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  1. Published on: 02/01/2020 12:31 PMReported by: roving-eye
    Northern Rail is set to be stripped of its franchise following years of poor performance, the Transport Secretary said today.
    Tory Grant Shapps told the BBC he has started the process that could result in removing the firm's routes, calling its service "unacceptable."

    It comes after a year of chaos and cancellations across the network - and on the day rail fares were hiked by an average of 2.7%.
    Some long-distance commuters saw the annual cost of getting to work increase by more than £100 on Thursday despite fewer than two-thirds of trains being on time last year.
    Last year, Northern's on-time statistics ran at 57% - giving commuters just over a one in two chance of their train running on time.
    Asked why he doesn't just strip the firm of its franchise, Mr Shapps said: "Well, I've already announced to Parliament that I've kicked off the process called a request for proposal to do exactly that.

    "It's completely unacceptable to have a situation where trains almost routinely don't run to a routine, don't run on time. I simply will not put up with that and I've already kicked off that process and I'll be saying more about it very soon."
     

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  3. Alikado says:02/01/2020 05:20 PM
    Not before time, they run expensive services if & when they run, the trains are rarely on time even though they have built in spare time.
    Refurbished trains are still cramped and uncomfortable having seats only suitable for short bus journies, travelling with luggage is an absolute nightmare where you struggle to get your bag onto the train never mind stow it away for the journey.
    British Rail for all it's faults and under funding was a far better service, if a service was busy they put extra carriages on, if the train was too big they swopped the engine or put another on.

  4. Little Londoner says:02/01/2020 08:07 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Alikado View Post
    Not before time, they run expensive services if & when they run, the trains are rarely on time even though they have built in spare time.
    Refurbished trains are still cramped and uncomfortable having seats only suitable for short bus journies, travelling with luggage is an absolute nightmare where you struggle to get your bag onto the train never mind stow it away for the journey.
    British Rail for all it's faults and under funding was a far better service, if a service was busy they put extra carriages on, if the train was too big they swopped the engine or put another on.
    As you say not before time but whoever takes over has the same problems training staff on new trains, they can't miraculously conjoure up enough trained drivers.

  5. Snig's foot says:03/01/2020 01:54 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Alikado View Post
    Not before time, they run expensive services if & when they run, the trains are rarely on time even though they have built in spare time.
    Refurbished trains are still cramped and uncomfortable having seats only suitable for short bus journies, travelling with luggage is an absolute nightmare where you struggle to get your bag onto the train never mind stow it away for the journey.
    British Rail for all it's faults and under funding was a far better service, if a service was busy they put extra carriages on, if the train was too big they swopped the engine or put another on.
    The Department for Transport decided a long time ago that this was not an efficient way of running a railway: having empty carriages hanging around in sidings doing nothing most of the time. Now we have just enough trains to provide the service (assuming that they've been delivered on time), if any go out of service because of, say, flat spotted wheels (leaves on the line), fires, computer glitches, then the trains don't run. Where Northern fall down is that, even with the limited numbers of trains that they have, they don't have enough drivers, as well as enough drivers who know the routes, enough drivers trained to run the refurbished trains, enough drivers rostered to drive the trains despite agreeing to the published timetable. They aren't good at cleaning them either.


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