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Northern rail could be nationalised


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2 hours ago, caradoc said:

 

Not necessarily involved in bringing down the OLE but the size of a bird struck by a train is, believe it or not, a factor in delay attribution; Below a certain size it is a TOC responsibilty, on the basis that trains should not be damaged by a small bird; If larger the delay is Network Rail's, as it is an animal incursion on the railway (although how NR is expected to stop birds accessing the line I have no idea !) 

 

I have always believed that instead of delays being split simply into TOC or NR, there should be a third category for incidents not reasonably within the control of the rail industry; Bird strikes (of whatever size), passengers ill on trains and bridge strikes being three examples. Given that by far the majority of external delays are Network Rail's this would also give a clearer picture of responsibility for poor performance.

 

 

Strange comment - latest data gives NR delays as just 52% of the total.

 

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I see that the name given so far is Northern Trains Ltd. Perhaps they got too much stick over calling the ECML organisation LNER, otherwise they could have split it into divisions called Lancashire & Yorkshire Raliway, North Eastern Railway or even LD&EC for Manchester - Sheffield - Cleethorpes

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Reporter on 5Live this evening noted a packed standing room only service to Knaresborough leaving, be it Northern, Northern Trains or good old BR that would be the case regardless of operator due to the demand within the Leeds conurbation and after the third stop at Horsforth any remaining standing passengers would most likely have as seat (unless they wished to stay standing). A turn back facility was provided at Horsforth a few years back but only sees one pm working (the 1645 from Leeds). IMO the timetable should have a shorts to Horsforth which start from York or Selby with the Harrogate / Knaresborough / Poppletons (thence York but not described as such at Leeds) running non stop to Horsforth. Slightly ironically the competing 10 minute interval bus service to Harrogate which does well due to serving the northern  end of Leeds City Centre and more convenient for many in Harrogate had its 1705 from Leeds cancelled today

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11 minutes ago, Butler Henderson said:

Reporter on 5Live this evening noted a packed standing room only service to Knaresborough leaving, be it Northern, Northern Trains or good old BR that would be the case regardless of operator due to the demand within the Leeds conurbation and after the third stop at Horsforth any remaining standing passengers would most likely have as seat (unless they wished to stay standing). A turn back facility was provided at Horsforth a few years back but only sees one pm working (the 1645 from Leeds). IMO the timetable should have a shorts to Horsforth which start from York or Selby with the Harrogate / Knaresborough / Poppletons (thence York but not described as such at Leeds) running non stop to Horsforth. Slightly ironically the competing 10 minute interval bus service to Harrogate which does well due to serving the northern  end of Leeds City Centre and more convenient for many in Harrogate had its 1705 from Leeds cancelled today

In BR days it was often those most joyous class 141s :jester:

 

A crowded pacer on jointed track though. Recipe for nausea. Imagine the scene when someone gets a sticky earful...

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2 hours ago, Butler Henderson said:

 Slightly ironically the competing 10 minute interval bus service to Harrogate which does well due to serving the northern  end of Leeds City Centre and more convenient for many in Harrogate had its 1705 from Leeds cancelled today

Maybe it should have been replaced with "Trainstitution", a Road Replacement Train!:lol:

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17 hours ago, jools1959 said:

what they forget is that the same management will remain for now

With a few director level exceptions, most of those doing the actual operating were there before Arriva, some if them long before. They didn't suddenly forget how to do timetabling halfway through 2017 but no one at DfT was listening to the chorus of 'This won't work...'

9 hours ago, Butler Henderson said:

 A turn back facility was provided at Horsforth a few years back but only sees one pm working (the 1645 from Leeds). 

The Horsforth turnbacks now mostly go through to Harrogate. 

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I have read the DaFT statement on who will be running the services.  Come on, spill the beans, where have all these "Highly" skilled train operations staff come from? Australia? New Zealand? Out of retirement? Or is it civil service speak for "If you have a degree from Oxford or Cambridge you can do any job proficiently"???

 

 

Baz

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1 hour ago, Barry O said:

I have read the DaFT statement on who will be running the services.  Come on, spill the beans, where have all these "Highly" skilled train operations staff come from? Australia? New Zealand? Out of retirement? Or is it civil service speak for "If you have a degree from Oxford or Cambridge you can do any job proficiently"???

