Train transfer expected to bring travel misery for South Lakeland commuters

The Westmorland Gazette: URGENT NEED: John Woodcock MP slams train transfer URGENT NEED: John Woodcock MP slams train transfer

MORE travel misery for passengers using direct trains to Manchester from Barrow and Windermere has been predicted by rail campaigners.

It follows an announcement that 70 TransPennine Express train units will be moved to the south of England to be run by another franchise - Chiltern Rail in the London and Home Counties region.

John Owen of TravelWatch North West, an independent company representing all users of public transport in the region, said: “This is another example of a south east based government not caring a jot for train passengers in the north of England.

“TransPennine is already the most over-crowded train company in the UK and will now lose 13 per cent of its train units.”

Those units being transferred are understood to be used mostly on the Manchester to Leeds and Hull routes, with other train services having to accommodate the cuts.

“The north loses again and rail passengers here can look forward to continuing over-crowding misery for the foreseeable future,” added Mr Owen.

The worry is that the transfer will cause a detrimental and knock on affect to the train services running from Barrow and Windermere.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “With the threat of more cuts hanging over Cumbria’s direct trains to Manchester, it is astonishing that ministers have approved the transfer of a large number of TransPennine trains to leafy Buckinghamshire, without any replacement.

“With trains across the north becoming ever-more overcrowded, there is an urgent need for more carriages – a strategy of robbing Peter to pay Paul means more travel misery and more service cuts.

“Train operators are clear that the shortage of suitable diesel trains is one of the key reasons why the direct trains to Furness have been reduced: along with other northern MPs, I am seeking an urgent meeting with ministers to raise our concerns.”

Nick Donovan, managing director for First TransPennine Express said: "We are in negotiations with the Department for Transport to agree operating until February 2016, which is the anticipated start date of a new longer term rail franchise. The exact details about the terms of this ten month agreement are being worked out.

"Following the announcement that the Class 170 trains we use will be transferred to another operator when our current franchise ends, one of the subjects that will be addressed by these negotiations is rolling stock capacity in order to maintain the significant capacity and timetable improvements that we will bring in from May this year."

Comments (10)

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10:09pm Tue 4 Mar 14

kthtlkthtl says...

This is very much a 'non-story'. TPE are gaining umpteen 4-car class 350s. Several are already in service operating Manchester Airport-Scotland services via the new electrified Parkside curves (thereby displacing 3-car class 185 which will be used on the routes operated at present by the class 170) and gets rid of nine two-car 170s, which in any case are non-standard with the rest of the fleet. So TPE gains extra vehicles and more standardisation - what's the problem?
This is very much a 'non-story'. TPE are gaining umpteen 4-car class 350s. Several are already in service operating Manchester Airport-Scotland services via the new electrified Parkside curves (thereby displacing 3-car class 185 which will be used on the routes operated at present by the class 170) and gets rid of nine two-car 170s, which in any case are non-standard with the rest of the fleet. So TPE gains extra vehicles and more standardisation - what's the problem? kthtlkthtl
  • Score: 1

8:11am Wed 5 Mar 14

Moonbase says...

kthtlkthtl wrote:
This is very much a 'non-story'. TPE are gaining umpteen 4-car class 350s. Several are already in service operating Manchester Airport-Scotland services via the new electrified Parkside curves (thereby displacing 3-car class 185 which will be used on the routes operated at present by the class 170) and gets rid of nine two-car 170s, which in any case are non-standard with the rest of the fleet. So TPE gains extra vehicles and more standardisation - what's the problem?
Clear as mud!!
[quote][p][bold]kthtlkthtl[/bold] wrote: This is very much a 'non-story'. TPE are gaining umpteen 4-car class 350s. Several are already in service operating Manchester Airport-Scotland services via the new electrified Parkside curves (thereby displacing 3-car class 185 which will be used on the routes operated at present by the class 170) and gets rid of nine two-car 170s, which in any case are non-standard with the rest of the fleet. So TPE gains extra vehicles and more standardisation - what's the problem?[/p][/quote]Clear as mud!! Moonbase
  • Score: -3

9:43am Wed 5 Mar 14

kthtlkthtl says...

