Dale Haslam's train blog: Well done prime minister for taking action at last

Dale Haslam

Dale Haslam

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

WHEN my trailblazing colleagues Elaine O’Flynn and Liam Thorp revealed earlier this week that rush-hour trains through Bolton would get bigger, I was absolutely delighted.

Taking the train to work each morning and evening on the Preston-to-Bolton line can be an energy-sapping experience and the extra 200 seats will be a massive help.

Earlier this week on the way to work I found myself in the centre of a packed carriage and had to plan a Jason Bourne-style exit strategy to pass through dozens of other standing passengers who were getting off at stops after Bolton, and it was stressful for myself and others.

But our discomfort was nothing compared to the woman in a wheelchair who boarded at Bolton and found herself crammed in among lots of other people. I really felt for her.

Politicians often get a bad reputation and some may have been sceptical that, following his visit to The Bolton News offices in December, Prime Minister David Cameron would actually do anything in response to our Let’s Get Back on Track campaign.

Well done to him for taking action that will benefit many local commuters when the changes come in before the end of the year.

Comments (3)

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1:08pm Thu 3 Apr 14

wsw69 says...

Only time will tell if there are any extra carriages, and hopefully it will actually happen.

When I was serving my apprenticeship I had to travel to Moston once every week on day release. This was in 1978, 36 years ago, christ I'm old - lol. So it appears nowt has changed in all that time.

Being a poor 17 year old apprentice I had to be at Bolton Trinity Street station for 7am just to stand a chance of getting to Manchester Victoria station, and then catch a bus to Moston. There were never any seats available on the train, it was a cattle truck situation back then on the train and the bus.

Not having needed the 'pleasure' of peak time train travel since those days I can gauge that the situation has not improved one bit. I'm glad I don't have to endure such demoralising torture and feel sorry for honest hard working people lobbing out a wedge of hard earned for super sub-standard service.

Mr Haslam, as well as all others who do suffer five days a week on peak time trains, you deserve a bloody gold medal.
Only time will tell if there are any extra carriages, and hopefully it will actually happen. When I was serving my apprenticeship I had to travel to Moston once every week on day release. This was in 1978, 36 years ago, christ I'm old - lol. So it appears nowt has changed in all that time. Being a poor 17 year old apprentice I had to be at Bolton Trinity Street station for 7am just to stand a chance of getting to Manchester Victoria station, and then catch a bus to Moston. There were never any seats available on the train, it was a cattle truck situation back then on the train and the bus. Not having needed the 'pleasure' of peak time train travel since those days I can gauge that the situation has not improved one bit. I'm glad I don't have to endure such demoralising torture and feel sorry for honest hard working people lobbing out a wedge of hard earned for super sub-standard service. Mr Haslam, as well as all others who do suffer five days a week on peak time trains, you deserve a bloody gold medal. wsw69
  • Score: 3

2:07pm Thu 3 Apr 14

The Righteous One says...

Action in what - he actually only confirmed what had been promised that once the electrics start rolling in the diesel units can be cascaded to other routes. And the only extra he announced was a guarantee of a further 200 passenger unit to be used during thee peak times which is actually 1 Class142 unit!!!

Now there is a BUT here, he never actually announced as to which route it would operate on - Southport, Blackpool, Preston or Clitheroe nor did he actually announce as to which company would be gaining the extra unit (we are all assuming it is Northern Rail - for all we know it could be First TPE) It would be better used if the new coach(es) worked as a shuttle service between Bolton and Manchester only, as we all know what is going to happen the trains are still going to be jam packed full before it gets to Bolton!!!

But there was no announcement on any NEW trains which the south east will continue to get before any other part of the country! Why only electrify to Wigan on the Wigan line and not all the way to Southport? and why is the Blackburn line not being electrified thus making Bolton a true electric train station! whereas it will be 50/50 with electric trains being slowed down behind the 30+ year old slow diesel units!!!

