Recent Transpennine Express problems: What's going on?

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mike57

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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.
Also affecting Liv - Scarborough services, unless it's a different problem. One cancellation to Scarborough and plenty of late running.

I think I would rather have reliable York Scarborough shuttle and change in York for points west, than the current situation where everytime there is a problem between Leeds and Manchester the Scarborough service is disrupted and often cancelled. It seems to be happening at least once a week again now after a better spell immediately after the may timetable change this year.
 
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pdq

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Some seemingly odd signalling decisions can't be helping today.
At Huddersfield the 1645 Middlesbrough service was about 8 mins late, showing as departing at 1653. But the 1648 Leeds stopper went out on time despite having about 9 mins dwell at Dewsbury to allow the Scarborough service to pass.
This has then meant that the MBO train is stuck because it can't get into DEW, and the following SCA train is stuck behind that, both following the stopper and getting progressively later.
If the stopper had been held until 1655, it would still have departed DEW more or less on time but wouldn't have held anything up to a great degree.
 
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Wilts Wanderer

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Some seemingly odd signalling decisions can't be helping today.
At Huddersfield the 1645 Middlesbrough service was about 8 mins late, showing as departing at 1653. But the 1648 Leeds stopper went out on time despite having about 9 mins dwell at Dewsbury to allow the Scarborough service to pass.
This has then meant that the MBO train is stuck because it can't get into DEW, and the following SCA train is stuck behind that, both following the stopper and getting progressively later.
If the stopper had been held until 1655, it would still have departed DEW more or less on time but wouldn't have held anything up to a great degree.
Isn't the normal regulation choice in this case to remove the Dewsbury stop from the Middlesbrough train so it can overtake the local train?
 

pdq

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Isn't the normal regulation choice in this case to remove the Dewsbury stop from the Middlesbrough train so it can overtake the local train?
Yes that does happen sometimes but not always. Must really annoy people on the MBO train who need the intermediate stations
 

scarby

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Also affecting Liv - Scarborough services, unless it's a different problem. One cancellation to Scarborough and plenty of late running.

I think I would rather have reliable York Scarborough shuttle and change in York for points west, than the current situation where everytime there is a problem between Leeds and Manchester the Scarborough service is disrupted and often cancelled. It seems to be happening at least once a week again now after a better spell immediately after the may timetable change this year.
Arrivals into Scarborough the last few days:

Wednesday

0840 48L
0940 CAN
1040 12L
1140 11L
1242 15L
1340 24L
2138 30L

Thursday

0840 13L
1040 11L
1140 CAN
1843 12L
2235 14L

Friday

0840 22L
0940 14L
1040 CAN
1140 47L
1340 17L
1440 11L
1540 17L
1843 23L
2138 13L
2235 19L

Saturday, so far

0840 13L

Obviously just nowhere near good enough.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Arrivals into Scarborough the last few days:

Wednesday

0840 48L
0940 CAN
1040 12L
1140 11L
1242 15L
1340 24L
2138 30L

Thursday

0840 13L
1040 11L
1140 CAN
1843 12L
2235 14L

Friday

0840 22L
0940 14L
1040 CAN
1140 47L
1340 17L
1440 11L
1540 17L
1843 23L
2138 13L
2235 19L

Saturday, so far

0840 13L

Obviously just nowhere near good enough.
Though presumably the extended turnaround times have at least resulted in fewer services being turned back at York or Malton?

Still not ideal admittedly, but an improvement of sorts.
 

scarby

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Though presumably the extended turnaround times have at least resulted in fewer services being turned back at York or Malton?

Still not ideal admittedly, but an improvement of sorts.
It is. The much better turnaround means that as long as a service makes it to Scarborough, most likely the service it then forms out of Scarborough will leave on time.

Unfortunately though that only addresses half of the problem - it doesn't at all address the issue of services into Scarborough repeatedly being late arriving.
 

geoffk

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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.
Platforms 13/14 were heaving at around 09.30. Some westbound trains were using 13, also 13b was being used eastbound as the mid-platform signal was at red. I was lucky that my train to Holyhead was only 31 late.
 

mike57

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And to add to post #125 from scarby every one of those cancellations into Scarborough results in a Scarborough to York cancellation. I also don't always believe TPE's reasons for late running/cancellation as real time running info often paints a different picture. Last week one of the excuses was 'trespassing on the line' but RTT showed a steady accrual of late running between Manchester and Leeds, rather than a 25 min delay while a train was held. I think they try pass the blame, they are certainly doing that with delay repay as they tried to blame Northern for a TPE cancellation, which I appealed and eventually got my money. I now take a picture of the departure board with time showing at Manchester Victoria to be used as evidence when the inevitable arguement starts.
 

