Just how bad is Northern at running trains?

A train from Preston pulling into Ormskirk Station.

Well, have a look at this chart which I gained from OPSTA (Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travellers Assn). It shows performance on the Ormskirk – Preston Line:-

Please click on the chart to enlarge it.

This is shocking performance in anyone’s book surely. People’s jobs, livelihoods, medical appointments, schooling etc. etc. are all at risk by such appalling performance. And more to the point what on earth is the Dept. of Transport doing about this state of affairs?

Oh and as an aside, my fellow blogger Phil Holden has just posted this about train performance in Wales. It seems Northern have a rival for crap railway franchisee of the year award:-(((

phlhldn.blogspot.com/2018/11/what-way-to-run-railway.html

One thing that Phil hints at is that the franchise operators need virtually all their rolling stock to be available to run a normal timetable. To me, the lack of spare units is a key issue here when services need enhancing or when major repair work is required on more than 1 or 2 units at a time. Running on the absolute minimum number of units is asking for trouble don’t you think?

Ormskirk Preston Trains – Some good news

Ormskirk Station – The train in the foreground is Preston bound. The one behind it is Liverpool bound.

On 21st March Northern announced the services and timetables it has agreed with Network Rail that should come into effect in May. Although the two organisations have agreed this position it transpires they are still finalising details so nothing is absolutely certain until the timetables are published online some time from April 7th.

Preston – Ormskirk

An hourly service Monday – Saturday will be introduced with these timings:

First service from Preston will depart at 06.25

Trains will then depart at 26 minutes past the hour (ie 07.26, 08.26 ..) until the last service at 22.37.

First service from Ormskirk will depart at 07.01

Trains will then depart at 1 minute past the hour until the last service at 23.10 (ten past the hour).

The assigned rolling stock is still the dreadful 142 Pacer although there should be more instances where it is a 2 car Class 150/156.

Sadly though there will still not be any regular Sunday services.

The frequency of cancellations on the current service is a serious concern and this is being taken up with Northern. If you have a service cancelled on you please email opstasurveys@gmail.com stating date, time and station.

In these days of bad news about many public services there’s some good news here in that the trains from Ormskirk to Preston will be running hourly instead of less often. A small step forward but Sunday running trains on this line are still required. My thanks to OPSTA (Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers Association) for the information contained in this posting.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Brexit – That very sticky Irish border problem

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/11/hard-brexiteers-brexit-northern-ireland-border

The Guardian has the article on its web site – see link above

I just know the mention of Polly Toynbee will set my old chum Phil off. Yes I know Phil, she can often be all heart and little head so to speak.

Seriously, this article has a very clear point. To me Brexit pushes a united Ireland closer and that can only be a good thing – a good thing from Brexit? Well maybe, just maybe if civil war does not break out in that island first of course. Funny how the muddled thinking of the rich and powerful Brexit conspirators, aided and abetted by Labour’s JC Leadership of course, may well lead to the law of unintended consequences kicking in.

Having said that hard Brexiters want a result at any cost – bugger the economy, let jobs be lost, put the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement at great risk, break up the United Kingdom – they are all on their couldn’t care less agenda as they squeeze TM and JC in their vice like grip.

Brexit is the greatest act of self-harm the UK has brought on itself in living memory.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.