Unfortunately Northern proved themselves to be abysmal for connections, and they don't really seem to care about it.
At Wakefield Kirkgate we were told to change for Knottingley, and there is a booked timetabled connection, but we were about 3 minutes late and the connection left from the other side of the station with no time for anyone to transfer. These trains are hourly and the response was basically don't try to make the connection as they won't wait. I will ask Metro to consider withdrawing the advertised connection from their timetable or ask Northern to honour it.
At Church Fenton, two passengers for Ulleskelf (that has very few trains) were told to leave their train that was 20-minutes late because it would "make the connection". It didn't. These people were then left for 3-and-a-half hours at Church Fenton. The conductor should have either arranged for the connection to wait or, if unable to do so, advise they stay on to York and get the Ulleskelf train from there. But no, he abandoned them at Church Fenton.
Fortunately these people, with our advice and help, were able to get Northern to (reluctantly, and "don't tell anyone or others may want it" :roll: ) organise a taxi for them.
I'm not at all impressed with Northern now. I get the impression that they want to turn passengers away and put them off travelling. Is this so they can claim demand isn't there and cut services I wonder?
Given the small size of Ulleskelf, if they give a few people there a hard time, word of mouth would soon spread around the village that the service isn't up to much, people will then be reluctant to use it, and then what future is there for the station? Are Northern looking at trying to get it closed I wonder?
The service seems to be run for the benefit of the on-time statistics, not for the passengers!
However I don't blame the front line staff (except for the one in the Church Fenton fiasco, who we had no contact with anyway), they were all friendly and one even commented to us "when we work for them, they take our brains out" It would be funny if it wasn't so true! :cry:
At Carlisle there is an 8-minute (hence valid) connection between the 1752 arrival from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the 1800 to Appleby (and some other less important places like Leeds and Sheffield). Here we again see northern's inability to connect with themselves, as I have been given a taxi-at Northern's expense- from Carlisle to Appleby many times. God knows how much they lose themselves in taxi fares.
Arriva were just getting it right, and then in comes the cheapest operator they could find. This is the franchise merry-go-round and it means that now we're back to the start of privatisation, nearly no progress at all made.
At least a Pacer ride is more interesting than say a Pendolino or a Meridian (the most boringly competent train I have ever been on). I agree that as a means of travel for normal folk, Pacers leave a lot to be desired. I guess it's what sets people like me (and probably you if you are reading this!) apart from norms.
I agree with Dennis. It is not a case off us. The passengers. Tramboy, you are getting the right idea off them being useful. i will stand up & fight anyone who thinks Pacers are rubbish after they have been on a Arriva Trains Wales 143. :P
Aye. One thing I must say I don't like about Pacers is the noise they make, the one I'm thinking of was on the way back from Rhymney one night on a 142 (not through choice), the thing constantly going something like 'Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr' (OK, that doesn't give you much idea, I'll demonstrate on Saturday), it is perhaps suffice to say I was getting cheesed off with Pacers by now, IIRC my report said 'Let's get back to civilisation already!', ie something where food and drink, plus decent trains and buses are readily available, unlike the Valleys.
Whilst on the topic of the Valleys, has anyone seen a 158 come down to Cardiff Central from Queen Street? I have! 158845 came down yesterday from somewhere to do the 1747 to Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr, via Tregatwg!