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Preston to Manchester commute

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GoneFishing111 14 Feb 2020

Anyone do it?

Looking like i may have to look for work there but the stories of northern rail/fail are putting me off.

Does anyone use the park and ride and options?

Specifically into Deansgate Castlefield from Ladywell?

 plyometrics 14 Feb 2020
In reply to GoneFishing111:

If you're commuting at rush hour, then be prepared for the trains to be an overcrowded reliability lottery and the roads to be congested.

Good luck.

 greg_may_ 14 Feb 2020
In reply to GoneFishing111:

It's one of the worst affected lines at the moment. I wouldn't wish that commute on anyone. 

NorthernFail were one of the reasons I stopped working in Manchester and changed careers. Couldn't deal with their ineptitude anymore. 

 Bob Kemp 14 Feb 2020
In reply to GoneFishing111:

Service from the North has slightly improved recently... better trains with more coaches. Main issue is the choke point at Castlefield - the 'Castlefield Corridor that limits trains in and out of Piccadilly, which can't be fixed  with new rolling stock. But I know quite a few people who survive the rail commute more or less sane.

 Stichtplate 14 Feb 2020
In reply to GoneFishing111:

Preston into Manc is a nightmare on the roads, never experienced rail. If I finished a morning shift at 7:00 midweek from Walton Summit, the usual 25-30 minute commute would turn into a 75 minute sufferfest. Either contrive to get in early or find some engaging podcasts. I can’t begin to describe how bad the M6, M60, M61 are at rush hour.

In reply to GoneFishing111:

I am in a well placed position to comment about the rail problems.

Northern have now completed 90% of the driver training needed for their new trains and another timetable tweak comes into being on monday where most Preston/Manchester services are now a 6 carriage train (used to be 2 carriage)

The electrification infrastructure has been up and running for a while now, but it was 2 years late in coming. The new trains are still kind of bedding in and fault patterns are coming to light and being rectified by the builders (CAF)

It is no secret that Arriva have lost the northern franchise and the DoT take over it on March 1st. Kind of disappointing really as they’ll no doubt claim to have sorted all the problems out but really it was Arriva and a genuine case of ‘it all came good in the end, like we said it would’

Id give it a trial for a month and see how you go. The worst is most definitely over.

Post edited at 00:58
In reply to GoneFishing111:

The rail 'service', in question, is f*cking pitiful... And you'll pay for it through the nose.

... Welcome to the brave new Brexit Britain; although they'd rehearsed it all for a bit anyhow.

It f*cking stinks, and it's only getting stinkier.

GoneFishing111 15 Feb 2020
In reply to GoneFishing111:

Ah shit, pretty poor then by the sounds of it.

Im hoping for flexible hours wherever i end up, i am not averse to getting in early.

I worked in Stretford one summer and i found that if i hadn't hit the M60 by 7.00am then it was a nightmare.

Problem is, i cant do what i want to do around here - doesnt seem to exist.

 Rob Parsons 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> The rail 'service', in question, is f*cking pitiful... And you'll pay for it through the nose.

> ... Welcome to the brave new Brexit Britain; although they'd rehearsed it all for a bit anyhow.

I don't think this is something you can blame on Brexit!

In reply to GoneFishing111:

All options are terrible and have been for years. 2002-2012 I did over 1000 trips from Kirkham to Manchester City centre arriving at 0800, leaving at 1730. 

In the end I gave up. I was doing 600hrs+ a year the car, plus extra hours arriving at 0715 just to cut down the stop-start on M61. It was like another part time job. I tried park and ride from Horwich for a while, gave up the day I got left behind on the platform with a full train.

I changed jobs, moved to Lancaster, now commute 40miles in 40mins.

In reply to Darren Jackson:

> ... Welcome to the brave new Brexit Britain; although they'd rehearsed it all for a bit anyhow.

Point of order, the awful state of the rail network has nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit (which will neither improve the railways nor make them worse), it is simply to do with a fundamentally broken franchising model that basically encourages companies to underbid and therefore be unable to deliver.

Post edited at 20:26
In reply to wilkie14c:

TransPennine Express's Scottish services, another option from Preston to Manchester, are also slowly getting better, with the 4-car Class 350s heading down South for us lot to cram them out, and 5-car (with coaches 4m longer, so the equivalent of 6-car of the old trains) CAF EMUs taking over.

TBH I wouldn't even consider the car for that sort of journey even if the trains were awful, the motorways around the North West in the peaks are and long have been utter purgatory.  It's either train or it's non-viable.  Same with London commuting.  The car would only be worthy of consideration if working shifts that avoid the conventional rush hours (which are at least narrower up north than down south) - maybe if you're an early starter you could get it agreed to be at your desk for 6-7am but leave early or something?

Post edited at 20:30
GoneFishing111 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Im not really sure what the answer is. I wound up my business and re-trained in an attempt to make life easier, getting up at 4:30/some other daft time isn't really what i had in mind.

The only other option is to move there, or at least nearer. But that'll require renting which doesn't inspire me either to be honest.

I will have to consider how much i want the career, i may end up back digging holes!

In reply to GoneFishing111:

TBH I'd give the trains a go.  They are bad, but they aren't as bad as the other options.  Leave plenty of slack in your journey, though, and do what you can to "offset" a bit from the main peak (arriving Manchester 0830ish, leaving it around 1700-1730 ish) - the peaks are much narrower in the North than the South.  And try different trains, some may be more reliable/less overcrowded than others.

From Preston (rather than Chorley or Wigan) you have at least got a reasonable chance of a seat.

Post edited at 22:20

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