Line News & Events

  • Halton Curve Project

    18th November 2017

    Work is continuing on the Halton Curve Project ....

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  • Waiting for the Workers, Winter 1936

    6th September 2017

    Helsby and Alvanley railway station has been brought back to life by Nick Harling ....

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  • John Hobbs

    7th September 2017

    It is with great sadness that the North Cheshire Rail Users Group must report the death of John Hobbs ....

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  • John Hobbs - a true gent

    27th July 2017

    NCRUG recognise John Hobbs - a true gent ....

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  • News from NCRUG

    30th July 2017

    NCRUG report on the Parliamentary Train and confirm they are now on Facebook ....

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  • News from NCRUG

    19th July 2017

    Here is the latest news from the North Cheshire Rail Users Group ....

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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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