Line News & Events

  • Summer 2023 Newsletter

    The North Cheshire Rail Users Group have published their Summer  Newsletter ....

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  • Halton Curve Campaign

    29th February 2020

    The North Cheshire Rail Users Group was last night officially recognised for 30 years hard work ....

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  • Frodsham Footbridge Project

    8th December 2019

    A temporary scaffold footbridge will now NOT be provided at Frodsham ....

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  • Castle Park Semaphore Signal Unveiling

    1st June 2019

    30 years of campaigning officially came to an end today on Saturday 1st June as two semaphore signals were unveiled in Castle Park .....

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  • The Halton Curve

    19th May 2019

    The Halton curve finally opened on 19th May 2019 ....

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  • The Early Days of NCRUG

    23rd May 2019

    A look back at the early days NCRUG and its first chairman ....

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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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