tpjm

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And to add to post #125 from scarby every one of those cancellations into Scarborough results in a Scarborough to York cancellation. I also don't always believe TPE's reasons for late running/cancellation as real time running info often paints a different picture. Last week one of the excuses was 'trespassing on the line' but RTT showed a steady accrual of late running between Manchester and Leeds, rather than a 25 min delay while a train was held. I think they try pass the blame, they are certainly doing that with delay repay as they tried to blame Northern for a TPE cancellation, which I appealed and eventually got my money. I now take a picture of the departure board with time showing at Manchester Victoria to be used as evidence when the inevitable arguement starts.
Just because it’s not THE train being held for a trespass doesn’t mean it’s not affected by it. Imagine the trespass delays an express which means a stopper gets regulated and then the SCA train follows it all the way through the network. You get the gist. TPE don’t have a random reason generator - honest.

Whilst I can’t disclose details I know of a situation last week (for clarity - not involving TPE) where one train coming off the depot 55 minute late resulted in a circa £20k fine due to the knock on delays that it caused as it traversed the east-west network. Things do add up!
 

MML

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I was on a Manchester to Cleethorpes service which was 16 minutes late into Doncaster 'due to late inbound arrival into Manchester'.
In fact, the inbound service was 41 minutes late but they cancelled the service to/from Manchester Airport. So we actually left Manchester Piccadilly bang on schedule. The delay was nothing to do with the late arrival, it was enroute delays after leaving Manchester.
The problem is unless they properly identify the real reasons behind the delays, then they will never identify and solve the root cause.
I suspect it's the same for the North TPE routes to York and beyond.
To me, it seems the problem is too many short trains, running too frequently over a congested network.
Rather than 3-car trains every 15 minutes, it would be better to operate 6-car trains every 20 or 30 minutes. Causing less congestion where track capacity is limited.
 

scarby

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And to add to post #125 from scarby every one of those cancellations into Scarborough results in a Scarborough to York cancellation.
Unfortunately, as a passenger who quite often uses the service to get from Scarborough to Manchester Airport, these cancellations have turned what used to be a completely routine journey into a nervy one.

Basically every time I travel from Scarborough it involves monitoring RTT to see if the inbound service is going to run or not, and if not, a mad dash to the station to catch the previous train. As it is, because of the high risk of problems, I time my journey to get to the airport over 3 hours before departure, and if I am on time I'm often standing around the check-in counter for 30-40 minutes as it hasn't even opened.

Obviously any cancellation must impact other passengers changing at York, who could be going on to, for example, a direct service north of Edinburgh, or to London to connect for a Eurostar service - not to mention, say, business meetings - the list is as endless as individual passengers' various purposes.

Just to stress the reality of this, at least one outbound service from Scarborough has been cancelled every day since last Tuesday to yesterday, Sunday, inclusive.

Again, it's simply just not good enough. Are we all expected to travel an hour earlier than we actually need to because the services can't be relied on to run?
 

mike57

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Unfortunately, as a passenger who quite often uses the service to get from Scarborough to Manchester Airport, these cancellations have turned what used to be a completely routine journey into a nervy one
I have two meetings in the north west this week, Warrington tomorrow, and Preston Thursday, journey out is usually OK as I get the 6.05 from Seamer, and it's been stabled overnight in Scarborough. Coming home is a different matter, I often catch the 17.31 from Man Vic, and this is more often than not 15 to 20 late into Seamer and seems to be a prime candidate for cancellation.

What really irks me is that I have been using TPE for over 10 years to get to various destinations in the North West, and prior to May 2018 it was rare to have a major problem. Lateness when it happened was single digit minutes, and cancellations were rare. All Scarborough trains called at Man Pic and Man OR so connections were easy.

Since then the service has been unreliable. Timetables journey times to Manchester have been improved but a lot of services end up taking longer, and if you are travelling to Man Pic journey times are worse.

The problems are having an impact on passenger numbers, the trains are not as busy, particularly between Leeds and Manchester.

So we have definitely gone backwards since 2018, and there is no sign of the problems being resolved.
 

Kieran1990

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I have two meetings in the north west this week, Warrington tomorrow, and Preston Thursday, journey out is usually OK as I get the 6.05 from Seamer, and it's been stabled overnight in Scarborough. Coming home is a different matter, I often catch the 17.31 from Man Vic, and this is more often than not 15 to 20 late into Seamer and seems to be a prime candidate for cancellation.

What really irks me is that I have been using TPE for over 10 years to get to various destinations in the North West, and prior to May 2018 it was rare to have a major problem. Lateness when it happened was single digit minutes, and cancellations were rare. All Scarborough trains called at Man Pic and Man OR so connections were easy.

