Some statistics on cancellations since the timetable change

Number of cancellations or part-cancellations of trains serving Slaithwaite and Marsden 20th May to 7th August (2pm) 453
of which Northern services
of which TPE services 436
of which full cancellations 252
of which started/terminated at Stalybridge 201
As they are the same trains, the figures for Greenfield and Mossley are likely to be very similar.
The number of cancellations and part-cancellations has been significantly higher at Slaithwaite and Mossley than at Marsden and Greenfield.
[Source: This is as accurate as we can make it as at 7th August.  It will keep increasing. It does not include trains part-cancelled east of Huddersfield (e.g. trains to Hull terminated at Leeds or trains omitting stops between Hudds & Leeds). We have not even attempted to look at punctuality – a large proportion of the trains that do run are significantly late.]
Posted in Marsden, Northern Rail, Slaithwaite, timetable changes, Transpennine | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Leo Goodwin: My message to TransPennine Express passengers – I share your pain”

[from the Yorkshire Post, Tuesday 07 August 2018]

The Yorkshire Post asked TPE Managing Director, Leo Goodwin, a series of questions about their abysmal service since the timetable change. Specific questions were asked about the impact on two places, Scarborough and Slaithwaite. This is what Mr Goodwin provided in return.

Still sticking to the line that it’s mostly someone else’s fault.

Yorkshire Post article follows:

It’s fair to say that over the last
 few months, rail customers on some routes in the North have experienced significant disruption following 
the introduction of a major timetable change by a number of train

I’ve said it before and I will continue
 to say it until we have this sorted; I am truly sorry to anyone that has been affected by this. I frequently travel
 on our services and speak to customers on board and I am fully aware of the
impact that this has had on some 
people’s lives.

I read the comment piece by 
Tom Richmond in The Yorkshire Post 
on Saturday and hope I can now 
provide more balance to this.

The most important thing is we continue to resolve the issues and
 fully restore the level of service customers expect and deserve.

To those that travel with us, it may 
not appear that we have taken 
immediate action to address the issues since May.

However, behind the scenes, we
 have been working with Network Rail
 and other rail operators on a joint 
plan to improve the punctuality and resilience of train services in the

It’s really important that we 
all work together on this because 
around three-quarters of the delays 
to our services which have occurred since May have been caused by factors which are outside our direct control, principally infrastructure faults and delays on services run by other rail operators which have caused knock-on delays to TransPennine Express trains.

As a result of these joint plans, over 
the past week, we’ve started to see
 some notable improvements in performance following the phased reintroduction of Northern 

Northern had adopted a temporary timetable which was put in place alongside positive changes made by Network Rail including a change 
to their train regulating policy on 
the East Coast Main Line (which 
decides the order that different trains run in and how long they stop at 
signals for).

Our trains to and from Scarborough in particular have started to benefit 
from these changes.

This is positive progress, but there is still more to be done.

The railway in central Manchester 
is more congested than ever before 
which has had an effect on our 
services, all of which run through 
the city.

We are working hard with Network Rail and other rail operators to address this issue.

Our customers, including members 
of rail user groups, have quite 
rightly contacted us about the performance of our services and 
all of their correspondence has been responded to.

We have also attended various
 public meetings where people have 
had the chance to ask questions
 and raise concerns about these issues directly with us.

Our priority is to deliver the best possible level of service for our passengers.

Later this year, customers across Yorkshire will begin travelling on the 
first of our £500m Nova trains – with 
this futuristic fleet being the newest in the UK.

In a couple of weeks time, building work will begin on a new £7m maintenance depot for these trains, 
which is situated just outside Scarborough station.

With such positive and transformational changes just
 around the corner, our priority
 now is working with the rest of
 the rail industry to fully restore the reliability of all services.

I want to assure customers 
across the North of England that 
this is our number one priority 
and I thank them for their 

Leo Goodwin is managing director of 
TransPennine Express.

Read more at:

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“Where’s the TransPennine Express boss? His train service is so bad that commuters miss the old Pacers”

Thanks to Tom Richmond and the Yorkshire Post for being the first, and so far the only, regional newspaper to highlight what an appalling service TransPennine have provided at our stations since the timetable change.

Tom Richmond: Where’s the TransPennine Express boss? His train service is so bad that commuters miss the old Pacers

[from the Yorkshire Post, Saturday 04 August 2018]

TRAIN operator Northern has, rightly, been in the firing line over the continuing chaos on the region’s railways – its record of failure embodies Chris Grayling’s dismal tenureship of the Department for Transport.

Yet First Group’s rapidly deteriorating TransPennine Express franchise, which operates longer distance services, is just as culpable and Scarborough resident Janet Toker performed a very useful service earlier this week by allowing The Yorkshire Post to publish the catalogue of excuses she chronicled over a two-week period.

She’s a human casualty of the disruption which has cost the economy over £35m – and one million lost hours – according the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. And she’s not alone.

Her anguish prompted residents of Slaithwaite and Marsden, two commuter communities served by the main Leeds to Manchester line, to get in touch about their daily nightmare which is damning of the whole rail industry from Mr Grayling to the bosses of rail franchises.

Slaithwaite resident Michael Blake wrote:

“Until May 20 we had an hourly service in both directions run by Northern on ancient rolling stock (Pacers).

“By and large the service, although not perfect, worked pretty well, subject to the Pacers breaking down occasionally because they were clapped-out and the well-known cancellations because of staffing shortages. TPE took over the franchise on May 20 and, since then, the service has fallen apart completely.”

That’s right. The decrepit old Pacers – buses converted to trains – were more reliable than the current service where last-minute cancellations mean passengers are left stranded in either Slaithwaite or Marsden on the way to work, or at Manchester or Leeds for the journey home, for at least an hour, and longer if the next train also does not turn up.

“Residents have now lost all confidence that they can catch a train at the advertised time,”

adds Mr Blake.

It’s a familiar story which needs retelling to remind 10 Downing Street that the Government must now honour Theresa May’s call for further improvements. Yet, after reading reams of emails and correspondence, what angers – and appals – Mr Blake, and his fellow critics, most of all is the near silence, and ambivalence, of TPE managing director Leo Goodwin.

There has been no response of note. This is shameful. His organisation is failing to provide a public service – and all those at the mercy of his trains deserve a full and frank explanation from the man in charge. I hope it is forthcoming by the time that I write next week’s column.

Posted in Campaigning, Marsden, Slaithwaite, timetable changes, Transpennine | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Learning the lessons from a summer of Northern rail chaos”: a report by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership

A report published today (30th July) by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership analyses the disruption that has occurred since the May timetable change.

It’s interesting to note – and long overdue – that TPE are criticised for a level of service which is even worse than Northern’s.

Some of the damning comments in the report, with particular reference to how it affects passengers – or should that be former passengers? – at Slaithwaite, Marsden, Greenfield and Mossley:

“[Northern] did, however, recognise the scale of the situation and after two weeks implemented an emergency timetable – something TransPennine Express failed to do despite appalling performance, with up to half of trains seriously late or cancelled on some routes and days, with the worst performance in the country on this measure for the last three months.”

“Trans Pennine have also not co-operated with us on this report; a lack of transparency that is unhelpful.”

“In the aftermath of the timetable change, Northern accepted quickly the need to adopt an emergency timetable. However, Trans Pennine Express did not take the opportunity to adopt an emergency timetable, despite the fact …. that they have been cancelling 15% of their trains, or seeing them arrive more than 30 minutes late.”

“To compound matters, Trans Pennine Express have dealt with their lack of resilience …… by regularly cancelling trains at either ends of routes early.”

“This lack of responsiveness by First Group ….. makes this franchise in need of greater ongoing scrutiny by Rail North, with commuter towns to Leeds such as Dewsbury and Batley, alongside Stalybridge and the communities between there and Huddersfield, seeing sustained problems which have yet to be substantively improved.”

NPP report linked here.

Additional information from Manchester Evening News, 30th July 2018

Posted in Northern Rail, timetable changes, Transpennine | Tagged , , | 1 Comment