Overcrowded trains problem is local issue, says government

The Bolton News: Bolton Station Bolton Station

BOLTON’S overcrowded trains are the responsibility of Network Rail and not the government, according to the transport secretary.

Bolton North East MP David Crausby wrote to the Department for Transport asking for more diesel trains to be made available for Bolton commuters.

But Stephen Hammond, the under secretary of state for transport, said the issue was down to Network Rail and local operators.

Many rail services are being redirected though Wigan over the next two years as the line is electrified.

But Mr Hammond said: “The rail industry is responsible for developing train service plans for the period that the works are under way on the route via Bolton.

“It is for Network Rail and operators to determine how best to meet the needs of local stakeholders whilst ensuring delivery of Bolton line electrification efficiently to meet the 2016 deadline.”

The government minister’s response appears to be at odds with that of Prime Minister David Cameron who last week promised to “look at the issue” of overcrowded trains in Bolton.

Mr Crausby, who has thrown his weight behind The Bolton News’ Let’s Get Back on Track campaign, calling for peak time services to be restored while electrification work is being carried out, said: “I specifically asked the government to intervene and ensure that Bolton receives more diesel trains to tackle overcrowding.

“Now that other lines have been electrified there must be carriages available that can no longer be used in those areas.

“I will not allow this to go unanswered and I have written to the government again. The minister responsible for this area didn’t seem to have any interest in providing extra carriages when I wrote to him, so I am pleased that the Prime Minister has now taken a personal interest and I hope that this will bring about a speedy resolution.

“People travelling to and from Bolton are already feeling packed in like sardines, so I have written to the Prime Minister to ask how he will be taking this issue forward.”

In an interview with The Bolton News last week, Mr Cameron heard about our new campaign and said there was a problem with congestion.

He said: “If it’s possible to have more carriages added to Bolton services, I will go away and look into it.”

Comments (25)

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12:14pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Jim271 says...

Its not that simple as adding more carriages. If you use the train during the day the trains are almost empty. Its not cost effective to runs trains with six carriages carrying only about 10 people.

Its the people who don't use the trains that will have to subsidise the shortfall, vehicle owners get hammered enough with taxes as it is.

I expect a backlash but you cannot ignore the facts. There needs to be more people working from home if possible.
Its not that simple as adding more carriages. If you use the train during the day the trains are almost empty. Its not cost effective to runs trains with six carriages carrying only about 10 people. Its the people who don't use the trains that will have to subsidise the shortfall, vehicle owners get hammered enough with taxes as it is. I expect a backlash but you cannot ignore the facts. There needs to be more people working from home if possible. Jim271

12:31pm Tue 17 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

That from teh DfT is just pure lies.

It is the DfT that gives the units to the various TOC's (via the train leasing companies) and NOT Network Rail

Network Rail's job is the infrastructure - i.e. tracks, stations and signals.

This transport minister is trying to play on the ignorance of the majority who don't know how the system works. IT IS THE JOB OF THE DFT to make sure that sufficient carriages are provided or to provide the extra carriages (if any) to reduce overcrowding!

The Governmant has failed in this instance!
That from teh DfT is just pure lies. It is the DfT that gives the units to the various TOC's (via the train leasing companies) and NOT Network Rail Network Rail's job is the infrastructure - i.e. tracks, stations and signals. This transport minister is trying to play on the ignorance of the majority who don't know how the system works. IT IS THE JOB OF THE DFT to make sure that sufficient carriages are provided or to provide the extra carriages (if any) to reduce overcrowding! The Governmant has failed in this instance! The Righteous One

1:02pm Tue 17 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

http://www.networkra
il.co.uk/aspx/111.as
px


Nowhere on that website does it say that Network Rail looks after the rolling stock and works in co-operation with teh TOC's with regards to Rolling Stock!
http://www.networkra il.co.uk/aspx/111.as px Nowhere on that website does it say that Network Rail looks after the rolling stock and works in co-operation with teh TOC's with regards to Rolling Stock! The Righteous One

1:29pm Tue 17 Dec 13

MissPeg says...

Jim271 - the issue is NOT whether we should have 6 carriages ALL day. It's about rush hour. Putting on more trains, or more carriages every hour to accomodate the growing/already large number of people using the railways to travel to work.

The issue over whether people should be working from home or in offices is entirely separate from this issue, if you ask me.

The issue here is that we're supposed to be encouraging people to use public transport and yet the number of seats/spaces available on trains is not enough to cover what is already a growing problem. The recent loss of one train an hour - one that was often a 6 carriage train - is a massive blow to Bolton and commuters who rely on trains to get to and from work.
Jim271 - the issue is NOT whether we should have 6 carriages ALL day. It's about rush hour. Putting on more trains, or more carriages every hour to accomodate the growing/already large number of people using the railways to travel to work. The issue over whether people should be working from home or in offices is entirely separate from this issue, if you ask me. The issue here is that we're supposed to be encouraging people to use public transport and yet the number of seats/spaces available on trains is not enough to cover what is already a growing problem. The recent loss of one train an hour - one that was often a 6 carriage train - is a massive blow to Bolton and commuters who rely on trains to get to and from work. MissPeg

2:24pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Leyannekt says...

Not just rush hour either. Having only 2 carriages on a Saturday midday train in the middle of December from Wigan to Manchester is completely unacceptable. I was on one on Saturday and there were easily 4 carriages worth of people and the conductor just kept letting more on at every stop. It got to the point where he couldn't even open the doors without people getting shoved by said doors.
Incidentally, the penultimate train back from Manchester Victoria that day was broken down, no doubt leaving hundreds of people stranded too! I'm glad we didn't have to have seen the sardine tin that was the last train!
Not just rush hour either. Having only 2 carriages on a Saturday midday train in the middle of December from Wigan to Manchester is completely unacceptable. I was on one on Saturday and there were easily 4 carriages worth of people and the conductor just kept letting more on at every stop. It got to the point where he couldn't even open the doors without people getting shoved by said doors. Incidentally, the penultimate train back from Manchester Victoria that day was broken down, no doubt leaving hundreds of people stranded too! I'm glad we didn't have to have seen the sardine tin that was the last train! Leyannekt

6:45pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Darren1951 says...

With comments like that from an Under Secretary, it's obvious that senior civil servants, as well as politicians, don't know their a***s from their elbows.
With comments like that from an Under Secretary, it's obvious that senior civil servants, as well as politicians, don't know their a***s from their elbows. Darren1951

7:00pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Bury Grammar says...

There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014.

There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available.
There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014. There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available. Bury Grammar

8:45pm Tue 17 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Bury Grammar wrote:
There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014.

There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available.
OK then why is it that Yorkshire have 4 and 5 coach trains whilst on this side of the Pennines we only have 3 and 4 (and in some instances only 2) coach trains? And yes it is still Northern Rail that operate from York and Newcastle all the way down to Nottingham - and lets be honest the Leeds-Sheffield-Nott
ingham is well served by more than just Northern and TPE but about 3 or 4 other TOC's as well, s they could easily transfer some coaches to this part of the network!!!

It is bad management by the last 3 (including the current) Governments, and bad managerial decisions by Northern for the situation we currently have, as well as a laissez-faire attitude by LCC and TfGM for not buying more coaches, like the Yorkshire PTE'ss did and instead they wanted the Metrolink whilst forgetting about the non-Metrolink areas!!
[quote][p][bold]Bury Grammar[/bold] wrote: There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014. There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available.[/p][/quote]OK then why is it that Yorkshire have 4 and 5 coach trains whilst on this side of the Pennines we only have 3 and 4 (and in some instances only 2) coach trains? And yes it is still Northern Rail that operate from York and Newcastle all the way down to Nottingham - and lets be honest the Leeds-Sheffield-Nott ingham is well served by more than just Northern and TPE but about 3 or 4 other TOC's as well, s they could easily transfer some coaches to this part of the network!!! It is bad management by the last 3 (including the current) Governments, and bad managerial decisions by Northern for the situation we currently have, as well as a laissez-faire attitude by LCC and TfGM for not buying more coaches, like the Yorkshire PTE'ss did and instead they wanted the Metrolink whilst forgetting about the non-Metrolink areas!! BWFC71

8:51pm Tue 17 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

As you are already aware Northern Rail services on the Bolton corridor are effectively unchanged from the timetable change on Sunday. It is TPE services that are being diverted away via Wigan North Western.

