Northern rail service increases in July

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Jamesrob637

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Northern have updated some of their temporary timetables with effect from July 20th. They mostly look to involve Blackpool and Scarborough routes
Looks like the Airport train is back, and hourly too - someone mentioned on the 331 thread that these can be 6-car and so can the Hazel Grove. Another load of seats out of Blackpool North per hour.

Edit: it's not hourly but it's more than two-hourly. More like two every three hours.
 
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trainophile

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I see Wigan to Southport (weekdays) is only one TPH now off peak where it was always two. That's usually a busy service even with two TPH. Anyone know how the loading is working out? I should be on it on Monday afternoon, returning Thursday midday-ish.
 

Jamesrob637

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I see Wigan to Southport (weekdays) is only one TPH now off peak where it was always two. That's usually a busy service even with two TPH. Anyone know how the loading is working out? I should be on it on Monday afternoon, returning Thursday midday-ish.
What Northern are running should be booked 4-car so I'd say fine as long as 4 turn up.
 

Greybeard33

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The public papers for the 14 July meeting of the Rail North Committee say (on p13) that only 78% of Northern traincrew are currently available for duty. At some depots the situation will no doubt be worse than this overall figure. The 6 July timetable uplift was intended to reinstate 67% of the full Northern timetable. Also:
Another uplift in timetabled services is planned for the September 2020. This will be focused on re-introducing as much of the planned timetable as possible with reductions to service levels based around resource availability in each local area. This will be the first opportunity to prepare an efficient train plan, reconnecting various routes previously unlinked to produce the original Key Worker Timetable.
The papers can be downloaded from:
 

ForTheLoveOf

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The public papers for the 14 July meeting of the Rail North Committee say (on p13) that only 78% of Northern traincrew are currently available for duty. At some depots the situation will no doubt be worse than this overall figure. The 6 July timetable uplift was intended to reinstate 67% of the full Northern timetable. Also:

The papers can be downloaded from:
Is that the percentage of staff who are suitably traction & route trained, or are they talking about the percentage of staff that are not on holiday and/or ill? If it's the former, that is understandable if frustrating; if it's the latter, that is absolutely shocking and needs to be investigated to determine why staff are clearly suffering much greater absence rates than in other franchises.
 

yorksrob

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Thank you, but it’s still only every two hours to and from Scarborough, however, and this is a big step in the right direction, a Hull to Bridlington service is started from that date. So, I’ll accept that improvement, but I hope we get a hourly service up to Scarborough once more before much longer.
Just seen that poor old Arram gets its train back from that date too.
The public papers for the 14 July meeting of the Rail North Committee say (on p13) that only 78% of Northern traincrew are currently available for duty. At some depots the situation will no doubt be worse than this overall figure. The 6 July timetable uplift was intended to reinstate 67% of the full Northern timetable. Also:

The papers can be downloaded from:
It's clearly unacceptable if we have to wait until September to get a useable service West of Skipton.
 

yorksrob

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Is that the percentage of staff who are suitably traction & route trained, or are they talking about the percentage of staff that are not on holiday and/or ill? If it's the former, that is understandable if frustrating; if it's the latter, that is absolutely shocking and needs to be investigated to determine why staff are clearly suffering much greater absence rates than in other franchises.
Certainly on the S&C and Little North Western, the traction is all fairly old hat ex-BR, so it must be the latter explaination. It does beg the question as to why Northern seems to be so much worse placed than other TOC's. Too few contracted staff to begin with, which exacerbated the other problems that plagued the most recent franchise.
 

northernchris

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Certainly on the S&C and Little North Western, the traction is all fairly old hat ex-BR, so it must be the latter explaination. It does beg the question as to why Northern seems to be so much worse placed than other TOC's. Too few contracted staff to begin with, which exacerbated the other problems that plagued the most recent franchise.
It would be interesting to see how other organisations across different sectors are fairing with staff availability. It could be that businesses in the north are more heavily impacted, particularly in deprived areas where it's been shown the virus has caused more harm. Northern's under staffing is also a factor, and as mentioned sickness will vary across the depots. With the exception of the Calder Valley route, most West Yorkshire lines are at or close to the standard off-peak timetable, albeit with significantly less capacity as Northern seem to be running most services as single units
 

yorksrob

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It would be interesting to see how other organisations across different sectors are fairing with staff availability. It could be that businesses in the north are more heavily impacted, particularly in deprived areas where it's been shown the virus has caused more harm. Northern's under staffing is also a factor, and as mentioned sickness will vary across the depots. With the exception of the Calder Valley route, most West Yorkshire lines are at or close to the standard off-peak timetable, albeit with significantly less capacity as Northern seem to be running most services as single units
I must admit, the other TOC I've been using mostly has been TPE, and I haven't noticed any significant gaps in service - certainly none that actually prevent me getting anywhere.
 

