Northern Rail = Fail !!!

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Butts

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Why on earth are Northern Rail responsible for Alnmouth Station when most of the services are CC or East Coast - proper grown up TOC's with reasonable rolling stock not "clapped out chuggers"

I arrived at 1830 tonight to catch a service to Edinburgh to find the ticket office/waiting room locked and no one in sight (staff)

The indicator boards carried no service information and the "help point" helpfully had a sticker stating it was out of order.:oops:

On an evening when services were disrupted due to the problems in The South of England did they not have the wit to get a member of staff to stay behind in the absence of any other source of information :roll:
 
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bb21

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Is there a Help Point on the platform? If not then I would find it truly shocking.
 

Masboroughlad

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That does sound dire...

Lots to be said for Northumberland locals being given to East Coast or even, as somebody else says on here recently, Edinburgh-Newcastle locals to Scotrail.
 

ainsworth74

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proper grown up TOC's with reasonable rolling stock not "clapped out chuggers"
Why the constant campaign against Northern? They didn't decide to use the rolling stock they have, in fact I'd suggest that given the resources they have at their disposal (pretty limited) that they're doing a very good job. Then again I suppose you're used to Scotrail where you live on a diet of 156s, 158s (including former Northern Rail units that were loaned then acquired permanently), 170s as well as fleet of EMUs. You know, the sort of rolling stock that we here in Northern Rail land could mostly only dream about...

Forgive me if this is a bit harsh, but it really gets on my nerves when people constantly make snide comments about Northern, as if they actually had a choice.

Edinburgh-Newcastle locals to Scotrail.
As I understand it there is neither the track capacity nor the business case for there to be Edinburgh - Newcastle local services.
 

Masboroughlad

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Overall. I do think Northern do OK with what they have (although what you encountered at the station was not good).

They deserve some new stock!
 

ainsworth74

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I should perhaps add to my earlier post that I do wholeheartedly agree that the situation encountered above is definitely unacceptable and it would be interesting to see what Northern think about the situation.
 

Butts

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Forgive me if this is a bit harsh, but it really gets on my nerves when people constantly make snide comments about Northern, as if they actually had a choice.
Yes "MR 3000" on reflection you are correct - but they could at least staff the station in the event of equipment failure :p
 

ainsworth74

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Yes "MR 3000" on reflection you are correct
Is that a note of jealousy I detect :lol:

but they could at least staff the station in the event of equipment failure
Good point and I suppose they have there reasons for not doing so (station staff might not have wanted to work overtime and no one else could be found for example). If the help point wasn't working and didn't have a sign on it that could suggest they didn't even know it was broken. But the fact that they knew it was broken and still didn't do anything about ensuring that passengers could get in contact is an issue. Have you considered writing to them about it? At the very least asking what they would advise passengers to do in such circumstances?
 

MidnightFlyer

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I can't check but I doubt Alnmouth is staffed into the late evening - it's a one man job I think, and if his shift finished at 3 o clock and he's long gone, there's not much can be done, unless you ferry in spare staff (and I don't think such staff are as freely available as onboard staff to cover, especially when you consider how far out of the way the station is compared to others.

Also, why on earth is there the need for the comment about the rolling stock?!
 

Butts

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Is that a note of jealousy I detect :lol:



Good point and I suppose they have there reasons for not doing so (station staff might not have wanted to work overtime and no one else could be found for example). If the help point wasn't working and didn't have a sign on it that could suggest they didn't even know it was broken. But the fact that they knew it was broken and still didn't do anything about ensuring that passengers could get in contact is an issue. Have you considered writing to them about it? At the very least asking what they would advise passengers to do in such circumstances?
1. Yes :oops:

2. Probably advise you to catch a service to Newcastle and take it from there :roll:
 

rail-britain

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Why on earth are Northern Rail responsible for Alnmouth Station when most of the services are CC or East Coast - proper grown up TOC's with reasonable rolling stock not "clapped out chuggers"

I arrived at 1830 tonight to catch a service to Edinburgh to find the ticket office/waiting room locked and no one in sight (staff)
Try Lockerbie, operated by ScotRail, but not served by any ScotRail services!
 

Butts

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I can't check but I doubt Alnmouth is staffed into the late evening - it's a one man job I think, and if his shift finished at 3 o clock and he's long gone, there's not much can be done, unless you ferry in spare staff (and I don't think such staff are as freely available as onboard staff to cover, especially when you consider how far out of the way the station is compared to others.

Also, why on earth is there the need for the comment about the rolling stock?!
The office shuts at 1800 I think.

With regard to the rolling stock you are correct - not relevant :oops:
 
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Didn't the EC problems, at Grantham and Huntingdon, occur around lunchtime? The assumption being, that the knock on effects would last, well into the afternoon/early evening? Therefore someone should have been on duty. More so, if the help point was knowingly out of order. Was the OP the only one travelling to Edinburgh?
 

Butts

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Didn't the EC problems, at Grantham and Huntingdon, occur around lunchtime? The assumption being, that the knock on effects would last, well into the afternoon/early evening? Therefore someone should have been on duty. More so, if the help point was knowingly out of order. Was the OP the only one travelling to Edinburgh?
No there were four or five of us.

Before the Cross Country Service arrived (an hour after the EC one was due) two EC Services hammered through the station Northwards within 10 mins of each other - surely one of them could have stopped?
 
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No there were four or five of us.

