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New timetables and planned disruption

Northern introduces new Merseyside and Cheshire services as part of May timetable switch

21 March 2018
Northern is introducing improved services to make travelling between Merseyside, Cheshire and Manchester more convenient than ever before.


From 20 May Northern will operate two weekday trains every hour between Southport and Manchester Victoria. Two morning peak services from Southport to Alderley Edge via Manchester Piccadilly will operate along with two evening peak services from Alderley Edge via Manchester Piccadilly to Southport.

Northern is also introducing a new hourly express service Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport service, via Warrington, whilst the Liverpool to Manchester stopping service via Newton le Willows will now call at Oxford Road, Piccadilly and Manchester Airport before continuing to Crewe.

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 fully refurbished trains.

Unfortunately, due to the knock on effects of delays in the delivery of infrastructure work between Manchester and Preston, it has been necessary to postpone some of the improvements Northern had hoped to deliver.

The introduction of the new hourly Chester to Leeds, via Manchester Victoria, service will be delayed and is now scheduled to operate from December.

Sharon Keith, Northern’s Regional Director, said: “Whilst we have been able to offer some notable improvements in our May timetable, it’s disappointing that some enhancements are just not possible at the moment.

“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 intended to start in May, will now be arriving later than planned.”

Sharon 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 across the Northern network each week, will have introduced 98 brand new trains, will have fully refurbished our 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 improvements are as follows:

Manchester – Wigan - Southport

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 electric service between Manchester Oxford Road and Wigan North Western
  • 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

Liverpool – Manchester

  • New hourly Liverpool – Manchester Airport service via Warrington which replaces current TPE service
  • Liverpool – Manchester via Newton-le-Willows stopping service will operate to Oxford Road, Piccadilly and Manchester Airport then continuing to Crewe
  • Some Manchester Oxford Road – Liverpool stopping services will not be able to call at Deansgate

The following services will see their improvements deferred:

  • New hourly Chester – Leeds via Manchester Victoria will not now be introduced until December


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