Trafford Park

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142056

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Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone could shed any light onto this subject matter.
Why can trains only stop at Trafford Park (on the Manchester to Liverpool Lime Street via Warrington Central line) so infrequently?! Thats what the question boils down to, but what I don't understand is how there can be a half-hourly service into Manchester in the morning peak, and the same out of Manchester in the afternoon peak, yet at other times it is so bad! 2 hourly service during the day are fair enough - granted it's not going to be too busy. However, to have a train at 1723 to Manchester Oxford Road yet the next one isn't until 2023 is rather ridiculous - the fact that two Northern rail trains pass through the station per hour is enough to tell me that services could stop there, along with the fact that the desired service pattern runs at other times of day. To me, trains at 1823 and 1923 would be ideal for anyone wanting to spend an evening in Manchester city centre, but wouldn't have to leave too early nor too late.

I am in the middle of writing to my MP to ask if she could investigate further - previously I have been fobbed off by Northern claiming 'congestion in the Manchester area' which personally I feel isn't enough of an answer.

Would anyone have any knowledge of reasons why trains would not be able to stop here despite passing through, and how I would go about trying to get Northern to stop trains there?

Thanks in advance.
 
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MidnightFlyer

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I believe paths - it's the same for Glazebrook, Flixton, Chassen Road and Humphrey Park on the same line. I'm not sure how they manage to improve it so much in the peak, I suspect it's because of the lack of fast trains. The five stations plus others could certainly do with improvements though. Don't forget that losing two mins calling at Trafford Park etc could see them waiting an extra ten minutes just to get a path into Oxford Road.
 

John55

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Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone could shed any light onto this subject matter.
Why can trains only stop at Trafford Park (on the Manchester to Liverpool Lime Street via Warrington Central line) so infrequently?! Thats what the question boils down to, but what I don't understand is how there can be a half-hourly service into Manchester in the morning peak, and the same out of Manchester in the afternoon peak, yet at other times it is so bad! 2 hourly service during the day are fair enough - granted it's not going to be too busy. However, to have a train at 1723 to Manchester Oxford Road yet the next one isn't until 2023 is rather ridiculous - the fact that two Northern rail trains pass through the station per hour is enough to tell me that services could stop there, along with the fact that the desired service pattern runs at other times of day. To me, trains at 1823 and 1923 would be ideal for anyone wanting to spend an evening in Manchester city centre, but wouldn't have to leave too early nor too late.

I am in the middle of writing to my MP to ask if she could investigate further - previously I have been fobbed off by Northern claiming 'congestion in the Manchester area' which personally I feel isn't enough of an answer.

Would anyone have any knowledge of reasons why trains would not be able to stop here despite passing through, and how I would go about trying to get Northern to stop trains there?

Thanks in advance.

The reason basically is that Northern have in thier train service requirement to run a through stopping service between Liverpool and Manchester via Warrington. This was done at the request of Cheshire County Council to provide a service from Widnes-Warrington-Birchwood without the need to change.

Unfortunately the consequence of this is that a stopper leaving Liverpool has to get to Oxford Road before the next fast train on the same route. An all stations stopper takes 78 minutes from L St to Ox Rd and a TPE train 44 minutes so the stopper would have to leave Lime Street about 10 minutes before the previous EMT train on the same line. As the EMT would catch up somewhere near Widnes with nowhere to overtake something has to give.

What gives is the stopping trains at each end. The timetable has 2 slow trains per hour over the whole route but one stops all stations Liverpool to Warrington and is then skip stop to Ox Rd. The other skip stops Liverpool to Warrington and then most stations to Ox Rd.

In the morning peak the TPE & EMT fast trains run off pattern at 06:15, 06:47, 07:15 and 07:43 (instead of xx:22 and xx:52) from Lime St which allows earlier departures for the stoppers from Lime St. In addition the 06:50 stopping train from Lime St terminates at Warrington at 07:29 after a Warrington to Manchester stopper leaves at 07:22. This flexing of the standard pattern allows enough time for the slow trains to stop at all stations Irlam to Trafford Park. After the morning peak it is a very poor do for those Manchester suburban stations until after 20:00 when an hourly service is provided because a) here are fewer expresses and b) the slow trains more often start and finish at Warrington.

As for a solution there needs to be a rewrite of the timetable for the line. In one RUS there was a suggestion that after TPE move over to the Chat Moss line to make all services skip stop and make the end to end running time about the same. This would mean all stations could have at least an hourly service but none would be particularly fast. My own favourite solution is to go back to the traditional service pattern which terminates the slow trains from both ends at Warrington.
 
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142056

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129
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Manchester
After the morning peak it is a very poor do for those Manchester suburban stations until after 20:00 when an hourly service is provided because a) here are fewer expresses and b) the slow trains more often start and finish at Warrington.
Thank you for that information, I hadn't realized that the expresses in the peaks go off pattern to give the stoppers chance to stop. However, would you agree that it is fairly abysmal the service received outside of peak hours, and especially the 3 hour gap between Manchester services in the evening?
 

John55

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Thank you for that information, I hadn't realized that the expresses in the peaks go off pattern to give the stoppers chance to stop. However, would you agree that it is fairly abysmal the service received outside of peak hours, and especially the 3 hour gap between Manchester services in the evening?

It is absolutely dreadful. I cannot help but wonder if GMPTE/TfGM asked for their money back as I think they provided the cash for Humphrey Park to be built. It is not so bad at the Liverpool end but an hourly service at Halewood is pretty poor as well.
 

142056

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Manchester
They seem to be re-constructing Trafford Park at the moment - what the point is with the current service I have no idea, though it is a tad worrying that some parts of the platform seem to be a good few inches lower than others. I noticed recently we have got a tannoy announcing trains (not delays) but around 5 minutes before the train is due - nobody is ever there that early!
 

150222

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The 100 bus (First GM) runs every 10 mins between Manchester city centre (Shudehill bus stn) and Trafford Park with hourly extentions to Warrington. So it isn't badly served.
 

MidnightFlyer

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The 100 bus (First GM) runs every 10 mins between Manchester city centre (Shudehill bus stn) and Trafford Park with hourly extentions to Warrington. So it isn't badly served.

In that case Denton isn't either ;)

From a rail point of view the local services along the CLC can be shocking at times.
 

madannie77

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The 100 bus (First GM) runs every 10 mins between Manchester city centre (Shudehill bus stn) and Trafford Park with hourly extentions to Warrington. So it isn't badly served.

Route 100 goes nowhere near Trafford Park. It runs to Trafford Centre via Eccles.

Having a frequent bus service twixt Manchester and Trafford Park is not the point, really. Not every passenger (or potential passenger) will be travelling from Trafford Park to Manchester - what about people travelling further, or wanting to travel in the other direction towards Warrington and Liverpool: there is no alternative bus route for them.

Back in the days when I used the line regularly there were hourly stopping services from Warrington Central to Manchester and Warrington Central to Liverpool. It was when Manchester Airport Station opened and through trains from Liverpool to Manchester Airport started that the service was messed up. That service was a semi-fast, and the all stations became Irlam to Manchester only. It seems to have been messed around with quite a bit since then, but it is most of the suburban stations which have been messed around and seen a reduction in service levels in the interest of longer distance "fast" and "semi-fast" services.
 

exile

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Up till a few years ago the standard service at Trafford Park was hourly, as it was for all stations on the CLC line except the ones with half hourly or better.
Even then I noticed very few people used Trafford Park off peak. Use it or lose it!

The answer would be to provide more loops along the route to allow fast trains to overtake the stoppers. At present this can only happen at Warrington (only if the stopper goes into the siding which can take a good 5 minutes) and Glazebrook,
 
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