Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has worked with SLC Rail to help it to obtain a station licence from the Office for Road and Rail (ORR) and support with the takeover of the operation of Horwich Parkway.

SLC Rail provided the necessary railway expertise, particularly around project management, regulation and managing operational railway stations. There were two key stages to the project, firstly obtaining the licence and secondly the mobilisation, which has included liaising with stakeholders such as the ORR, Network Rail and Northern.

Having more local control over stations is important for Greater Manchester’s long-term vision for rail and Horwich Parkway will act as a blueprint for the city-region’s future approach to station management, which includes working with local partners and the rail industry to ensure stations are accessible, integrated and reflect the needs of their communities.

TfGM is now responsible for everything at Horwich Parkway station, except the running of the trains and the tracks they run on. This includes selling tickets, customer service, passenger assistance, cleaning and day-to-day maintenance and long-term renewals and enhancements.

Simon Elliott, Head of Rail Programme at TfGM, said: “SLC Rail helped us to navigate all the regulatory, policies and mobilisation work required to operate Horwich Parkway.

“As the station licensee, we will be able to improve the capability and knowledge of TfGM in managing an operational railway station and will have the opportunity to deliver transformational improvement through an emphasis on our multi-modal customer service provision.”