 

 

Baz

 Any University surely ? May be even O levels

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13 hours ago, Mike Storey said:

 

Strange comment - latest data gives NR delays as just 52% of the total.

 

 

Strange in what way please Mike ?

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I know there have been issues with driver training which is Northerns responsibility , but isn't the major issue lack of capacity , particularly around Manchester ?  I know that's only part of network, but I do seem to remember that extra capacity between Piccadilly and Oxford Rd and adding 2 through platforms at Piccadilly was knocked back by DfT.  this has significant impact on trains running all through the network getting past this choke point . It also affects Trans Pennine Express I think . So bringing Northern under direct control isn't going to fix this and I suspect things wont get better until capacity is increased.  

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16 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

I have always believed that main reason that the railway was privatised/franchised was so that Ministers could take a back seat and not be blamed every time there was a major c**k-up or, worse still, an accident. And Labour Govt was not keen to renationalise for the same reason.

So I am a bit surprised to see Grant Shapps so happy to take on Northern.

I'll never forget a speech by Roy Hattersley at a Railway Study Association dinner where he a said that secretly all MPs would be glad to see the end of BR as it would no longer be their responsibility and the size of their post bags would shrink significantly once everyone knew they had to moan to somebody else instead of their MP went they weren't happy with rail services etc.   Virtually all current MPs haven't been around long enough to remember what it was like before the days of franchised passenger services but I have the feeling that various of them in the north of England may soon be finding out - and no doubt then shoving people off onto the DfT's contractor running the service  (instead of the DfT's franchisee).

 

The only changes the new 'contractor' can make to improve 'stability and reliability' is get staff trained on the new and push railtrack for the various things it needs to do to make the timetable work as it should trains - that will take time.  Even if they recruit additional Drivers (who might be needed?) nobody will see the results fr around six months or more unless they come from elsewhere in the industry.   The only advantage the new management have over Arriva is a 'political' one when it comes to getting heat off their backs where it needs money to be spent and The Treeasury being under more immediate pressure than it would be with a franchisee.  it will be interesting to see if it works.

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11 hours ago, DavidB-AU said:

I find it interesting that when there are press articles about franchising Chiltern never seem to get a mention - strange that.

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2 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

I'll never forget a speech by Roy Hattersley at a Railway Study Association dinner where he a said that secretly all MPs would be glad to see the end of BR as it would no longer be their responsibility and the size of their post bags would shrink significantly once everyone knew they had to moan to somebody else instead of their MP went they weren't happy with rail services etc.   Virtually all current MPs haven't been around long enough to remember what it was like before the days of franchised passenger services but I have the feeling that various of them in the north of England may soon be finding out - and no doubt then shoving people off onto the DfT's contractor running the service  (instead of the DfT's franchisee).

 

The only changes the new 'contractor' can make to improve 'stability and reliability' is get staff trained on the new and push railtrack for the various things it needs to do to make the timetable work as it should trains - that will take time.  Even if they recruit additional Drivers (who might be needed?) nobody will see the results fr around six months or more unless they come from elsewhere in the industry.   The only advantage the new management have over Arriva is a 'political' one when it comes to getting heat off their backs where it needs money to be spent and The Treeasury being under more immediate pressure than it would be with a franchisee.  it will be interesting to see if it works.

I remember seeing an interview with the head man from Northern some while ago in which he said that his company's main function seemed to be training new drivers. A high proportion of them were being lured away within two years by other operators offering higher pay and the financial drain of that process was detracting from what he needed to do elsewhere.

 

If that's still the case, it won't matter who's running the show.

 

John 

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1 hour ago, Dunsignalling said:

I remember seeing an interview with the head man from Northern some while ago in which he said that his company's main function seemed to be training new drivers. A high proportion of them were being lured away within two years by other operators offering higher pay and the financial drain of that process was detracting from what he needed to do elsewhere.

 

If that's still the case, it won't matter who's running the show.

 

John 

 

Well, easy solution to that. Pay the same wages as others and make sure that your working conditions are as good or better than the others. Privatisation is supposed to be about the power of "the market" to deliver and that means the economics of supply and demand. What is he complaining about?

 

Just watched a decent Sky News report on HS2. Showed how the figures are being misused by many. The new higher figure being bandied around is for the whole project. But people have been comparing that against the original estimate - which was only the London - Birmingham/Trent Valley section. It's apples and oranges.

