Travelling between Newcastle & Carlisle with a bike? Take ScotRail! 

Many of the Newcastle - Carlisle services now start/finish at Glasgow, and are operated by ScotRail Sprinters with space for 6 bikes on racks. The services in question (based on the weekday timetable) from 21st May 2017 look to be:

From Carlisle


From Newcastle


This isn't guaranteed but cyclists are advised to head for one of these services - the caveat being that you need to be able to lift your bike and hang it on a hook, although the guard should help if you can't manage that. 

CBT engagement with TfN

The Campaign for Better Transport is engaging with Transport for the North to help shape their Strategic Plan and asking NGO's to get involved - see this web page:- 

Thanks to Abellio for all their hard work. 


Simon Geller, NRCF Secretariat, had this letter published in Rail magazine, thanking Abellio for all their hard work in turning round the franchise. 

Audit for Bike & Go Complete

The team have completed surveying stations for the Bike'n'Go hire scheme. Here's a typical team visit, comprising Northern Rail staff, the consulting engineer and stakeholders from the local cycling community.

Team visit to a bike and go station

Good News for Rail Passengers from December 12th

There will be more room for rail passengers  - and their bikes  - on Northern Rail trains from December 12th 2011. (Two bikes per train is still the rule though)

Two million extra seats are being provided over the next year at peak times targeting the busiest Northern Rail services.

Since the start of the Northern Rail franchise in 2004, more and more people have chosen to travel on our trains with the result that on some peak services there has been increasing levels of overcrowding.

From the December timetable change we will be introducing an additional 50 carriages.  These together with 10 carriages that are already in service will mean we will be able to provide customers with an extra two million extra seats on peak services every year.

The extra capacity will help to alleviate crowding in the five main urban centres Northern serves (Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester and Sheffield) and the additional trains have been planned to serve the most crowded train services as a first priority. We have been able to analyse customer demand by using our automated on-train counting equipment.

On some services we will be doubling the capacity, providing four carriages where previously there have been two. To accommodate longer trains some stations, for example Cottingley near Leeds and Mossley in Greater Manchester, have had platform extensions.

Northern operates more than 10 different types of train carriages so we have also looked at ways of providing more seats by using different combinations of trains. Some of the modest increases in capacity are a result of these changes, however they all add up to nearly 9,000 additional seats every weekday across our network.

Below are details of the routes that will benefit.

  • Marple – Manchester: over 1200 extra seats
    We're increasing the number of seats on eleven peak time services which call at Marple, Romiley, Bredbury, Brinnington and Reddish North; most of these trains run to Strines and New Mills Central.
    Six trains in the morning peak and five leaving Manchester in the afternoon and early evening will have extra seats.
  • Rose Hill – Manchester; over 440 extra seats
    We're increasing the number of seats on four peak time services which call at Rose Hill, Romiley, Woodley, Hyde Central, Hyde North, Guide Bridge and Fairfield.
    Three trains in the morning peak and one leaving Manchester in the afternoon will have extra seats.
  • Lincoln – Sheffield: over 300 extra seats 
    Between Retford and Sheffield we're increasing the number of seats on three peak time services which call at Worksop, Shireoaks, Kiveton Park, Kiveton Bridge, Woodhouse and Darnall.
    Sheffield commuters will benefit from extra seats on one train into Sheffield in the morning peak and two leaving Sheffield in the afternoon.
  • Knaresborough and Harrogate – Leeds: over 220 extra seats 
    Between Harrogate and Leeds we're increasing the number of seats on six peak time services which call at Hornbeam Park, Pannal, Weeton, Horsforth, Headingley and Burley Park.
    Leeds commuters will benefit from extra seats on three morning trains and three returning services.
  • Leeds – Sheffield: over 225 extra seats
    We're increasing the number of seats on five peak time services: four trains via Barnsley and one via Moorthorpe. 
    Commuters for both cities will benefit and the additional seats are split between two trains in the morning peak (one in each direction) and three in the afternoon and early evening.
  • Wigan – Manchester: over 600 extra seats
    We're increasing the number of seats on ten peak time services, which include two Southport services and two Kirkby services.
    Manchester commuters will benefit from extra seats on five trains in the morning peak and five in the afternoon and early evening.
  • Clitheroe – Manchester: over 350 extra seat
    Some peak time trains between Clitheroe and Manchester have already had some additional carriages provided since summer 2010.
  • Leeds – Manchester: 1100 extra seats
    We're increasing the number of seats on ten peak time services, most of which run on the route via Brighouse and Dewsbury and a couple which run via Bradford. 
    Leeds and Manchester commuters will benefit from extra seats on six trains in the morning peak and four in the afternoon and early evening.
  • Liverpool – Manchester: 300 extra seats
    We're increasing the number of seats on eight peak time services, most of which run on the route via Warrington Central. 
    Liverpool and Manchester commuters will benefit from extra seats on four trains in the morning peak and four in the afternoon and early evening.  
  • Huddersfield – Stalybridge – Manchester: over 500 extra seats
    Four of the busiest services on this route have seen an increase of more than a hundred additional seats, with some of the changes introduced in summer 2010.  A couple of other trains will see more modest increases. Three morning services and three afternoon peak trains will see increases that total over 500 additional seats.

