Christmas shutdown: Rail services grind to a halt in Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria… hello replacement buses

By Ana Hine

Christmas commuters could face travel misery as engineering work disrupts services across Manchester during the festive period.

Trains to Manchester Victoria station over the holiday period will completely grind to halt for nine days.

From Christmas Day until New Year’s Day replacement buses will be in use, as work is done on a Network Rail project to electrify North West railway lines.

Services from Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport will also be disrupted due to engineering work.

A spokeswoman for Northern Rail said: “Traditionally the railways are quieter at that time and we want to minimise the amount of disruption.”

On its website the company explains that closing the railway over the Christmas period will result in less disruption for commuters. 

Yet, some travellers are concerned about the timing of the work.

Christmas commuter Paul Roberts, from Salford, was planning on using the train to visit family in Huddersfield and needs to make the journey a couple of times due to work. Yet now trains will be terminated at Ashton-under-Lyne meaning Paul will have to try and use a replacement bus.

“When you’re already having to make long awkward journeys around Christmas it’s bad enough, but stopping the services so far out of Manchester just makes it ridiculously annoying,” the 37-year-old said.

“I have to make the trip a few times due to work and it’s going to make the journey an absolute nightmare. I’m not looking forward to it at all… no one enjoys replacement buses!”

Hannah Parry tweeted: “Busiest time of the year, so let’s stop trains and make Piccadilly services even busier!”

Working from the assumption that the festive season will actually be busier than normal Metrolink has been running double trams and later services since December 13.

A Metrolink spokesman said: “There is no such thing as a quiet weekend in Greater Manchester but there is even more to see and do during the busy festive period leading up to Christmas and New Year.

“Due to the increase in both the number of events taking place and the number of people expected to travel to them, Metrolink will be strengthening its services at key times.”

The increased service provision on the tram lines will last until January 2. 

Picture courtesy of Fire up the Quattro, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles