Recent Transpennine Express problems: What's going on?

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DC2001

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TPE delay repay is useless. I've tried to claim delay repay as I was delayed an hour a couple of weeks ago, and they came back to me saying that I arrived only eleven minutes late! I know how much I was delayed by, so why they're trying to contest this I really don't know! Needless to say I re-submitted my claim. Let's hope part 2 goes smoother and I get the thirty quid back!
I have only ever had to claim once from TPE and it did take a while and despite being for a reasonably complicated journey they paid out quickly once they had approved it (first time)
 
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MML

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I suspect TPE is loss making because its costs are high, yet those costs are not currently spread across a high enough number of customers to achieve a profit.
3-car units are part of the problem. The track access costs, station infrastructure and staffing costs, rolling stock lease and operating crew costs will only benefit from the proposed strengthening of services, assuming passenger growth continues and the extra capacity is filled.
 

class 9

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What you also find is that a RT departure from SCA doesn’t equal a RT departure from York. There’s a particularly annoying XC service that always gets slotted into Platform 3 in front of the on-time TPE to LIV, which frequently pushes delay onto it, making it miss the path through Leeds and pick up more delay there. Then it gets held at Ravensthorpe for the Northern service to Castleford, and causes my stopper off HUD to get regulated!
As an XC Driver, this is a rare, we usually get delayed waiting outside waiting for the LIV service to clear platform 3.
 

tpjm

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As an XC Driver, this is a rare, we usually get delayed waiting outside waiting for the LIV service to clear platform 3.
Tit for tat. I’ve done the SCA run (too) many times over the past 9 months as part of various new fleet introductory work and I’d beg to differ. :D
 

HH

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As TPE delay repay and customer services is handled by Capita, don't hold out for any miracles

(Capita, by the way, are the same bullies company who handle the TV licensing, and DWP PIP assesments)
I believe it’s in the process of being changed (and might have already). Doesn’t really matter when the same procedures are being followed, e.g. only Advance Purchase tickets, bought from TPE directly, qualify for semi-automated processing.

Capita suffer from similar problems to other such companies, but in TPE’s case it would be wrong to lay the blame on them I feel.
 

gimmea50anyday

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Can't be. The 1Vxx Thames Valley service is due to leave at xx:35, the 1Fxx TPE can't enter P4 until P3 is occupied or has to be proven to be stationary on P4 before an arrival on P3 can be cleared due to the signal overlap and isn't due to depart until xx:42 anyway. Any delay to the XC blocks departures off 4.

However, A 1Exx TPE scarborough bound running late can impact on the 1Vxx south west on P9 as that usually departs from P5 leading to a conflicting move south of the station unless the TPE is put across at Church Fenton, that in itself however can then cause a conflict
on the xx:48 Newcastle that's due off 10 if it's any more than 5 late.
 

gimmea50anyday

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As an XC Driver, this is a rare, we usually get delayed waiting outside waiting for the LIV service to clear platform 3.
Tit for tat. I’ve done the SCA run (too) many times over the past 9 months as part of various new fleet introductory work and I’d beg to differ. :D
XC hold the record with me for TOC on TOC delay, regulated 17 minutes at Longlands on a sat evening train full of drunks awaiting an XC that had yet to reach Thirsk when I was brought to a stand. 10 minutes before the HST passed me, then a further 4 minutes while the following EC then passed which then made a stop at Northallerton. 21 late Darlington!
Fortunately I kept the train in good spirits by playing party hits over the PA off my phone. The train was bouncing to Amy Winehouse, Shania Twain and Queen! XX
 

LittleAH

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They got very upset when the Yorkshire Post started pointing out just how awful TPEs service was at some of the smaller stations on the North Transpennine Route. Rather more upset, it has to be said, about a bit of bad publicity than about the impact on the passengers and communities affected.
I used to get the Yorkshire Post, but the quality of journalism has dipped considerably, like most newspapers. All too willing to print stories on transport for their own agenda rather than delve into the facts. MEN is the same, something that not too long ago Richard Clinnick picked up on.

My biggest issue with the YP is their use of their opinion writer as some kind of faux journalist. Sad to say, but the decline of proper Transport correspondents has led to this and these 'journos' don't look into the why anymore.
 

jamesst

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I used to get the Yorkshire Post, but the quality of journalism has dipped considerably, like most newspapers. All too willing to print stories on transport for their own agenda rather than delve into the facts. MEN is the same, something that not too long ago Richard Clinnick picked up on.

My biggest issue with the YP is their use of their opinion writer as some kind of faux journalist. Sad to say, but the decline of proper Transport correspondents has led to this and these 'journos' don't look into the why anymore.
Think that's pretty much standard with all local (&indeed most national) newspapers these days, it's a dying industry.
 

