The Anonymous Widower

Wigan North Western To Alderley Edge And Stalybridge

The following two services were started from Wigan North Western station in May 2018.

Both services are hourly and cross-Manchester services. I rode both of them on Friday afternoon.

These two routes are not fully-electrified and it was intended that they would use new Class 769 bi-mode trains, which can use diesel on sections without electrification.

But the Class 769 trains are still under test, so there was a selection of good and not-so-good rolling stock.

  • One four-car train was two refurbished Class 156 trains working together.
  • Another was a pair of refurbished Class 150 trains.
  • And a third was a Class 150 train pulling a Pacer.

The diesel trains trundled into Manchester at speeds between sixty and eighty mph.

At least the four-car trains were the right size for the route and although full, the trains weren’t by any means over-full!

The arrival of the Class 769 trains would increase the quality and operating speed of the rolling stock.

I also went into Manchester on Saturday in a Class 319 train.

This electric train was doing up to ninety mph on the fully-electrified route via Newton-le-Willows.

As the Class 769 trains are based on Class 319 trains on electrified sections of the routes, they will be able to speed along and shorten journey times.

Wigan North Western And Alderley Edge

On this route approximately 9.5 miles of the 34.5 miles route is not electrified and journeys take 78 minutes.

As between Bolton and Alderley Edge is now fully electrified, I wonder what will be time between Wigan North Western and Alderley Edge.

If the service is under the hour, this could mean a reduction in the number of trains needed to work the route.

Wigan North Western And Stalybridge

On this route approximately 17 miles of the 27.8 miles route is not electrified and journeys take 59 minutes.

Because this service spends more time on diesel, the speed-up might not be as easy to achieve.


I predict that the Class 769 trains will be welcomed by passengers, operators and staff, as they will speed up services.


February 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Wires Are Completed At Bolton

I took these pictures as I changed trains at Bolton station.

According to this article on Rail News, which is entitled Final Test Train Runs On Electrified Preston Line, the Manchester-Preston line has passed all the tests to allow Class 319 trains to run at 100 mph.

They also hope, that 100 mph running will start in May.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Is Wigan North Western Station Ready For High Speed Two?

Wigan North Western station will be a stop used by High Speed Two and according to the Proposed Service Pattern in the Wikipedia entry, it will have at least one train per hour (tph).

I took these pictures at the station during my overnight stay.

A few thoughts about the station.

Platform Lengths

According to a stationman, they can handle eleven-car Class 390 trains in the following platforms.

  • The Northbound platforms 5 and 6.
  • The South bound platform 4.

As I arrived from Euston in an eleven-car train in Platform 5, I feel that he was correct. These eleven-car trains are over two hundred and fifty metres long.

Wikipedia says this about trains for High Speed Two.

Both types of train would have a maximum speed of at least 350 km/h (220 mph) and length of 200 metres (660 ft). Two units could be joined together for a 400-metre (1,300 ft) train.

Wigan North Western station would accept a single-train now, but the platforms would need lengthening to handle a double-train.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Trying To Get Near The Footbridge Underneath The Ordsall Chord

The Ordsall Chord scheme incorporates a foiotbridge across the Irwell, which should give good a good view of the massive bridge.

I tried to get near it yesterday.

But as you can see, I failed.

There’s just too much construction in the way!

February 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Walking From Pomona To MediaCityUK

I took these pictures as I walked between Pomona and MediaCityUK tram stops in Manchester.

I walked along the linear construction site of the new Trafford Park Line of the Manchester Metrolink.

The new line should open in 2021.


If you like walking alongside water, as I do, it is good way to see some of Manchester’s new attractions like the Impreial War Museum North and The Lowry.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Tram-Trains At Manchester Victoria Station

In Could A Class 399 Tram-Train With Batteries Go Between Manchester Victoria And Rochdale/Bury Bolton Street/Rawtenstall Stations?, I speculated on how tram-trains from Rochdale, Bury Bolton Street and Rawtenstall stations might join the Manchester Metro Link at Manchester Victoria station.

I showed this Google Map of the lines at Manchester Victoria.

On my weekend trip to the North, I took these pictures yesterday from the Metrolink platforms at Manchester Victoria.

I can’t believe that it would be the most difficult track design project to allow tram-trains to swap between the rail and tram networks at this point.

The bigger problem, is probably to decide, where the tram-trains would go on the other side of Manchester.

On the other hand, they could use electrified rail lines to Bolton or Wigan North Western.

  • The performance and capacity of a Class 399 tram-train is very comparable to a Pacer.
  • Wigan North Western station has three South-facing bay platforms.

Manchester’s Metrolink designers are going to have a lot of fun.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

5,120 Tonne Loading Test Above Moorgate Tube Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

Ian’s article is a fascinating insight into how the foundations of some new tower blocks will be tested.

It is a must-read.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment