The Anonymous Widower

What Rolling Stock Will Northern Use Between Blackpool North And Manchester Airport Stations From Tomorrow?

I was alerted to the opening of the service, by this article in Rail Technology Magazine, which is entitled Blackpool To Preston Route To Reopen After Major 5-Month Transformation.

As I was coming up to see someone on Tuesday, I’ve decided to come up on the first Virgin from Euston at 16:33 to Blackpool North station.

My train coming up from London, is I suspect a Class 221 train, as I’m in First in Coach E. So I’ll be diesel-hauled all the way.

I have read somewhere that four-car trains will be running between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport stations, so as these trains will be going via Bolton, where there is still no electrification, I would expect, that Northern will be running a couple of Class 156 trains on this route.

But the route would also be an ideal one to introduce the long-awaited Class 769 trains!

  • Trains call at Poulton-le-Fylde, Preston, Buckshaw Parkway, Chorley, Horwich Parkway, Bolton, Salford Crescent, Deansgate, Oxford Road, Piccadilly and Heald Green.
  • It is electrified, except for between Preston and Deansgate, which could be ready in May 2018.
  • The trains are four-cars with a universal access toilet, so are a step up from the previous rolling stock.

In their news release on the reopening of the Blackpool to Preston route, Northern says this.

Train services between Preston and Blackpool North will resume from Monday 16 April 2018 initially with one train per hour allowing time for driver training on the route.

Obviously, drivers have to learn the route, but as Northern have a fleet of thirty-two Class 319 trains, I suspect they have enough drivers to handle this fleet, when they eventually get to run between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport.

I think it’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see Class 769 trains working this route for training purposes.

In Does A New Service Start Between Wigan North Western And Alderley Edge Stations Using Class 769 Trains On May 20th?, I came to the conclusion that from May 20th, Northern will be adding these two hourly services using Class 769 trains.

  • Wigan North Western and Alderley Edge
  • Wigan North Western and Stalybridge

So will the training of the drivers be completed between Blackpool North and Preston?

Blackpool North And Liverpool Lime Street

I have been exploring this route on the timetable.

I found these trains running from Blackpool North to Liverpool Lime Street.

  • Sundays from April 22nd an hourly train between 11:00 and 22:00
  • Monday to Saturday from April 20th a direct train at 18:02.
  • Sundays from May 21st an hourly train between 08:30 and 22:00
  • Monday to Saturday from May 21st an hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00

And these trains running from Liverpool Lime Street to Blackpool North.

  • Sundays from April 22nd an hourly train between 08:47 and 20:47
  • Monday to Saturday from April 20th a direct train at 07:56.
  • Sundays from May 21st an hourly train between 06:36 and 22:15
  • Monday to Saturday from May 21st an hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00

I would assume that all trains would be served by Class 319 trains.

I think that Northern are being canny here.

  • Liverpool Lime Street and Blackpool North services will be run from the next weekend, with an hourly Sunday service. This will sort out any possible problems with an hourly service, before it is introduced on May 20th.
  • They have added a couple of trains to help commuters between Liverpool and Blackpool.
  • There is still a lot of capacity between Preston and Blackpool North for training.

It will be interesting to see how passengers react to the new timetable on May 20th.

 

April 15, 2018 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Well here they are training on Pacers only yesterday

    – the sort of wheeled shed originally designed by Sir Patrick Moore
    https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/273274-roll-off-dob-shed/

    Northern being canny – do me a favour…

    Comment by Mark Clayton | April 15, 2018 | Reply

    • Both the Overground and Northern are owned or operated by Arriva. Here in London, the Overground have got into a lot of problems about what is happening on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line about non-delivery, which is not their fault. Northen seem to have a very cautious plan to bring the Blackpool to Preston line back intro operation, which is very like the one that there’s using on the GOBlin. The new trains have not been seen and there has not even been a press release abou whether the power has been switched on.

      I have a feeling that both Northern and the Overground are not releasing anything until it’s happened safely and reliably.

      After all the problem is the same in both places. Late electrification.

      Comment by AnonW | April 16, 2018 | Reply

  2. According to Real Time Trains, there are a lot of paths between Preston and Manchester wjhich are timed for Diesel Multiple Units and labelled as Empty Coaching Stock.

    Comment by AnonW | April 16, 2018 | Reply

  3. I took the 19:40 from Blackpool North to Preston ladt night and it was a Class 185 train, but with Northern staff.

    I did see a pair of Class 156 trains stoating anout, so perhaps that was for drivers learning the route.
    The catenary looks solid and the platforms at Blackpool North seem to be airly long. Are they long enough for a nine-car Pendilino? It would be rather silly if they weren’t!

    Comment by AnonW | April 17, 2018 | Reply


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