LittleAH

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Think that's pretty much standard with all local (&indeed most national) newspapers these days, it's a dying industry.
It really shouldn't be, but it is! Most transport coverage in the news is quite pitiful though, unless you read specialist media. Delve a bit deeper and TPE's issues are largely infrastructure, but YP and the MEN just blame the TOC's.
 

2L70

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^ Proud to be TPE. Setting the standards for keeping punters happy and tailoring to suit the demographic. Bravo. :D
So the rumours that the productivity deal would include Amazon style social media accounts where any reports of bad working conditions is denied, might be some truth in it...
 

Eccles1983

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The deflector shield formally known as Northern is not working anymore.

TPE are now being exposed for what they have been doing for a while - letting down passengers and being generally awful.

They have some of the best PR teams in the universe for this to only be rearing its head now. They have been abysmal for 18 months.
 
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Seehof

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Can anybody explain the logic of having airport trains from York going via Manchester Victoria. It makes the journey longer and puts pressure on platforms 13 and 14 at Piccadilly as well as the line to the Ordsall curve.
Obviously, it would be a disadvantage not to serve Victoria and there is the problem of crossing Piccadilly station throat and crews changing ends.
However, it used to work - was quicker and reliable and eased congestion.
I speak as someone who has only made it through to the airport on one train out of four without being chucked out at Victoria in the last six months!!
 

Dunc108

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Yes Airport trains via the Chord were the main reasons for building it and keeping congestion away from Piccadilly station throat. Trains via Guide Bridge would've needed to cross the whole layout twice once going out and then coming back to reach the Airport line at Slade Lane Junction. I don't think it will matters what you do to be honest Piccadilly will always be congested and now the Chord is built there will always be a requirement to use it. They had to make more use of Victoria because the City needs the capacity and I can't see that changing.

The changes the Chord would bring were known long before it was built. At best you could probably divert 1 TPE via Guide Bridge (if such paths exist) but they'd have to replace it with something over the Chord. The bulk of TPE services would still be via Victoria. There just isn't the capacity to divert every service imaginable via Oxford Road.
 
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js1000

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Can anybody explain the logic of having airport trains from York going via Manchester Victoria. It makes the journey longer and puts pressure on platforms 13 and 14 at Piccadilly as well as the line to the Ordsall curve.
Obviously, it would be a disadvantage not to serve Victoria and there is the problem of crossing Piccadilly station throat and crews changing ends.
However, it used to work - was quicker and reliable and eased congestion.
I speak as someone who has only made it through to the airport on one train out of four without being chucked out at Victoria in the last six months!!
The problem of trains in/out of Piccadilly cutting across the 'throat' was identified years ago. A train from York via Piccadilly to the Airport has to cut across the tracks at Piccadilly trains to/from Stockport which has a disproportionate impact on paths.

They thought that by putting more trans-Pennine services through Victoria this would reduce trains cutting across Piccadilly and improve paths - as such the Ordsall Chord would allow trans-Pennine to 'go round the back door'. In reality, all it's done is transfer the congestion problem to Castlefield - and which has been exacerbated without platforms 15/16 at Piccadilly which would add resilience.

All it's achieved is effectively to rob Peter to pay Paul in a rail capacity sense and moved the problem elsewhere. You'll find many on here who would argue the strategy has not worked given Manchester Oxford Road for instance is the most delayed major station in the country as a result of these. I should add the Crewe/Airport to Piccadilly stopper was also extended to Liverpool simply to avoid having to cut across platform 13 and reducing capacity at this busy platform as 'through' capacity is limited.
 

tpjm

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You'll find many on here who would argue the strategy has not worked given Manchester Oxford Road for instance is the most delayed major station in the country as a result of these.
I'd argue that MCO has more problems than just being over capacity! Northern crew changes going wrong and blocking the road, trains coming on and off Platform 5 and crossing all tracks, the general infrastructure around Platform 3 making it virtually useless to get around errant units, the less than efficient dispatch team who are more interested in chatting, the lack of platform management and high passenger loadings (i.e. services are no different to Picc Pl13/14, but the station's approach is very different), I could probably go on...
 

andyj158

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Delve a bit deeper and TPE's issues are largely infrastructure, but YP and the MEN just blame the TOC's.
The issue with TPE is how they deal with issues, usually in a bad way.

Last week a rail defect caused problems on the Hudderfield - Manchester route during the morning peak. TPE, the primary TOC on the route, responded by cancelling some services but provided no replacement road transport for those needing to get to work from the local stations. Northern on the other hand, who only provide 3 services during this period provided a rail replacement bus for part of one of their cancelled services.
 

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philthetube

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Travelled on some TPE Class 185 services recently and I was surprised how slow they were running. The units themselves have a maximum speed of 100mph, but on occasions the speed was as low as 20mph and often no more than 60mph.
I travelled between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport and although the previous service had departed well in advance of our departure, we trundled along at almost cycling speed. Any ideas why it would be so slow ?

