Recent Transpennine Express problems: What's going on?

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61653 HTAFC

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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.
The gateline staff at Huddersfield are the worst. The number of times that they'll be stood talking amongst themselves while blocking half the gates just as a peak arrival from Leeds has just disgorged dozens of commuters... well, even if I took my socks off I'd lose count!

EDIT: at least in the last week or so the Huddersfield to Leeds stopper has reverted to using platform 4a at HUD rather than 6. Less of a sprint from P2 now if it's held up by a few minutes!
 
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tpjm

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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?
I’m not being funny, but you have no idea who I am, where I work or what I do.

I have stood, as a commuter, at MCO numerous times and witnessed this behaviour. Specifically a couple of weeks ago, I waited for 30 minutes as a myriad of delayed trains passed through the station. I watched as three dispatchers stood chatting on Platform 2 for the entire duration I was there, not really giving a flying f**k about the trains that were arriving, quite happily allowing services to leave later than they arrived due to their lacklustre attitude. And if i were being really pedantic, I’d have to also question their dispatch competency as their procedure was sloppy and half assed.

This is not a personal dig at everybody who works at MCO. There are some cracking staff there. But the dispatch team, when I have witnessed them on multiple occasions are not the most proactive in terms of delayed services.
 

Grumpy

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. But the dispatch team, when I have witnessed them on multiple occasions are not the most proactive in terms of delayed services.
A couple of occasions recently I have noticed the midday (Scarborough)-Leeds-Liverpool train (i.e. the Loco+5 coaches) delayed by the preceding late running Newcastle-Manchester Airport train. The latter is 3 coaches and was full and standing, whilst the 5 coach train, running approx. 5 minutes behind, was relatively lightly loaded. I suspect that many people on the airport train would not have been travelling to the airport and given a choice would have been more than happy to wait for a seat on the 5 car train rather than stand on the 3 car train. It just needed someone with a megaphone on the platform to advise them, but of course no such thing. Similar events must happen throughout the day, and given the fairly poor (in terms of service reliability and crowding) train service, some positive passenger management on the platforms is needed.
I would also add that whoever thought it a good idea to introduce 3 new small batches of different types of train at the same time, with all that involves in terms of staff training, disruption and reliability issues, must be mad. Given that two of these types are unproven and not ordered by any other company in the UK, I should raise that to Barking mad
 

Mitchell Hurd

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Given the comments on here, sounds like I'm probably better avoiding coming back from Lancaster to Leeds via Manchester because of potentially packed 3-car 185's.

I know there's the 14:47 which goes straight through to Leeds but I'm thinking via Manchester at the moment because of the frequency of trains between Preston and Manchester Piccadilly (incase of a problem) and between Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds.

30/09/19 this is. Sorry I know this is slightly irrelevant but I thought I'd double check if I should avoid crush hour at Manchester.
 

AndrewE

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Given the comments on here, sounds like I'm probably better avoiding coming back from Lancaster to Leeds via Manchester because of potentially packed 3-car 185's.

I know there's the 14:47 which goes straight through to Leeds but I'm thinking via Manchester at the moment because of the frequency of trains between Preston and Manchester Piccadilly (in case of a problem) and between Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds.

30/09/19 this is. Sorry I know this is slightly irrelevant but I thought I'd double check if I should avoid crush hour at Manchester.
I have gone out of my way to take the slow train via Skipton for that journey several times now, simply because of the crush and unreliability of TPE. Coming back via Manchester fully demonstrated the justification for the extra time (not) wasted on the way out!
 

Mitchell Hurd

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I have gone out of my way to take the slow train via Skipton for that journey several times now, simply because of the crush and unreliability of TPE. Coming back via Manchester fully demonstrated the justification for the extra time (not) wasted on the way out!
Right. Sounds like I'd better stick with the 14:47 from Lancaster back to Leeds then :). When I next come to Leeds (probably during 2020), I'll have a trip to Manchester when their services (or more of them) are strengthened to 5 new coaches or 6-coach Class 185's!
 

2L70

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Not a bad idea to be fair - the last time I went into Manchester from the Preston direction it took about 30min wait to enter Castlefield waiting for something or other.
 

