First North Western: Manchester-London

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VTPreston_Tez

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What was this service exactly. FNW never had any really fast stock so I'd have to presume they either did it the LM way and just let it take longer than VT or was this service a stopper?
 
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heart-of-wessex

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I believe that these were 322s, were these in the wings of FNW? (I know NWT used them on the Manchester Airport - Euston, but I don't know what FNW did)
 

heart-of-wessex

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NWT = North Western Trains, it might have been a First Group holding actually. I forget the calling pattern but I'll dig out my old National Rail Timetable and look it up for you :)
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Just to check, who's NWT?
What were the stops on the line also? In an Airport case I suspect via Wilmslow and Crewe
NWT = North Western Trains, the original 1997 franchise operated by Great Western Holdings (which sold out to First Group in c2000).
It's the reason why a lot of the infrastructure (signal boxes etc) in the north west is painted green and cream (ivory?) which were the GWH colours (as on their HSTs out of Paddington).

NWT initially ran 322s Man Airport to Euston and 158s Rochdale/Man Vic and Blackpool to Euston (split/joining at Newton-le-Willows).
They were also going to run North Wales to Euston when they had enough stock, using new 125mph DMUs (the 180s).
However, a "black hole" appeared in the books and they gave up the whole idea.
First eventually confirmed the 175/180 order but cut out the NW 180s and the Euston plans.
The Euston services which ran called at non-Virgin stations only (I think Alderley Edge, Sandbach, Hartford etc) and I think Rugeley and possibly Atherstone in the Trent Valley.
A complete waste of space, if you ask me. Never got going.
Meanwhile the local services fell apart.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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...just like Grand Central are trying to pull off, Blackpool-Poulton-Kirkham-Preston-Hartford-Tamworth-Nuneaton-Euston
At least call it at Salwick and Leyland! :P

On a serious note, thanks guys.
 
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Lampshade

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Okay right. You didn't get anything on Blackpool though, I'd like to see calling points for that which for some reason go non-stop through Preston!
Blackpool North > Poulton le Fylde > Kirkham and Wesham > Leyland > Euxton Balshaw Lane > Warrington Bank Quay (to join with the Rochdale portion) > Tamworth Low Level > Watford Junction > London Euston.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Blackpool North > Poulton le Fylde > Kirkham and Wesham > Leyland > Euxton Balshaw Lane > Warrington Bank Quay (to join with the Rochdale portion) > Tamworth Low Level > Watford Junction > London Euston.
Three words: Oh ****ing dear.
I'm not surprised at the demise of such a franchise if it didn't serve Preston or Wigan, or allow passengers to use Warrington!
Were there any other services like this, and how did they fall?
 

alexjames

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I recall watching one of their northbound services somewhat late at night whilst waiting at Watford Junction for a southbound semi-fast.

About 10 PAX on a four car EMU. Struck me as a good idea for a service but it was not in accordance with passenger demand. Particularly at that late hour - who wants to go to Ringway on a 22.00ish departure from Euston? I speculate that all 10 disembarked before MAN. Service got abolished a few months later.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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That's probably the services called at the most ridiculous stations it could call at. Either a stopper that actually serves major stations or just stick with express please! (I'd support about 3tpd on stopper, from Blackpool/Windermere/Glasgow/Edinburgh/wherever even if it was unrealistic!)
 

Lampshade

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Three words: Oh ****ing dear.
I'm not surprised at the demise of such a franchise if it didn't serve Preston or Wigan, or allow passengers to use Warrington!
Were there any other services like this, and how did they fall?
The Rochdale services went Rochdale > Manchester Victoria > Newton le Willows before joining with the Blackpool service. They would have been 158s and the Manchester Airport services were 322s, although a 309 made it on at least one occasion.

Apparently the Blackpool/Rochdale services were quite well loaded, and were the reason the 180s were ordered (FNW hoped to take over Holyhead - Euston as well), but moderation of competition put an end to it.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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I could believe that they were but a lack of calls at Preston and Wigan (and why not throw in a commuter stop at Salwick?) along with other major stations is absurd. Otherwise I get the drift fully.
 

hairyhandedfool

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I could believe that they were but a lack of calls at Preston and Wigan (and why not throw in a commuter stop at Salwick?) along with other major stations is absurd. Otherwise I get the drift fully.
You need to understand the anti-competition franchise that Virgin have. The FNW Manchester Airport-Euston service couldn't start at Manchester because Virgin run Manchester-Euston. Blackpool-Euston couldn't call at Preston, Warrington and Wigan because of Virgin. WSMR had restrictions on some station calls because of Virgin calling there. GNWR planned to start their services after the WCML franchise ended because they couldn't link Manchester with London (and stations in between) during the Virgin franchise.
 

tbtc

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Three words: Oh ****ing dear.
I'm not surprised at the demise of such a franchise if it didn't serve Preston or Wigan, or allow passengers to use Warrington!
Were there any other services like this, and how did they fall?
I could believe that they were but a lack of calls at Preston and Wigan (and why not throw in a commuter stop at Salwick?) along with other major stations is absurd. Otherwise I get the drift fully.
They weren't allowed to call at major stations. As for a Salwick stop, you are just typing random station names again.
Yup - it was either "stop at random WCML stations, but not stop at the ones which Virgin served" or "don't bother".

