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Changes to the rail timetable

From Maggie Woods

Friday, 13 September 2019

I was surprised to discover that Northern has decided to reduce the number of trains stopping at Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd stations from December. As a regular passenger on the Calder Valley line, I know how well-used these stations are on a daily basis.

In fact the car park at Sowerby Bridge station has recently been extended, presumably by Northern, to accommodate the increasing number of users! I also know that people have made the decision where to live and work and where to send their children to school based on the fact that Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd have had reliable (mostly) and regular rail services.

It makes no sense to even consider cutting services to these stations at a time when the focus should be on increasing public transport use and cutting down on car use. How frustrating for people living in Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd to see trains that used to stop there now hurtling through!

I hope this inexplicable decision will be reversed. We are constantly being promised improvements to services and rolling stock on this line - but they rarely seem to materialise.

From David Thompson

Saturday, 14 September 2019

This is bad news. We have been constantly let down by Northern Rail. None of the promised new trains, overcrowding etc. Do you have a lin k to this information? 

From Darius Battiwalla

Sunday, 15 September 2019

As a Mythomroyd station user I don't like to see the service reduced, but I don't think this is a major issue - they are just terminating what was clearly an experiment of stopping the York-Blackpool North service at Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge, which was only introduced about a year ago.  While it did provide an extra service an hour to Leeds, it wasn't much use as it was so close to an existing service. But better spacing of the existing services would be a huge improvement.

As for the new trains, there are lots arriving on other parts of the Northern network - I think the Leeds-Chester service might be the first of our services to see them, though I'm not sure when.

If you want to see services ahead of a timetable trains, go to the 'realtime trains' website and type in a date after the timetable change and you should see the new timetable departure board.

From Ms P. Finch

Monday, 16 September 2019

To add to confusion, catching our local train (Calder Valley line) at Leeds may be headed Ellesmere Port, Chester or Wigan, via Manchester Victoria - not just Manchester any more. I was told this is due to their attempts to extend any journey they can. When you are in a hurry for a train it doesn't help!! 

(Also Sunday services have had several cancelled trains 'due to staff shortages' lately. not found easily on realtime website.) 

From M King

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Northern ran an experiment in July for a week, where certain peak trains didn't stop at Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge. I asked at the time if Northern did this with the intention of making future timetable changes; they were non-committal.

Northern Rail are intent on changing the timetable in December, with the intention of significantly reducing services from both stations, especially at peak times. 

Northern have been changing peak train times since May 2018. The 6.20 to Leeds became 6.33, and they introduced a new train towards Leeds at 6.45, with the subsequent one at 6.57. It is silly to have three trains to Leeds in the same half-hour and better spaced trains is needed.

However, Northern's December change will remove the 6.33, meaning there is a gap of 58 minutes between 1st and 2nd peak trains.

The lack of peak-time trains may not be important to some, but there are plenty of people who do need a reliable service to get to Bradford, Leeds and beyond.

The reduction in our local train services mean that I and others will have to go to Hebden Bridge if we want to get to work for a certain time.

It's very sad that Northern's actions seem to be putting a nail in the coffin of local service delivery.

From Martin F

Saturday, 21 September 2019

He might have been pulling my leg, but he wasn’t laughing when he said it, when a few weeks ago a train guard told me that the new trains will be delayed because they are too big for some of the tunnels and they have to get permission to work on those tunnels to increase their size.

PS It wasn’t the 1st of April.

From Darius Battiwalla

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Yes, the off-peak and especially evening service is a real issue - as it seems to be almost everywhere outside London.  As someone who works into the evening, I'm often forced to use my car when I don't want to.

On a positive note, apparently Leeds-Chester via Hebden Bridge will have new trains from 21 October and York-Blackpool by mid-November - and these are brand new trains, not cast-offs from another network.

From M King

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd will from mid-December (timetable change) have at least one less train per hour. 

The timetable change will have a big impact on Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge commuters and seems to be a slow move by Northern to remove service stops almost completely (if not fully) from stations below their footfall threshold, despite the travel needs of our local communities.

There has also been a suggestion from Northern Rail that the number of coaches per train may likely be reduced.

This has all been framed by Northern as part of their service improvement message!!!

Please support your local train stations by using them as often as possible.

From Darius Battiwalla

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Below are the  post-timetable change departures from HB, as they're currently planned.  The hour of the day was chosen at random, but it seems to have the same number of trains per hour as now - ie four in each direction, though if you look an hour earlier there is a 'missing' Chester service.  But I'd be interested to know if there's alternative information about one of these services being lost. 

1050 to Leeds 
1054 to Manchester Victoria
1114 to Leeds 
1115 to Wigan Wallgate 
1131 to Leeds
1132 to Chester
1140 to Blackpool North 
1142 to York

Mytholmroyd and SB lose their York-Blackpool which (I've realised recently) has a serious side-effect of meaning that the latest possible departure from Manchester to Mytholmroyd/SB is now 2120!  The very last train has disappeared and the two earlier ones are non-stop from HB to Halifax, with no option (as there is now) of changing at HB.  It shouldn't be too much to hope that Northern could reinstate the missing stops on one of these late trains.

Regarding number of carriages, I gather this might be a temporary side-effect of fulfilling the commitment to eliminate the Pacer trains by a certain date before the new rolling stock is fully in service.  But this is outside Northern's control as coaching stock is allocated by the DoT (in this respect, the government has more day-to-day control of the railways than it ever did under British Rail).