However, we have been working with TPE to make passengers at Wigan Wallgate and Preston aware that the new services going via Wigan North Western offer a viable and faster alternative to the services they currently use. You will no doubt be aware of the joint publicity and additional representatives at Bolton and Wigan talking to our passengers.

The aim of this strategy is to encourage people to migrate to the new services and thereby generate extra capacity at Bolton. The intensive publicity and information campaign at stations along the route is both aiming to reinforce this message and ensure that all our current passengers understand the changes. We have already seen some passengers starting to experiment with alternative service options. From Monday, both TPE and Northern will be actively monitoring the peak flows of passengers, with managers out art all the stations affected, to determine how successful the strategy has been and whether there are more actions required. We hope that Mr ****** sees that the impact of the changes are not as severe as he believes.



From the Northern perspective we have little or no flexibility to provide additional carriages/services on the route before the timetable change next May and even that will be limited. However we have strengthened the 1803 Manchester Airport to Southport service from next week to fill a gap resulting from the TPE service diversions and we are putting a very high profile on maintaining the correct formation of trains on the key morning and evening peak services through Bolton. In terms of acquiring additional trains, as I think you are also aware, there are currently no available diesel multiple units. In addition to this Northern is limited in the amount of strengthening possible because most of our key trains are already formed of two units and more carriages would exceed platform lengths at many of our stations.



In terms of the travel experiences Mr ****** had last Friday (not last Friday but it was about 2-3 weeks ago), I can only apologise that the 1720 service from Manchester Victoria was short of carriages because of a train failure. You can assure Mr ****** that we do not just allow such situations to occur in the peak periods on key trains without our people on the ground and our Control doing whatever is possible to rectify the situation. However there are times when this cannot be done. I believe that Mr ****** has slightly underestimated the importance of providing additional coaches on the other services he refers to. They are equally busy at stages throughout their journey. However, in association with your Officers at TfGM, services are regularly reviewed to see whether the trains that have additional strengthening are warranted when matched against the loading data that we collect through the Automatic Passenger Counting system (APC).

(again laughable as the trains he means are the 1710 from Salford Central Southport via Walkden and the 1712 from Salford Central Kirkby via Walkden - both operating within 4 minutes of each other along the same line and calling at same stations!!! Southport should be 4 class 15x's whilst the Kirkby should be 4 class 142's - as it is the Kirkby is often 4 class 15x's and is often less than half full whilst the Southport is often overcrowded - but nowhere near as bad as the Blackpool service which I catch back to Bolton)



What has recently put extra pressure on early evening services, has been the increases in off peak travellers coming to Manchester for the Christmas shopping experience and then joining these trains. The additional seasonal volumes were also the prime reason for the problems Mr ****** had last Saturday, coupled with the Rugby League World Cup Final and a heavy football programme. We had planned for the provision of an additional 6000 seats on services into Manchester on Saturday and over 8000 on Sunday (as service frequencies are lower). Additional shuttle services operated into Manchester Victoria from Bolton and the Eastern side of the city on Sunday. The volume of passengers who actually decided to travel was way in excess of both the estimates for this weekend and compared against last year. At Manchester Piccadilly the station footfall on Saturday was double a normal Saturday and 80% higher than equivalent pre-Christmas levels last year. This was replicated around all the Manchester routes. We believe that volumes attending the Christmas markets are up by over 20%. On Saturday, Northern responded by re-allocating capacity and effectively provided 11000 extra seats across the day. All our available trains were deployed. I understand that other train operators also experienced similar problems.



I know that this doesn’t in itself detract from the bad experience Mr ****** had, however I would strongly refute the implication from him that Northern doesn’t care about our passengers. Far from it. We put extensive time and effort into trying to plan to alleviate heavy loadings on trains and provide a reliable service. Over the past summer we have successfully managed a wide range of special events in both Manchester and Liverpool, often on the same weekend. However we have a finite number of vehicles that we can deploy.





Then see my last post (The Righteous One) from yesterday 9the BN reporters blog about his journey from Chorley to Bolton!!!) and it is very laughable. The only trains that have to be careful of size are those that call at Moses Gate, which is only basically hourly during the Monday-Saturday daytime ONLY) as the platforms have been butchered down to take only 3 normal size coaches (or 4 Class 142's coaches) otherwise all other stations on the Bolton line can take up to 6 normal size coaches (including the recently extended Salford Crescent!)
As you are already aware Northern Rail services on the Bolton corridor are effectively unchanged from the timetable change on Sunday. It is TPE services that are being diverted away via Wigan North Western. However, we have been working with TPE to make passengers at Wigan Wallgate and Preston aware that the new services going via Wigan North Western offer a viable and faster alternative to the services they currently use. You will no doubt be aware of the joint publicity and additional representatives at Bolton and Wigan talking to our passengers. The aim of this strategy is to encourage people to migrate to the new services and thereby generate extra capacity at Bolton. The intensive publicity and information campaign at stations along the route is both aiming to reinforce this message and ensure that all our current passengers understand the changes. We have already seen some passengers starting to experiment with alternative service options. From Monday, both TPE and Northern will be actively monitoring the peak flows of passengers, with managers out art all the stations affected, to determine how successful the strategy has been and whether there are more actions required. We hope that Mr ****** sees that the impact of the changes are not as severe as he believes. From the Northern perspective we have little or no flexibility to provide additional carriages/services on the route before the timetable change next May and even that will be limited. However we have strengthened the 1803 Manchester Airport to Southport service from next week to fill a gap resulting from the TPE service diversions and we are putting a very high profile on maintaining the correct formation of trains on the key morning and evening peak services through Bolton. In terms of acquiring additional trains, as I think you are also aware, there are currently no available diesel multiple units. In addition to this Northern is limited in the amount of strengthening possible because most of our key trains are already formed of two units and more carriages would exceed platform lengths at many of our stations. In terms of the travel experiences Mr ****** had last Friday (not last Friday but it was about 2-3 weeks ago), I can only apologise that the 1720 service from Manchester Victoria was short of carriages because of a train failure. You can assure Mr ****** that we do not just allow such situations to occur in the peak periods on key trains without our people on the ground and our Control doing whatever is possible to rectify the situation. However there are times when this cannot be done. I believe that Mr ****** has slightly underestimated the importance of providing additional coaches on the other services he refers to. They are equally busy at stages throughout their journey. However, in association with your Officers at TfGM, services are regularly reviewed to see whether the trains that have additional strengthening are warranted when matched against the loading data that we collect through the Automatic Passenger Counting system (APC). (again laughable as the trains he means are the 1710 from Salford Central Southport via Walkden and the 1712 from Salford Central Kirkby via Walkden - both operating within 4 minutes of each other along the same line and calling at same stations!!! Southport should be 4 class 15x's whilst the Kirkby should be 4 class 142's - as it is the Kirkby is often 4 class 15x's and is often less than half full whilst the Southport is often overcrowded - but nowhere near as bad as the Blackpool service which I catch back to Bolton) What has recently put extra pressure on early evening services, has been the increases in off peak travellers coming to Manchester for the Christmas shopping experience and then joining these trains. The additional seasonal volumes were also the prime reason for the problems Mr ****** had last Saturday, coupled with the Rugby League World Cup Final and a heavy football programme. We had planned for the provision of an additional 6000 seats on services into Manchester on Saturday and over 8000 on Sunday (as service frequencies are lower). Additional shuttle services operated into Manchester Victoria from Bolton and the Eastern side of the city on Sunday. The volume of passengers who actually decided to travel was way in excess of both the estimates for this weekend and compared against last year. At Manchester Piccadilly the station footfall on Saturday was double a normal Saturday and 80% higher than equivalent pre-Christmas levels last year. This was replicated around all the Manchester routes. We believe that volumes attending the Christmas markets are up by over 20%. On Saturday, Northern responded by re-allocating capacity and effectively provided 11000 extra seats across the day. All our available trains were deployed. I understand that other train operators also experienced similar problems. I know that this doesn’t in itself detract from the bad experience Mr ****** had, however I would strongly refute the implication from him that Northern doesn’t care about our passengers. Far from it. We put extensive time and effort into trying to plan to alleviate heavy loadings on trains and provide a reliable service. Over the past summer we have successfully managed a wide range of special events in both Manchester and Liverpool, often on the same weekend. However we have a finite number of vehicles that we can deploy. Then see my last post (The Righteous One) from yesterday 9the BN reporters blog about his journey from Chorley to Bolton!!!) and it is very laughable. The only trains that have to be careful of size are those that call at Moses Gate, which is only basically hourly during the Monday-Saturday daytime ONLY) as the platforms have been butchered down to take only 3 normal size coaches (or 4 Class 142's coaches) otherwise all other stations on the Bolton line can take up to 6 normal size coaches (including the recently extended Salford Crescent!) BWFC71

8:57pm Tue 17 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Monday morning fun......

