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Initial problem

Firstly, I would just like to report that the 8.38am service did not arrive at the station till 8.44am today. Not a long wait, but I would have expected some notification or explanation. None was provided, neither an apology - at the station nor on the train itself. What's more, when the train did finally arrive there was only one carriage - usually a 2 carriage service. Again, no apology nor explanation.
This is just one example of the standard of this service. However, my main criticism is that there is clearly a capacity issue on the usual two carriage train. I'm sure this is an issue on many substandard services running across the country, but for me it seems counterproductive to provide a service where the aisles and vestibules are full of standing passengers (this also applies to the 5.36pm return journey). Counterproductive because the conductors cannot pass down the carriage, so more often than not, do not check tickets/take fares.
At a monthly cost of over £50 I don't think some relative comfort and punctuality is too much to expect from this short journey.

  • By John Woollard on 05 Dec 2011
  • Sent to Northern Rail on 05 Dec 2011
  • 1 Mark Jones added an update close 12:09 06 Dec 2011

    Dear Mr Wollard

    Northern are fully aware of the capacity issues that are on their lines: Recently, new stock has arrived from the Midlands, and that has gone on strengthening services.
    In the next few years, the electrification of the Liverpool - Manchester and Manchester - West Coast Main Line will significantly reduce the need for diesel units in that area, and the units Northern and Transpennine Express use currently will be re - deployed elsewhere.

    I am sorry this is not a clear cut answer, but the stock from the Midlands is now starting to enter service with Northern - I have seen evidence of this in a recent visit to Sheffield and Leeds.

    Please keep us informed on this matter and let us know if you received an answer from Northern.
    you can do so by visiting your problem page here: and clcking on Comment.

    FixMyTransport Volunteer (and a rail user myself!)

  • 2 Myf Nixon added an update close 09:21 07 Dec 2011

    John provided us with the reply he received from Northern Rail. I'll summarise it here just in case anyone else has experienced the same problems.

    Firstly, it stated that the tracks were slippery due to the weather conditions and this increased braking distances. To ensure the train was able to stop at stations and signals the driver reduced speed over the affected section of track.

    They also apologised for the lack of information and explained the steps they are taking in order to rectify overcrowding and ensure that icy weather is not so much of a problem in the future. Apparently there will be new carriages from the 11th of December.

    Finally, they stated that they are aware of the problem with conductors not being able to move through the train and have staff selling tickets at key stations during peak hours.

    This seems like a useful reply from Northern Rail.

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