Howardh

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The public papers for the 14 July meeting of the Rail North Committee say (on p13) that only 78% of Northern traincrew are currently available for duty. At some depots the situation will no doubt be worse than this overall figure. The 6 July timetable uplift was intended to reinstate 67% of the full Northern timetable. Also:

The papers can be downloaded from:
Thanks for that, I have emailed and hope I can get an answer!
 

Trackman

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Is that the percentage of staff who are suitably traction & route trained, or are they talking about the percentage of staff that are not on holiday and/or ill? If it's the former, that is understandable if frustrating; if it's the latter, that is absolutely shocking and needs to be investigated to determine why staff are clearly suffering much greater absence rates than in other franchises.
I'm staggered at 78%, what on earth is going on?
There's got to be more to this than holidays and sickness.

Thanks for that, note STILL nothing in the late evening.
Out of curiosity, what was it before?
I think you said it's currently 2230 from Vic
 

Howardh

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I'm staggered at 78%, what on earth is going on?
There's got to be more to this than holidays and sickness.



Out of curiosity, what was it before?
I think you said it's currently 2230 from Vic
If memory serves (ie withing a minute or two) Oxford Road > Bolton was 2331 with one 20' later on a Saturday (maybe Friday too) so fantastic for a night out around the theatres and village.

As I have alluded to, if Nothrern don't want to run the trains at those times, then let another TOC do so and take the subsidy if there is any at those times. But at very least put buses on.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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I'm staggered at 78%, what on earth is going on?
There's got to be more to this than holidays and sickness.
Indeed. And even accepting that (unacceptable) level of availability, there is no reason why Northern couldn't be running 78% of the normal timetable.

Ok, yes, you can't run 78% of an hourly service - unless you drop out the service every 5th hour - but you could run, say, half the lines on a normal timetable and the other half on 50% of the normal frequency.

Of course, route knowledge, links, working hours and so forth mean it's not quite that simple, but running only slightly more than half the normal service means there will no doubt be staff still sitting around in the depot/at home. Which just isn't on.

As with so many things, it's shocking and yet entirely unsurprising for Northern. You can't polish a turd no matter how many brands and logos you give it. Whenever things get even slightly difficult, Northern (in all their guises) have always given out the impression that running a train service is an inconvenience they'd rather not bother with.
 

CaptainHaddock

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Thank you, but it’s still only every two hours to and from Scarborough, however, and this is a big step in the right direction, a Hull to Bridlington service is started from that date. So, I’ll accept that improvement, but I hope we get a hourly service up to Scarborough once more before much longer.
Just seen that poor old Arram gets its train back from that date too.
It's a minor improvement but why on earth they can't extend the Sheffield Hull services to run through to Brid or Scarborough I don't know? Anyone wishing to make a through journey from South Yorkshire to the coast still has to either make a 2 minute "connection" at Hull or wait an hour for the next one.
 

yorksrob

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It's a minor improvement but why on earth they can't extend the Sheffield Hull services to run through to Brid or Scarborough I don't know? Anyone wishing to make a through journey from South Yorkshire to the coast still has to either make a 2 minute "connection" at Hull or wait an hour for the next one.
Unless they just want to discourage through journeys to the coast.

My suspicion is that Northern is attempting to continue discouraging non-essential travel without articulating it.
 

bengley

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I have a few mates who work for Northern and it seems they're taking an age to do 'risk assessments' to bring drivers and guards they class as vulnerable back to work, which could explain the shortage. Many of these staff want to return, but can't because of these risk assessments.

Not really sure why this is so difficult for Northern to do within a reasonable timescale as at my TOC, the vulnerable drivers have always been available to work if they're needed but only as a last resort.
 

185

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I wrote last week to the DfT regarding Northern after informally approaching the ORR ...... Interesting they've still (earlier today) been deleting late evening trains off NRE for Monday after next, when there is no sign of possessions and other trains are running over the same stretch of track.
Priceless. The reply from DfT states:

1. We won't show you Northern's Service Level Agreement (EMA temp franch agreement equivalent for directly run firms) until late in the year.
(My MP is demanding to see it, today)

2. People don't need to travel that late
(Err... key workers do)

3. There's no staff
(Quite a few spares at two depots observed during the daytime)

4. There's often engineering at night so we don't have to run them. Or a bus.
(WT....?!)
 

Howardh

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This is the reply I got today from Transport for Gtr. Manchester (TFGM)


Dear Mr

RE: Bolton – Manchester Rail Services

Thank you for contacting Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) regarding rail
services between Bolton and Manchester following the coronavirus pandemic. I am
sorry to hear of the issues you have recently experienced.

As you may be aware, unfortunately Northern’s ability to run a more frequent
service pattern has been impacted by driver and conductor availability, which
has been challenging in the face of high sickness and self-isolation rates
amongst a number of their staff.

With the above factors in mind, Northern were previously running
approximately 65-70% of its services prior to Monday 06 July 2020, however,
from this date, service frequency increased by around 10%, with a focus on peak
time trains on the busiest routes.