AndrewE

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Right. Sounds like I'd better stick with the 14:47 from Lancaster back to Leeds then :). When I next come to Leeds (probably during 2020), I'll have a trip to Manchester when their services (or more of them) are strengthened to 5 new coaches or 6-coach Class 185's!
Take a map and enjoy the views out of the windows if the weather is OK... I had a 142 last time which did give panoramic views, if nothing else!
 

Randomer

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I have gone out of my way to take the slow train via Skipton for that journey several times now, simply because of the crush and unreliability of TPE.
I've done the same a couple of times in the last 2 months and it has actually ended up quicker for all 4 journeys (2 returns) due to disruption in Manchester.
 

Mitchell Hurd

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Take a map and enjoy the views out of the windows if the weather is OK... I had a 142 last time which did give panoramic views, if nothing else!
Good idea. That was the original plan when booking the 10p tickets for the 10:18 going down. However I have a different card to the one I used so it'll have to be a normal return (handy incase there's a problem on the Lancaster to Leeds line).
 

LittleAH

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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.
What if the buses aren't available? I believe the hourly stopper also ran at 7.28 (I was on it) so only one train was cancelled.

The assumption that replacement buses can be magically sourced hinders TOC's in times of disruption,
 

LittleAH

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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
This is of course a nonsense about TPE. I was caught up in the broken rail incident a few Friday's ago - the staff on the platform were helpful, one of their managers put us in a taxi to Dewsbury and they were dealing with the incident brilliantly, was unfortunate that one platform was blocked as the driver didn't sign the diversion route. Go to Man Victoria, a Northern station, and the Northern staff have vanished twice when I've been caught in disruption, leaving TPE's ambassadors to deal with they baying customers. So do Northern not care or get the proper training too?
 

gimmea50anyday

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I do wonder if TPE drill in to their staff that they are more important than other operators?
No, TPE do not see themselves as superior to a other TOCs, no more so than any other TOC sees themselves as superior and it certainly isn't drilled into the trainees at Huddersfield. If anything the assistance to and from staff from other TOCs is very much encouraged and promoted. The companies may be competing, but the staff certainly aren't.

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
On the other hand the TPE despatch managers at York would fervently disagree with that as they are often left to pick up the pieces when the ECML goes tits up!
 

gimmea50anyday

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Blimey, TPE are getting a right rubbing in this thread! XD

I have seen lacklustre, questionable and sloppy despatch proceedures at MCO myself on many occasions in 13 years I have worked trains there so yes I agree with TPJMs observations there. I will also say all staff, including myself have days where we feel under the weather, lethargic, can't be bothered as I'm on long weekend/start leave tomorrow... none of that means all staff are bad all the time, however a conductor I am trained not to accept the tips under good faith but to check myself that the train is safe to despatch and this belt and braces approach is very much part of my competence

Rail replacement coaches can't be magicked up from nowhere. It can take 2 hours from identifying the need to getting one in service. Many coach companies have high utilisation of their vehicles and may well already be out on jobs. That could be anything from school runs and day trips to holiday tours and National Express duplications and drivers have working limitations they have to adhere to. So not only do the vehicles need to be sourced but so do the staff to operate them.
 

Starmill

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I've seen a lot of problems myself while travelling. On Wednesday I was going to Cross Gates and the TPE train conductor spent the entire journey berating a man who had a ticket that he'd decided wasn't valid. The man insisted he was travelling on the booked train to York which had then been cancelled and he'd followed the advice of the previous guard to take the next train to York from platform 15, and that ticket acceptance was agreed.

The conductor was having none of it and the arguments were silly. For example he said 'this is like you have a ticket to something from Tesco, but you're using it in Waitrose'. The customer became very upset and tried to resist leaving the train saying they didn't know where Cross Gates was and that they didn't know how to get to York. Then the conductor threatened the person with taking their details for prosecution.

Leaving the customer almost in tears on the platform the conductor stuck his head and arms out of the window to wave them goodbye. They then brought then back in, leaned over inside the cab and blew the train horn while it was drawing out. I didn't even realise the guard was able to use the train horn.

