• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

Could Shotton receive a better service?

Status
Not open for further replies.

mrd269697

Member
Joined
14 Feb 2020
Messages
147
Location
Wirral
I often wondered why many NWCL services, including all Avanti services, omit Shotton and go non-stop between Flint and Chester.
Shotton offers onward connections via the Borderlands Line, and serves a larger conurbation than Flint (22,000 including Connahs Quay, vs about 11,00 for Flint). On Sundays, no trains southbound (towards Chester) stop for 4 hours between midday and 4pm.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

peteb

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2011
Messages
1,172
Agree it's a shame theres not more joined up thinking with the networks round there. In terms of connections virtually everything needs to be via Chester.
And if you cant get from Shotton to Chester easily that really limits journey possibilities off the Borderlands, particularly for leisure.
 

Deafdoggie

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2016
Messages
3,148
There are strange things on that route. I’m sure there must be reasons. Prestatyn, for example, despite the platform being more than long and straight enough, doesn’t permit 10 coach Avanti voyagers-although 11 coach pendalinos were fine when there used to be drags-so only the journeys booked for single five cars stop there.
Shotton has always had a poor service, although Flint hasn’t usually faired much better. Abergele is another often overlooked station on the route too.
 

Djgr

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,707
I often wondered why many NWCL services, including all Avanti services, omit Shotton and go non-stop between Flint and Chester.
Shotton offers onward connections via the Borderlands Line, and serves a larger conurbation than Flint (22,000 including Connahs Quay, vs about 11,00 for Flint). On Sundays, no trains southbound (towards Chester) stop for 4 hours between midday and 4pm.

Agreed. I think it is still tainted by being seen as a station that was closed by Beeching and therefore a bit marginal.
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
19,771
Location
Mold, Clwyd
Flint didn't get a much better service than Shotton until the Voyagers started on what were then Virgin services.
Even now the main Holyhead "boat train" omits Flint.
Manchester-Llandudno trains have always been all stations, with Holyhead-Crewe/Birmingham/Shrewsbury trains stopping at Flint but not Shotton.

Going back a long way, long distance trains were non-stop Chester-Prestatyn (at least), and the local service was very thin (and very slow).
When the local stations except Flint were closed, BR gave Flintshire the choice of one other station out of Queensferry, Shotton and Connah's Quay, and they chose Shotton.

The main road has plenty of buses to Chester, though not to Chester rail station.
In my experience Shotton has a lower footfall than Flint, when the same trains stop at both.
Flint had 273K passengers 2018/19, while Shotton had 223K (for both lines).
Unless it has changed recently, the car park at Shotton is tiny, and is an awkward hike from the Chester platforms.
Flint at least has a modernised (council) car park right next to the platforms.
Long distance passengers won't thank you for adding yet another stop to an already quite slow journey.
 

Llandudno

Established Member
Joined
25 Dec 2014
Messages
2,225
Flint didn't get a much better service than Shotton until the Voyagers started on what were then Virgin services.
Even now the main Holyhead "boat train" omits Flint.
Manchester-Llandudno trains have always been all stations, with Holyhead-Crewe/Birmingham/Shrewsbury trains stopping at Flint but not Shotton.

Going back a long way, long distance trains were non-stop Chester-Prestatyn (at least), and the local service was very thin (and very slow).
When the local stations except Flint were closed, BR gave Flintshire the choice of one other station out of Queensferry, Shotton and Connah's Quay, and they chose Shotton.

The main road has plenty of buses to Chester, though not to Chester rail station.
In my experience Shotton has a lower footfall than Flint, when the same trains stop at both.
Flint had 273K passengers 2018/19, while Shotton had 223K (for both lines).
Unless it has changed recently, the car park at Shotton is tiny, and is an awkward hike from the Chester platforms.
Flint at least has a modernised (council) car park right next to the platforms.
Long distance passengers won't thank you for adding yet another stop to an already quite slow journey.
No need to worry for much longer TfW are introducing the North Wales Metro!
 

