Sunday 20th saw multiple cancellations of trains serving Marsden and Slaithwaite, including a three hour gap in the service at Marsden.
One of the supposed advantages of TPE taking over the services was that adapting to disruption was supposed to become a whole lot easier. SMART was led to believe that in the event of a cancellation it’s more likely that an express will make additional stops, rather than passengers being abandoned or left to try to work out where when and if a replacement bus might appear. You can guess what happened – yes, it was a replacement bus taking four times as long as the train.
Then later on in the evening one of TPEs delayed trains missed out Mossley and Slaithwaite in order to make up time.
SMART will be looking for explanations as to why what happened was the opposite of what we had been led to expect.
Difficult to know where to start so far as Monday 21st is concerned, not least because any of the more determined commuters who finally made it as far as Manchester still have to get home this evening. The morning commute towards Leeds appears to have more-or-less worked, with only minor delays. Not so towards Manchester. Some of the Stalybridge to Victoria connecting services were cancelled, and some connections missed at Stalybridge because of delays.
Two of our trains only made it as far as Stalybridge before being terminated, because what passengers want most of all is to be stranded six miles short of their destination.