7:43 Bolton to Manchester Victoria (NR) CANCELLED

7:55 Bolton To Hazel Grove via Piccadilly (NR) - 5 minutes late and only 4 Class 142 coaches (now each coach is 1/3 less than normal coach sizes so when they say 4 coaches they actually mean 2 2/3 coaches) - many were left behind. It finally left Bolton at about 8:05

7:59 Bolton to Manchester Victoria (NR) arrived 3 minutes late (like it does every day so why has the timetable never been changed to show this?) people who couldn't get on the 7:55 also boarded and we left 10 minutes late. This train also calls at Moses Gate, Farnworth and Kearsley who has their 7:43 cancelled so anyone can guess what the train was like when it reached Salford Crescent when even more people got on to get to Victoria!!!! I was literally pushed up against the door, being squashed and was fighting for air - I was more than relieved when we reached Salford Central as I literally fell of the train, gasping for air!!!

I have it written from the bosses of Northern Rail that what happened today and happens virtually every other work day doesn't actually happen!!! (see my last post above)
It seems to me the bosses haven't got a clue as to what is happening and how dangerously overcrowded the trains are!

8:08 Bolton To Oxford Road Non-stop (TPE) crammed full with no seats and again everyone was squashed up (I have a friend who catches that service and they say its like that every day even more since the new timetable!)
Monday morning fun...... 7:43 Bolton to Manchester Victoria (NR) CANCELLED 7:55 Bolton To Hazel Grove via Piccadilly (NR) - 5 minutes late and only 4 Class 142 coaches (now each coach is 1/3 less than normal coach sizes so when they say 4 coaches they actually mean 2 2/3 coaches) - many were left behind. It finally left Bolton at about 8:05 7:59 Bolton to Manchester Victoria (NR) arrived 3 minutes late (like it does every day so why has the timetable never been changed to show this?) people who couldn't get on the 7:55 also boarded and we left 10 minutes late. This train also calls at Moses Gate, Farnworth and Kearsley who has their 7:43 cancelled so anyone can guess what the train was like when it reached Salford Crescent when even more people got on to get to Victoria!!!! I was literally pushed up against the door, being squashed and was fighting for air - I was more than relieved when we reached Salford Central as I literally fell of the train, gasping for air!!! I have it written from the bosses of Northern Rail that what happened today and happens virtually every other work day doesn't actually happen!!! (see my last post above) It seems to me the bosses haven't got a clue as to what is happening and how dangerously overcrowded the trains are! 8:08 Bolton To Oxford Road Non-stop (TPE) crammed full with no seats and again everyone was squashed up (I have a friend who catches that service and they say its like that every day even more since the new timetable!) BWFC71

9:15pm Tue 17 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Is what the under-secretary said a pre-cursor to what was published today and not picked up by any news provider, from the DfT?



Network Rail to be classified as central government body in the public sector.


The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP





Today (17 December 2013) the Office for National Statistics(ONS) announced that, following a review, Network Rail will be classified as a central government body in the public sector. This is an independent statistical decision taken by the Office for National Statistics in light of the European System of National Accounts 2010 (ESA10) manual from Eurostat which comes into force across the EU from 1st September 2014.

The government welcomes the ONS review and has always been committed to the transparent reporting of public liabilities. The change in Network Rail’s classification will mean that the company’s net debt, currently some £30 billion, will appear on the government’s balance sheet. The Office for Budget Responsibility noted in its Economic and Fiscal Outlook published on 5 December, that this will likely increase Public Sector Net Debt by about 2% of GDP and Public Sector Net Borrowing by 0.2% of GDP on average. The government remains committed to its plans to reduce the deficit and will continue to do so by taking difficult decisions to cut public spending and prioritise investment in infrastructure to deliver a stronger economy and fairer society. The new classification will be implemented from 1st September 2014 and will apply from April 2004. Until then Network Rail remains in the private sector.

I am committed to ensuring that Network Rail maintains the operational flexibility to continue to deliver a safe, punctual rail network and increased capacity for our busy railways and that it is able to attract a high calibre of staff, while still providing value for money and being accountable to Parliament.

My department will agree appropriate accounting and governance adjustments for Network Rail to ensure it can continue to deliver world class railway infrastructure when the company is reclassified for statistical purposes on 1 September 2014. I have accordingly agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with Network Rail that sets out how we will work together to develop and agree that framework. This Memorandum has today (17 December 2013) been published on my department’s website and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This government remains committed to the railway. The ONS’ decision on the classification of Network Rail does not affect the planned improvement and investment in the railways, including Network Rail’s £38 billion settlement for the planned running of and investment in the railway in the 5 years from 2014. This government’s plans for HS2 and the rail franchising programme set out in March this year are unchanged. The Office of Rail Regulation will remain the economic and safety regulator for the railway and the ONS’ decision will have no effect on rail fares, performance, punctuality, timetables, or safety. My department will continue to consider how to best secure the benefits of private investment in rail infrastructure and work with Network Rail to deliver the best possible railway for the benefit of the whole industry, its passengers, and the taxpayer.

(https://www.gov.uk/
government/speeches/
ons-decision-on-the-
classification-of-ne
twork-rail)

By the sounds of it some hard decisions will have to be made sounds as though electrification plans or even the Northern Hub, as a whole, could come to an abrupt end from towards the end of next year!!!!
Is what the under-secretary said a pre-cursor to what was published today and not picked up by any news provider, from the DfT? Network Rail to be classified as central government body in the public sector. The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP Today (17 December 2013) the Office for National Statistics(ONS) announced that, following a review, Network Rail will be classified as a central government body in the public sector. This is an independent statistical decision taken by the Office for National Statistics in light of the European System of National Accounts 2010 (ESA10) manual from Eurostat which comes into force across the EU from 1st September 2014. The government welcomes the ONS review and has always been committed to the transparent reporting of public liabilities. The change in Network Rail’s classification will mean that the company’s net debt, currently some £30 billion, will appear on the government’s balance sheet. The Office for Budget Responsibility noted in its Economic and Fiscal Outlook published on 5 December, that this will likely increase Public Sector Net Debt by about 2% of GDP and Public Sector Net Borrowing by 0.2% of GDP on average. The government remains committed to its plans to reduce the deficit and will continue to do so by taking difficult decisions to cut public spending and prioritise investment in infrastructure to deliver a stronger economy and fairer society. The new classification will be implemented from 1st September 2014 and will apply from April 2004. Until then Network Rail remains in the private sector. I am committed to ensuring that Network Rail maintains the operational flexibility to continue to deliver a safe, punctual rail network and increased capacity for our busy railways and that it is able to attract a high calibre of staff, while still providing value for money and being accountable to Parliament. My department will agree appropriate accounting and governance adjustments for Network Rail to ensure it can continue to deliver world class railway infrastructure when the company is reclassified for statistical purposes on 1 September 2014. I have accordingly agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with Network Rail that sets out how we will work together to develop and agree that framework. This Memorandum has today (17 December 2013) been published on my department’s website and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. This government remains committed to the railway. The ONS’ decision on the classification of Network Rail does not affect the planned improvement and investment in the railways, including Network Rail’s £38 billion settlement for the planned running of and investment in the railway in the 5 years from 2014. This government’s plans for HS2 and the rail franchising programme set out in March this year are unchanged. The Office of Rail Regulation will remain the economic and safety regulator for the railway and the ONS’ decision will have no effect on rail fares, performance, punctuality, timetables, or safety. My department will continue to consider how to best secure the benefits of private investment in rail infrastructure and work with Network Rail to deliver the best possible railway for the benefit of the whole industry, its passengers, and the taxpayer. (https://www.gov.uk/ government/speeches/ ons-decision-on-the- classification-of-ne twork-rail) By the sounds of it some hard decisions will have to be made sounds as though electrification plans or even the Northern Hub, as a whole, could come to an abrupt end from towards the end of next year!!!! BWFC71

10:53pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Bury Grammar says...

