Dale Haslam's train blog: Poor form regarding the chaos
LAST week, I wrote about how train passengers were preparing for travel chaos during six weeks of major disruption on the Manchester to Blackpool North line starting this Saturday.
It will be a pain for everyone using the line as the service will be heavily reduced and buses will replace trains on some routes.
But one thing that really got my goat this past weekend was how another phase of disruption went under-reported.
There were no trains at all between Chorley and Bolton — my route to work — so I had to get a replacement bus, which takes an hour rather than 15 minutes.
It is not even this delay that bothers me and other rail users, who fork out hundreds if not thousands of pounds for rail season tickets.
It is that Network Rail, which runs the lines, and Northern Rail, which runs Chorley and Bolton stations, did not try very hard to tell us about it.
Ahead of the six weeks of disruption, these two firms have displayed posters at stations long in advance, handed out leaflets at stations and uploaded a prominent message on the front page of the Northern Rail website.
By comparison, the two-day stoppage got a mention in the engineering works section of the Northern Rail website.
The first I knew about the replacement buses was on Saturday morning when I logged on to the National Rail website.
I had checked the same part of the same website 12 hours earlier and there was no such message.
So why the inconsistency?
Do the companies in question feel those who use the trains during the week somehow deserve more coverage than weekend travellers, or was it just an unfortunate oversight?
Either way, it is poor form.