Before the Cross Country Service arrived (an hour after the EC one was due) two EC Services hammered through the station Northwards within 10 mins of each other - surely one of them could have stopped?
I can see both sides of the argument here. On the one hand, EC might have thought it better, that the two services you saw should try and make up time? Equally, I can see, an argument for saying stop at Alnmouth. That way, passengers waiting for Edinburgh would get there a bit quicker. It's a difficult balance I guess.
 

PR1Berske

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I have had comments on this forum deleted whenever I criticise Northern Rail, so I won't say too much anymore

But I will say that the company has not, in my observation and reading Twitter, and hearing friend's comments, improved one bit during their tenure. Their reputation amongst my friends and within easy reach of searching Twitter/blogs is horrific, and I hope beyond hope that they lose their franchise.

Just a terrible, terrible company.
 

Robinson

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Coleshill Parkway has I believe a similar status with respect to London Midland.
I believe that's to do with CrossCountry not being allowed to manage any stations. Same situation exists at Wilnecote and Water Orton (managed by LM), while Stamford and stations to Derby and Leicester are EMT-managed.

Have never been sure of the reason why XC don't manage any stations though...
 

irongecko

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They could at least allow seat reservations on their 1+ hour services, but they still deliver a much better service than the local stagecoach buses.
 

Simon11

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I believe that's to do with CrossCountry not being allowed to manage any stations. Same situation exists at Wilnecote and Water Orton (managed by LM), while Stamford and stations to Derby and Leicester are EMT-managed.

Have never been sure of the reason why XC don't manage any stations though...
Xc don't manage any stations, because it not very efficent for xc to only manage a few stations. With lm, they can be more efficent with sorting the rotas, covering spare turns etc

 

WestCoast

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The indicator boards carried no service information and the "help point" helpfully had a sticker stating it was out of order.:oops:
:
Not good, but in selected areas of the country there are some quite well used stations (100,000 users +) without service information boards or help points. One of my local stations doesn't have either and it's not far behind Almouth in passenger figures.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I have had comments on this forum deleted whenever I criticise Northern Rail, so I won't say too much anymore

But I will say that the company has not, in my observation and reading Twitter, and hearing friend's comments, improved one bit during their tenure. Their reputation amongst my friends and within easy reach of searching Twitter/blogs is horrific, and I hope beyond hope that they lose their franchise.

Just a terrible, terrible company.
I seem to remember that your complaints revolved around stock which, as you are no doubt fully aware of reading these forums, is actually a Government issue. Infrastructural delays should not be attributed to them either. Not that a proportion of the travelling understand this.

Twitter/blogs/YouTube comments/word of mouth e.t.c are not necessarily accurate reflections of the average traveller experience - they tend not to be. If they were, transport companies like Ryanair who accrue thousands of daily rants, would be out of business a long time ago. However, they still carry millions of satisfied travellers each year and that number is growing.

You could get Virgin to run the Northern franchise (not that they would ever take on such a challenging and 'unglamorous' set of routes and resources) and I honestly doubt there would be much of a difference from today. In fact, would they even be able to perform as effectively as the current operator?

If I was to be cynical about this, I'd say the Government was quite happy for you to think that it's all "this terrible, terrible (private) company's" fault and that a new company running the Northern franchise would improve the services dramatically from all angles. For me and probably many others, that suggestion is quite frankly laughable.
 
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34D

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Surely given disruption occurred in EC territory it could be suggested that they could send a controller to affected unstaffed (at that time) stations, rather than assuming that Northern should somehow find a member of staff to go to an obscure station to greet 5 passengers? Surely posters were up advertising 08457 484950 which passengers could call to receive advice?
 
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In the computer age we live in TOC's are only going to continue cutting station staffing numbers as more and more people have smartphones and tablets capable of accessing up to date information in times of disrruption.
 

142094

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Many of you will not/don't remember what came before Northern. If you actually had the displeasure of travelling on Arriva Trains Northern, then you'd know how much the franchise has improved since Northern took over.

Secondly, since this was an East Coast problem, I don't see anyone criticising them for not sending someone out to sort out their own passengers. Although it would have been nice for the ticket office to stay open, it is not unreasonable for them to leave after their shift has ended.

Perhaps a different TOC should run Alnmouth, although why East Coast or XC would run Chathill, Acklington, Widdrington etc is anyone's guess.
 

exile

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Northern Rail stations locally
Sankey - ticket office closes at 14:00. When closed - no shelter or seats on Liverpool platform. No information screens, help point or announcements or ticket machine. 100,000 passengers a year.

Widnes - ticket office closes lunchtime. When closed - seats but no shelter on Liverpool platform. No information screens. Ticket machine, but have yet to see this working. 300,000 passengers a year.
 

142094

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Aren't both of those in the Merseytravel PTE area? If so, then Merseytravel no doubt have some influence over when the ticket offices are open and what facilities are at stations.
 

David

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I have had comments on this forum deleted whenever I criticise Northern Rail, so I won't say too much anymore

But I will say that the company has not, in my observation and reading Twitter, and hearing friend's comments, improved one bit during their tenure. Their reputation amongst my friends and within easy reach of searching Twitter/blogs is horrific, and I hope beyond hope that they lose their franchise.

Just a terrible, terrible company.
Apart from the livery, what with change if Northern lose the franchise?

Answer, nothing. They will still have the same staff and trains. With the very limited resources they have, they do a great job.
 
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