Issues with 16.34 Lime St to Birmingham

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frodshamfella

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On a number of Saturday's after shopping or going to a Museaum in Liverpool city centre, I've returned to Liverpool Lime Street to find this service cancelled. No big deal you may say there is another at 17.04 half an hour is time enough for a coffee.

Except if you want to alight at Acton Bridge Station like me. So then the next train in 17.34.....so an hour plus the time you have arrived at the station in advance of the anticipated 16.34.

Now quite often what happens LNW add an extra call on the 17.04 ( London Midland did the same ) . Which is fine a bit of joined up thinking , everyone happy . However just before Christmas on a particulary windy and wet Saturday this did not happen. I phoned London Northwestern at about 16.00 as I had checked departures on my phone and saw the cancellation. I spoke to a very polite and apologetic chap said ' no there was no extra calls being made on the following service ' , he could see my point and could tell my frustration .....however that was that.

So I did arrive at the concourse about 16.45 just in case something had changed, these additional station calls are often quite last minute. No change , so I went to the information desk, again helpful guy, he knew that extra calls have been added on past occurrences . The chap phoned LNW and was told no, plus the 17.04 would be 8 carriages and Acton Bridge's platform was not long enough .
By this time I was getting fed up and went to the pub. So what was buzzing around my head was, was the next train going to have 8 carriages or was that just an excuse to shut me up ? If it was it is a thoroughly rare occurrence as the Birmingham to Liverpool service is always 4 carriages ( even though at times a long train is more than necessary ) . Indeed the only time I have seen an 8 coach service was another Saturday when London Midland was operating the route when an extra call was added at Acton Bridge, the train seemed to fit fine on the platform from memory. However even if it could not, it's not uncommon to be told to move along to the front or whatever.
So a somewhat frustrating trip home , I wouldn't mind we don't have a great service at Acton Bridge Station so we really can't afford to loose a train calling !
 
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frodshamfella

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My other issue with Liverpool to Acton Bridge services in no late trains home on a Saturday where as there is Mon to Fri . So No chance to go for a meal or see a play on a Saturday night , the evening your most likely to want it. I am perusing this question with LNW with no satisfactory response so far !
 

Carlisle

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My other issue with Liverpool to Acton Bridge services in no late trains home on a Saturday where as there is Mon to Fri . !
It’s been like that on Saturday nights on the northern section of the WCML since BR times, to allow sufficient time for overnight engineering possessions that aren’t possible during the other 6 nights a week, guess it’s either that or endure more weekend closures throughout the year .
 
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paddyb6

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I travel to Acton Bridge to trainspot and see family atleast once per month, I usually go by car or get the train, I've never found a problem with the trains at ACB? So this is an unusual case
 

Tuppenny Tube

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I've seen several 8 car trains on Birmingham - Liverpool this week, possibly because the service has been reduced to hourly (terminating at Runcorn due to engineering work as well).
The southbound service is the 'normal' local stopping service whilst the northbound is in the normal 'fast' service times but stopping additionally at intermediate stations between Crewe & Runcorn. This doesn't seem to have posed a problem with 8 cars stopping at the short (4 car) platforms at Winsford & Hartford though (Hartford might take 8 cars but is only maintained for a shorter length IIRC).
 

setdown

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(Hartford might take 8 cars but is only maintained for a shorter length IIRC).
For what it’s worth, I’ve travelled from Hartford station in the past year on 8-car trains, and the doors have unlocked on all cars. The platforms used to take longer than 8, but a couple of years ago the platforms were rebuilt slightly shorter, but still enough for 8 :)
 

sd0733

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They are all booked 8 car this week, today excepted.
The UDS (unit de-select) is operated at Winsford and Acton Bridge so it's not an issue to stop with an 8 car so I'm not sure why they said that was a reason.
Hartford is fine for an 8 car and has been for many years.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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The reliability of this service stinks. It'd be better to halve the frequency and make it reliable.
I relied on the BHM<->LIV service for a great number of years. I have to say, it wasn't cancelled very often, but it did suffer from poor timetabling, e.g. being put directly behind often delayed CrossCountry services,
 

frodshamfella

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I travel to Acton Bridge to trainspot and see family atleast once per month, I usually go by car or get the train, I've never found a problem with the trains at ACB? So this is an unusual case

Parking at AB is also a big problem. Rail track took most of the car park years ago for storage or doing works. Its no longer used or required I have been told, but the car park has not been restored to what it was. It's a constant coomplaint by local people who use it.
 

frodshamfella

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It’s been like that on Saturday nights on the northern section of the WCML since BR times, to allow sufficient time for overnight engineering possessions that aren’t possible during the other 6 nights a week, guess it’s either that or endure more weekend closures throughout the year .