Let me try and spell it out for you – it is called ‘cascading of stock’
Up to this time the Manchester Airport – Scotland services via Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle etc have been operated by diesel multiple units class 185. These are being replaced by new electric multiple units of class 350. The class 185 units are being cascaded down to operate the services thereby an increase in seating. That leaves 9 x 2 car class 170 surplus to requirements. These are the 18 vehicles going to Chiltern railways when the last of the new class 350 are delivered.
The bottom line is that there is no net loss of seats for pax in the NW/Lakes and a greater standardisation of units for TPE. i.e. less number of different type of spares to be carried, standard maintenance procedures etc.
Let me try and spell it out for you – it is called ‘cascading of stock’ Up to this time the Manchester Airport – Scotland services via Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle etc have been operated by diesel multiple units class 185. These are being replaced by new electric multiple units of class 350. The class 185 units [3 car] are being cascaded down to operate the services [that were operated by 2 car class 170] thereby an increase in seating. That leaves 9 x 2 car class 170 surplus to requirements. These are the 18 vehicles going to Chiltern railways when the last of the new class 350 are delivered. The bottom line is that there is no net loss of seats for pax in the NW/Lakes and a greater standardisation of units for TPE. i.e. less number of different type of spares to be carried, standard maintenance procedures etc. kthtlkthtl
  • Score: 1

10:55am Wed 5 Mar 14

TwoHat says...

Bring back British Rail - OK, the sandwich wasn't very good, but the trains made a profit for the taxpayer and worked better than the mess we have now. They have started the renationalisation process with the East Coast line, lets see it continue.
Bring back British Rail - OK, the sandwich wasn't very good, but the trains made a profit for the taxpayer and worked better than the mess we have now. They have started the renationalisation process with the East Coast line, lets see it continue. TwoHat
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Wed 5 Mar 14

turtle2 says...

kthtlktht: When TransPennine Express took on the Scottish services they weren't given any extra stock to do so when it became clear they did not have enough stock there were promised 40 additional diesel carriages by the previous government, which were supposed to be in place by December 2012. This was then changed to 40 additional electric carriages with a later delivery date following the electrification announcement.

TransPennine Express have revised their timetable to include additional services between Liverpool and York in 6 weeks time, which have involved years of planning and have involved Northern Rail revising their train times to fit around the TransPennine Express services and the changes have been approved by the Office of Rail Regulation. By losing the 9 x class 170s it will mean services will need to be cut in 2015 and it may not be the North West to Yorkshire services which get cut back.
kthtlktht: When TransPennine Express took on the Scottish services they weren't given any extra stock to do so when it became clear they did not have enough stock there were promised 40 additional diesel carriages by the previous government, which were supposed to be in place by December 2012. This was then changed to 40 additional electric carriages with a later delivery date following the electrification announcement. TransPennine Express have revised their timetable to include additional services between Liverpool and York in 6 weeks time, which have involved years of planning and have involved Northern Rail revising their train times to fit around the TransPennine Express services and the changes have been approved by the Office of Rail Regulation. By losing the 9 x class 170s it will mean services will need to be cut in 2015 and it may not be the North West to Yorkshire services which get cut back. turtle2
  • Score: 1

3:55pm Wed 5 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

But the Barrow to Manchester route doesn't go anywhere near Scotland, kthtlktht! Perhaps you are thinking about people catching those trains from Oxenholme Station, but for those of us on the coast it is essential to have enough train capacity travelling to Manchester from Barrow, Ulverston, Grange etc. My partner relies on the service to work in Manchester or London several times per month and the train timetables currently seem to be all over the place. He hasn't had to pay for a new ticket for months as he keeps being able to claim refunds. Re-nationalise the rail services someone, please.
But the Barrow to Manchester route doesn't go anywhere near Scotland, kthtlktht! Perhaps you are thinking about people catching those trains from Oxenholme Station, but for those of us on the coast it is essential to have enough train capacity travelling to Manchester from Barrow, Ulverston, Grange etc. My partner relies on the service to work in Manchester or London several times per month and the train timetables currently seem to be all over the place. He hasn't had to pay for a new ticket for months as he keeps being able to claim refunds. Re-nationalise the rail services someone, please. jazzactivist
  • Score: 0

5:24pm Wed 5 Mar 14

kthtlkthtl says...

