A short post about projects

A short post with some updates to various ongoing projects:

  • Salford Quays shuttle busoriginally planned for a May launch, the schedule for the number 9 service is (mistakenly early) in the Traveline North West journey planner. The hybrid buses have been spotted whilst on test near the factory in Blackburn. Expect this service to start next month.
  • Chorlton line Metrolink – testing has begun in earnest, and the posters at Skyscraper City have been doing a sterling job capturing the scenes in all weathers, and all formats! The last day of “Spring 2011” is this week, but the service is unlikely to begin now despite the weekend closure to Altrincham – though within a matter of weeks is still possible.
  • North West rail electrificationwe’d thought that ex-Thameslink electric units were to be cascaded to the area to run local services, but that could only happen when replacement trains enter service in the capital. There’s a delivery date for that now: beginning 2015 and completed in 2018. North West electrification is supposedly completed in 2016, but will there be enough electric trains to make use of the infrastructure from the beginning?

About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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21 Responses to A short post about projects

  1. Rob says:

    Also, the Saddleworth Hopper service makes a return next month.

    run by First Pioneer at a cost of £4087, from what I understand, DS1 will commence on 2nd July running from Saddleworth Pool Car Park to Dovestone Reservoir via Greenfield every 30 mins. It’ll cost 30p per person (free for rail/bus pass holders) of £1 per family and will run for 10 weeks every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday.

    • That’s an interesting move, Rob as I thought the Saddleworth Hopper service would have been dead in the water. I hope First Pioneer’s enhanced resources would make for a more successful shuttle with their Solos carrying more than just fresh air.

      30p from Saddleworth Pool to Dovestones is a steal: the same journey on the 350/354 routes would leave you with little change from £2.00 and a short and hilly walk from The Clarence up to Dovestones Reservoir.

      • D9000 says:

        Starts tomorrow: absolutely rag all about it on either the TfGM or First Manchester sites (although it is on Traveline). It’s going to be yet another failure to serve Dovestones, isn’t it? (The third, by my count).

  2. Ian says:

    The latest news is that the Metrolink should open on the 27th on the Chorlton line. It won’t be official though, it will kept low key in case of problems as they are doing the last minute testing the coming weekend so I have been told.

  3. Shaun says:

    The 9 will start on the 3rd July, the registration for the service has appeared on VOSA today. However, the timetable has been taken off the Traveline Journey Planner.

    Registration Accepted by SN
    Starting Point: Salford Crescent Station
    Finish Point: Salford Crescent Station
    Service Number: 9
    Service Type: Normal Stopping
    Effective Date: 03-JUL-2011
    Other Details: monday To Sunday

    As for the Saddleworth Hopper, the DS1 is listed on VOSA as starting on 2nd July, presuambly being run from Dukinfield depot, as it’s registered as First Pioneer rather than from Oldham depot. The Saddleworth News website has stated earlier in the year that the service would have a 30p single fare, a reduction from £1 last summer. So, with cheaper fares and a more high profile operator in First (Checkmate ran it in 2010 as the DS1 between Greenfield station and Dovestones and DS2 between Uppermill and Dovestones ), the DS1 should be a busier service in 2011.

    First’s Dukinfield depot will have some more work on their hands next month too, as they take over the 380, 381 and 386 services from Arriva and the Monday-Saturday evening 328 service from JPT from 24th July.

    With regards to the Metrolink, 27th June (so, next Monday) does seems to be the date that is being banded around. Can’t be a coincidence that the Altrincham line will close down for this weekend only in preparation for next week, probably to set the signals up to handle Altrincham and Chorlton services.

    The Skyscraper City forum says that the service will only run to Victoria at first, then extended to Central Park when that opens and then onwards to Oldham then Rochdale in the next year. First service will be at 5.28am from Victoria and 5.58am from St Werburgh’s Road. One local forum has also stated that Morrisons are trying to stop tram users parking up at the car park next to Chorlton tram stop by charging £2 for parking, which is refunded if you spend £5 in store. So be warned if you’re planning to park up to catch the Metrolink in Chorlton.

