The Glossop Chronicle of the Bank Holiday weekend, had a front page story with the headline of ‘The Great Train Robbery’, with the article following detailing concerning proposals which will see the current Class 323 electric units which provide the rail services on not only our Glossop to Manchester line, but also on a number of other lines across the wider Greater Manchester area including trains to Macclesfield, Stoke, Alderley Edge and Crewe.
The proposal comes from ‘Porterbrooks’ who are the company that leases the trains to current operator Northern Rail, but who will not offer them to whoever takes over the line as part of the next franchise that starts in April 2016.
The 323’s which have provided the service for the last 20 years on the Glossop line and others mentioned above, are likely to be moved to Birmingham where another operator London Midland who operate the rest of the class 323 fleet run the trains.
From the article in the Glossop Chronicle, details on the Friends of Glossop Station website, and bits picked up from elsewhere it is likely that the trains used to replace them, would be similar to the ‘new’ units recently introduced on the Manchester to Liverpool service.
I say ‘new’ units but the former Thameslink class 319 electric trains, although internally refurbished are older than the current trains, and would face problems in maintaining the current timetable on the Glossop route because of in railway terms it is quite a bit ‘uphill’ coming from Manchester to Glossop, and although they bring the potential benefit of additional seating due to being 4 coaches long as opposed to the current 3, they would be too long for some stations on the Glossop route.
With over a million rail journeys a year from the stations in Glossopdale (Glossop, Dinting and Hadfield), the announcement to cut these trains from local services, goes very much against the current Governments promotion of the development of a Northern Powerhouse in Greater Manchester and beyond. However since the announcement there have been a series of statements which means we could suffer a Northern Powercut to rail services in our local area.
Jonathan Reynolds MP for neighbouring Stalybridge and Hyde and newly appointed Shadow Transport Minister will be presenting a petition to the Government asking them to ensure that our local rail services suffer no loss in capacity, no reduction in the frequency and the timing of services and that the standard of rolling stock does not decrease.
You can hear him talking about the petition at nearby Newton Station this evening :
and you can sign the petition by clicking here