“Please help me persuade Northern Rail to update its rolling stock to 21st century standards” – Andrew Cliffe

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Andrew Cliffe

Hello
I previously wrote about the state of the rolling stock on this line provided by northern rail and received an email to say investment was coming and maybe in a few years the trains will get updated.

That is poor, rail users across the network are paying more in prices so I think Northern rail should provide decent carriages in return, seems a fair compromise.

So Northern Rail when will you be taking action?

Problem History

  • 1 Andrew Cliffe reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 21:51 25 Jan 2012
  • 2 Andrew Cliffe wrote to Northern Rail close 21:51 25 Jan 2012

    Here is the letter that Andrew Cliffe wrote.

    Trains between conisbrough/sheffield

    Hello
    I previously wrote about the state of the rolling stock on this line provided by northern rail and received an email to say investment was coming and maybe in a few years the trains will get updated.

    That is poor, rail users across the network are paying more in prices so I think Northern rail should provide decent carriages in return, seems a fair compromise.

    So Northern Rail when will you be taking action?

  • 3 Customer Relations responded to Andrew Cliffe close 21:56 25 Jan 2012
    Dear Customer

    Customer Relations

    Case Reference: NR/243649

    Thank you for taking the time to contact Northern, the train
    company serving communities across the north of England.

    We aim to respond within 20 working days.

    In the meantime we can confirm receipt of your feedback/enquiry.

    Kind regards

    Customer Relations Officer

    show quoted sections
  • 4 Northern Rail responded to Andrew Cliffe close 10:47 26 Jan 2012
    26 January 2012

    Our Reference NR/ 243649

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Thank you for your e-mail, which I received recently.

    Thank you for your recent email. Please rest assured that your feedback has now been passed on to the relevant teams in Northern. Should you wish to know more please contact us directly at [Northern Rail problem reporting email].

    Thank you again for taking the trouble to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Debby Corbett
    Customer Relations Officer
    FREEPOST RLSL-ABEC-BGUU
    Northern Customer Relations
    First Floor, The Travel Centre
    City Railway Station
    Leeds
    LS1 4DY

    Tel 0845 00 00 125
    Fax 0113 2479 059

    http://www.northernrail.org

    show quoted sections
  • 5 Myf Nixon advised Andrew to write to Passenger Focus. close 11:35 26 Jan 2012

    Hello Andrew,
    Yours is not the first campaign on FixMyTransport about the state of Northern Rail's rolling stock. You can see all Northern Rail reports on the site <a href="http://www.fixmytransport.com/operators/northern-rail">here</a>.

    See, for example <a href="http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/improve-the-newcastle-carlisle-train">this one</a> and <a href="http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/abolish-the-pacer-units">this one</a>.

    I'd advise you to join any such campaigns which have a similar aim to yours - that way, you'll be able to discuss the issues with others who feel the same way you do, and perhaps persuade them to join your own campaign in return. Perhaps between you, you can get things changed!

    By the way, I see that you have received an unsatisfactory response from Northern Rail - this is the stock response which we have seen time and again from NR on FixMyTransport. For that reason, I'd advise you to put the issue in front of Passenger Focus, who are there to help when the passenger feels he has not been given a satisfactory response from a TOC.

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 Dave H commented close 15:02 26 Jan 2012

    Think about who you write to - Nothern Rail has very little say in choice of rolling stock as the DfT decides how the fleet is allocated to them for delivery of the contract, and although they might be able to source different trains (if any actually existed) this would still need to be negotiated against the DfT franchise conditions.

    Much of the Northern system is operated by diesel trains DfT is refusing to buy any new diesel trains and has promised secondhand electric trains to the network when the Thameslink fleet is replaced, and of course the lines for using the electric trains have been electrified. This might then release some newer old trains to boost the fleet of diesel ones. Currently the purhcase of new trains from Siemens is plunging into deeper mire as the financing package has hit problems, and the current train leasing companies refused to buy the train specified by DfT because their spec as a fixed 12 coach unit was both inflexible and vulnerable (and poor use of resources off-peak) as they would prefer 3-4 coach units that connected together and could be used elsewhere if required, as well as having 8-9 coaches of viable train is 1 coach make a unit unserviceable.

    So in summary you'd be far better lobbying your MP to get this sorted, and not bothering Northern Rail about something they can do little about, short of keeping the existing trains clean and in a good state of repair.

  • 7 Andrew Cliffe commented close 19:28 26 Jan 2012

    Well I don't know the ins/outs I just know what the fare paying passenger i..e me and others receive.

    Northern Rail should be going high up the chain if its want to deliver the best to its customers, otherwise customers will simply use east coast railways which also operates on this route as they use a far better standard of train.

    According to the angel trains website which leases stock to northern rail they seem to suggest they can provides hi tech trains if a train company wishes for it to be done so.

    As I said I dont know the full ins/outs but will contact relevant agencies such as passenger focus and the dft to see who is actually responsible.

  • 8 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 00:00 27 Jan 2012

    Andrew,

    I notice the Northern franchise is due to be renewed on 15 September 2013 so the start of this process should begin soon. There will be a significantly better opportunity to influence things like plans for train renewal in the period leading up to this.

    It would certainly be worth contacting your MP about this, and also the local press may be interested in the lead up to the new franchise. I gather the existing franchise was let with the idea of little growth and therefore the existing trains, but in fact has shown significant growth which has led to many problems, so hopefully the new franchise will be let with a more optimistic view of what can be achieved.

    Franchises often have a consultation opportunity which would be published here, but none is mentioned for Northern:
    http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations?mode=rail
    The franchise tender documents will eventually be posted here, but again nothing yet, and no mention of when:
    http://www.dft.gov.uk/topics/rail-passenger-franchises/background/

    I hope you eventually get the improvements you are looking for.

    Paul (FixMyTransport Volunteer)

    anorak
    admin
  • 9 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 00:02 27 Jan 2012

    Andrew,
    There is another campaign suggesting investment in trains so it would be worth supporting this as well:
    http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/improve-services-from-leeds-and-shef
    Paul (FixMyTransport Volunteer)

    anorak
    admin
  • 10 James McCollom commented close 11:44 27 Jan 2012

    Whilst it's all very well saying that it's the DfT's fault, let's not forget that Serco/Abellio didn't have to bid for the franchise in the first place - it's their name on the side of the trains, and their reputation that's on the line.

    As for the state of trains versus the cost: keep it quiet, but us in the north seem to pay a lot less for our rail tickets than comparable journeys in the south: part of that is because we don't have whizzy expensive new trains. I'd rather have cheaper tickets on older but refurbished trains than more expensive tickets to pay for brand new stock.

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  • started 25 January 2012
  • supporters 1
Train route between Conisbrough and Sheffield operated by Northern Rail, First TransPennine Express
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