Christmas period train services and cuts
As usual, rail services will close down in the evening of 24
December until 27 December. The last train on our line
on the 24th are at 21:31 towards Manchester and the 21:24
departure from Manchester Piccadilly (providing there are no
more tragic 'incidents').
From 4 January, there will be reductions in service on a
number of lines including ours. The Hazel Grove - Blackpool
will run as normal, but the Buxton service is reduced to a
basic hourly service, without peak extras. The last weekday
train from Manchester will be 22:10. On Sundays there
will be no trains at all on our lines for at least four
weeks, with bus replacements available, the long-standing
issue with staff unions regarding 'rest-day working' rolls
24 December 2021
New Winter timetable
There is a general timetable change to the 'winter' times
across the rail system starting on 12 December. There's no
obvious change in the Buxton line times, however. An
innovation on Northern's website is an 'A4-friendly' version
of the pocket timetable which you can print on your printer,
ideally one which can print both sides. The one for our line
occupies both sides of two landscape pages, and it's
possible to make it into a handy concertina size by folding
the sheets into three and taking them together between pages
6 and 7. This
is the link to the Download page.
13 December 2021.
2021 has proved to be a year of change to the shopping
offer on Bramhall Lane. The butcher's has changed hands to
a form called 'Caldwells' (what happed to the iconic
chopping butcher figure in the window?), 203 The Lane is
now Chinese 203, the school uniform shop is now
selling e-Cigs, and right at the end of the year we see
the old Bank occupied by a discount store (ignoring the
agreed plans on the Stockport Planning website).
The SunSpot tanning parlour is apparently about to become
a Pizza takeaway place called 'Le Pizze Vere'. Again,
there is no sign of any planning application, needed both
for the change of facia or also the change of use. The
whole row is a Conservation Area, but maybe the website
has not been updated? And shouldn't sign-makers know how
24 December 2021
2022 Timetable Changes - details published
We have now received a draft version of the Northern's
timetable starting from December 2022 (yes, 2022). You
a copy of the Buxton line table here.
The aim of the changes is to reduce the congestion in the
Manchester area caused by the timetable in force after the
opening of the 'Ordsall Chord' line. Our response to
this has to be somewhat mixed. In brief:
The weekday service between Davenport to
Manchester will be two trains per hour with two peak time
extras morning and evening (slightly disappointing)
....with 30-minute even intervals between trains
through the day both to and from Manchester (good).
All Northern trains will serve Davenport and Woodsmoor,
none will pass through without stopping as some do now
Service to/from Buxton will be half-hourly around peak
times, at other times alternate trains will be Manchester
- Hazel Grove only (good in some respects).
Sunday service remains hourly (Very disappointing).
There will no longer be through services beyond Manchester
Piccadilly to Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Crescent and
towards Blackpool (Very unsatisfactory.)
There will be no through trains from the Crewe and
Macclesfield lines, either. In earlier versions there would
have been a couple of trains between Hazel Grove and Wigan
in the peak, but even these are now scrapped. We
are not told what rolling stock will be used: it would be a
shame if we lost our new electric trains in favour of old
The full documents with timetables for all lines and
information on how to give feedback can be downloaded here. We at
Friends of Davenport Station would welcome your comments,
especially about the loss of through services. Write to
16 November 2021
Some time ago we asked Northern if something could be done
to make the path to the car park safer in the dark,
when the steps are hard to see. The edges have now been
re-painted yellow, which should help matters, especially
after the clocks go back, although we will continue to press
for a better solution.
Still a live problem is excessive vegetation growth (not to
mention general junk) which has been allowed behind the
platforms, especially the Japanese Knotweed behind the
Buxton-bound side. An 'annual spraying' has been done
recently, but we are not confident; these matters are
really beyond the ability of 'Community Rail' volunteers,
and of course the 'lockdown' has not helped.
16 September 2021.
The current display in the station waiting toom (open
Mon-Sat mornings) is an art project based on the four
seasons, by 1st Davenport Rainbows. Rainbows are a group of
the Girlguiding organisation for girls aged five to seven.