Let me attempt to make this scenario even more simple to understand.
I am just attempting to overcome the hysteria that is being generated in the statement that we in the North are losing 9 x 2car train sets to them darn sarf.
TPE are to lose 9 2 car Cl. 170 diesel multiple Units which makes a total loss of 18 vehicles.
TPE are to gain 10 x 4 car Cl.350 Electric Multiple Units which makes a total increase of 40 vehicles. The net gain is obviously 22 vehicles.
It is as simple as that really.
Notwithstanding this increase the way that rail travel is on the increase, overall, we are going to be short of rolling stock for some time to come. This is a different topic of debate of course.
A reader mentioned the Cumbrian Coast Services this is operated by Northern Rail as TPE only go as far as Barrow and once again is a different topic than the one we are debating.
Let me attempt to make this scenario even more simple to understand. I am just attempting to overcome the hysteria that is being generated in the statement that we in the North are losing 9 x 2car train sets to them darn sarf. TPE are to lose 9 [not 70 as stated in the above Gazette article] 2 car Cl. 170 diesel multiple Units which makes a total loss of 18 vehicles. TPE are to gain 10 x 4 car Cl.350 Electric Multiple Units which makes a total increase of 40 vehicles. The net gain is obviously 22 vehicles. It is as simple as that really. Notwithstanding this increase the way that rail travel is on the increase, overall, we are going to be short of rolling stock for some time to come. This is a different topic of debate of course. A reader mentioned the Cumbrian Coast Services [Barrow to Carlisle via Ulverston, Grange etc] this is operated by Northern Rail as TPE only go as far as Barrow and once again is a different topic than the one we are debating. kthtlkthtl
  • Score: 1

8:39pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

There are a few steam engines and coaches at Carnforth. Perhaps they could run between Lancaster and Barrow. Think of the tourist trade.
There are a few steam engines and coaches at Carnforth. Perhaps they could run between Lancaster and Barrow. Think of the tourist trade. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: 1

2:00pm Thu 6 Mar 14

oceancloud says...

Grumpyoldbiker wrote:
There are a few steam engines and coaches at Carnforth. Perhaps they could run between Lancaster and Barrow. Think of the tourist trade.
A few! West Coast Railways are one of the biggest rail charter companies in the country. I am sure they have bigger fish to fry than taking up that suggestion however much tongue in cheek it is.
[quote][p][bold]Grumpyoldbiker[/bold] wrote: There are a few steam engines and coaches at Carnforth. Perhaps they could run between Lancaster and Barrow. Think of the tourist trade.[/p][/quote]A few! West Coast Railways are one of the biggest rail charter companies in the country. I am sure they have bigger fish to fry than taking up that suggestion however much tongue in cheek it is. oceancloud
  • Score: 1

7:38pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

oceancloud wrote:
Grumpyoldbiker wrote:
There are a few steam engines and coaches at Carnforth. Perhaps they could run between Lancaster and Barrow. Think of the tourist trade.
A few! West Coast Railways are one of the biggest rail charter companies in the country. I am sure they have bigger fish to fry than taking up that suggestion however much tongue in cheek it is.
It was tongue in cheek, however it would be nice to have a choice. A charmless diesel or a train with some character which befits the line, especially up the coast. I know which one I would wait for. Privatisation was meant to give us a choice. It is not really a choice if one train company runs all the trains on that line. Lets have some real competition so the hard pressed travelling public can decide which company is best. A regular steam service would assist tourism, especially to Ulveston, and relieve some congestion on the A590.
[quote][p][bold]oceancloud[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Grumpyoldbiker[/bold] wrote: There are a few steam engines and coaches at Carnforth. Perhaps they could run between Lancaster and Barrow. Think of the tourist trade.[/p][/quote]A few! West Coast Railways are one of the biggest rail charter companies in the country. I am sure they have bigger fish to fry than taking up that suggestion however much tongue in cheek it is.[/p][/quote]It was tongue in cheek, however it would be nice to have a choice. A charmless diesel or a train with some character which befits the line, especially up the coast. I know which one I would wait for. Privatisation was meant to give us a choice. It is not really a choice if one train company runs all the trains on that line. Lets have some real competition so the hard pressed travelling public can decide which company is best. A regular steam service would assist tourism, especially to Ulveston, and relieve some congestion on the A590. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: 0

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