Also well over 50% of the diesel units will have to be withdrawn as of January 2019 due to not being DDA compliant, therefore why has no one started an order to replace them (as diesel units will still be required for quite a number of routes) or are Northern Rail just going to be left with no diesel units and train routes with no trains?
Action in what - he actually only confirmed what had been promised that once the electrics start rolling in the diesel units can be cascaded to other routes. And the only extra he announced was a guarantee of a further 200 passenger unit to be used during thee peak times which is actually 1 Class142 unit!!! Now there is a BUT here, he never actually announced as to which route it would operate on - Southport, Blackpool, Preston or Clitheroe nor did he actually announce as to which company would be gaining the extra unit (we are all assuming it is Northern Rail - for all we know it could be First TPE) It would be better used if the new coach(es) worked as a shuttle service between Bolton and Manchester only, as we all know what is going to happen the trains are still going to be jam packed full before it gets to Bolton!!! But there was no announcement on any NEW trains which the south east will continue to get before any other part of the country! Why only electrify to Wigan on the Wigan line and not all the way to Southport? and why is the Blackburn line not being electrified thus making Bolton a true electric train station! whereas it will be 50/50 with electric trains being slowed down behind the 30+ year old slow diesel units!!! Also well over 50% of the diesel units will have to be withdrawn as of January 2019 due to not being DDA compliant, therefore why has no one started an order to replace them (as diesel units will still be required for quite a number of routes) or are Northern Rail just going to be left with no diesel units and train routes with no trains? The Righteous One
  • Score: 4

8:17am Fri 4 Apr 14

MalcM59 says...

The Righteous One wrote:
Action in what - he actually only confirmed what had been promised that once the electrics start rolling in the diesel units can be cascaded to other routes. And the only extra he announced was a guarantee of a further 200 passenger unit to be used during thee peak times which is actually 1 Class142 unit!!!

Now there is a BUT here, he never actually announced as to which route it would operate on - Southport, Blackpool, Preston or Clitheroe nor did he actually announce as to which company would be gaining the extra unit (we are all assuming it is Northern Rail - for all we know it could be First TPE) It would be better used if the new coach(es) worked as a shuttle service between Bolton and Manchester only, as we all know what is going to happen the trains are still going to be jam packed full before it gets to Bolton!!!

But there was no announcement on any NEW trains which the south east will continue to get before any other part of the country! Why only electrify to Wigan on the Wigan line and not all the way to Southport? and why is the Blackburn line not being electrified thus making Bolton a true electric train station! whereas it will be 50/50 with electric trains being slowed down behind the 30+ year old slow diesel units!!!

Also well over 50% of the diesel units will have to be withdrawn as of January 2019 due to not being DDA compliant, therefore why has no one started an order to replace them (as diesel units will still be required for quite a number of routes) or are Northern Rail just going to be left with no diesel units and train routes with no trains?
Good points (sorry, bad pun !)
Personally, I'd like to know just how on track (Dammit, there I go again) the electrification of the Manchester - Euxton line I is... I travelled the line last week and didn't see a single sign of any work having commenced. It's due for completion in 2016, and here we are in Q2 of 2014 with apparently zero progress. Get your fingers out, lads !
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: Action in what - he actually only confirmed what had been promised that once the electrics start rolling in the diesel units can be cascaded to other routes. And the only extra he announced was a guarantee of a further 200 passenger unit to be used during thee peak times which is actually 1 Class142 unit!!! Now there is a BUT here, he never actually announced as to which route it would operate on - Southport, Blackpool, Preston or Clitheroe nor did he actually announce as to which company would be gaining the extra unit (we are all assuming it is Northern Rail - for all we know it could be First TPE) It would be better used if the new coach(es) worked as a shuttle service between Bolton and Manchester only, as we all know what is going to happen the trains are still going to be jam packed full before it gets to Bolton!!! But there was no announcement on any NEW trains which the south east will continue to get before any other part of the country! Why only electrify to Wigan on the Wigan line and not all the way to Southport? and why is the Blackburn line not being electrified thus making Bolton a true electric train station! whereas it will be 50/50 with electric trains being slowed down behind the 30+ year old slow diesel units!!! Also well over 50% of the diesel units will have to be withdrawn as of January 2019 due to not being DDA compliant, therefore why has no one started an order to replace them (as diesel units will still be required for quite a number of routes) or are Northern Rail just going to be left with no diesel units and train routes with no trains?[/p][/quote]Good points (sorry, bad pun !) Personally, I'd like to know just how on track (Dammit, there I go again) the electrification of the Manchester - Euxton line I is... I travelled the line last week and didn't see a single sign of any work having commenced. It's due for completion in 2016, and here we are in Q2 of 2014 with apparently zero progress. Get your fingers out, lads ! MalcM59
  • Score: 1

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