    Several other routes will benefit from additional seats on commuter services:
    • Between Huddersfield and Leeds one busy morning train into Leeds and one evening train from Leeds will benefit from an increase of more than 100 seats.
    • On the Buxton line we'll be providing an extra 125 seats on one early morning train.
    • A peak-time morning train from Doncaster to Sheffield will have over 100 extra seats.
    • A busy evening train from Liverpool to Wigan will gain 70 additional seats.
    • Between Manchester and Preston a popular commuter train will get 125 more seats.
    • On the Tyne Valley, one of the busiest trains between Hexham and Newcastle will gain more than 100 extra seats.

  • NRCF wins the "Right to Ride" for school students on the Cheshire Line. 

    School students from Cheshire with northern rail bike passes

    A touch of Holland in Yorkshire - The wisdom of Leeds

    leeds cycle point

    New Parking at Doncaster and Shipley 

    Well used parking at Doncaster

    Only one bike at Shipley when we visited, but it was a damp morning in mid January when we visited and not a peak time for cycling! Apparently many cyclists prefer to take their bikes on the train with them as they have a further journey from Leeds station to work. However, as the train gets ever more popular they may find this more difficult to do and with the introduction of the Leeds Cycle Point you can now hire a bike to get you to your final destination - or store one there for only a pound a day. 

    New cycle facilities at nine West Yorkshire stations

    Station Travel Plans – Progress in the Northern Rail area


    Phase 2 of the Accrington Station project has been completed providing the new booking
    office, car & cycle parking, disabled access, signage, information panels etc. Promotional
    material produced and new survey to complement baseline research has been
    completed. New station booking office opened by Northern Rail on Monday 18 th October.


    The new 35A Bus service (developed by SYPTE) shows encouraging growth from 400
    passengers per week to between 700 and 900. The number of services serving the rail
    station will increase to 20 buses per hour between Chapeltown and Sheffield next year
    with the new 87 service. The results of the Chapeltown survey conducted in May 2010
    have just been completed and reported in October 2010. Results are encouraging and a
    further survey is scheduled to take place in May 2011. SYPTE are providing free local
    public transport advice to local businesses to encourage use of more sustainable modes.


    A contractor has been appointed to install a smart card operated access gate to the cycle
    parking on platform one. Installation is expected before the year end. East coast has
    marked out motorcycle parking bays and seven car sharing bays. Darlington Borough
    Council will start work in September on improving the footway on Victoria Road, and
    work on re-surfacing the footway and back lane adjacent to the Station entrance is
    expected to take place later in the year. Physical constraints over the amount of
    available space have stalled work on installing a new bus waiting shelter and real time
    information display on park Lane. Other options for providing a shelter are being


    Many actions are progressing well. For example procedures have been put in place for
    prospective students arriving by train for open days; the car club bay has been marked
    out and scheme drawings for the motorcycle parking at the station have been
    completed, although there has been a long delay with Network Rail approving the
    design. Three electric buses were delivered and launched in September and have been
    deployed on the Cathedral Bus route with operates between the rail station, city centre
    and Cathedral. However there is continued pressure on funding sources for all partners
    involved in the Station Travel Plan. This, coupled with all staff being asked to do more
    with fewer resources could potentially affect the project.

    Hazel Grove

    To date there has been considerable success in terms of the delivery of smaller scale and
    „soft‟ measures particularly around walking and cycling to the station. For example new
    storage and lockers has increased cycle storage to 41 up from 14; promotion work for
    cycling has taken place, pedestrian and cycling signage round the station has increased
    and a new permit parking scheme has been implemented. Progress on the larger scale
    work (most notably GMPTE‟s car-park expansion scheme, which also incorporates
    improvements to walking and cycling links into the station) is impacted upon by the
    current funding cutbacks – the car park expansion scheme is currently under review.

    Hebden Bridge

    Various improvement works have been completed, including 8 new cycle stands (part of
    the Cycling England BIKE N RIDE programme) to accompany the stations 10 cycle
    lockers; new vinyl covers to the station totem signage; a new 4 panel frame and poster
    cases on the station access road; installation of new lighting above the pedestrian access
    entrance to Platform 2 and the design and order of pedestrian & cycling signage. No
    funding bids are being submitted this year as the DfT „Access for All‟ Small Schemes
    funding is not available.


    Major highlights are the opening of the Cyclepoint and the completion of phase 1 of the
    pedestrian and cycle access improvements, which attracted significant media attention –
    national print and trade press and local TV. Future associated plans include opening up
    the WY Travel Plan network to rail staff, and the imminent opening of a new city centre
    cycle shop. Funding uncertainty persists at Leeds City Council, however in better news,
    an announcement was made on 15 October the south station access for Leeds rail
    station will be going ahead.

    For more information on Station Travel Plans around the country Click Here