BWFC71 wrote:
Bury Grammar wrote:
There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014.

There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available.
OK then why is it that Yorkshire have 4 and 5 coach trains whilst on this side of the Pennines we only have 3 and 4 (and in some instances only 2) coach trains? And yes it is still Northern Rail that operate from York and Newcastle all the way down to Nottingham - and lets be honest the Leeds-Sheffield-Nott

ingham is well served by more than just Northern and TPE but about 3 or 4 other TOC's as well, s they could easily transfer some coaches to this part of the network!!!

It is bad management by the last 3 (including the current) Governments, and bad managerial decisions by Northern for the situation we currently have, as well as a laissez-faire attitude by LCC and TfGM for not buying more coaches, like the Yorkshire PTE'ss did and instead they wanted the Metrolink whilst forgetting about the non-Metrolink areas!!
So are you saying to remove carriages and capacity from other, equally busy lines and use them from Bolton. What reaction do you think that would get or is it a case of I'm all right jack so screw the others?

You are clearly under the (wrong) impression that the government and dept for transport (ie all. Those that have decision making power in this instance) care what the people of Bolton think about their morning trains. They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed.
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bury Grammar[/bold] wrote: There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014. There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available.[/p][/quote]OK then why is it that Yorkshire have 4 and 5 coach trains whilst on this side of the Pennines we only have 3 and 4 (and in some instances only 2) coach trains? And yes it is still Northern Rail that operate from York and Newcastle all the way down to Nottingham - and lets be honest the Leeds-Sheffield-Nott ingham is well served by more than just Northern and TPE but about 3 or 4 other TOC's as well, s they could easily transfer some coaches to this part of the network!!! It is bad management by the last 3 (including the current) Governments, and bad managerial decisions by Northern for the situation we currently have, as well as a laissez-faire attitude by LCC and TfGM for not buying more coaches, like the Yorkshire PTE'ss did and instead they wanted the Metrolink whilst forgetting about the non-Metrolink areas!![/p][/quote]So are you saying to remove carriages and capacity from other, equally busy lines and use them from Bolton. What reaction do you think that would get or is it a case of I'm all right jack so screw the others? You are clearly under the (wrong) impression that the government and dept for transport (ie all. Those that have decision making power in this instance) care what the people of Bolton think about their morning trains. They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed. Bury Grammar

11:14pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Darren1951 says...

Bury Grammar: They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed

What was the rationale behind awarding a franchise on that basis?
Bury Grammar: They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed What was the rationale behind awarding a franchise on that basis? Darren1951

6:34am Wed 18 Dec 13

Bury Grammar says...

Darren1951 wrote:
Bury Grammar: They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed

What was the rationale behind awarding a franchise on that basis?
Probably north south bias, a desire to cut costs across the railway as a whole and the DFT had commissioned a report that they 'expected' to recommend many rail service cutbacks and closures across the north. Northern receives more public subsidy than most rail firms and any increase in services actually looses more money so they wanted to stop that happening.

In the end their report came back to haunt hem as it did not gives the conclusions they expected but northern have had an uphill battle ever since. Even where tfgm or local councils have been able to offer money, dft have fought to stop expansion plans.

There will be a big merry go round of diesel trains over the next few years and there is also the electrification of many of the lines around Manchester which will see more electric trains moved up from the south east ( they get brand new ones, we get 25 yr old ones) but they. Will still be better than what runs now.

Sadly I doubt northern can do much now but wait until this happens.
[quote][p][bold]Darren1951[/bold] wrote: Bury Grammar: They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed What was the rationale behind awarding a franchise on that basis?[/p][/quote]Probably north south bias, a desire to cut costs across the railway as a whole and the DFT had commissioned a report that they 'expected' to recommend many rail service cutbacks and closures across the north. Northern receives more public subsidy than most rail firms and any increase in services actually looses more money so they wanted to stop that happening. In the end their report came back to haunt hem as it did not gives the conclusions they expected but northern have had an uphill battle ever since. Even where tfgm or local councils have been able to offer money, dft have fought to stop expansion plans. There will be a big merry go round of diesel trains over the next few years and there is also the electrification of many of the lines around Manchester which will see more electric trains moved up from the south east ( they get brand new ones, we get 25 yr old ones) but they. Will still be better than what runs now. Sadly I doubt northern can do much now but wait until this happens. Bury Grammar

9:04am Wed 18 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

Bury Grammar wrote:
BWFC71 wrote:
Bury Grammar wrote:
There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014.

There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available.
OK then why is it that Yorkshire have 4 and 5 coach trains whilst on this side of the Pennines we only have 3 and 4 (and in some instances only 2) coach trains? And yes it is still Northern Rail that operate from York and Newcastle all the way down to Nottingham - and lets be honest the Leeds-Sheffield-Nott


ingham is well served by more than just Northern and TPE but about 3 or 4 other TOC's as well, s they could easily transfer some coaches to this part of the network!!!

It is bad management by the last 3 (including the current) Governments, and bad managerial decisions by Northern for the situation we currently have, as well as a laissez-faire attitude by LCC and TfGM for not buying more coaches, like the Yorkshire PTE'ss did and instead they wanted the Metrolink whilst forgetting about the non-Metrolink areas!!
So are you saying to remove carriages and capacity from other, equally busy lines and use them from Bolton. What reaction do you think that would get or is it a case of I'm all right jack so screw the others?

You are clearly under the (wrong) impression that the government and dept for transport (ie all. Those that have decision making power in this instance) care what the people of Bolton think about their morning trains. They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed.
Did I say that.....

I have travelled on NOrthern Rail services on both sides of the Pennines. The normal size of trains over there is either 4 or 5 coaches and occupancy is only aboy 75% of what it is on this side of the Pennines - plus why double on routes where there is already plenty of capacity?

It is bad management on behalf of Northern Rail.

Also why have 2 services running 2 minutes after each other (1706 to Southport and the 1708 to Kirkby), which are both 4 coaches long and call at same stations between Manchester Victoria and Wigan (via Walkden) when one train is about 110% capacity and the train behind it is only 40% capacity - whilst on the Bolton Line (1720 to Blackpool and 1723 to Clitheroe) the Blackpool is 4 coaches and normally about 120% capacity whilst the Clitheroe is normally 2 coaches and about 110% capacity!

Capcity figures are based on official figures that the carriages are meant to carry, and can be found on any decent rail-enthusiasts website.