Since then the service has been unreliable. Timetables journey times to Manchester have been improved but a lot of services end up taking longer, and if you are travelling to Man Pic journey times are worse.

The problems are having an impact on passenger numbers, the trains are not as busy, particularly between Leeds and Manchester.

So we have definitely gone backwards since 2018, and there is no sign of the problems being resolved.

Spent the best part of 8 months catching the 17:31 off Victoria- it is constantly delayed between Manchester and Leeds because the xx17 to Middlesbrough is often a few late off Vic which delays the xx22 go Staylebridge which delays the xx31. The delayed xx17 delays the xx17 off Picc stopper at Staylevegas due to a conflict which in turn allows the xx31 Scarborough to catch the stopper up by Marsden.
In the 8 months I spent on the service think we arrived twice on time into Leeds. Most of the time it doesn’t limp into Leeds until at least 1827/1830ish.
Was so happy when work re-located me back to Leeds
I wish you luck on the 17:31
 

Revaulx

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2M62 HUD-MAN stopper cancelled again this morning: “fault on this train” (National Rail app) / “late arrival of an inbound service” (RTT). The 185s seem to be a lot less reliable than the Northern Pacers they’ve replaced!
 

8J

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The 185s are being run ragged at the moment. They have 51 units and most of them are out in service every day especially now they have less slack in the 350/4 fleet.

The delays to the introduction of the 68/Mk5 fleet and 397s will not be helping matters but I'd hope that that once they are in and settled that we will see the service become far more reliable.
 

Bantamzen

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Unfortunately, as a passenger who quite often uses the service to get from Scarborough to Manchester Airport, these cancellations have turned what used to be a completely routine journey into a nervy one.

Basically every time I travel from Scarborough it involves monitoring RTT to see if the inbound service is going to run or not, and if not, a mad dash to the station to catch the previous train. As it is, because of the high risk of problems, I time my journey to get to the airport over 3 hours before departure, and if I am on time I'm often standing around the check-in counter for 30-40 minutes as it hasn't even opened.

Obviously any cancellation must impact other passengers changing at York, who could be going on to, for example, a direct service north of Edinburgh, or to London to connect for a Eurostar service - not to mention, say, business meetings - the list is as endless as individual passengers' various purposes.

Just to stress the reality of this, at least one outbound service from Scarborough has been cancelled every day since last Tuesday to yesterday, Sunday, inclusive.

Again, it's simply just not good enough. Are we all expected to travel an hour earlier than we actually need to because the services can't be relied on to run?
I know its not an ideal answer, but can you not check-in online thus meaning provided you don't have hold luggage, or have it but your airline allows you to drop more than 2 hours in advance, you can go straight to airside where at least there are more facilities, lounges etc for you to relax in?

I'm flying through Manchester in a couple of weeks, and will be aiming for a TPE from Leeds to get me there around 3 hours before my flight, and I'm going to take advantage of the easyJet self-service bag drop & I've booked a lounge to relax and have a drink.

The 185s are being run ragged at the moment. They have 51 units and most of them are out in service every day especially now they have less slack in the 350/4 fleet.

The delays to the introduction of the 68/Mk5 fleet and 397s will not be helping matters but I'd hope that that once they are in and settled that we will see the service become far more reliable.
It would make a lot of sense for TPE to hang onto the 185s until all three Nova types have bedded in, and ensure that crews continue to sign them until then.
 

northernchris

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The 185s are being run ragged at the moment. They have 51 units and most of them are out in service every day especially now they have less slack in the 350/4 fleet.

The delays to the introduction of the 68/Mk5 fleet and 397s will not be helping matters but I'd hope that that once they are in and settled that we will see the service become far more reliable.
I've noticed cancellations due to 185 failures are increasing, but suspect they still achieve a very respectable reliability figure. The December timetable does look better for the north TPE route with more time allocated for the Castlefield corridor, and balancing out the layover of the Hull - Piccadilly service which should improve things. If TPE have enough new trains and enough crew it should be quite a step up from the current mess
 

scarby

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I know its not an ideal answer, but can you not check-in online thus meaning provided you don't have hold luggage, or have it but your airline allows you to drop more than 2 hours in advance, you can go straight to airside where at least there are more facilities, lounges etc for you to relax in?

I'm flying through Manchester in a couple of weeks, and will be aiming for a TPE from Leeds to get me there around 3 hours before my flight, and I'm going to take advantage of the easyJet self-service bag drop & I've booked a lounge to relax and have a drink.
Thanks for the tips. Appreciated.
 

Bantamzen

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Thanks for the tips. Appreciated.
No problem. And if you are a regular user, it might be worth seeing if your credit card is part of a lounge pass scheme, or if not look up Priority Pass which has various levels subscriptions to lounges, dependant on your use. The way things are, your Delay Pay claims from TPE might pay for it!
 

scarby

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Looked at the latest punctuality figures on the poster at Scarborough yesterday - just 53% of TPE trains arrived at their destination on time in the latest period's figures.
 