  4. Guest says:

    One of those Salford Quays buses came into Radcliffe bus station on Monday morning.

  5. Shaun says:

    MEN article says Chorlton line will open ‘next week’, no exact date yet. However, the Oldham and Rochdale line will be delayed. Trams to Central Park will now not arrive until November/December 2011, to Oldham Mumps until February/March 2012 or to Shaw and Rochdale until next summer.


    Also, Stagecoach have listed their service changes for July, although it is tucked away inside the Service Update list as opposed to on the home page at the moment. The 206 is being re-routed back into Hyde bus station and re-routed via Stockport Road in both directions in Gee Cross, with some early morning journeys withdrawn and replaced by the 204. Some more morning journeys on the 86 are extended back from Chorlton to Southern Cemtery, with some peak afternoon journeys extending to Southern Cemetery.

    Another significant change is the moving of the 236/237 terminus from the Royal Oak to Old Glossop, which has been talked about for a while now. Journeys will arrive/depart at the same time at Old Glossop as it currenly does from The Royal Oak.

    Other Stagecoach are timetable changes for the 84, 197, 205, 250, 314, 324 (with more Sunday evening journeys) and X50, while they take over the 364 from Stotts. However, Stagecoach will lose the 205 evening service and 168 Sunday service to First in late August/early September.


  6. Watcherzero says:

    Some details from a report to the Bus Committe on 1st July:

    Confirmed start of the Salford Quays bus service is Sunday 3rd July, will be branded ‘Salford Quayslink’. A formal launch event will take place in mid July.

    • Monday to Friday daytime (0700-2000) Every 10 minutes
    • Saturday daytime (0800-2000) Every 15 minutes
    • Sunday daytime (1000-1800) Every 15 minutes
    • Monday to Saturday evening (2000-2300) Every 15 minutes

    12 month contract has been signed with Maytree to operate, extendable upto 8 years total. Usual onboard branding and maps of the service along with fares information, leaflets are going out now and in addition a promotional video has been created and delivered to SCC which will be screened on the buses.

    All stops along the route will be called at in addition to the two new stops at Mediacity (Terminus) and Salford Crescent Station. This will be reviewed after 3 months to check passenger numbers against service speed.

    The new shelter at Mediacity will be owned by TfGM and is in a style of the QBC routes, the shelter at Salford Crescent will be drawn down from the JC Decaux contract. If layover time is required passengers will be disembarked at an informal location on the approach to the roundabout at the Quays, if not the bus will use the roundabout and disembark and embark passengers at the new shelter.

    Bus stop identifiers similar to those used atop the poles for Metroshuttle will be installed along the route.

  7. Rob says:

    Hi Watcherzero, I can’t see the bus committee papers on TfGMC’s website, only the main committee papers for tomorrow, am I looking in the wrong place? Thanks!

  8. Watcherzero says:

    Theyve not put a official link up yet, you can guess what the address will be for future meetings due to the numbering system though and you sometimes find files a couple of days before links are put up. In this case http://www.transportforgreatermanchestercommittee.gov.uk/tfgmc/downloads/download/958/

    • Shaun says:

      Nice find.

      In the Forthcoming Changes to the Bus Network, there is not much going on. Mentions a couple of things already known, such as the 67 to Tideswell, 239 and S50 services being/have been withdrawn. Other items listed are:

      *JPT introducing more journeys on the 17 (Eurobus are too according to VOSA), while withdrawing the Langley loop on the 156 on most weekdays journeys. Both takes place on 24th July
      *Strawberry introducing a new 606 service between Wigan and Garswood at the end of July.
      *Stagecoach re-routing the 206 in Gee Cross from 24th July, with TfGM looking to re-route the 344 as a result
      *SLT planning to withdraw the 630 service on July 25th, with TfGM looking at a emergency replacement
      *286 Monday-Saturday evening service may be extended to Broomwood on a request service in September. Passenger would have to book the extension at least an hour in advance from the TfGM website.
      *290/291 to be re-numbered as 291 from 1 September, running every 20 mins between Trafford Park and Manchester between 6am and 9am and between 4.30pm and 7pm. Service 291 would connect at Trafford Bar with services 255, 256 and 263 for journeys to Trafford area. Also lists the service being run by Bluebird.
      *324 Sunday evening service to be withdrawn from 24th July
      *380/381 evening service to be withdrawn from 24th July
      *408 morning journey to Buckstones (run by JPT) to be withdrawn from 25th July
      *467/469 Sunday service to be changed from 24th July, with 467 running hourly between Rochdale and Bury, while 469 will run half-hourly between Tottington, Bury and Fairfield Hospital (or Jericho)
      *603 re-routed between Ashton and Bryn Cross, while 607 re-routed between Wigan and Marus Bridge from 30th August
      *Standish Local Link withdrawn at end of October

      • Paul Sidorczuk says:

        I see the 313 Wigan -Skelmersdale-Old Skelmersdale service, that gave service provision to Tanhouse Road every 30 minutes, has also seen its last days in the latest batch of TfGM service changes for July, with the 395 covering certain roads.

        It was incorporated in the 313/375/385/395/695 timetable last issued on 21st March 2010.

  9. Rob says:

    Thanks Watcherzero, you should be a detective! Some interesting information to digest..

    I see from the Omnibuses blog that from next year, First are going to switch to and embrace local brands. Whereas other First companies can hark back to a brandnames e.g. Western National, the Manchester company doesn’t really have much an identy to fall back on. I doubt they’d want to return to Greater Manchester Buses North, but I can’t think what would be the best brand to invent/adopt going forwards?

    • Shaun says:

      Get the feeling that it could be a return to Greater Manchester Firstbus, so somewhere in between GM Buses North and First Manchester with the tomato red livery, which may not go down well with some people. Would prefer the orange of GM Buses though. Although, not sure if they would given that half of GM Buses is now Stagecoach.

      It’ll make it more complicated to switch buses from one First area to another, as it would have to be converted to that region’s branding rather than having the First ‘Barbie’ livery. But, it’s certainly something to watch out for in 2012.

  10. Shaun says:

    Chorlton line delayed for at least a week. Testing planned for this weekend.


  11. Shaun says:

    Timetable for the 9 service is up on the TfGM, along with its own webpage on the site, which gives details on the service. Service officially starts on Sunday (3rd July)

    With regards to fares, a single ticket will cost £1, a day ticket £1.60 and a weekly ticket £6. Child single and day tickets are half the price (no child weekly though). System One tickets and Wayfarer are also available.


  12. Paul Sidorczuk says:

    I understand that the Allerton TMD is being refurbished as part of the Lancashire Triangle electrification project. The cascaded stock time period you mention is quite worrying.

    • Paul Sidorczuk says:

      I have since heard that Northern Rail are recruiting for staff at the Allerton TMD for when it opens after refurbishment later this year. As an interim measure, it will be used for servicing Class 156 units until the electrification project is complete.

      I cannot vouch for the reliability of a further report that Guide Bridge may see a new depot, as this may just be a discussion proposal.

  13. Shaun says:

    Bus stops in the Salford area have now got SalfordQuaysLink attached to the bus stop ready for Sunday, in a similar way to the Metroshuttle in the city centre.

  14. Pingback: Salford Quays Link bus service launches, gives MediaCityUK a quick hop to a rail link | Manchester Transport

  15. Paul Sidorczuk says:

    One of the more annoying bus changes from 24/7/2011, is the withdrawal of the hourly 56 service (First Manchester) from Rochdale-Shaw-Oldham-Middleton-North Manchester General Hospital. Hospital services should receive more protection as not everyone has access to a car.

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