Manchester to Norwich - How busy will my train be?

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oliMw

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I am booked on the 16:43 out of Piccadilly all the way to Norwich. This will be the first time I have traveled from Manchester to Norwich by train, usually choosing to drive. My question is how busy will my train be, I hear that between Manchester and Sheffield at peak time overcrowding is common? Thanks :D
 
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mikeg

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Can't say about MAN-SHF for definite. Whilst I've heard that overcrowding is bad on this part of the route I've never experienced it myself, but seldom use this part of the service. Certainly south of Sheffield towards Nottingham, the part I use most often it can be rather busy at times but I've always been able to get a seat. It's two 158 sets coupled together north of Nottingham but one detaches at Nottingham, from where the service is less busy. All in all I've not experienced overcrowding on this service but have never travelled on it out of Manchester at the time you suggest.
Has it always been the case that two DMUs were coupled together north of Nottingham I wonder? If there was a period when it wasn't I suspect overcrowding would be very severe indeed.
 

causton

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I have been on these services 2 or 3 times in various parts of the journey from Liverpool to Norwich, and at all 3 times they have been rammed. Good luck! Hopefully it will quieten down east of Nottingham however :)
 

aformeruser

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The 16:43 is one that can get very busy even if it runs as 4 carriages if you're planning to travel on a working day. If you haven't already done so I suggest purchasing a ticket in advance and getting a seat reservation.
 

oliMw

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Looks like I'm in for a pretty miserable journey, thanks for your help!
 

ashworth

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I am booked on the 16:43 out of Piccadilly all the way to Norwich. This will be the first time I have traveled from Manchester to Norwich by train, usually choosing to drive. My question is how busy will my train be, I hear that between Manchester and Sheffield at peak time overcrowding is common? Thanks :D

If you are actually 'booked' on the 1643 out of Piccadilly then surely you must have a seat reservation. If you don't have a seat reservation perhaps it may be better to get on the train at Manchester Oxford Road as many people who have travelled from Liverpool get off there or at Piccadilly and you then get a seat before the crowds get on at Piccadilly. Even if I'm travelling with a Advance Ticket with reservation I usually book from Oxford Road so that I can find my seat without the crush.
 

ANDYS

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I agree with Ashworth. Try and get on at Oxford Road as you have a better chance of getting a seat. My son and I often get on at Piccadilly, travel one stop west to Oxford Road to get our service back east.
 

Kite159

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I agree with Ashworth. Try and get on at Oxford Road as you have a better chance of getting a seat. My son and I often get on at Piccadilly, travel one stop west to Oxford Road to get our service back east.

Agreed here, if you can head to Oxford Road and try and board the service there before it reaches Piccadilly. If your going all the way to Norwich, be in the rear unit (normally the front [will be rear after reversing at Sheffield]
detaches at Nottingham)
 

Bungle965

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I was at Oxford Road a few days ago watching that same service as it pulled up. It left a total of about 12 people behind.
To say that it was busy would not do it justice!
Although i should add it was short-formed and only had 1*158 instead of the usual 2 . But i imagine even with 2 158s it will be very busy.
Sam
 
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