New members are welcome: see
the guiding website for details.
Other community groups interested in displaying in our
four A3 frames, please contact Friends of Davenport Station
2 August 2021
Our hourly Hazel Grove to Blackpool service calls at
Deansgate station, a useful link to the Deansgate area
of the city. It also has access over a footbridge to
Metrolink's Deansgate-Castlefield stop, which has services
which do not pass through Piccadilly station, - the
Airport line and South Manchester line to Chorlton and
Didsbury. However, be aware that trains towards Hazel
Grove do not stop at Deansgate, except for three in the
evening peak. This is to avoid congestion of that part
of the line, it in our opinion.
It does appear that the money spent on the 'Ordsall Chord'
line - mainly for the benfit of Airpost passengers, may not
have been the best use for railway funds.
December 2022 timetable
Some may recall the 'Task Force' consultation earlier
this year regarding possible timetable changes to avoid the
chaos created by the unworkable 2018 version. This
document and, our article on this, and our response, are
still available via the links at the bottom of this page.
Three options, A B and C were on offer. The 'Transport
for the North' organisation has now presented their choice,
in the form of a 'B-plus version'. Unfortunately this
includes the feature of option B that we objected to
at the time: loss of direct connection with stations beyond
Piccadilly, losing the connection with Metrolink at
Deansgate, and abandoning the electrification of the
Stockport to Hazel Grove line in favour of a half-hourly
all-diesel service between Piccadilly and Buxton (also
depriving us of comfortable modern trains.) The
proposal results stations in Stockport including Cheadle
Hulme and Heaton Chapel losing a through connection as well
as the Hazel Grove branch, as the Alderley Edge - Southport
service is severed. Yet this was a justification for
the building of the 'Windsor Link' from Deansgate to Salford
Crescent in the 1980s; the creation of the new
'Ordsall Chord' seems to have proved very disruptive.
The only exception is the East Midlands Nottingham -
Liverpool service which calls at Stockport, Piccadilly and
The proposal diverts both Blackpool - Manchester trains to
the Airport, at present they alternate between the Airport
and Hazel Grove.
Above is an extract from the full report which can be downloaded at this link.
The comparison tables are a a little misleading, as until
October 2019 the Hazel Grove - Blackpool service ran in
addition to a half-hourly Buxton service.
Of course stations to Buxton would gain benefit from a
half-hourly service, and certainly an extra train in the
peak periods, suitable for school students and Stelling Hill
Hospital passengers, should be provided, but losing an
important link across Greater Manchester, serving four
Universities, and providing other useful connections, is
surely of equal importance.
Comments on this are very welcome:
20 July 2021
Led by the Department of Transport, rail companies have
introduced a type 'season ticket' designed for people who
travel to work on only some days of the week. The idea is
that you load on to your Northern Smartcard (available free
from the ticket office) or smart phone a a batch of 8 day
return tickets for your chosen route, which can be used on
any day of your choice within 28 days. of the first use.
This is why card-readers have been installed at the station:
you'll need to 'tap in' and 'tap out' with a flexi ticket.
At present this does not apply to any other kind of ticket,
or the Concession pass, although possibly that may change.
A good idea, but there are a number of complications, some
of them caused by the fact that traditional season tickets
are issued for a calendar month - to match people's salary
payments presumably - rather than 28 Days.
The railway companies have created a 'calculator'
web page which you can use to work out the
advantages of otherwise, but even that has a caveat:
' If you are travelling 3 days per week, you
will need more than one Flexi Season Ticket in a month.
Flexi Season Tickets are valid for up to 28 days so any
days travel unused can be used in the following calendar
month. This is not reflected in the Calculator when a 3
day per week work pattern is selected for an odd number of
months (i.e. 1, 3, 5 etc). For a comparable Price per Day,
please select an even (i.e. 2, 4, 6 etc) number of
As an example, consider someone travelling three times per
week from Davenport to Manchester, based on a two-month
period as calculated by the magic calculator :
An ordinary day return ticket costs £6.70.
An ordinary Monthly season costs £93 which is £7.75 per
journey if used just three times a week, and can of course
be used every other day in the month).