It still doesn't make any sense as there are late night services on Saturdays but missing AB just calling at Hartford and Winsford. Personally I just think its been like it for years and no one has thought to improve the situation. I have been told by LNW they have improvements in hand from May which includes Acton Bridge, a Sunday service apparently is coming plus other timetable improvements.
 

frodshamfella

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They are all booked 8 car this week, today excepted.
The UDS (unit de-select) is operated at Winsford and Acton Bridge so it's not an issue to stop with an 8 car so I'm not sure why they said that was a reason.
Hartford is fine for an 8 car and has been for many years.

I can't say for sure because it seems to me the southbound platforms ( there are 2) maybe longer than the Northound one . However I deffinanatly got off an 8 coach train from Liverpool at Acton Bridge as I mention when there was Saturday cancellations before. The whole train fitted , but I take your point if there was an issue, just move up to the top four coaches.
I have to say I've never seen 8 coach services since, if its happening then great.
 

sd0733

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I can't say for sure because it seems to me the southbound platforms ( there are 2) maybe longer than the Northound one . However I deffinanatly got off an 8 coach train from Liverpool at Acton Bridge as I mention when there was Saturday cancellations before. The whole train fitted , but I take your point if there was an issue, just move up to the top four coaches.
I have to say I've never seen 8 coach services since, if its happening then great.

I've done a few Runcorn shuttles this week and work the trains through and have stopped at Hartford 7 times with 8 cars this week and they fit no problem both ways.

An 8 car at Acton Bridge definitely doesn't fit in any of the 3 platforms, if the whole train was opened then there would be trouble, on all platforms will fit about 6 coaches but with the way UDS works even if one door doesnt fit the whole of the back 4 coaches have to be deselected.
 

frodshamfella

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I've done a few Runcorn shuttles this week and work the trains through and have stopped at Hartford 7 times with 8 cars this week and they fit no problem both ways.

An 8 car at Acton Bridge definitely doesn't fit in any of the 3 platforms, if the whole train was opened then there would be trouble, on all platforms will fit about 6 coaches but with the way UDS works even if one door doesnt fit the whole of the back 4 coaches have to be deselected.

Well all I know is I have got off an 8 carriage train once, maybe we had to sit in front of rear section, or was asked to walk through it was a while ago. Still if the front or rear section could be selected only , then I don't see why I ended up waiting over an hour. Never mind grumble over !
 

6Gman

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In recent times, when the service is thinned out (whether around Bank Holidays or because of engineering) they seem to use 8-car trains.
 

6Gman

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The reliability of this service stinks. It'd be better to halve the frequency and make it reliable.

I have to say that (late Saturday cancellations excepted for reasons that have been previously discussed) I find the service pretty reliable.
 

Bletchleyite

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I have to say that (late Saturday cancellations excepted for reasons that have been previously discussed) I find the service pretty reliable.

I might have been unlucky but near enough every time I or someone I know has attempted to use it there has been some kind of problem.
 

childwallblues

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I've done a few Runcorn shuttles this week and work the trains through and have stopped at Hartford 7 times with 8 cars this week and they fit no problem both ways.

An 8 car at Acton Bridge definitely doesn't fit in any of the 3 platforms, if the whole train was opened then there would be trouble, on all platforms will fit about 6 coaches but with the way UDS works even if one door doesnt fit the whole of the back 4 coaches have to be deselected.
In BR days Hartford could take 11 car trains as the odd LIV-EUS trains used to call there. It was chopped right back about ten years ago but about two years ago the platforms were rebuilt and can now take at least 8 cars.
 

frodshamfella

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In BR days Hartford could take 11 car trains as the odd LIV-EUS trains used to call there. It was chopped right back about ten years ago but about two years ago the platforms were rebuilt and can now take at least 8 cars.


I do remember BR trains calling at Hartford at peak hours an route to Euston. I remember issuing tickets as I worked for a BR appointed travel agent. What I find odd why would they even bother to reduce a platform length ? Seems a bit short sighted to me.
 

sd0733

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I do remember BR trains calling at Hartford at peak hours an route to Euston. I remember issuing tickets as I worked for a BR appointed travel agent. What I find odd why would they even bother to reduce a platform length ? Seems a bit short sighted to me.
They didn't actually physically shorten it, just put a small fence and left it to nature. The old bit was very low too. It's had an extra layer put on top.
 

childwallblues

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Well froshamfella you will be ok come May when the Halton Curve services start stopping at Frodsham every hour with the last train back from Lime Street at 2220.
 

frodshamfella

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Well froshamfella you will be ok come May when the Halton Curve services start stopping at Frodsham every hour with the last train back from Lime Street at 2220.


Indeed I'm waiting for that after false start in December. It will good to have more choice .
 
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