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Travelled on the 1755 Barton on Humber to Cleethorpes service today. The conductor was a First Transpennine Express staff member, which seemed unusual on a Northern Rail service. Anyone know the reason for this?
I understand this has been going on for quite a few years.
I would imagine the reason is that the few trains a day to Barton and once a week to Sheffield is the only service northern operate from Cleethorpes, so rather than establishing a crew base there they subcontract to TPE who have a heavier presence out of Cleethorpes.
The Barton on Humber Cleethorpes line hasn't fitted well into anyone's franchise well since the end of Arriva Trains Northern franchise and start of the Northern Rail and First Transpennine Express. Northern with no crew in the area Hull Doncaster or Sheffield being the nearest.
Northern provide the rolling stock with an early morning stopping service from Doncaster then take away the stock from the day before after it completes a Cleethorpes Barton on Humber Grimsby Town service. It goes empty stock to Scunthorpe to form an 08:19 stopping service via Doncaster and Sheffield to Lincoln.
TPE supply the train crew, this can be rather a problem at times with staff shortages etc.
The plan is from 2018 and the start of the new East Midlands franchise the service will transfer.
Time will tell if it works any better
TPEXP crew work the first train from Scarborough to Hull and the last train Hull to Scarbrough as Northern dont have a crew depot in Scarborough, they also work some daytime workings to get them back to Scarborough & to Hull to work the forementioned trains. It is all done on an agency basis.