Latest Update From Northern Rail

The latest update from Northern Rail following the timetable changes is available below. This includes analysis on how the temporary timetable is working and the progress on addressing the performance issues which arose as a consequence of the implementation of the new timetable.

Thankfully the amount of disruption to services across the Yorkshire region and on the Calder Valley Line have been substantially reduced over the last few weeks. I will continue to work with Northern Rail and I would encourage commuters to contact me if they continue to be affected by disruption or any performance related issues on Northern Rail services.


Dear Craig

Following my email to you last Friday, in which I outlined how Northern propose to turn around our performance following the introduction of the May timetable, I wanted to provide you with some analysis of how our interim timetable, introduced on Monday 4 June, is performing.

The temporary timetable is designed to give customers much more certainty and is now bedding in. There has been steady improvement but we are continuing to work hard to stabilise the areas where there are still problems on our network.

So far today (Friday 8 June 1030) 652 trains have run with 80% arriving as planned. 3% of trains have been cancelled or arrived significantly late. This compares to the first two weeks of the new timetables when 69% of trains arrived as planned and an average of 11% of trains were cancelled or significantly late.

Most of the problems have been on the North West parts of our network with the North East, Yorkshire & Humber and other areas largely unaffected

This interim timetable will allow us to ensure that driver training can be completed over the coming weeks, so we can re-introduce services to bring us back to the level intended with the May 2018 timetable.

I am also pleased to advise you that, following negotiations with the train drivers’ union ASLEF, rest day working has once again been reinstated. Around 1,500 days of training are required across our network and today’s announcement will help us to deliver this training. Northern had enough train drivers in the run up to the timetable change, however we did not have sufficient time to retrain the numbers required on the new routes given the scale and complexity of the new timetable.

Our staff have been doing their level best to provide information and support customers on trains and at our stations, while colleagues in teams such as planning and resourcing have been working tirelessly to help stabilise the situation. Our energy and focus is firmly on delivering certainty for our customers. Posters and leaflets are in place at affected stations to promote the temporary timetables. Our social media feeds and customer website are also prominently promoting these timetables.

We are finalising additional compensation for our customers and will announce that shortly. We are also working on a solution for our passengers affected by the temporary closure of the Lakes Line in Cumbria.

On Monday I conducted a full schedule of interviews with the national and regional broadcast media, answering some challenging questions. I also had a teleconference with members of the board of Transport for the North. On Wednesday I jointly hosted an MP drop-in session with Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s Managing Director for London North Western, where we gave personal briefings to Members of Parliament from impacted constituencies. On Thursday morning I met with the Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, to provide him with an update on the progress we are making.

Please do not hesitate to contact your dedicated regional stakeholder manager or regional director for more information.

My colleagues and I recognise the problems the disruption this has caused for our passengers and I would like to reiterate my sincere apologies for this and my commitment to improve the service.

Yours sincerely,

David Brown
Managing Director