And even on the non-stop section between Sheffield and Stockport, at no point did the train get above 60mph. Are there significant speed restrictions which prevent these excellent units reaching the top speeds of which they are capable ?
It seems a real missed opportunity not to be taking advantage of high speeds on these routes.
This is one issue which will not be down to the driver
 

2L70

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the less than efficient dispatch team who are more interested in chatting.
One of the Railway’s faults, not working together any more.

Being Brainwashed at Huddersfield into thinking your superior than anyone else, nice air conditioned cab, free coffee off the steward and sometimes an RPA to do Revenue. Then someone on the platform at Occy Road might be passing on some info in between dispatching their 10-15th train of the hour... but they’re just gassing are they?

Meanwhile on Bank Holiday Monday I boarded an overcrowded TPE service from York to Scarborough, a wheelchair passenger was waiting to get off but 2 TPE staff were talking to each other ignoring the train, and the LNER staff member threw his hands up in disgust... is that any different?
 

northernchris

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One of the Railway’s faults, not working together any more.

Being Brainwashed at Huddersfield into thinking your superior than anyone else, nice air conditioned cab, free coffee off the steward and sometimes an RPA to do Revenue. Then someone on the platform at Occy Road might be passing on some info in between dispatching their 10-15th train of the hour... but they’re just gassing are they?

Meanwhile on Bank Holiday Monday I boarded an overcrowded TPE service from York to Scarborough, a wheelchair passenger was waiting to get off but 2 TPE staff were talking to each other ignoring the train, and the LNER staff member threw his hands up in disgust... is that any different?
I do wonder if TPE drill in to their staff that they are more important than other operators? Since you mention Huddersfield, I was there last Saturday and obviously there were delays and cancellations as is now the norm on Saturdays. One of the Liverpool services was terminating at Victoria and some passengers alighted at Huddersfield to ask the staff what was going on. I happened to be standing near to where the back cab was and as a passenger approached the conductor she shrugged her shoulders and closed her door. The platform staff were adamant the train was on time (it was 30 minutes late with the next Liverpool also terminating at Victoria due to late running). I've had 2 bad encounters with staff at Huddersfield before, 1 in the ticket office and 1 on the platform (and despite having an issue with 1 Northern conductor I've never had any problems with rail staff) suggests TPE's training is lacking

LNER are very good at dealing with delays and having staff who are proactive and helpful which suggests TPE either don't care or don't offer the correct training
 

2L70

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TPE have had a bit of Envy over GNER/NXEC/EC/LNER since they started, probably wont allow LNER to touch their trains.

Most of their staff are good at what they do, the general sneering at others seemed to start with the opening of the Huddersfield Training Centre.
 

lincman

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Not really surprising for FirstGroup to be rubbish :lol: Who have thought it with their first rate management teams!
Sorry to disagree, was on a delayed TPE train on Saturday 31st Aug between Sheffield and Manchester 65L , advised by on board staff after apologising for the delay how to claim delay repay. I put my claim in on Monday 2nd Sept and received confirmation and acceptance of my claim the following day, just waiting for the payment to come. Do not under rate the ongoing possibilities under the stewardship of David Martin I view this with anticipation.
 

StaffsWCML

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Sorry to disagree, was on a delayed TPE train on Saturday 31st Aug between Sheffield and Manchester 65L , advised by on board staff after apologising for the delay how to claim delay repay. I put my claim in on Monday 2nd Sept and received confirmation and acceptance of my claim the following day, just waiting for the payment to come. Do not under rate the ongoing possibilities under the stewardship of David Martin I view this with anticipation.
No need to be sorry! I have to say it would generally be better if the trains actually turned up on time. I think most TOCs are fairly competent at repaying for delays, however the bigger issues is delay repay should not be the norm in should be the exception.

We have become a nation willing to accept mediocracy as the norm.

He will have to have quite a big cull to get the house in order there I think, a lot of the top level execs are shall we say 'not well driven' so I don't upset any poor sole on 90k a year!
 

lincman

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I agree with your summation that it would be better for trains to run on time, but the system is being pushed to it's limits and the slightest problem will have massive knock on effects. My train was a connection at Sheffield an onward connection the train I arrived on was a Northern service delayed 3 miles from Sheffield station by 75mins due to limited platform capacity caused by a breakdown. Blaming management in circumstances such as these is pointless, mechanical things breakdown.
 

StaffsWCML

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I agree with your summation that it would be better for trains to run on time, but the system is being pushed to it's limits and the slightest problem will have massive knock on effects. My train was a connection at Sheffield an onward connection the train I arrived on was a Northern service delayed 3 miles from Sheffield station by 75mins due to limited platform capacity caused by a breakdown. Blaming management in circumstances such as these is pointless, mechanical things breakdown.
In those circumstances yes I agree, things break although some of that can be due to cost cutting/poor maintaince. There are plenty of circumstances where management are to blame however.
 
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