Plus if you had read all my posts (BWFC71 & The Righteous One) on various news report then you will know I have covered all your points! Thing is take a passive attitude and it will only get worse, take a pro-active attitude and eventually thinsg will improve - and guess route I take!!!
[quote][p][bold]Bury Grammar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bury Grammar[/bold] wrote: There are no spare diesel trains. You might find that hard to believe but it is true. The electrification isn't actually in usenet and th diesel trains that it frees up will only come available Xmas 2014. There is even a brand new section of track in Todmorden that will open and not have any trains running over it for around 1 year as they also need diesel trains and there are none available.[/p][/quote]OK then why is it that Yorkshire have 4 and 5 coach trains whilst on this side of the Pennines we only have 3 and 4 (and in some instances only 2) coach trains? And yes it is still Northern Rail that operate from York and Newcastle all the way down to Nottingham - and lets be honest the Leeds-Sheffield-Nott ingham is well served by more than just Northern and TPE but about 3 or 4 other TOC's as well, s they could easily transfer some coaches to this part of the network!!! It is bad management by the last 3 (including the current) Governments, and bad managerial decisions by Northern for the situation we currently have, as well as a laissez-faire attitude by LCC and TfGM for not buying more coaches, like the Yorkshire PTE'ss did and instead they wanted the Metrolink whilst forgetting about the non-Metrolink areas!![/p][/quote]So are you saying to remove carriages and capacity from other, equally busy lines and use them from Bolton. What reaction do you think that would get or is it a case of I'm all right jack so screw the others? You are clearly under the (wrong) impression that the government and dept for transport (ie all. Those that have decision making power in this instance) care what the people of Bolton think about their morning trains. They don't and probably never will no matter what their colours since I think it was labour who awarded the northern franchise on a 'zero growth' basis under which no new trains are allowed.[/p][/quote]Did I say that..... I have travelled on NOrthern Rail services on both sides of the Pennines. The normal size of trains over there is either 4 or 5 coaches and occupancy is only aboy 75% of what it is on this side of the Pennines - plus why double on routes where there is already plenty of capacity? It is bad management on behalf of Northern Rail. Also why have 2 services running 2 minutes after each other (1706 to Southport and the 1708 to Kirkby), which are both 4 coaches long and call at same stations between Manchester Victoria and Wigan (via Walkden) when one train is about 110% capacity and the train behind it is only 40% capacity - whilst on the Bolton Line (1720 to Blackpool and 1723 to Clitheroe) the Blackpool is 4 coaches and normally about 120% capacity whilst the Clitheroe is normally 2 coaches and about 110% capacity! Capcity figures are based on official figures that the carriages are meant to carry, and can be found on any decent rail-enthusiasts website. Plus if you had read all my posts (BWFC71 & The Righteous One) on various news report then you will know I have covered all your points! Thing is take a passive attitude and it will only get worse, take a pro-active attitude and eventually thinsg will improve - and guess route I take!!! The Righteous One

10:26am Wed 18 Dec 13

Bury Grammar says...

Plus if you had read all my posts (BWFC71 & The Righteous One) on various news report then you will know I have covered all your points! Thing is take a passive attitude and it will only get worse, take a pro-active attitude and eventually thinsg will improve - and guess route I take!!!

I admire your optimism but when a new train takes 2 years to build & introduce and service levels are prescribed in the franchise contract, you are not going to get carriages transfered from south yorkshire.

Your own answer tells of teh solution but the public at large will never follow it, if the second service is on;ly 40% full and runs only 2 minutes later then they need to get on that one rather than complain that their train is full.

Electrification is coming to Bolton and with it longer trains so they are providing a solution, just not a quick one. Don't hold your breath for anything else before the end of next year.
Plus if you had read all my posts (BWFC71 & The Righteous One) on various news report then you will know I have covered all your points! Thing is take a passive attitude and it will only get worse, take a pro-active attitude and eventually thinsg will improve - and guess route I take!!! I admire your optimism but when a new train takes 2 years to build & introduce and service levels are prescribed in the franchise contract, you are not going to get carriages transfered from south yorkshire. Your own answer tells of teh solution but the public at large will never follow it, if the second service is on;ly 40% full and runs only 2 minutes later then they need to get on that one rather than complain that their train is full. Electrification is coming to Bolton and with it longer trains so they are providing a solution, just not a quick one. Don't hold your breath for anything else before the end of next year. Bury Grammar

11:44am Wed 18 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

Bury Grammar wrote:
Plus if you had read all my posts (BWFC71 & The Righteous One) on various news report then you will know I have covered all your points! Thing is take a passive attitude and it will only get worse, take a pro-active attitude and eventually thinsg will improve - and guess route I take!!!

I admire your optimism but when a new train takes 2 years to build & introduce and service levels are prescribed in the franchise contract, you are not going to get carriages transfered from south yorkshire.

Your own answer tells of teh solution but the public at large will never follow it, if the second service is on;ly 40% full and runs only 2 minutes later then they need to get on that one rather than complain that their train is full.

Electrification is coming to Bolton and with it longer trains so they are providing a solution, just not a quick one. Don't hold your breath for anything else before the end of next year.
The trains are not going to be longer!!! We are getting 4 coach trains which are being trimmed down to 3 coach trains so that when 2 are coupled together (which will be very rarely due to fact most trains now are only 3 coaches) they can fit on stations like the recently lengthened Salford Crescent (an 8 coach train wouldn't be able to stop!) and stations like Moses Gate can only take 3 coach trains (after the platforms were decimated by the them GMPTE (now TfGM)

I know how long it takes for a train to be built - 3 years from ordering to operating a public service - but we have 91 Class 142 which HAVE to be withdrawn by 2019 but no order has gone through to replace them - and do you honestly think that any engineering company could cope with building not just 91 new trains for UK but for other orders from other countries as well?
[quote][p][bold]Bury Grammar[/bold] wrote: Plus if you had read all my posts (BWFC71 & The Righteous One) on various news report then you will know I have covered all your points! Thing is take a passive attitude and it will only get worse, take a pro-active attitude and eventually thinsg will improve - and guess route I take!!! I admire your optimism but when a new train takes 2 years to build & introduce and service levels are prescribed in the franchise contract, you are not going to get carriages transfered from south yorkshire. Your own answer tells of teh solution but the public at large will never follow it, if the second service is on;ly 40% full and runs only 2 minutes later then they need to get on that one rather than complain that their train is full. Electrification is coming to Bolton and with it longer trains so they are providing a solution, just not a quick one. Don't hold your breath for anything else before the end of next year.[/p][/quote]The trains are not going to be longer!!! We are getting 4 coach trains which are being trimmed down to 3 coach trains so that when 2 are coupled together (which will be very rarely due to fact most trains now are only 3 coaches) they can fit on stations like the recently lengthened Salford Crescent (an 8 coach train wouldn't be able to stop!) and stations like Moses Gate can only take 3 coach trains (after the platforms were decimated by the them GMPTE (now TfGM) I know how long it takes for a train to be built - 3 years from ordering to operating a public service - but we have 91 Class 142 which HAVE to be withdrawn by 2019 but no order has gone through to replace them - and do you honestly think that any engineering company could cope with building not just 91 new trains for UK but for other orders from other countries as well? The Righteous One

2:08pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Wayfarer2 says...

A company called Direct Rail Services has a depot full of locomotive-hauled coaches in Carlisle. Northern Rail could choose to hire in locomotives and coaches from DRS to alleviate overcrowding on train services via Bolton. The Department for Transport would need to give permission but other train operators (First Great Western, Scotrail) already use hired-in loco-hauled trains.
A company called Direct Rail Services has a depot full of locomotive-hauled coaches in Carlisle. Northern Rail could choose to hire in locomotives and coaches from DRS to alleviate overcrowding on train services via Bolton. The Department for Transport would need to give permission but other train operators (First Great Western, Scotrail) already use hired-in loco-hauled trains. Wayfarer2

2:56pm Wed 18 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

Wayfarer2 wrote:
A company called Direct Rail Services has a depot full of locomotive-hauled coaches in Carlisle. Northern Rail could choose to hire in locomotives and coaches from DRS to alleviate overcrowding on train services via Bolton. The Department for Transport would need to give permission but other train operators (First Great Western, Scotrail) already use hired-in loco-hauled trains.
Direct Rail Services (DRS) is a freight operating company created by British Nuclear Fuels Limited.


Passenger services in Cumbria

From 30 November 2009 until 28 May 2010 DRS ran a service between Maryport and Workington following a bridge being damaged by floods. The trains were made up of Class 37s, Class 47s and Class 57s top and tailing DRS Mark 3 carriages.

On 9 January 2012 a trial service was introduced for six weeks by the NDA for its workers with DRS supplying a Class 37 to haul four Mark 2 carriages between Carlisle and Sellafield. The trial was deemed a success with the service to be introduced on a permanent basis in December 2012.

Other trains

For the first half of 2008 DRS also operated the Stobart Pullman railtour trains, using Class 47 locomotives. DRS has also won traffic from other railfreight operators, taking over the Russell container trains previously run by EWS and also the right to operate some Network Rail sandite trains during the autumn leaf-fall season, currently in the vicinity of Stowmarket and Carlisle. Several locomotives are supplied to DB Schenker Infrastructure Monitoring, based at Derby's Railway Technical Centre, which are then employed to work track monitoring trains for Network Rail.

DRS won the prestigious Northern Belle contract in early 2011, hauling dining trains and excursions for one of the British arms of Venice-Simplon Orient Express. In addition to this, a contract for running trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh and the ocean liner terminals of Southampton, on behalf of Cruise Saver Travel, began in 2011. This is similar to the short-lived Ocean Liner Express trains, which ran in 2008.

Since June 2009 DRS has supplied Class 47 locomotives to National Express East Anglia and Greater Anglia at Norwich Crown Point Depot for Thunderbird duties on the Great Eastern Main Line, as well as for hauling Class 90 electric locomotives from Norwich to Great Yarmouth on summer Saturdays and additional trains for the annual Lowestoft air show. This work was previously undertaken by Cotswold Rail. To cover for a lack of servicable DMUs, on several occasions, the locomotives have been used on Norwich - Great Yarmouth service trains, in top and tail formation with Mark 3 carriages.

But apart from that all their stock is to do with freight operations and not passenger services. Their small passenger rolling stock is actually leased from either Angel Trains, Porterbrook or Eversholt Rail Group
[quote][p][bold]Wayfarer2[/bold] wrote: A company called Direct Rail Services has a depot full of locomotive-hauled coaches in Carlisle. Northern Rail could choose to hire in locomotives and coaches from DRS to alleviate overcrowding on train services via Bolton. The Department for Transport would need to give permission but other train operators (First Great Western, Scotrail) already use hired-in loco-hauled trains.[/p][/quote]Direct Rail Services (DRS) is a freight operating company created by British Nuclear Fuels Limited. Passenger services in Cumbria From 30 November 2009 until 28 May 2010 DRS ran a service between Maryport and Workington following a bridge being damaged by floods. The trains were made up of Class 37s, Class 47s and Class 57s top and tailing DRS Mark 3 carriages. On 9 January 2012 a trial service was introduced for six weeks by the NDA for its workers with DRS supplying a Class 37 to haul four Mark 2 carriages between Carlisle and Sellafield. The trial was deemed a success with the service to be introduced on a permanent basis in December 2012. Other trains For the first half of 2008 DRS also operated the Stobart Pullman railtour trains, using Class 47 locomotives. DRS has also won traffic from other railfreight operators, taking over the Russell container trains previously run by EWS and also the right to operate some Network Rail sandite trains during the autumn leaf-fall season, currently in the vicinity of Stowmarket and Carlisle. Several locomotives are supplied to DB Schenker Infrastructure Monitoring, based at Derby's Railway Technical Centre, which are then employed to work track monitoring trains for Network Rail. DRS won the prestigious Northern Belle contract in early 2011, hauling dining trains and excursions for one of the British arms of Venice-Simplon Orient Express. In addition to this, a contract for running trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh and the ocean liner terminals of Southampton, on behalf of Cruise Saver Travel, began in 2011. This is similar to the short-lived Ocean Liner Express trains, which ran in 2008. Since June 2009 DRS has supplied Class 47 locomotives to National Express East Anglia and Greater Anglia at Norwich Crown Point Depot for Thunderbird duties on the Great Eastern Main Line, as well as for hauling Class 90 electric locomotives from Norwich to Great Yarmouth on summer Saturdays and additional trains for the annual Lowestoft air show. This work was previously undertaken by Cotswold Rail. To cover for a lack of servicable DMUs, on several occasions, the locomotives have been used on Norwich - Great Yarmouth service trains, in top and tail formation with Mark 3 carriages. But apart from that all their stock is to do with freight operations and not passenger services. Their small passenger rolling stock is actually leased from either Angel Trains, Porterbrook or Eversholt Rail Group The Righteous One

4:50pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Bury Grammar says...

"The trains are not going to be longer!!! We are getting 4 coach trains which are being trimmed down to 3 coach trains"

Since there is no actual plan in place yet for excatly what electric trains are coming up from the south (Thameslink is running late and the Thames Valley also need the spare electric trains along with south wales and scotland), nobody has yet confirmed if the trains will be 3 or 4 coaches long. Given the overcrowding and technical challenges, Northern are pushing hard to keep them at 4 coaches.

Whilst the number of carriages may not change, a 4 car electric train is longer and so holds more people (around 300 seats and 100 standing)than a 4 car 142 pacer train (around 240 seats and 60 or so standing). There will also be more or longer trains potentially available as the electrics will release diesels. The biggest factor will be how much DfT / TfGM and so on want to spend when the Northern franchise is relet in the next year or two.

Yes 142s might have to be withdrawn by 2019 but there are workable plans to keep them. Don't forget that the DfT not only finances the trains but is also the legal authority on if they are OK to keep running when the disability / access rules change so they alone can decide to rewrite the rules to suit their budget. Industry expectation is that many Pacers such as the 142s will still be running in the 2020s.
"The trains are not going to be longer!!! We are getting 4 coach trains which are being trimmed down to 3 coach trains" Since there is no actual plan in place yet for excatly what electric trains are coming up from the south (Thameslink is running late and the Thames Valley also need the spare electric trains along with south wales and scotland), nobody has yet confirmed if the trains will be 3 or 4 coaches long. Given the overcrowding and technical challenges, Northern are pushing hard to keep them at 4 coaches. Whilst the number of carriages may not change, a 4 car electric train is longer and so holds more people (around 300 seats and 100 standing)than a 4 car 142 pacer train (around 240 seats and 60 or so standing). There will also be more or longer trains potentially available as the electrics will release diesels. The biggest factor will be how much DfT / TfGM and so on want to spend when the Northern franchise is relet in the next year or two. Yes 142s might have to be withdrawn by 2019 but there are workable plans to keep them. Don't forget that the DfT not only finances the trains but is also the legal authority on if they are OK to keep running when the disability / access rules change so they alone can decide to rewrite the rules to suit their budget. Industry expectation is that many Pacers such as the 142s will still be running in the 2020s. Bury Grammar

10:18pm Wed 18 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Bury Grammar wrote:
"The trains are not going to be longer!!! We are getting 4 coach trains which are being trimmed down to 3 coach trains"

Since there is no actual plan in place yet for excatly what electric trains are coming up from the south (Thameslink is running late and the Thames Valley also need the spare electric trains along with south wales and scotland), nobody has yet confirmed if the trains will be 3 or 4 coaches long. Given the overcrowding and technical challenges, Northern are pushing hard to keep them at 4 coaches.

Whilst the number of carriages may not change, a 4 car electric train is longer and so holds more people (around 300 seats and 100 standing)than a 4 car 142 pacer train (around 240 seats and 60 or so standing). There will also be more or longer trains potentially available as the electrics will release diesels. The biggest factor will be how much DfT / TfGM and so on want to spend when the Northern franchise is relet in the next year or two.

Yes 142s might have to be withdrawn by 2019 but there are workable plans to keep them. Don't forget that the DfT not only finances the trains but is also the legal authority on if they are OK to keep running when the disability / access rules change so they alone can decide to rewrite the rules to suit their budget. Industry expectation is that many Pacers such as the 142s will still be running in the 2020s.
That is given as to what we are getting - it is noted on Network Rail and DfT's website. We are getting the 4 coach trains which will be modified to three coach - that is a FACT!

It is not up to Northern as to what size they should be as they are NOT buying the trains, they being given the trains to rent, by the DfT through the train leasing companies such as Angel Trains.

The DfT is the only one that has a say as it is only them that give out the franchise contracts, otherwise there would be various contracts 9on top of the DfT contract) with the various Yorkshire PTE's, the various PTE's in Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and, of course, the TfGM.

