The Greenfield Rail Action Group was formed in 2010. It joined with existing groups in Mossley and Marsden who were already looking at issues affecting journeys along the Huddersfield to Manchester line. Together they formed the Stalybridge to Huddersfield Rail Users’ Group (SHRUG).
The prime aim of the large group has been and remains 2 trains per hour along the line. With the imminence of the electrification of the line issues have become more complex and during the next 5 years disruptions are inevitable.
During the 3 years SHRUG has existed meetings have been held with Transport for Greater Manchester and Northern Rail. It was at a meeting with the latter in July the closures of the line for work in connection with the electrification were discussed. The closures are between Stalybridge and Victoria at weekends during late October into early December and again over the Christmas/New Year period.
Various suggestions were made at the meeting with Northern Rail about minimising the disruption to services. SHRUG is pleased to report the rail authorities have listened and an extra Trans-Pennine Express train will be stopping at Stalybridge during both these periods giving the option of a good train connection for passengers to and from Piccadilly, rather than a bus from Stalybridge to Victoria.
Mark Ashmore, Chair of SHRUG, said: ‘We are most grateful to Northern Rail, Trans-Pennine Express and Transport for Greater Manchester who have made this possible. We are especially pleased that our views have been listened to and acted upon. During the Christmas/New Year closure trains will turn round at Ashton, giving passengers the option of continuing their journey into Manchester by the newly-opened Metrolink tram. A good example of the various modes of transport complementing each other.”
The times of extra trains during the two closures will be advertised at all stations on the route and by going to Transport for Greater Manchester – Trains on the website.