While anecdotal evidence counts for little when making general points, the fact that there's even one person working as a train conductor at their company willing to behave in that sort of way astonishes me. He clearly enjoyed his attempts to humiliate the customer and then taunted them at being left behind. It's also likely that the company are breaking the law by chucking people off trains when they've been given permission to travel on them by an authorised person. I suppose they know they can get away with it and there is nobody to try and stop them.
 

gimmea50anyday

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I cannot defend my colleagues actions or attitude in this case. This is certainly warrant for a complaint and further investigation especially in light of the amount of cancellations TPE have made lately.

I have however been guilty of such behaviour myself but this was following some particularly abusive exchanges made my way and in front of their children. When the individuals chose to leave the service, my "celebratory dance" was seen as unprofessional by other people on the train who believed I had actually put them off. Quite rightly I was asked to answer for my actions and while the human element was understood, the professional conduct wasn't. Lesson learnt!
 
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tpjm

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I would also add that if someone had given said customer ‘permission’ to board the train then it would have been advisable to have issued the customer with some form of endorsement to support these actions. But if the incident happened as you describe (and I appreciate you saw most of it) the colleague in question needs to be investigated.
 

gimmea50anyday

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It's not always possible to endorse every ticket on a given train especially where a cancellation is last minute, but a quick check on Genius and Tyrell or a call to retail would reveal wether said train ran or not and if acceptance is in place and this should have been done.
 

2L70

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I've seen a lot of problems myself while travelling. On Wednesday I was going to Cross Gates and the TPE train conductor spent the entire journey berating a man who had a ticket that he'd decided wasn't valid. The man insisted he was travelling on the booked train to York which had then been cancelled and he'd followed the advice of the previous guard to take the next train to York from platform 15, and that ticket acceptance was agreed.

The conductor was having none of it and the arguments were silly. For example he said 'this is like you have a ticket to something from Tesco, but you're using it in Waitrose'. The customer became very upset and tried to resist leaving the train saying they didn't know where Cross Gates was and that they didn't know how to get to York. Then the conductor threatened the person with taking their details for prosecution.

Leaving the customer almost in tears on the platform the conductor stuck his head and arms out of the window to wave them goodbye. They then brought then back in, leaned over inside the cab and blew the train horn while it was drawing out. I didn't even realise the guard was able to use the train horn.

While anecdotal evidence counts for little when making general points, the fact that there's even one person working as a train conductor at their company willing to behave in that sort of way astonishes me. He clearly enjoyed his attempts to humiliate the customer and then taunted them at being left behind. It's also likely that the company are breaking the law by chucking people off trains when they've been given permission to travel on them by an authorised person. I suppose they know they can get away with it and there is nobody to try and stop them.
Unfortunately the 6% Commission does go to some people’s heads. The Greed in some is unreal.
 

mike57

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TPE have had a better week on my journeys, no more than 10 mins late all week to and from Seamer. Interesting to read Tim_uk's post as a Leeds Manchester user. I think it highlights the problems with the current TPE routes. He is not as badly affected by late running or a single cancellation, as he just gets the next train and doesn't mind where the eastern end destination is, where as if the Scarborough train is cancelled that's a minimum of an hour late for me.

Whilst the through service from Scarborough to points west of York is useful I think given the current state of the Leeds Manchester corridor I would prefer a York Scarborough shuttle, I often have to change to get to Man Pic anyway, so may as well change at York. When I am travelling to other destinations i will then have a reliable York Scarborough service.

The Ordsal chord seems like a waste of money unless other improvements are delivered. 2tph from Vic to Pic is not enough particularly as there are frequent short workings which means trains get turned at Vic.

I also wonder why TPE are required/allowed to run 2 Newcastle services per hour when the core route is overcrowded a lot of the time The extra 3 coaches per hour to Newcastle are not going to have a huge impact given the number of alternative services from York to Newcastle where as strengthening one of the airport York services from 3 to 6 carriages would make a difference.
 

andyj158

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What if the buses aren't available? I believe the hourly stopper also ran at 7.28 (I was on it) so only one train was cancelled.

The assumption that replacement buses can be magically sourced hinders TOC's in times of disruption,
True, although I don't remember seeing a time when TPE have provided a replacement bus during cancellations at Mossley. I remember one day there was a gap of 5 hours between services into Manchester due to cancellations and nothing was provided. I was just surprised Northern went to the trouble of providing one given they are not the regular TOC.

