouraging news about our local hostelry. A Greene King spokesman tells us:

"We’re looking for a new partner to join us at The Jolly Sailor in Stockport following the departure of our previous operator. While we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers, we’d like to reassure them we’ve already spoken with several potential partners and look forward to hopefully having the pub open again soon."

The pub had been part of Greene King's  tenanted and leased division since they purchased the Spirit Pub Company in 2015.

 31 January 2018

Carillion collapse

The liquidation of the multinational combine Carllion will, amongst many other things, affect our station, as in 2015 after German Railways subsidiary took over our train services, they handed the company, said to be worth 120 million over nine years, starting  in April 2016, to:

Provide a range of hard and soft facilities management services, including asset surveys and asset planning, planned and reactive maintenance for over 460 stations across the north of England, helpdesk services, cleaning, grounds maintenance, waste management and pest control.  In addition, core services will also include projects works.  The contract can also be extended to include station improvement projects, train cleaning and depot facilities management services.

The following was received today from our contact at Northern:

We are working through our contingency plans after Carillion was put into liquidation earlier today. Northern has had a contract with Carillion to provide the customer contact centre team (based in Sheffield), and the station maintenance and cleaning teams, since 2016. Those teams are working normally today, answering customer calls and cleaning stations, and we are very thankful for their efforts in exceptional and difficult circumstances.

Our first priority is to ensure that we continue to provide these services to our customers, and we are looking at all options to ensure that happens. There are many issues to work through and we will keep you updated as and when we have specific information to share.

This could take some time...

15 January 2018

A bar-restaurant in Davenport's shopping area?

Over on Facebook - a world we do not inhabit - there has been much discussion lately about the possibility of someone being encouraged to open a bar-restaurant on 'Davenport High Street' (Bramhall Lane) in either the closed 'Garden of Eden' shop or the abandoned bank branch. Facebook users can join the 'Davenport and Woodsmoor Group' to find out more: we understand there is to be a public meeting on 17 January.

There is also a petition on change.org. which has garnered many hundreds of signatures, asking Ann Coffey MP and/or Stockport Council to facilitate this. The suggestion is that 'every application seems to get blocked' which may be true, although the blocking must be in the form of advice from Council officers on an informal basis before applications are made, as the Planning Database does not reveal them. Neither does a study of Land Registry records reveal any 'Covenant' which may prevent such a business opening.

Nuisance to local residents and parking issues will no doubt be raised. It does seem unfortunate that this topic has come to prominence when the future use of the 'Jolly Sailor' building appears to be hanging in the balance.

15 January 2018

Jolly Sailor closed

Some bad news for local residents is that the 'Jolly Sailor' pub closed its doors on 9 January, 'until further notice' and all the staff have been laid off. We understand there was 'an issue with the renewal of the lease'  which suggests that an unaffordable rent was demanded. Despite appearances, the pub is owned by one of the large 'Pub Companies' - according to the Land Registry the owner is a Finance company based in Amsterdam who have leased the pub to the Sprit Pub Company form 30 years from 2004. The address given is SPIRIT PUB COMPANY (LEASED) LIMITED, Sunrise House, Ninth Avenue, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3JZ.

The friendly service and good food on offer by Gina and the team will be much missed. Let us hope that the owners make some sort of arrangement for the pub to continue, and do not go down the route of converting it to flats, or even demolition, as has become so common.
11 January 2018

Strike information

Three more one-day conductor strikes called by the RMT union (see also 23 December item below) will be all day on Monday 8, Wednesday 10 and Friday 12 January. Some trains will run, as in previous occasions: see Northern's Strike information for further details. The Buxton line timetable is here.

In our opinion, passengers need more information on how Northern's proposal is intended to work, particularly in terms of helping less-mobile users at stations.  On the other hand, there's a minority of conductors who might be perhaps advised to make themselves more visible during the journey if they want to gain passengers' approval of their position.

7 January 2017

Woodsmoor Crossing

Woodsmoor level crossing will be closed to all traffic for maintenance work from 8am on 13 January to 8am on 21 January.
6 January 2018

James Chettle, Davenport Artist

Our history page about local artist James Patchell Chettle (1871-1944) has been updated with more information, pictures and press cuttings.
6 January 2018

'New' Trains

As promised, Class 150 diesel trains no longer wanted by other companies have started to appear on Northern services: at least one ex-Great Western Railway example, 150 122, in GWR plain dark blue livery with red doors, has been noted in traffic.  Eventually these hand-me-downs will be refurbished, and fitted with a large disabled-friendly toilet, but the absurdly narrow 3 + 2 seats that we have come to know and hate will remain.
6 January 2018

Fares rise

As usual, there's a nation-wide fare increase for the start of the year, starting on 3 January. Return fares from Davenport to Manchester, for example become £5.10 off-peak and £6.10 peak.

01 January 2018

Yet more strikes

RMT has announced further strike action by train conductors on Monday 8, Wednesday 10 and Friday 12 January.

Richard Allan, Northern Railway’s Deputy Managing Director, writes on their website : 'Northern is committed to investing in new and updated trains, better stations and faster journeys for our customers. Northern is still prepared to guarantee jobs and pay for conductors for the rest of our franchise to 2025 if we can reach agreement on how our colleagues deliver better customer service using those fantastic new facilities. Additionally, last week the Government wrote to RMT, guaranteeing employment for conductors beyond 2025 if RMT ends its dispute.'

The RMT, on the other hand, continue to make claims of 'rail bosses' secret plans'.
23 December 2017