Northern rail under threat of losing franchise Watch

CatusStarbright
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The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has deemed Northern's service as "unacceptable" and the BBC has reported that he is contemplating stripping the franchise as among the options available to him.

What do you think to this response from the government? Would having two franchises under the Operator of Last Resort be a good thing or is it a cause for concern?
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Andrew97
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It’s terrible. It deserves too.

GA should lose it for not turning the heating on on my train!
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Kitten in boots
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Good old Deutsche Bahn. They ran Northern just as badly as they ran Tyne and Wear Metro.

Expect to see their failure rewarded with more contracts from the Conservative government.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Kitten in boots)
Good old Deutsche Bahn. They ran Northern just as badly as they ran Tyne and Wear Metro.

Expect to see their failure rewarded with more contracts from the Conservative government.
Arriva is just an awful company. Their bus services in Yorkshire are awfully unreliable, though I must say that I have a decent opinion of the CrossCountry and Grand Central trains that they also run (with DB as the parent company of course).
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Andrew97
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Abellio runs buses in my area. They seem decent enough
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CoolCavy
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Good, they are absolutely horrendous, always delayed and shake your bones out. The fact this franchise still uses pacer trains says it all
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Andrew97
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Good, they are absolutely horrendous, always delayed and shake your bones out. The fact this franchise still uses pacer trains says it all
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It looks like somebody nicked a bus and decided to drive it down a railway line.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Good, they are absolutely horrendous, always delayed and shake your bones out. The fact this franchise still uses pacer trains says it all
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I was on one of those pacers just last week as it happens. The fast train (Transpenine) was cancelled so there was two trains' worth of people crammed into one bus-on-rails. We had to leave people standing at platforms along the route, and unfortunately I didn't manage to find my mother a seat so the journey made the dizzy spell she was having that day worse.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Andrew97)
It looks like somebody nicked a bus and decided to drive it down a railway line.
That was exactly the idea when they were built.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
That was exactly the idea when they were built.
Yeah I know. The train I’m on now doesn’t look too dissimilar. I could rant about it for hours but won’t.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by Andrew97)
It looks like somebody nicked a bus and decided to drive it down a railway line.
Literally is, the seats are those sort of old tram type seats



(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I was on one of those pacers just last week as it happens. The fast train (Transpenine) was cancelled so there was two trains' worth of people crammed into one bus-on-rails. We had to leave people standing at platforms along the route, and unfortunately I didn't manage to find my mother a seat so the journey made the dizzy spell she was having that day worse.
Honestly rail travel in the north of england is an absolute shambles, you also have to pay ridiculous fares for the privilege of being late and cancelled
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Drewski
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About 3 years too late
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Napp
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Seems they've just been stripped of the franchise. Good.
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LiberOfLondon
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Literally is, the seats are those sort of old tram type seats




Honestly rail travel in the north of england is an absolute shambles, you also have to pay ridiculous fares for the privilege of being late and cancelled
Or there's one 3 car train every 30 mins on the day of a Merseyside derby. Or (even better) the RMT tossers are on strike.
(Original post by Andrew97)
It looks like somebody nicked a bus and decided to drive it down a railway line.
Southport represent!
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barnetlad
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This should come back into public ownership.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
Or there's one 3 car train every 30 mins on the day of a Merseyside derby. Or (even better) the RMT tossers are on strike.

Southport represent!
The RMT tried to strike on my line. Didn’t have an impact, GA had it sorted. 😂
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
Or there's one 3 car train every 30 mins on the day of a Merseyside derby. Or (even better) the RMT tossers are on strike.

Southport represent!
Yep :nothing: is such a cluster ****

(Original post by barnetlad)
This should come back into public ownership.
British rail was hardly any better
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LiberOfLondon
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(Original post by Andrew97)
The RMT tried to strike on my line. Didn’t have an impact, GA had it sorted. 😂
Something something SCAAAAAABS
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Napp
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Good, they are absolutely horrendous, always delayed and shake your bones out. The fact this franchise still uses pacer trains says it all
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Just as a small side fact, the Russian train only runs on a few routes - most of their rolling stock is somewhat more questionable.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has deemed Northern's service as "unacceptable" and the BBC has reported that he is contemplating stripping the franchise as among the options available to him.

What do you think to this response from the government? Would having two franchises under the Operator of Last Resort be a good thing or is it a cause for concern?
You alluded to what is wrong in post 4. The fault is not really Arriva who also operate award winning open access operations and well regarded other franchises but rather the structure of the franchise (it is too big) and the fact that it is heavily loss making which has seen it neglected in terms of new stock and electrification. The Penistone Line is even single track for half of it despite being full at peak times (the fault of the state since operators can’t just go out and purchase stock).

If we are maintaining the franchise structure of the railways then it really needs splitting in at least half (Transpennine and HS3 can prioritise the longer distance services).

My own personal preference is to have the state take the franchise but allow open access operators to register to operate as many services as they wish. In essence the state would end up running the rural services, the open access operators would take on the longer distance commuter services.

We really need to consider whether some of these unprofitable routes are individually tenable though. As much as people hate on Beeching I would wager that half the stations he culled are not candidates for renewal.
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