Djgr

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,707
Flint didn't get a much better service than Shotton until the Voyagers started on what were then Virgin services.
Even now the main Holyhead "boat train" omits Flint.
Manchester-Llandudno trains have always been all stations, with Holyhead-Crewe/Birmingham/Shrewsbury trains stopping at Flint but not Shotton.

Going back a long way, long distance trains were non-stop Chester-Prestatyn (at least), and the local service was very thin (and very slow).
When the local stations except Flint were closed, BR gave Flintshire the choice of one other station out of Queensferry, Shotton and Connah's Quay, and they chose Shotton.

The main road has plenty of buses to Chester, though not to Chester rail station.
In my experience Shotton has a lower footfall than Flint, when the same trains stop at both.
Flint had 273K passengers 2018/19, while Shotton had 223K (for both lines).
Unless it has changed recently, the car park at Shotton is tiny, and is an awkward hike from the Chester platforms.
Flint at least has a modernised (council) car park right next to the platforms.
Long distance passengers won't thank you for adding yet another stop to an already quite slow journey.
Yes but Shotton (Low Level) was definitely closed for a number of years
 

cle

Established Member
Joined
17 Nov 2010
Messages
4,092
It is more the question of "does Flint need to be a call on the London services?"

Maybe if the Borderlands Line usage shoots up if it goes to 2tph, Shotton might become a useful transfer point.

Also worth bearing in mind that a Liverpool service is planned (via Halton) - which will likely call at these places, which have long-standing connections to Merseyside. So the London could miss both, but there would still be a good regional level of service.
 

Reliablebeam

Member
Joined
14 Jun 2017
Messages
247
More trains do call at Shotton now compared with when I was a 'boy', but I've always been surprised at the low footfall when you consider how populated that area is, and how much industry and cross-border traffic there is. I'd always assumed the local bus services were more useful, but that's not my area of Wales so I defer to others.

I don't go back that often, but the opinions of my relatives in north Wales about the service offered on that line are generally very poor and unloved. They have the perception that a lot of the service has been robbed of usefulness by diverting many trains through Wrexham and Shrewsbury to serve the north-south Wales market, rather than the arguably more useful trains towards Crewe and Manchester. Overcrowding issues caused by short 'boat' trains also hampers the perception of the service.
 

Llandudno

Established Member
Joined
25 Dec 2014
Messages
2,225
If and it’s a big IF the grandly named North Wales Metro does materialise then potentionly Shotton COULD be served by:

Wrexham - Bidston (ideally Birkenhead North) every 30 minutes
Liverpool - Llandudno every hour
Manchester - Bangor every hour

Evening and Sunday services also need improving as well.

Cardiff/Birmingham bound passengers change at Wrexham
London/Crewe bound passengers change at Chester


Whether this happens of course is another matter!
 

Djgr

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,707
More trains do call at Shotton now compared with when I was a 'boy', but I've always been surprised at the low footfall when you consider how populated that area is, and how much industry and cross-border traffic there is. I'd always assumed the local bus services were more useful, but that's not my area of Wales so I defer to others.

I don't go back that often, but the opinions of my relatives in north Wales about the service offered on that line are generally very poor and unloved. They have the perception that a lot of the service has been robbed of usefulness by diverting many trains through Wrexham and Shrewsbury to serve the north-south Wales market, rather than the arguably more useful trains towards Crewe and Manchester. Overcrowding issues caused by short 'boat' trains also hampers the perception of the service.
I think that a number of factors act to depress Shotton's passenger count.

One is service frequency/quality etc.

Secondly, whilst the urban conurbation is quite large, relatively little of this is right by Shotton station. Queensferry to Connah's Quay is around a 2 mile stretch of continuous urban sprawl but if I have to get a bus to get to Shotton station I might as well stay on the bus all the way to Chester.