I is also fact that the DfT have stated that the Class 142's HAVE to be withdrawn by end of 2019 due to non-compliance of the DDA - and although there are murmurings of the units being adapted then that is wrong as it would mean that the units are being kept out of service, which under current situation, is NOT allowed as ALL useable units have to be used during the peak time travel (and that's not just Northern but all TOCs).

If the DfT decide to break European Law then its up to them, but it would mean that fines would be incurred thus taking more money away from improving the national rail network!!! Plus, in the long term, it is actually cheaper to replace them because of the increasing operating costs and the situation that no engineering company actually produces the spare parts required nowadays because Leyland doesn't exist and neither does BREL - and at the moment all parts are either taken from scrapped units or having to be specially made at extra costs!

And what do you mean by the industry? Rail magazines? people so-called in-the-know? or Dft Press releases?

As it is I have it in writing as to what is happening to the Class 142's from the DfT!
[quote][p][bold]Bury Grammar[/bold] wrote: "The trains are not going to be longer!!! We are getting 4 coach trains which are being trimmed down to 3 coach trains" Since there is no actual plan in place yet for excatly what electric trains are coming up from the south (Thameslink is running late and the Thames Valley also need the spare electric trains along with south wales and scotland), nobody has yet confirmed if the trains will be 3 or 4 coaches long. Given the overcrowding and technical challenges, Northern are pushing hard to keep them at 4 coaches. Whilst the number of carriages may not change, a 4 car electric train is longer and so holds more people (around 300 seats and 100 standing)than a 4 car 142 pacer train (around 240 seats and 60 or so standing). There will also be more or longer trains potentially available as the electrics will release diesels. The biggest factor will be how much DfT / TfGM and so on want to spend when the Northern franchise is relet in the next year or two. Yes 142s might have to be withdrawn by 2019 but there are workable plans to keep them. Don't forget that the DfT not only finances the trains but is also the legal authority on if they are OK to keep running when the disability / access rules change so they alone can decide to rewrite the rules to suit their budget. Industry expectation is that many Pacers such as the 142s will still be running in the 2020s.[/p][/quote]That is given as to what we are getting - it is noted on Network Rail and DfT's website. We are getting the 4 coach trains which will be modified to three coach - that is a FACT! It is not up to Northern as to what size they should be as they are NOT buying the trains, they being given the trains to rent, by the DfT through the train leasing companies such as Angel Trains. The DfT is the only one that has a say as it is only them that give out the franchise contracts, otherwise there would be various contracts 9on top of the DfT contract) with the various Yorkshire PTE's, the various PTE's in Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and, of course, the TfGM. I is also fact that the DfT have stated that the Class 142's HAVE to be withdrawn by end of 2019 due to non-compliance of the DDA - and although there are murmurings of the units being adapted then that is wrong as it would mean that the units are being kept out of service, which under current situation, is NOT allowed as ALL useable units have to be used during the peak time travel (and that's not just Northern but all TOCs). If the DfT decide to break European Law then its up to them, but it would mean that fines would be incurred thus taking more money away from improving the national rail network!!! Plus, in the long term, it is actually cheaper to replace them because of the increasing operating costs and the situation that no engineering company actually produces the spare parts required nowadays because Leyland doesn't exist and neither does BREL - and at the moment all parts are either taken from scrapped units or having to be specially made at extra costs! And what do you mean by the industry? Rail magazines? people so-called in-the-know? or Dft Press releases? As it is I have it in writing as to what is happening to the Class 142's from the DfT! BWFC71

7:54am Thu 19 Dec 13

Bury Grammar says...

The lease companies are working up refurb programmes for the Pacers. There are more than just the 142s in that bracket. They will run past 2019 as no one is willing to fund new build diesel units and that is a FACT. The last tender for such units, placed by the DfT was cancelled by the DfT when the short term hire risks were priced into the deal by the banks lending the money. The only options seemngly being explored by the Industry at the moment are battery \ electric trains that can work say Rochdale to Manchester on battery power and then go on the mains, or tram-trains which will be a bit like metrolink but could also have diesel engines to run on normal train tracks out of the city. Sheffield is going to trial this with an all electric fleet very soon and TfGM see it as having Poterntial in the north west.

No contracts have been signed for the electric trains so nothing is FACT in terms of number of carriages. The DfT plan was based on their expectation that the 4th coach can simply be uncoupled. It can't as it has mechincal & electrical equipment that is needed by the other 3 so there is now a cost. There is also no home for the spare 4th car so the ROSCO that own it will want compo to not use it. It all adds up and with the overcrowding and the fact that Northern never wanted 3 car sets in the first place then bets are off as to what will turn up.

If there is one thing I know in this world, its never believe what the government tells you. Any DfT press release that you think is the truth that does not have a signed contract behind it is simply an expression of their desire, not FACT. DfT has supposedly now taken a step back from being too prescriptive in rolling stock allocation so if Northern (or their successor) want 4 car trains, they will be able to bid for and use 4 car trains. If northern think that 3 car trains are good enough for the Bolton commuters in 2016 then that is what you will get.

For your info, the likes of WYPTE, TfGM and LCC do provide funding to Northern for extra services, trains and so on. How these funds are contracted - direct to Northern or via the DfT / Treasury is not known but the money does come from their budgets. The Rochdale line benefitted from extra carriages that are funded by TfGM. The new Todmorden curve and the extra carriages needed for that are funded by LCC. Merseyrail fund trains in and around merseyside and I think fund better \ higher capacity trains on the Liverpool - Manchester route than were originally in use.

The railway industry is far more complex than just DfT and Franchisee, that is part of the problem but also will be part of the solution too. It doesn't change the immediate FACT that there are insufficient diesel trains in the UK to keep everyone happy and in a seat at peak times. No magic wand will solve that overnight.
The lease companies are working up refurb programmes for the Pacers. There are more than just the 142s in that bracket. They will run past 2019 as no one is willing to fund new build diesel units and that is a FACT. The last tender for such units, placed by the DfT was cancelled by the DfT when the short term hire risks were priced into the deal by the banks lending the money. The only options seemngly being explored by the Industry at the moment are battery \ electric trains that can work say Rochdale to Manchester on battery power and then go on the mains, or tram-trains which will be a bit like metrolink but could also have diesel engines to run on normal train tracks out of the city. Sheffield is going to trial this with an all electric fleet very soon and TfGM see it as having Poterntial in the north west. No contracts have been signed for the electric trains so nothing is FACT in terms of number of carriages. The DfT plan was based on their expectation that the 4th coach can simply be uncoupled. It can't as it has mechincal & electrical equipment that is needed by the other 3 so there is now a cost. There is also no home for the spare 4th car so the ROSCO that own it will want compo to not use it. It all adds up and with the overcrowding and the fact that Northern never wanted 3 car sets in the first place then bets are off as to what will turn up. If there is one thing I know in this world, its never believe what the government tells you. Any DfT press release that you think is the truth that does not have a signed contract behind it is simply an expression of their desire, not FACT. DfT has supposedly now taken a step back from being too prescriptive in rolling stock allocation so if Northern (or their successor) want 4 car trains, they will be able to bid for and use 4 car trains. If northern think that 3 car trains are good enough for the Bolton commuters in 2016 then that is what you will get. For your info, the likes of WYPTE, TfGM and LCC do provide funding to Northern for extra services, trains and so on. How these funds are contracted - direct to Northern or via the DfT / Treasury is not known but the money does come from their budgets. The Rochdale line benefitted from extra carriages that are funded by TfGM. The new Todmorden curve and the extra carriages needed for that are funded by LCC. Merseyrail fund trains in and around merseyside and I think fund better \ higher capacity trains on the Liverpool - Manchester route than were originally in use. The railway industry is far more complex than just DfT and Franchisee, that is part of the problem but also will be part of the solution too. It doesn't change the immediate FACT that there are insufficient diesel trains in the UK to keep everyone happy and in a seat at peak times. No magic wand will solve that overnight. Bury Grammar

8:51am Thu 19 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

The TfGM are looking to use the tram/trains on the Wigan line and lines out to Cheshire only - ie. along the Crescent and then down onto the un-electrified line to Wigan. But the lines will come under the jurisdictioon of TfGM and NOT DfT/Network Rail/Franchisee - see their proposal on the TfGM website.