 

The report also featured various Northern MPs who would rather spend the money elsewhere. But, HS2 stage 2, particularly where Manchester is concerned, will free up a lot of timetable paths and enable a big improvement in the commuter service into Manchester from Cheshire. Not until 2036 though!

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1 hour ago, Dunsignalling said:

I remember seeing an interview with the head man from Northern some while ago in which he said that his company's main function seemed to be training new drivers. A high proportion of them were being lured away within two years by other operators offering higher pay and the financial drain of that process was detracting from what he needed to do elsewhere.

 

If that's still the case, it won't matter who's running the show.

 

John 

From privatisation this was not only a problem with drivers.

Infrastructure maintenance and projects saw lots of new organisations created all wanting experienced staff . I signal engineering we had a single department for all day-to-day matters and managing the input of established UK cantracors. Overnight we had about 20 organisations all looking for a Head of Signal Engineering. People within Train Operations business units wanting their own Signal Development Engineer, Jarvis, Amey, Balfour Beatty, Tarmac  et al running parallel organisations bidding against each other for work and duplicating old BR structures. It is little wonder that costs in infrastructure projects have gone through the roof and timescales stretched massively.

We used to call it the Magic Roundabout as staff were continually on the move to whoever offered them the most. Meanwhile the staff who knew what the job was about were all retiring and not being replaced. Several people I was involved in training for BR are still active in Australia, the Far East, Middle East, continental Europe and North America, all lost to our own system. 

When my own office was split off from BR and became part of an industrial conglomorate the last BR Management Grades vacancy list I received had about 40 jobs in the old BR Grades MS2 and above. Three were for people who knew how to build and run a railway, the rest were for accountants and contract lawyers. Why am I not surprised at the current state of the railway industry.

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6 hours ago, Harry Lime said:

What's an O' Level Mum?

 

A qualification that at one time used to mean something rather than todays CSEs

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3 minutes ago, 40F said:

 

A qualification that at one time used to mean something rather than todays CSEs

 

CSE's were the exam for the thickies till the were merged with "O" levels to produce GCSE's and as normal government could not stop moving the goal posts so the grading was changed from letters to numbers plus course work had less weighting in the result!

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17 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Well, easy solution to that. Pay the same wages as others and make sure that your working conditions are as good or better than the others. Privatisation is supposed to be about the power of "the market" to deliver and that means the economics of supply and demand. What is he complaining about?

 

Just watched a decent Sky News report on HS2. Showed how the figures are being misused by many. The new higher figure being bandied around is for the whole project. But people have been comparing that against the original estimate - which was only the London - Birmingham/Trent Valley section. It's apples and oranges.

 

The report also featured various Northern MPs who would rather spend the money elsewhere. But, HS2 stage 2, particularly where Manchester is concerned, will free up a lot of timetable paths and enable a big improvement in the commuter service into Manchester from Cheshire. Not until 2036 though!

Regrettably a sort of 'arms race' for drivers developed fairly quickly after privatisation and ASLE&F generally - but not very openly - encouraged it in order to push up salaries.  

 

However in many respects the situation is no different from what happened in BR days when certain depots had high turnovers because they were effectively forever training Drivers who fairly quickly went off to their First Preference depot - in some cases before they had even finished road learning.  The basic fact is that however you look at people will find some driving work more attrractive than other driving work and might even be prepared to accept slightly less palatable pay & conditions.  For example when a separate freight link was created at acti on taking drivers out of Old Oak there was no difficulty at all in filling the jobs .  Freight work tends to be more interesting than driiving an all stations passenger train over the same route day in and day with little or no variety.

 

I think that even if every driver in Britain was on exactly the same pay & conditions work at some places, and some sorts of work, would always remain more attractive than work at other places or on jobs which have no variety.

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I’ve often seen it said that driving an express London and back with few stops for 8 hours is more attractive than a suburban all stations where you might do the same run 3 or 4 times in the shift.

Added to that is that the cab environment for most of the alternatives employees in the Northern area is a generation or two more advanced. Really you’d should have to pay more to get someone to drive from the small cab end of a 153 than pretty much any other train!

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7 hours ago, caradoc said:

 

Strange in what way please Mike ?

 

In that you stated NR were responsible for the vast majority of delays. 52% is not a "vast majority", unless I am missing something??

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