2L70

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Noticed there was a couple of MIA - SCA cancellations on Saturday but there was buses laid on from York.

Don’t worry, the usual PR men will be on to justify it soon.
 

Failed Unit

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A question for the regular users. What is general performance like now? If I am travelling from Manchester Airport - Leeds / York how likely is it to be on a direct train now or will I be finding the service is turned early?
 
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A question for the regular users. What is general performance like now? If I am travelling from Manchester Airport - Leeds / York how likely is it to be on a direct train now or will I be finding the service is turned early?
in my experience, they almost always make it to Leeds and usually York too. The issue is whether it starts from the airport or from Victoria/Picc.
 

fabs

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Don’t worry, the usual PR men will be on to justify it soon.
It is, unfortunately, going to get worse before it starts to get better. The numbers v time just don’t add up. And there’s little appetite to take a hit and really focus training on specific areas; instead scatter-gunning training. But also an awful lot of quite deliberate and unnecessary obstacles from certain factions that for whatever reason want to see the company fail.
Only real losers are the punters and it’s a shame.
 

tpjm

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Don’t worry, the usual PR men will be on to justify it soon.
It’s not a case of PR men, just an explanation in order to give folks an idea of the challenges and reasons “from the other side”.

I am in full agreement that the performance LIV - SCA and vice versa is not where it should be, but my personal opinion is that it is the train path which is flawed and entirely open to failure at several parts of the route. This often causes small days which compound as the journey progresses.

Everybody knows that the timetable can’t be dramatically changed as and when, but hopefully with some retiming, we should see better performance from December.

As an example, a couple of the pinch points have been removed (and this is just a quick summary of what I could find whilst on my way home)

SCA > LIV
- leaves Scarborough 10 mins earlier
- passes Malton approx 30 mins apart from inbound
- gets to York before a service blocks it in on Platform 3, and has extra 1/2 min of dwell
- Northern YRK > LDS doesn’t call at as many stations, SCA service picks up Garforth to compensate
- departs HUD at xx21 after a 5 min dwell, the stopping service is also no longer immediately after, as the SCA is now followed by the HUL - MAN at xx25 which should be behind it from Leeds.
 

HowardGWR

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A question for the regular users. What is general performance like now? If I am travelling from Manchester Airport - Leeds / York how likely is it to be on a direct train now or will I be finding the service is turned early?
Surely, rather than rely on anecdotal evidence, it would be better to use this app
https://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk/
and then you can get a very good picture for a chosen time period of services. I use this app for my interest in Portsmouth and Southampton to Victoria services, that are unfortunately too often terminated short of destination, mainly due to insufficient turn around time being allowed.
A word of warning: the results table may say that a service has been cancelled, but when you click on the entry, you discover it was PINEd (stopped short of end destination) so it could be that pax were able to transfer onto a following local service. Not good, but not a total failure of service, IMO.
 

northernchris

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It’s not a case of PR men, just an explanation in order to give folks an idea of the challenges and reasons “from the other side”.

I am in full agreement that the performance LIV - SCA and vice versa is not where it should be, but my personal opinion is that it is the train path which is flawed and entirely open to failure at several parts of the route. This often causes small days which compound as the journey progresses.

Everybody knows that the timetable can’t be dramatically changed as and when, but hopefully with some retiming, we should see better performance from December.

As an example, a couple of the pinch points have been removed (and this is just a quick summary of what I could find whilst on my way home)

SCA > LIV
- leaves Scarborough 10 mins earlier
- passes Malton approx 30 mins apart from inbound
- gets to York before a service blocks it in on Platform 3, and has extra 1/2 min of dwell
- Northern YRK > LDS doesn’t call at as many stations, SCA service picks up Garforth to compensate
- departs HUD at xx21 after a 5 min dwell, the stopping service is also no longer immediately after, as the SCA is now followed by the HUL - MAN at xx25 which should be behind it from Leeds.
The performance of TPE has been dire since May 2018 though and there seems to be an upward trend of traincrew shortages and train faults which ultimately sit within TPE's control. Saturday's are particularly poor at the moment. I agree though that the December timetable looks a lot better with dwell times being added which should help recover lost minutes. If the new stock is in place in time that's a significant capacity increase which will help transform the current shambles in to a decent intercity service
 

NoMorePacers

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I was on the Leeds-Huddersfield route on Saturday afternoon and every single TPE train was running late by some amount (I checked on RTT) and most were rammed full as well. The weather was reasonably clear at that point as well. Very good service punctuality there.
 
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