FoSCL & TWNW lobby for diversions over the S&C

In conjunction with Travel Watch North West, FoSCL has been running a campaign for Virgin Trains to divert trains along the Settle-Carlisle Line from Carlisle to Preston via Hellifield and Clitheroe, when the West Coast Main Line suffers scheduled or unscheduled closures.  High level meetings have been held with Virgin Trains and politicians, but to date there has been little progress.  This is a great pity, as Virgin used regularly to divert over the S&C when scheduled engineering work closed the WCML between Preston and Carlisle.  Trans Pennine Express have always been a forlorn hope, to our knowledge they have never diverted any trains.

Matters came to a head on 10th January 2018, when the WCML was closed for over 6 hours in the middle of the day and passengers had to transfer to replacement buses at Preston and Carlisle.  One of our informants described the situation at Preston as 'chaos' and took a scheduled express bus home instead.  At the same time, Virgin Voyagers were seen standing idle at Carlisle and Preston stations - why were these not used to transport passengers over the S&C?

John Moorhouse, as Secretary of TWNW, has now written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling asking for urgent action to address this problem.  We await developments...