TfGM recognise that the timetable for evening services between Bolton and
Manchester is far from ideal and I would like to assure you that we are
continuing to monitor all Northern services extremely closely, ensuring that
issues such as this are brought to the attention of Northern immediately.

In the meantime, employers are being asked to be flexible in accommodating
workers who are reliant on public transport. We are currently engaging with
employers and business groups across GM to see how we can work together to
help ensure people can make journeys if they have to, in a way that is as safe as
possible. This includes encouraging people to travel outside peak hours

Transport for Greater Manchester is an executive body of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Public transport will be critical to GM’s recovery from coronavirus and we will
continue to monitor demand to ensure that critical services are maintained for
those people who rely on public transport to make essential journeys.

I trust the above information proves useful and once again, thank you for your
feedback. If there is anything further I can help you with then please do not hesitate
to contact me at [email protected].


Yours sincerely

Charlotte Warren
Customer Casework Officer
Implying that nowadays the businesses have to tailor their worker's hours around when the transport is runnign and not the other way round. And that, of course, affects the hospitality industry.
 

yorksrob

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It's nonsense. We have Boris and co claiming that he wants an army of workers, who are already working from home anyway, to go back into the office just so that they can buy a posh coffee from pret, yet they refuse to run services in the evening so that people can go to the pubs and restaurants when they actually want to go out and socialise.

Clueless.
 
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My partern works in a pub on the Preston to Manchester via Bolton line. Since there are no services after around 10 he has to pay over the odds for a taxi when the train is far cheaper usually.
 

northernchris

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It's nonsense. We have Boris and co claiming that he wants an army of workers, who are already working from home anyway, to go back into the office just so that they can buy a posh coffee from pret, yet they refuse to run services in the evening so that people can go to the pubs and restaurants when they actually want to go out and socialise.

Clueless.
To be fair, I can see the logic in encouraging staff to go back to the office as it will help support the economy. I wonder if it's been decided that running later trains are likely to cause problems, especially on weekends. Some of the last trains were extremely busy, and with capacity now limited it wouldn't be fair for staff to have to deal with the fallout from those left behind
 

yorksrob

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To be fair, I can see the logic in encouraging staff to go back to the office as it will help support the economy. I wonder if it's been decided that running later trains are likely to cause problems, especially on weekends. Some of the last trains were extremely busy, and with capacity now limited it wouldn't be fair for staff to have to deal with the fallout from those left behind
That may be a point on Blackpool runs, but isn't the case on the evening services from West of Skipton.

I'd suggest that those who have to work in offices are already doing so. The people who need to be got back to work are those in the social sector who need evening services.
 

185

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Further clarification of the DfT reply, regarding Northern....

One train just after 11pm "this will be restored in the September timetable uplift"

The other train at around 0040 "this train will remain suspended indefinately"

Leaving no trains after 2215. This elaboration came two hours before Boris Johnson addressed the nation saying everyone must now return to work. :rolleyes:
 

Fisherman80

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I'm currently onboard the 1731 service from Morecambe to Skipton,I boarded at Lancaster.Usually this service would be pretty busy. However,theres probably about 15 people onboard.
On the other hand,the 1649 Avanti service from Carlisle to Lancaster was extremely busy.......an 11 coach unit too.
At the moment,the timetable from West Yorkshire to Lancaster and Morecambe is a complete sham,also the Carlisle to Leeds route too.
I know I'm only pointing out 2 routes operated by Northern,but is about time they pulled their finger out because I suspect people without access to cars like myself are getting pretty angry with the situation at Northern.
 

yorksrob

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Further clarification of the DfT reply, regarding Northern....

One train just after 11pm "this will be restored in the September timetable uplift"

The other train at around 0040 "this train will remain suspended indefinately"

Leaving no trains after 2215. This elaboration came two hours before Boris Johnson addressed the nation saying everyone must now return to work. :rolleyes:
I'm currently onboard the 1731 service from Morecambe to Skipton,I boarded at Lancaster.Usually this service would be pretty busy. However,theres probably about 15 people onboard.
On the other hand,the 1649 Avanti service from Carlisle to Lancaster was extremely busy.......an 11 coach unit too.
At the moment,the timetable from West Yorkshire to Lancaster and Morecambe is a complete sham,also the Carlisle to Leeds route too.
I know I'm only pointing out 2 routes operated by Northern,but is about time they pulled their finger out because I suspect people without access to cars like myself are getting pretty angry with the situation at Northern.
They are two very important routes which would ordinarily get good usage and I agree 100%.

It's an absolute disgrace that no timescales have been given.
 

northernchris

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Further clarification of the DfT reply, regarding Northern....

One train just after 11pm "this will be restored in the September timetable uplift"

The other train at around 0040 "this train will remain suspended indefinately"

Leaving no trains after 2215. This elaboration came two hours before Boris Johnson addressed the nation saying everyone must now return to work. :rolleyes:
This doesn't sound encouraging for the return to a full timetable.
 
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