The Anonymous Widower

Wigan North Western Station Set For Platform Extension Work

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

This is the first three paragraphs.

Wigan North Western is set to undergo a multi-million-pound platform extension to provide passengers between Manchester and Leeds with longer trains.

The work is part of the Great North Rail Project and will see Platform 3 made longer to allow four-carriage trains to call at the station.

Northern can then provide extra capacity for passengers and move trains in and out of its new £46m depot at Ince-in-Makerfield.

This Google Map shows Wigan North Western station.


  1. The six platforms are numbered 1-6 from North-East to South-West.
  2. Platforms 1, 2 and 3 are used for trains that start at the station and go to the Alderley Edge, Leeds, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge.
  3. Platform 1 is quite long and regularly handles two trains at the same time.
  4. Platforms 2 and 3 could probably be longer.
  5. Platforms 1, 2 and 3 appear to have their own private access track direct to Wigan Springs Branch TMD to the South, where multiple units can be serviced and washed.
  6. The access track sneaks down the East side of the West Coast Main Line, so that trains don’t block the track, when transferring to and from the depot.
  7. The double-track going North between the station and the large building leads to Wigan Wallgate station.

This picture shows the Platforms 1, 2 and 3 at the station.

If you look at the train movements early in the morning, trains come out of the depot and start their first diagram from one of the three platforms on the left.

Lengthening Platform 3 will make this easier and more efficient.

Wigan North Western Station, West Coast Main Line And High Speed Two

Wigan North Western station is currently served by the following Avanti West Coast services on the West Coast Main Line.

  • London Euston and Glasgow Central – Hourly
  • London Euston and Glasgow Central or Edinburgh via Birmingham New Street – Hourly
  • London Euston and Blackpool – Four trains per day

TransPennine Express also run four trains per day between Liverpool Lime Street and Glasgow Central.

The station is also planned to get two hourly High Speed Two services, which should be delivered in Phase 2a of the project.

  • London Euston and Lancaster via Old Oak Common, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay and Preston.
  • Birmingham Curzon Street and Edinburgh or Glasgow via Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle and some other stations, depending on the Scottish destination.

It certainly looks like Wigan North Western station is being updated to have a comprehensive network of local electric services to give a large number of stations, good access to current West Coast Main Line and future High Speed Two services.

High Speed Two Through Lancashire Stations

The direct London and Scotland services are proposed to be as follows.

  • They will run at a frequency of two trains per hour (tph)
  • They will be formed of two classic-compatible 200 metre long trains.
  • They will split and join at Carlisle, to give both Edinburgh and Glasgow a two tph service from London.
  • One tph will stop at Old Oak Common, Preston and Carlisle in England.
  • The second train will also stop at Birmingham Interchange in England.

Adding the services together, it would appear that the following services will run through Lancashire.

  • One tph – London Euston and Lancaster – One 200 metre train
  • Two tph – London Euston and Scotland – Two 200 metre trains.
  • One tph – Birmingham and Scotland – One 200 metre train

This totals up to four tph.

I will now look, at the High Speed Two traffic through the various stations.

Warrington Bank Quay

I know Warrington Bank Quay is in Cheshire, these days, but High Speed Two trains will pass through.

Current plans include a by-pass round Warrington will be built for Phase 2b.

  • Before by-pass four tph will pass through Warrington Bank Quay, with one stopping.
  • After by-pass only one stopping train will pass.

If the High Speed Two service replaces the current Avanti West Coast service to Scotland, any problems at the station should be easy to solve.


Preston would appear to have three tph from High Speed Two passing through, with all stopping.

Phase 2b will add another tph.


Lancaster would appear to have two tph from High Speed Two passing through, with none stopping.

In addition, one service from Euston will terminate.

Phase 2b will add another tph, that passes thrugh.


It looks to me, that this relatively small project will be worthwhile.

How many other projects of this size need being added to the network urgently? I can think of possibly three within a dozen miles of my house, of which at least one is down to Beeching and/or British Rail’s cost cutting of the 1960s or 1970s.

September 2, 2020 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

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