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New timetables and planned disruption

Northern introduces new Manchester services as part of May timetable switch

21 March 2018
Northern is introducing improved services to make travelling to and from Manchester more convenient than ever before.

From 20 May Northern will begin operating two trains an hour between Buxton and Manchester Piccadilly, significantly increasing the capacity on one of the most popular routes into the city.

There will also be six trains per hour provided on weekdays between Rochdale and Victoria as well as an hourly Sheffield to Manchester Piccadilly service every day.

The enhanced services form part of Northern’s May timetable change, which is paving the way for future improvements and getting the network ready for the arrival of Northern’s brand new and fully refurbished trains.

Unfortunately, due to delays in the delivery of the Manchester to Preston electrification, it has been necessary to postpone some of the improvements Northern had hoped to deliver.

The hourly Chester to Leeds service, via Manchester Victoria, is now scheduled to be introduced in December 2018, whilst both Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme will see a temporary reduction in the frequency of services we are able to operate, from four trains per hour to three.

Liam Sumpter, Northern’s Regional Director, said: “Whilst we have been able to offer some notable improvements in our May timetable, including to and from Buxton and the picturesque Peak District, it’s disappointing that some customers will not see such benefits.

“Our proposed timetable for May 18 was dependent on the successful delivery by Network Rail of the Manchester to Preston Electrification Project, which has been significantly delayed.

“This means some of the extra services we had planned for May, will now be arriving later than planned. We also had to make the difficult decision to temporarily reduce some services, but remain committed to improving these in the future.”

Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “We remain committed to delivering our Manchester-Bolton-Preston line upgrade, a key part of the Great North Rail Project, as soon as possible.

“We recognise this important improvement cannot come too soon for local train customers. We are grateful to Northern and their customers for bearing with us.”

Liam added: “The delay to some of our service improvements will not, however, delay our overall modernisation plans. By 2020 we will provide 2,000 extra services each week, will have introduced 98 brand new trains, have refurbished the rest of the fleet and removed all Pacers from the line. We are absolutely committed to transforming the journey experience for our customers.”

Northern’s May 2018 service changes are as follows:

Calder Valley through Manchester Victoria

  • Half hourly Rochdale – Manchester Victoria – Bolton – Blackburn, extending hourly to/from Clitheroe
  • Hourly Blackburn – Todmorden – Manchester Victoria – Wigan – Southport, with reduced Burnley to Manchester journey time
  • Hourly Leeds – Dewsbury – Manchester Victoria – Wigan – Southport
  • Two trains per hour Leeds – Bradford – Manchester Victoria

Manchester Victoria to/from Stalybridge

  • Two weekday trains per hour between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria, one extending to/from Wigan via Bolton.
  • Daytime services at Mossley, Greenfield, Marsden and Slaithwaite will be provided by TPE.
  • Northern will operate some peak services between Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield to serve these stations.

Manchester – Preston

  • Half hourly Preston – Manchester Piccadilly via Bolton service will still be provided, one train an hour running Blackpool North – Manchester Piccadilly and one train an hour Preston – Manchester Airport
  • Four through Barrow – Manchester Airport and vice versa services will run, along with one Manchester Piccadilly – Windermere and two Windermere – Manchester Piccadilly services
  • Hourly Preston – Manchester Victoria service will now run between Buckshaw Parkway and Manchester Victoria
  • Hourly Manchester Airport – Blackpool North via Wigan EMU service

Manchester – Wigan

  • Six weekday trains per hour will now be provided between Wigan and Manchester:
  • Three trains per hour via Atherton, comprising Kirkby – Victoria, Southport – Blackburn and Southport – Leeds (fourth train per hour provided at peak times).
  • Two trains per hour via Bolton, comprising Wigan – Victoria – Stalybridge and Wigan – Piccadilly – Alderley Edge.
  • Hourly non-stop service between Oxford Road and Wigan North Western (Manchester Airport – Blackpool electric trains).
  • Two morning peak services from Southport – Wigan – Piccadilly - Alderley Edge departing at 06:17 & 07:17
  • Two evening peak services from Alderley Edge – Piccadilly - Wigan – Southport departing at 16:49 & 17:49 from Alderley Edge and 17:19 & 18:18 from Manchester Piccadilly

Chester and Greenbank – Manchester Piccadilly

  • An hourly service will continue to be provided between Chester and Manchester Piccadilly, with peak time extra services running between Chester and Stockport, as now
  • A two hourly Sunday service will continue to be provided between Chester and Manchester Piccadilly

Stoke and Macclesfield – Manchester Piccadilly

  • An hourly service will continue to be provided between Stoke and Manchester Piccadilly, with peak time additional services between Macclesfield and Manchester Piccadilly
  • The Sunday service level between Stoke and Manchester will remain as now, with five services in each direction

Buxton and Hazel Grove – Manchester Piccadilly

  • Three weekday trains an hour will be provided between Hazel Grove and Manchester:
  • Two trains an hour Buxton – Manchester Piccadilly
  • Hourly Hazel Grove – Manchester Piccadilly
  • Most services will call at Davenport, Woodsmoor and Disley
  • Two Sunday trains an hour between Hazel Grove and Manchester:
  • Hourly Buxton – Manchester Piccadilly
  • Hourly Hazel Grove – Manchester Piccadilly

Sheffield/New Mills Central/Rose Hill – Manchester Piccadilly         

  • Hourly Sheffield – Manchester Piccadilly service every day
  • Two weekday trains per hour New Mills Central – Manchester Piccadilly via Bredbury (one of which is Hope Valley Sheffield service)
  • Two weekday trains per hour Rose Hill – Manchester Piccadilly via Hyde

Crewe and Alderley Edge – Manchester Piccadilly

  • Hourly Crewe – Manchester Airport – Newton-le-Willows – Liverpool Lime Street service
  • Hourly Crewe – Stockport – Manchester Piccadilly service
  • Hourly Alderley Edge – Stockport – Manchester Piccadilly – Bolton – Wigan service

Manchester Airport – Manchester Piccadilly

  • Four Northern trains per hour between Manchester Airport and Piccadilly/Oxford Road
  • Liverpool – Airport – Crewe will call at all stations between Piccadilly and Airport
  • Heald Green will have three services per hour in each direction
  • Mauldeth Road, Burnage and Gatley will have two services per hour in each direction
  • East Didsbury will two Northern services per hour in each direction, with off peak ATW calls continuing


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