North West Travels

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142094

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Having a bit of free time and taking advantage of Premier Inn’s £19 special offer, I thought I’d combine a trip across the Pennines with some route scratching in the North West. As some will know I’m currently trying to get in all the lines that Northern operate over, and next week will see me marking off most of the lines I haven’t done on Northern out of Manchester and Liverpool. If things go to plan, there are only a few more that I need to do in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire which can be easily done in a day. I’m also trying to keep to a budget of around £100 by using a free pass, most of which will be spent on hotels.

Thursday 7th

Up early to get to the station for the 07.33 Newcastle – Manchester Airport as far as Piccadilly. A service I have used in the past to get down to Manc early on for some unit bashing, although I did consider getting the earlier service which goes to Liverpool, but this would have meant getting up at silly o’clock on what is expected to be a long day. £7.40 with a railcard and TPE’s extra online discount is a winner. Next move is the 10.48 to Hadfield, a line I have yet to complete – planning on staying in Hadfield for only half an hour to get a different unit in, heard it is not particularly the nicest of places to visit.

Back to Piccadilly and then onto the 12.48 to Stoke. Done this line before but not with Northern, and should be another 323. Staying in Stoke for a few hours to have a pint and get some grub, then return to Piccadilly to get the 17.23 to Chinley, which is one of the only Northern services to go via Hazel Grove rather than Marple. Short wait at Chinley to get the Northern service to Sheffield. Plan was then to get to Nottingham to pick up the 20.45 service to Sheffield which goes via Derby (again another one that is uncommon for Northern), but low and behold it isn’t going via Derby due to engineering work. Balls.

Friday 8th

Friday is another early start to get the 08.05 to Stockport, again using TPE’s online discount and a very reasonable £2.45 advance. Seeing as it is a Friday, it would be rude not to get in the Denton Flyer (Stockport – Stalybridge parliamentary), and a quirk of using my free pass is that I’ll have to get a single to Denton, so it’ll appear one more person has used the station in the next round of patronage figures. From Stalybridge it is over to Piccadilly to get to Buxton, another line I haven’t fully done. Few hours in Buxton and back to Stockport to get the service to Chester for the night.

Saturday 9th

The move to Chester the previous night sets me up well for the summer-only Chester – Runcorn service, although will be an early morning as it departs at 07.53. I’ll then need to get from Runcorn to Runcorn East in an hour to pick up an ATW train to Warrington Bank Quay, and then change onto the Northern service to Lime Street. From Lime Street it is a ride to Manchester to get onto a Southport service, a jolly on Merseyrail for a bit then down to Ellesmere Port for the afternoon service to Warrington again. Due to more engineering work I’ve had to get in the Golborne Jct to Newton le Willows Jct section on the 18.21 from Wigan today instead of tomorrow, when the Liverpool LS – Blackpool North train is supposed to go that way. Off at Earlestown to get a service back into Warrington for the overnight stay.

Sunday 10th

Summer Sundays sees the line between Hellifield and Clitheroe being used again, so the main focus will be on that. First train is the leisurely 10.09 into Lime Street to get the train which should have been running via Golborne Jct but is going via St. Helen’s Central instead. Off at Preston to pick up a Virgin Trains service to Lancaster, then on the 14.27 to Hellifield which gets in the Bare Lane curve. Good few hours in Hellifield to have Sunday lunch and back to catch the 17.26 to Preston, so getting in the line to Clitheroe.

Monday 11th

Not many Northern services bridge the gap between Preston and Lancaster, so staying in Preston means I can get the 08.38 to Carlisle as far as Lancaster. Back to Preston to get the Northern service to Ormskirk, a line I think I have done in the past but can’t quite remember as I haven’t written it down. I’ll stay on this unit to go back as far as Burscough Junction, walk to Burscough Bridge and get a service into Wigan Wallgate. Hopefully enough time here to pop across to the pie shop for dinner, then on to Bolton to have a look at the refurb work. Slightly convoluted route to Colne via Preston, then straight back from Colne to Manchester Victoria to pick up the 18.10 service which goes to Wigan North Western and not Wallgate. From here a few more changes and onto the train to Blackpool South.

Tuesday 12th

Tuesday is another leisurely day so with some free time decided to get up to Morecambe to finally get the Heysham Port service in. I could have done this a few years back but forgot and got off at Morecambe. Will get the unit back all the way to Leeds, where I had planned on getting in the Leeds – Goole service but remembered I had prior commitments in Leeds that night, so will go to the pub instead.

So this should mean the only bits of line that I need to do under Northern are Scarborough – Bridlington, the branch to Barton upon Humber, Hull – Doncaster via Selby and the short bit to Manchester FC. Should be a good trip and hope things go to plan.
 
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D841 Roebuck

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Does your plan get you all three sides of the triangle at Dinting? AFAIK, trains other than at peak times run both to and from Hadfield via Glossop, whereas from about 5pm they run direct from Hadfield to Manchester.

If you do Stoke in the morning, you could head out to Glossop for beer/grub (couple of decent pubs near the station), then come back via Hadfield. You'd miss out on Hazel Grove to Chinley, but could pick this up on the way back from Buxton the next day.
 

yorksrob

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Both the Hadfield and Buxton lines go through some lovely scenery so you're in for a treat :D

I agree with the above poster that Glossop is a nice place to spend an hour, though I have to admit, I've never sampled Hadfield (except on the train).
 

142094

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I'll have to check about the triangle at Dinting - I've got a bit of lee-way in the timings so if I can get it all in I will. Never really thought of stopping off at Glossop instead, might have a look at doing that.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Good shout on doing the Hadfield bit later in the day - will be going to Stoke first thing, having a few hours then back to do the Hadfield triangle, then on to Sheffield.

Also currently working out which pubs to go to as well...
 
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