Monday, 9 April 2018

"New" Train

A Class 323 unit was out and about on driver training duties today.  The schedules have been in the timetable for a few weeks but I think today is the first time they've actually operated.

I took a couple of photos at Huyton:

Lime Street Update

Lime Street was closed on Sunday to allow a couple of changes to take place.  Platform 4 has closed for widening work, and the widened platform 6 has re-opened.

Parts of platform 4 have been demolished already, and the track has been lifted.  (When rebuilt, this will be platform 3)

Platform 6, which was annoyingly narrow in places, has been widened by moving the track into where the siding was.  It will be numbered 5 when the whole project is complete.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

New Timetable - Version 2.0

The second attempt at the new timetable, valid from 20 May, has arrived in the database at last.  As I said in February, there are too many changes for me to describe here so you can see what is intended for your local station on my Open Rail website, just enter your station and a date after 20 May.

If previous releases are anything to go by, there will be a number of tweaks and adjustments over the next few weeks, as minor errors are corrected.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Lime Street Update

Things are slowly moving forwards at Lime Street, as you can see in a few pictures I took yesterday:

Platform 6 (old number) has been widened so that the track is roughly where the siding was.  The edging is almost complete along the full length.  New track is in place, although it currently doesn't connect anywhere at the throat end.  This platform will be numbered 5 eventually.  It should re-open in April.

New platform 7 has not been opened, and I don't think it will be until after the resignalling in July.  The edging looks complete but some work on the rest of the surface remains to be completed:

Not much has been done yet on old platform 9 which has been out of use since Christmas.  This will be platform 10 when it re-opens in July.  As you can see on the left, platform 8 (old number) is now numbered 9 and had its edging renewed before Christmas:

Thursday, 11 January 2018

New Timetable

Details of the timetable for Sunday 20 May to Saturday 8 December 2018 have arrived in my database over the last few days, and for the first time in many years we have some major changes on the Northwest Sparks lines.

The new schedules involve a complete re-cast of services all over our area, so it would be too much like hard work to go into details here.  You can see what is intended for your local station on my Open Rail website, just enter your station and a date after 20 May.

I must, as always, warn that the information is very much provisional at this stage.  Network Rail work to a twelve week deadline ("T-12") and all this is outside that limit.  In particular, the rumour mill reports that the Manchester to Preston electrification will not be ready in time, and that the timetable is unworkable without it.  If this turns out to be correct then we can expect major changes to what we are now seeing.

Update Friday 12th:  As usual, the rumour mill was correct.  Manchester - Preston will not be electric in May.  What this means for the timetable changes there, and elsewhere, remains to be seen.

Update 25th February:  All the trains described above have now been deleted from the database, and we await the second version of the new timetable.  The Rail Delivery Group has announced that T-12 will not be met for some services.