The Anonymous Widower

Huge Step Taken As Greater Manchester Takes Over First Rail Station

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Today (1 Feb) marks a significant moment for Manchester’s long-term vision for rail as Transport for Greater Manchester takes over operation of Horwich Parkway Station.

These are some pictures of the station.

Horwich Parkway station is a fairly typical parkway station, that is also a destination in its own right, as Bolton Wanderers stadium, a shopping centre, a very much bog-standard Premier Inn and a University campus are nearby.

Services At Horwich Parkway Station

Currently, these services call at the station.

  • Hazel Grove and Blackpool North
  • Manchester Airport and Blackpool North
  • Manchester Victoria and Preston


  1. All services are electric and run by Northern.
  2. All services are one train per hour (tph)

Some TransPennine Services also pass through on their way between Manchester Airport and Scotland.

My Thoughts

These are a few thoughts.

Local Authority Or Remote Management?

I like the concept of stations being managed by local authorities.

When I moved back to London from Suffolk nearly a dozen years ago, the stations in North East and East London were managed by Greater Anglia from Norwich.

  • Many of these stations were very shabby.
  • Many of these stations have now been taken over by Transport for London.
  • Stations are now managed by either the London Overground or Tfl Rail.
  • Stations seem to have improved and they are in many cases, a lot cleaner.

Perhaps, the shorter communication links to Senior Management mean, that problems get solved. Or does the local councillor know the right person to kick?

Hopefully, we’ll see a more efficient station at Horwich Parkway.



  • There are ramps to the footbridge.
  • There is a booking office.
  • Previously, this station was managed by Northern

It is one of those stations that on a cold winter’s day can be a bit bleak.

Hopefully, Transport for Greater Manchester will be improving the station.

Four Trains Per Hour?

Birmingham, Liverpool and London seem to like the concept of Turn-Up-And-Go stations with a frequency of four tph.

Would Horwich Parkway station  benefit from this frequency?

Two Trains Per Hour To And From Manchester Airport?

This may be beneficial,

Perhaps some of the TransPennine Express service between the Airport and Scotland could call?

Certainly, a sort out of train services at Horwich Parkway, led by Transport for Greater Manchester could be beneficial for passengers and train operating companies.


I shall be interested to see, if the station is improved.


February 3, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. I have never used this station, and don’t really know Horwich.

    However, if it is within walking distance of Bolton Wanders stadium, there is another reason to have a good rail link. The stadium has what a few years ago was the only one, and I don’t know of any other in the area, an open MRI machine. Privately own, but if relevant NHS could refer and pay. I have to say that whilst I really don’t like the enclosed MRI machines, I am much more comfortable in the enclosed one. I had an elbow injury and consultant sent me there, and it was horribly uncomfortable. Last time I needed a lib scanning I went instead to Lytham St Annes where there is an extremity scanner, I just stuck my hand into a tiny MRI machine, the radiographer packed it with padding to keep it from moving and I sat there, with Neil, for the 40 minutes the scan too, drinking coffee. Again, privately own, but NHS can refer.

    However, the open MRI machine at the Stadium would probably benefit from a local line as people will need to travel for the scans. I don’t know how much NHS referral they get. But the local private hospitals didnt have them when I needed them, neither did they have extremity scanners. That may have changed.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | February 4, 2021 | Reply

    • A friend of mine had bad liver cancer. The only hope was to give it a look on a special very expensive machine. The only one that dealt with her cancer was at a swish private hospital. Her NHS consultant asked her if she could go early on the next Sunday.

      She has clear for the last few years.

      Let’s face it, the private hospitals are only making money out of a valuable asset, that would otherwise sit there, whilst patients who could use it are dying.

      Comment by AnonW | February 4, 2021 | Reply

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