Well, it took a bit of time, but finally some action has been taken on another of these failing train operating franchises. Of course nothing will change overnight, and no doubt nothing will stop those interminable excuses for the poor performance:
- Platforms too short
- Electrification delays
- Too many passengers
I think the most untenable of the excuses is the ‘short platforms’. Back in the days of steam, when an 8-coach train pulled up at a station where platforms were short, the train often pulled further along to allow the trailing coaches to access the platform. But perhaps now that’s no longer possible – after all trains must be at least 10 coaches or more today, surely?
The idea that electrification delays – they will cite the Preston to Blackpool stretch as an example – is equally daft. That’s worse than the “wrong kind of snow” – because it was a planned piece of work, and the infrastructure is already owned and managed by the Government as Network Rail. So was that just a – look over there “squirrel” excuse to deflect attention from the operators overall poor performance?
According to recent figures from the ORR Network Rail are “responsible” for 58% of delays to train services. Is that shorthand for Government have UNDER-INVESTED in the rail network infrastructure?
It must be, since Network Rail DO NOT RUN TRAINS.
Can’t see that holding up too well against the timteable chaos of the previous year.
Anyway, we are going to see the change from 1st March, and the media area ready, and busy with their various pronouncements:
- Northern Rail Franchise to be Renationalised
- Northern: Rail firm brought under government control
- Northern to Come Under Government Control from March