Thirdly, whilst there is indeed a lot of industry, especially Deeside Industrial Park, it is currently poorly served by public transport and commuting via Shotton Station is not widespread nor very pleasant.
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
19,771
Location
Mold, Clwyd
More trains do call at Shotton now compared with when I was a 'boy', but I've always been surprised at the low footfall when you consider how populated that area is, and how much industry and cross-border traffic there is. I'd always assumed the local bus services were more useful, but that's not my area of Wales so I defer to others.

I don't go back that often, but the opinions of my relatives in north Wales about the service offered on that line are generally very poor and unloved. They have the perception that a lot of the service has been robbed of usefulness by diverting many trains through Wrexham and Shrewsbury to serve the north-south Wales market, rather than the arguably more useful trains towards Crewe and Manchester. Overcrowding issues caused by short 'boat' trains also hampers the perception of the service.

Pre-Covid, the core Shotton service was hourly all stops to Manchester Airport and Llandudno, with occasional stops to other destinations in the peak, mostly on decent 175/158 trains.
The Crewe/Holyhead trains didn't normally stop, but these are the ones which were diverted to Shrewsbury/Cardiff and the "long way round" to Birmingham.
Trains to/from Chester are indeed very crowded at times, especially when a 2-car turns up which is quite normal.
Arriva buses are quite frequent on the main coast road, roughly 4bph taking half an hour (but dumping you at the new Chester bus station which is 12 mins walk to the railway station).
Many larger places than Shotton only boast an hourly train service (eg Runcorn East), or don't have a direct service to Manchester Airport.
Currently with Covid, almost all through services to Manchester start from Chester, and the 1tph stopper is a Holyhead-Shrewsbury/Birmingham.

Interchanges between the two lines were 19K for 2018/19, for typically 1tph towards Wrexham/Bidston.
Connections are not too bad, particularly westwards, considering the times are not coordinated in any way.
The alternative for Liverpool is to go on to Chester where you have 4tph Merseyrail and 1tph TfW.
If ever the class 230s show up on the Wrexham-Bidston line, a 2tph service would improve things a lot.
 

6Gman

Established Member
Joined
1 May 2012
Messages
8,452
More trains do call at Shotton now compared with when I was a 'boy', but I've always been surprised at the low footfall when you consider how populated that area is, and how much industry and cross-border traffic there is. I'd always assumed the local bus services were more useful, but that's not my area of Wales so I defer to others.

I don't go back that often, but the opinions of my relatives in north Wales about the service offered on that line are generally very poor and unloved. They have the perception that a lot of the service has been robbed of usefulness by diverting many trains through Wrexham and Shrewsbury to serve the north-south Wales market, rather than the arguably more useful trains towards Crewe and Manchester. Overcrowding issues caused by short 'boat' trains also hampers the perception of the service.

I wonder if Flint acts as something of a railhead for Mold? And if the likes of Mold, Northop and the like (being wealthier) generate more traffic than the likes of Connahs Quay and Shotton?
 

Djgr

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,707
I wonder if Flint acts as something of a railhead for Mold? And if the likes of Mold, Northop and the like (being wealthier) generate more traffic than the likes of Connahs Quay and Shotton?
Well when Virgin had its off-peak restrictions but not in Wales a fair few would drive from the Wirral to Fflint for the London services
 

mrd269697

Member
Joined
14 Feb 2020
Messages
147
Location
Wirral
I think that a number of factors act to depress Shotton's passenger count.

One is service frequency/quality etc.

Secondly, whilst the urban conurbation is quite large, relatively little of this is right by Shotton station. Queensferry to Connah's Quay is around a 2 mile stretch of continuous urban sprawl but if I have to get a bus to get to Shotton station I might as well stay on the bus all the way to Chester.

Thirdly, whilst there is indeed a lot of industry, especially Deeside Industrial Park, it is currently poorly served by public transport and commuting via Shotton Station is not widespread nor very pleasant.
You’re right. The main road through is populated along a 2-2.5 mile stretch, so is quite a walk if you aren’t by the station.

