Northern Regional director speaks to STORM

Date published: 16 July 2019

The Regional Director of Northern Railway, Chris Jackson, along with acting Community Liaison, Rebecca Styles spoke at the Support the Oldham Rochdale Manchester rail line (STORM) meeting on Tuesday 9 July.

Richard Greenwood from STORM said topics included:

  • Reducing cancellations at our local stations
  • Not terminating late running Rochdale 'turnbacks' at Victoria but sending the unit 'fast' to Rochdale to form the return
  • To 'look at' Richard Greenwood’s findings that a problem seems to exist with Blackburn services running late from Blackburn
  • The provision of new ducting at Victoria to reduce the poor air conditions
  • The plan to replace the existing three lifts with new ones (a consultation with passengers with reduced mobility will be sought on how best to provide alternative cross platform access during the works.)

Richard said: "Chris Jackson, Regional Director Northern Railway, gave a very honest and forthright question and answer session to members.

He thanked STORM for their help in bringing issues to his attention and in making constructive suggestions on how best to solve problems and make rail services better.

"The general feeling was that Chris was open to views of members, and more importantly, to 'do something' about it was agreed by members.

"He explained what a huge undertaking Northern is, he said one in four trains which run in England is a Northern train, they have 436 trains in the fleet of fourteen different types, two hundred and forty-three of which will have been refurbished by January 2020. 

"Seventy per cent of the new fleet will be in operation from the timetable change on 14 December 2019.  They have more staff, more stations, more depots and more trains than any other train operator. 

"A matter of regret for a few, the first class 142, Pacer, will be retired in August. These basic units really saved the Regional Railways operation of British Railways in the cash and investment desert of the 1980s.

"From 15 July a minor change in operational procedure will be tried to see if it can reduce cancellations of trains between Castleton, Mills Hill and Moston especially during the morning peak.  

"As soon as the new 1195s come onto the Chester trains, Northern are planning a big promotion for the new ‘Connect’ service. 

"Air monitoring is still being undertaken at Victoria and it is agreed a much better system of fume extraction is required and a sum is in the Rail industry budget to cover this."

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