The 28-day Flexi Season Ticket costs £46.90 which (according
to the calculator) works out at £5.86 per journey if used
three times per week.
If you travel four days per week, the flexi methods looks
less attractive as an ordinary monthly is slightly cheaper
If you travel one day per week, a flexi ticket will expire
before you can finish using it. If some of your journeys are
on Saturday or Sunday when off-peak tickets can be used, the
equation changes again...
20 July 2021
Note for Concession Card users
If you paid the £10 annual fee imposed in those far-off days
before lockdown, to extend your travel to train travel
within Greater Manchester, your card is still valid until 21
June 2021 without further payment. You may find that
the railway's IT systems have not been amended to cover
this, and your card will not operate ticket gates or
register on the app used by 'revenue
inspectors'. This is not a problem, the staff are
11 May 2021
The timetable changes
New timetables apply across the National Rail network from
17 May: take care to check your train time in advance
using the Northern website or app. The principal
change as far as our line is concerned is that late evening
services are re-instated. You can return from Manchester
Piccadilly at 22:10 and 23:24 Mondays to Fridays: an
irritating feature, inherited from the pre-Covid days, is
that there is also a train from Piccadilly to Buxton at
23:11, but it doesn't stop at Davenport or Woodsmoor. Why?
Who knows. But: on Monday - Thursday 17 -20 May
our last 'train' is a replacement bus at 23:11 due to
On Saturdays there are departures from Piccadilly at 22:10
and 23:07 to Buxton and 23:17 to Hazel Grove, but the 23:17
does not stop at Davenport or Woodsmoor so your last train
is earlier on Saturdays when people might want a later one.
This really is hard to fathom. On Sundays the last train is
The morning service to Manchester is much the same as
before: and commuters to Davenport from the High Peak
are still incovenienced by the train from Buxton which could
call here about 08:20 but does not stop. There is a reason
for this: the train has to stay out of the way of an East
Midlands Railway train which calls at Hazel Grove four
minutes behind, but really something should be done about
this. Even the great and good Mayor of Greater
Manchester has failed to change things.
Bad news for countryside lovers is that Middlewood station,
gateway to the marvellous Middlewood Way, which has been
enjoying an hourly service on weekdays, reverts to the old
regime with two-hour gaps in service.
11 May 2021
From 29 March the Government has lifted the 'stay at home'
restriction, kids are back to school, and car traffic is
more or less back to normal, but can we now make
'non-essential' public transport journeys? We have checked
with Northern, who confirm that we can, subject to the usual
rules on social distancing and compulsory mask-wearing on
trains and stations. We'd recommend that you keep your
journeys within the local area, but there's no definite rule
The current 'temporary timetable' for Monday-Saturday is
on this link. Two points to note: service
from Manchester finishes earlier in the day that usual
(21:44 from Manchester Piccadilly) and all trains are now
calling at Middlewood, offering a better service than normal
for people wishing to enjoy a walk on the Middlewood
Way. Bear in mind that Davenport and Woodsmoor
stations are busy at times with school students attending
the schools in our area.
There's no timetable leaflet for Sundays: it appears that we
have an hourly service between Manchester and Buxton, but
Middlewood is only served two-hourly, despite Sunday being
the day when more people might want to travel there.
Here's a list
of engineering work planned for Easter.
31 March 2020.
February 2021 and the 'lockdown' continues, although you
might not believe it from the traffic on Bramhall
Lane. Friends Groups are again banned from working on
the gardens, etc, and those of us without a car are banned
from 'non-essential' use of public transport, but at least
we are still here.
Meanwhile the Department of Transport and their associates
have been musing over the congestion in the Manchester area
created by the timetable implemented back in 2008 which
increased the number of trains passing though Piccadilly
station. A 'Task Force' has produced a document for 'open
consultation', which can be downloaded from their
We have made a short summary covering how Davenport and
Woodsmoor stations would be affected by the various options
on offer. This can be downloaded
from our website.
We welcome any comments on our document or the subject in
general: email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
18 February 2021.