The idea of a metro is close together stations, so if they’re truly serious about a metro, then you could reopen Connahs Quay and Queensferry Stations

(Along with Holywell Junction which I think is massively needed, given there is 14 miles between the ‘neighbouring’ stations of Flint and Prestatyn).

If and it’s a big IF the grandly named North Wales Metro does materialise then potentionly Shotton COULD be served by:

Wrexham - Bidston (ideally Birkenhead North) every 30 minutes
Liverpool - Llandudno every hour
Manchester - Bangor every hour

Evening and Sunday services also need improving as well.

Cardiff/Birmingham bound passengers change at Wrexham
London/Crewe bound passengers change at Chester


Whether this happens of course is another matter!
This would be ideal.

Sometimes it’s as simple as increase the service, increase the footfall, to the point you can turn up and go, rather than have to plan your journey beforehand.

the services you mention above would give 2 trains per hour on all platforms, giving a healthy 8tph to a wide vearoety of destinations. With this, I could see passenger numbers in the 500-600k mark.
 

HST43257

Established Member
Joined
10 Apr 2020
Messages
1,457
Location
York
Shotton should have 4tph Merseyrail to the central Liverpool loop and back. 2tph to Chester and Llandudno Junction would be good. I’d want at least 2tph from Shotton to Wrexham, though I’m not sure if I’d prefer this to be a further Merseyrail extension or a shorter TfW service.
 

4-SUB 4732

Established Member
Joined
7 Jan 2018
Messages
2,150
At the very least, all day every day, Shotton should have an hourly call. If you could somehow fit the Borderlands into that to some extent (hourly or half-hourly) then it would be jolly glorious. That said, I'm going to make a reasonable assumption that the fastest Liverpool route would be via Chester from, say, Llandudno and not via Shotton then Bidston.
 

adrock1976

Established Member
Joined
10 Dec 2013
Messages
4,450
Location
What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
The times between shotton - Liverpool via Chester is 1hr 8mins & via Bidston is 1hr 7mins or the other option via Halton curve is 1hr 12mins.
So there's not much in it regarding times, it's either about cost or convenience for most passengers.

Maybe the planned 230's will speed things up & increases line speed on the borderlands will help. Getting rid of all the jointed track & fitting welded track will improve things greatly.
It's a shame the 230's can't go into Liverpool James Street using battery power under the mersey, obviously avoid the Liverpool loop by just turning back straight away.

TFW have grand plans for the borderlands line with a semi fast service which will also speed things up by missing some stations on the route.

The problem with this is that it may lead to a potentially lopsided timetable.

I would be in favour of Wrexham - Bidston (and onwards to Birkenhead) running every 30 minutes calling all stations. The Liverpool - Llandudno via Halton Curve and the Manchester - Bangor - Caernarfon would call all stations with each running every 60 minutes, which would give a combined frequency of every 30 minutes between Helsby and Llandudno Junction.

The timings at Shotton would have the trains in each direction arriving at the same time on the Chester - Holyhead route, with similar for the high level platforms 15 minutes later. This would allow a far better interchange between the lines regardless of which direction intended passengers would be travelling to or from. The present day 5 and 55 minute split does not encourage people to leave cars at home and use public transport.
 

Llandudno

Established Member
Joined
25 Dec 2014
Messages
2,225
The problem with this is that it may lead to a potentially lopsided timetable.

I would be in favour of Wrexham - Bidston (and onwards to Birkenhead) running every 30 minutes calling all stations. The Liverpool - Llandudno via Halton Curve and the Manchester - Bangor - Caernarfon would call all stations with each running every 60 minutes, which would give a combined frequency of every 30 minutes between Helsby and Llandudno Junction.

The timings at Shotton would have the trains in each direction arriving at the same time on the Chester - Holyhead route, with similar for the high level platforms 15 minutes later. This would allow a far better interchange between the lines regardless of which direction intended passengers would be travelling to or from. The present day 5 and 55 minute split does not encourage people to leave cars at home and use public transport.
Makes perfect sense, hence the reason why it won’t happen!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top