A classic case of "fur coat and no knickers" - with the TOC concentrating resources on additional London services whilst cancelling large numbers of local services.
 

tom1649

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Apparently on at least one occasion the Manchester Airport - London service was covered by a Class 309! I'd have loved to have been on that one.

Edit: Sorry, I've just noticed that this has already been mentioned.
 

IrishDave

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Timings from the Sept 1998 - May 1999 NRT for SX are:

Code:
Manchester Airport	06:19	10:19	14:19	18:19
Alderley Edge       	06:36	10:28	14:28	18:28
Sandbach           	06:47	10:39	14:39	18:39
Tamworth Low Level	07:40	11:27	15:26	19:24
Watford Junction	09:21	12:52	16:52	20:36
London Euston    	09:42	13:17	17:13	21:00
				
London Euston     	11:25	14:40	19:25	21:55
Watford Junction	11:42	15:02	19:43	22:12
Tamworth Low Level	13:02	16:33	21:05	23:25
Sandbach        	13:51	17:35	21:56	00:21
Alderley Edge       	14:02	17:46	22:07	00:32
Manchester Airport	14:12	17:58	22:19	00:57
and

Code:
Blackpool North  	06:27	
Poulton-le-Fylde	06:33	
Kirkham and Wesham	06:41	
Leyland            	07:05	
Euxton Balshaw Lane	07:10		
Rochdale            		06:43
Manchester Victoria		07:00
Newton-le-Willows		07:20
Tamworth Low Level	08:45	08:45
Watford Junction	10:05	10:05
London Euston     	10:32	10:32
		
London Euston     	20:10	20:10
Watford Junction	20:28	20:28
Tamworth Low Level	21:42	21:42
Newton-le-Willows		23:00
Manchester Victoria		23:26
Rochdale            		23:55	
Euxton Balshaw Lane	23:06	
Leyland           	23:11	
Kirkham and Wesham	23:28	
Poulton-le-Fylde	23:36	
Blackpool North  	23:45
It's not clear where they join; the Blackpool portion doesn't seem to be advertised at Newton-le-Willows (where LNW-GW Joint said they joined). Of course, since not all the timing points were in Table 65 I may have missed others, but I can't see any calls at the likes of Rugeley, Atherstone, or Hartford.

Looks like there were a couple of Saturday Euston-Manchester Airport trains, but no Rochdale or Blackpool, and none at all on Sunday. (I can transcibe the SO timetable if anyone wants.)
 

driver9000

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As I recall the Rochdale and Blackpool portions attached/split at Warrington BQ although the service wasn't allowed to call for passenger traffic. This is the way crews who worked the services seem to remember the service, with the crew change occuring at Warrington where the Chester men took charge of the train for the run to London.
 

merlodlliw

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I used to catch the Stanstead express stock at Sandbach,£25 return on the day of travel. I do recall more services to Man Vic.

They used platforms 1 & 2 at Euston. When I used them

Although they suffered non compi, it was VTs Manchester/Euston run when they charged £10 return, to kill the opposition.
I recall Euston festooned with placards £10 return by VT,more trains and the quickest link to Manchester
 

LNW-GW Joint

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It's not clear where they join; the Blackpool portion doesn't seem to be advertised at Newton-le-Willows (where LNW-GW Joint said they joined). Of course, since not all the timing points were in Table 65 I may have missed others, but I can't see any calls at the likes of Rugeley, Atherstone, or Hartford.
I might be getting these trains mixed up with more recent Open Access proposals (none of which have yet taken off) for calls at Hartford and in the Trent Valley.
I think I read somewhere about the NLW join/split off the WCML, which would have been feasible, but I agree WBQ makes more operational sense. Maybe it was planned for NLW originally and then changed.

You will have noticed in the Rail Review documents that DfT is still implacably opposed to OA into Euston (as it reduces the value of the WC franchise).
 

aformeruser

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They were two separate TOCs, the franchises were merged when Northern took over in December 2004...
No FNW and ATN were the two franchises which got 'merged' (although some FNW services went to ATW and services from both FNW and ATN went to TPE.) NWT was what the operator of the RRNW franchise was called prior to the First Group buyout.

They used 158s on Bolton_Euston, was it, and 322s on Manchester Apt-Euston. I was never sure exactly why.
They didn't run Bolton-London services.

However, a "black hole" appeared in the books and they gave up the whole idea.
Not quite. Virgin applied for competition protection which prevented the service continuing in it's current form.

(I think Alderley Edge, Sandbach, Hartford etc)
The London service from Hartford was still a Virgin service at this time. That was later withdrawn and CT/Silverlink introduced a 1tpd service from Liverpool-London with a call at Hartford but that was withdrawn by LM in the Dec 08 recast.
 

Welshman

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You will have noticed in the Rail Review documents that DfT is still implacably opposed to OA into Euston (as it reduces the value of the WC franchise).
They appear to have allowed two OA services into Kings Cross, despite opposition from the incumbent EC franchisee, so I wonder why they consider the West Coast franchise needs such protection?
 
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