Line News & Events

  • Cheshire Best Kept Stations

    5th February 2019

    Frodsham has won the Best Kept Gardens Award 2018 ....

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  • News from the Line

    31st October 2018

    News from Runcorn East and Helsby Stations ....

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  • Runcorn East Celebrations

    3rd October 2018

    Runcorn East Railway Station marks the station's 35th Opening Anniversary and an end of an era with ATW ....

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  • Latest NCRUG News

    1st October 2018

    Read the latest News from North Cheshire Rail Users Group ....

    Read More

  • Liverpool Here We Come

    10th June 2018

    Sunday 10th June was a significant milestone in the history of the North Cheshire Rail Users Group .... 

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  • Helsby Footbridge

    13th June 2018

    Helsby Footbridge works have started and two temporary footbridges are now in place ....

    Read More

Wales & Borders Franchise

9th November 2016

The Branch Line News the organ of the Branch Line Society reports in its 5th November issue:

"The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) confirms that it has obtained powers, via an agency agreement with the Dept. for Transport (DfT), to take on responsibility for letting the next franchise due to start on 14th Oct 2018.

Transport for Wales has been set up to oversee the process.

Four companies have responded to an initial invitation to provide outline proposals covering matters such as capacity, journey times, accessibility, rolling stock and customer services including developing the South East Wales Metro.

Responses have been requested by the end of November and a "Pick & Mix" proposal based on these will be issued for public consultation in the New Year.

From this  a preferred option will emerge and formal bids sought, with a view to awarding a contact by January 2018. 

This is a very different process to the DfT's usual prescriptive franchise definition.

The WAG is likely to seek a 15-year franchise, with break points at five and ten years, and much more flexibility than was provided for in the current (2003-18) ..."

The current Steady State Arriva Trains Wales franchise has resulted in overcrowding on our route, on an hourly service from Chester to Manchester, which should have been improved with in addition high fares compared with other routes in Wales over similar distances.

NCRUG has been contacted by some of these franchise bidders in order to seek our views on what we would consider appropriate in future.

In the meantime Northern are committed to providing an additional hourly service from Leeds/Bradford to Chester.

In addition with Halton Curve continuing to progress additional hourly trains should run from Liverpool via Liverpool South Parkway to Chester from 2018


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