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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Customers lambast ‘shocking’ Furness Line operator

ONE of the suggestions made ahead of re-franchising in 2016 is a “re-mapping” of the rail network which would see the Furness Line pass from shared control to become the sole responsibility of Northern Rail.

platform for discussion Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock at Barrow train station. The MP is supporting the findings of The Furness Line Study HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50044878B003

Last month commuters reacted angrily to the idea, arguing that Northern Rail offers much less value for money than its fellow franchise holder, TransPennine Express.

An anonymous commuter, whose evidence forms part of the Furness Line Study, said: “The trains on Northern are dreadful and those on TransPennine are fine.

“Why should I pay the same amount for different quality service? Everything about Northern is far worse than TransPennine.

“Northern Rail is absolutely shocking and the service is never on time whereas TransPennine mostly is.”

This week, passengers have raised concerns about the number of delayed and cancelled Northern Rail trains. In many cases, the disruptions were explained as being caused by “members of the train crew being unavailable” causing angry travellers to demand a more detailed explanation.

A spokesman for Northern Rail said: “In essence what it means is that we haven’t got a driver or a conductor to operate that service.

“That might be because there is disruption elsewhere on the line and staff have been held up or if they have called in sick.

“It might be for just five or ten minutes but if it is longer we have to make a judgment call.

“We appreciate that a ‘member of train crew being unavailable’ is not the most user-friendly phrase.

“It’s fair to say we’ve seen a few more of these incidents lately and we apologise for that but we are trying to make sure it happens less often.”

Have your say

How come we have suddenly been given the oldest, tattiest and most uncomfortable trains available on the Barrow to Carlisle line in recent weeks? Is this a sign of what is to come if Northern Rail takes over?
I feel really sorry for the regular commuters of the line now, which I used to be - the quality of their daily lives has no doubt taken a turn for the worse with those trains.
Plus, what about the impression it gives to the many tourists that use that line? The West Coast line surely has to be one of the most beautiful in the country and it is being serviced by the worst rail stock in the country. What's that all about?
Plus they have the cheek to put prices up, so are expecting us to pay more for an inferior service.
Give us back the standard of rail travel we are used to and that a stunning county like Cumbria warrants!!

Posted by Concerned rail user on 19 August 2014 at 10:48

Transpennine run a decent service but don't realise the effect on passengers slow and sporadic services have! They only need to improve timetable and train length whereas northern who should be left with the short stopping services need to improve massively with better and faster trains that can deal with demand. There is a lot of money in the Furness line and this needs to be realised and the whole service improved.

Posted by Daniel Duckworth on 18 August 2014 at 22:57

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