The so-called contract for the electric trains HAS been signed but delivery has been put back, as you rightly pointed out (something which I pointed out 6 months ago) that they are experiencing delays in receiving their new units down in London.

The TOC's cannot bid for the new units - they can "argue"/"debate" to teh DfT for the units but in the end it is the DfT that decides where the units go - for instnce when the Oldham loop closed the units were moved to the South of teh country and nothing has yet been said about the diesel trains that will be displced when teh electric units start filtering through. Everyone is assuming they will stay with Northern!!!

With regards to the size of teh units - that has already been discussed and is being pushed through to cut down to 3 car units - as explained due to platform lengths - 4 car units by themselves can be used but coupled together cannot be used - and as some units are more than 4 car that would mean downgrading a service to fit the units which is not a working practicality as it would mean having even more services and clogging the lines up even further than at present, therefore the cheapest and most efficient way is to "shrink" the units.

TfGM have NEVER bought or rented any extra carriages - FACT. So that what you say about the Rochdale line is complete nonsense! Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria can no longer afford to pay the so-called extra money to continue low number passenger services, and that has been the case for the last 8 years! The Yorkshire PTE's actively Bought/rented extra rolling stock to help with their services and as such cannot be used outside their area. Merseyside basically helps to fund Merseyrail (which is also owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen and Serco) but TfGM spent most of their tuime investing in the expansion and evolution of the Metrolink and the Leigh Guided busway and investing in real-time displays and improvements for South Manchester areas whilst Wigan and Bolton are completely forgotten about (even with the railways) except for a new bus station here and there at extravagant costs for ever decreasing bus networks

I have never said it would be solved over night but the way the management at Northern work is paethtic. When I lived in The Netherlands I caught the train to work and it was the SAME train every day (so same carriages, same size, same staff) - and yes it was sometimes replaced for maintenance but like for like. Whereas over here no one ever knows what train they are going to getting, what formation, etc etc etc - it is very badly managed!
The TfGM are looking to use the tram/trains on the Wigan line and lines out to Cheshire only - ie. along the Crescent and then down onto the un-electrified line to Wigan. But the lines will come under the jurisdictioon of TfGM and NOT DfT/Network Rail/Franchisee - see their proposal on the TfGM website. The so-called contract for the electric trains HAS been signed but delivery has been put back, as you rightly pointed out (something which I pointed out 6 months ago) that they are experiencing delays in receiving their new units down in London. The TOC's cannot bid for the new units - they can "argue"/"debate" to teh DfT for the units but in the end it is the DfT that decides where the units go - for instnce when the Oldham loop closed the units were moved to the South of teh country and nothing has yet been said about the diesel trains that will be displced when teh electric units start filtering through. Everyone is assuming they will stay with Northern!!! With regards to the size of teh units - that has already been discussed and is being pushed through to cut down to 3 car units - as explained due to platform lengths - 4 car units by themselves can be used but coupled together cannot be used - and as some units are more than 4 car that would mean downgrading a service to fit the units which is not a working practicality as it would mean having even more services and clogging the lines up even further than at present, therefore the cheapest and most efficient way is to "shrink" the units. TfGM have NEVER bought or rented any extra carriages - FACT. So that what you say about the Rochdale line is complete nonsense! Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria can no longer afford to pay the so-called extra money to continue low number passenger services, and that has been the case for the last 8 years! The Yorkshire PTE's actively Bought/rented extra rolling stock to help with their services and as such cannot be used outside their area. Merseyside basically helps to fund Merseyrail (which is also owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen and Serco) but TfGM spent most of their tuime investing in the expansion and evolution of the Metrolink and the Leigh Guided busway and investing in real-time displays and improvements for South Manchester areas whilst Wigan and Bolton are completely forgotten about (even with the railways) except for a new bus station here and there at extravagant costs for ever decreasing bus networks I have never said it would be solved over night but the way the management at Northern work is paethtic. When I lived in The Netherlands I caught the train to work and it was the SAME train every day (so same carriages, same size, same staff) - and yes it was sometimes replaced for maintenance but like for like. Whereas over here no one ever knows what train they are going to getting, what formation, etc etc etc - it is very badly managed! The Righteous One

10:06am Thu 19 Dec 13

Bury Grammar says...

I never claimed that TfGM bought or rented trains. I said they FUNDED them. They can be seen every day running to Rochdale (so long as they are not broken). They are the very same trains that moved south after the end of the Oldham line. The extra (regional) funds paid for them to be brought back north and kept in service rather than using central funds from the DfT which were refused. Clearly they are rented by Northern. If spare diesel trains can be found then this is a funding route that TfGM and Northern can try again, DfT usually says yes if someone else pays.

Merseyrail is a concession franchise so is not owned by Abelio/Serco (Nederlandse Spoorwegen no longer exists as a trading name in the UK) but is more controlled by Merseytravel than DfT as they have local control in a similar way to TfL control the London Overground Concession franchise.

There seem to be murmurings that the new Northern Franchise will be controlled by a partnership of northern based PTEs and CCs so relieving DfT of the hassle. Whether that is a good thing I will leave for you to decide and post on.
I never claimed that TfGM bought or rented trains. I said they FUNDED them. They can be seen every day running to Rochdale (so long as they are not broken). They are the very same trains that moved south after the end of the Oldham line. The extra (regional) funds paid for them to be brought back north and kept in service rather than using central funds from the DfT which were refused. Clearly they are rented by Northern. If spare diesel trains can be found then this is a funding route that TfGM and Northern can try again, DfT usually says yes if someone else pays. Merseyrail is a concession franchise so is not owned by Abelio/Serco (Nederlandse Spoorwegen no longer exists as a trading name in the UK) but is more controlled by Merseytravel than DfT as they have local control in a similar way to TfL control the London Overground Concession franchise. There seem to be murmurings that the new Northern Franchise will be controlled by a partnership of northern based PTEs and CCs so relieving DfT of the hassle. Whether that is a good thing I will leave for you to decide and post on. Bury Grammar

9:03pm Sat 21 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Nederlandse Spoorwegen show the profit from Abellio in their annual accounts and as such they are the ultimate 1/2 owners of Northern. IT is not a subsidary or otherwise but only a "trading as" name! In the same vein South Lancs Travel is only a "trading as" name of Green Triangle Buses.

As of yet there is no such thing as a new Northern Franchise as its all rumours - all we can say for a fact is at this moment in time there will still be the Northern Rail franchise and the Trans-pennine Express franchise.

As for the trains being back north - that NEVER happened otherwise GMPTE/TfGM would have told everybody about it as it was, after checking all their news releases and other sources (including people I know who work for the TfGM). The trains that were on the Oldham loop ended up elsewhere and never came back - possibly Arriva Trains Wales (the ones that ended up with Great western were actually returned BEFORE the closure of the loop!!!)

And as for the other murmurings about the possible partnership - under current Britissh law it is not allowed and would need a change in law for it to take place as ALL franchise contracts have to be controlled by the DfT. If they are not prepared to change the la for the buses (to have the same law as London) then why would they bother for the trains?
Nederlandse Spoorwegen show the profit from Abellio in their annual accounts and as such they are the ultimate 1/2 owners of Northern. IT is not a subsidary or otherwise but only a "trading as" name! In the same vein South Lancs Travel is only a "trading as" name of Green Triangle Buses. As of yet there is no such thing as a new Northern Franchise as its all rumours - all we can say for a fact is at this moment in time there will still be the Northern Rail franchise and the Trans-pennine Express franchise. As for the trains being back north - that NEVER happened otherwise GMPTE/TfGM would have told everybody about it as it was, after checking all their news releases and other sources (including people I know who work for the TfGM). The trains that were on the Oldham loop ended up elsewhere and never came back - possibly Arriva Trains Wales (the ones that ended up with Great western were actually returned BEFORE the closure of the loop!!!) And as for the other murmurings about the possible partnership - under current Britissh law it is not allowed and would need a change in law for it to take place as ALL franchise contracts have to be controlled by the DfT. If they are not prepared to change the la for the buses (to have the same law as London) then why would they bother for the trains? BWFC71

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