Apology to passengers over rail overcrowding

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From: Richard Allan, Area Director, Northern Rail.

WE realise that overcrowding is frustrating for our passengers and we apologise to anyone who has an unpleasant journey because of this. Feedback such as this helps us highlight specific services to monitor closely (Yorkshire Post, August 25).

As a train operator, flexibility around the ebb and flow of the peak is vital to ensure we have sufficient capacity to deal with an increase in passenger numbers.

Inclement weather, vandalism and routine maintenance can mean that some trains are unable to run in their normal working patterns, which can lead to services normally booked to be formed of four carriages to run as a two-carriage train.

As our trains arrive into cities such as Leeds and Manchester, carriages are attached together to offer more or less capacity, based on passenger numbers normally travelling on that route.

This flexibility, although limited, is welcome and helps us to run a service with fewer carriages as opposed to cancelling services altogether.

In response to Mr. Letham’s letter; on this particular journey it was unfortunate that the failure of another operator’s train caused a blockage at one of our depots outside Leeds; all services via Leeds during this particular morning were affected and resulted in overcrowding.

Due to the popularity of rail travel as an efficient, sustainable and cost-effective means of transport, we will continue to work with the Department for Transport to provide as much capacity for our passengers as possible.