It also puzzles me that given First also run the major bus route through Mossley that First TPE never arrange ticket acceptance with First Manchester. This would at least allow passengers to catch a Northern service to Ashton-under-Lyne then use First Manchester from there to Mossley and Greenfield without having to pay their bus fare on top. Same for Marsden and Slaithwaite where First Yorkshire operate buses from Huddersfield. Maybe there's a genuine reason.
 

tpjm

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I also wonder why TPE are required/allowed to run 2 Newcastle services per hour when the core route is overcrowded a lot of the time The extra 3 coaches per hour to Newcastle are not going to have a huge impact given the number of alternative services from York to Newcastle where as strengthening one of the airport York services from 3 to 6 carriages would make a difference.
It's not about NCL.

2tph from LIV and 2tph from MIA require four destinations. The train planners dream is to have a nice even distribution of services Manchester > Leeds > York. You could send one to MBR, one to SCA, one to NCL and terminate one at YRK, but if you can get the path to NCL and therefore call at some other places on the way, why wouldn't you?

In theory, from December, once the Cl 802s are introduced, the 125mph running will allow the intermediate calls between YRK and NCL to transfer onto one service without delaying the ECML. This then allows a service to run fast to NCL before continuing to EDB.

It also puzzles me that given First also run the major bus route through Mossley that First TPE never arrange ticket acceptance with First Manchester.
Rail and Bus are an interesting mix. TOCs tend to have varying agreements regarding ticket acceptance. Some are a bit "you scratch our back and we'll scratch yours" - i.e. TPE/Northern and Metrolink, whereas some need actual written contractual deals - mainly so the TOC has somebody to hold responsible if anything goes wrong. When it comes to rail replacement road transport, it is provided by a dedicated supplier as most journeys are more than 10 minutes, so buses are not ideal for both comfort and speed. A TOC like TPE deal with a central control room for their supplier who will then deploy their own coordinators and order relevant transport from local companies.
 

Tim_UK

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The latter is 3 coaches and was full and standing, whilst the 5 coach train, running approx. 5 minutes behind, was relatively lightly loaded.
Talk to any regular commuter and they know from experience the Liverpool services are less busier than airports.
 

Bevan Price

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One thing I dislike about Trans Pennine is the way they treat passengers to/from intermediate stations when they terminate trains at Manchester Victoria. Scarborough - Liverpool services call at Lea Green, whilst Newcastle services call at Newton Le Willows. But if, for example, a Scarborough - Liverpool is terminated at Manchester Victoria, no attempt seems to be made to insert an additional stop at Lea Green in the following Newcastle - Liverpool services. The attitude seems to be s*d you - you are only passengers....
 

FQTV

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I have seen lacklustre, questionable and sloppy despatch proceedures
Selectively quoting for clarity, but I’ve seen very sloppy dispatch from various staff wearing various uniforms.

Memorably, I have heard one staff member telling others not to bother expediting the process for a late-running service as its final arrival time was ‘five hours’ away.
 

geoffk

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Anyone know what happened to the 1053 MIA - Cleethorpes today? I was at Stockport when it was announced as cancelled, then as "diverted and not calling at Stockport". The only possible diversion would have been via Marple and RTT seems to confirm that's what happened.
 

voyagerdude220

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Anyone know what happened to the 1053 MIA - Cleethorpes today? I was at Stockport when it was announced as cancelled, then as "diverted and not calling at Stockport". The only possible diversion would have been via Marple and RTT seems to confirm that's what happened.
1L08 EMR service triggered a hot axel box at New Mills South Junction.
 

londonmidland

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There is currently a points failure at Manchester Piccadilly affecting platforms 13 and 14, which is affecting all services which use those platforms.

Delays of up to 30 minutes so various services to and from Manchester Airport are being delayed.
 

andyj158

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Travelling through Manchester Piccadilly during today's (13/09/19) disruption one thing I noticed was the gate lines manned by Virgin staff were all opened to easy passenger congestion yet those manned by Transpennine were left closed. Guess with the financial troubles at Transpennine every penny they can get counts more than passenger convenience.
 
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