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Leo Goodwin: My message to TransPennnine Express passengers – I share your pain

A TransPennine Express service.
A TransPennine Express service.
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IT’S fair to say that over the last
few months, rail customers on some routes in the North have experienced significant disruption following
the introduction of a major timetable change by a number of train
operators.

I’ve said it before and I will continue
to say it until we have this sorted; I am truly sorry to anyone that has been affected by this. I frequently travel
on our services and speak to customers on board and I am fully aware of the
impact that this has had on some 
people’s lives.

I read the comment piece by 
Tom Richmond in The Yorkshire Post 
on Saturday and hope I can now 
provide more balance to this.

The most important thing is we continue to resolve the issues and
fully restore the level of service customers expect and deserve.

To those that travel with us, it may 
not appear that we have taken 
immediate action to address the issues since May.

However, behind the scenes, we
have been working with Network Rail
and other rail operators on a joint 
plan to improve the punctuality and resilience of train services in the
North.

It’s really important that we 
all work together on this because 
around three-quarters of the delays
to our services which have occurred since May have been caused by factors which are outside our direct control, principally infrastructure faults and delays on services run by other rail operators which have caused knock-on delays to TransPennine Express trains.

As a result of these joint plans, over
the past week, we’ve started to see
some notable improvements in performance following the phased reintroduction of Northern 
services.

Northern had adopted a temporary timetable which was put in place alongside positive changes made by Network Rail including a change
to their train regulating policy on
the East Coast Main Line (which 
decides the order that different trains run in and how long they stop at 
signals for).

Our trains to and from Scarborough in particular have started to benefit 
from these changes.

This is positive progress, but there is still more to be done.

The railway in central Manchester
is more congested than ever before 
which has had an effect on our 
services, all of which run through
the city.

We are working hard with Network Rail and other rail operators to address this issue.

Our customers, including members
of rail user groups, have quite
rightly contacted us about the performance of our services and 
all of their correspondence has been responded to.

We have also attended various
public meetings where people have
had the chance to ask questions
and raise concerns about these issues directly with us.

Our priority is to deliver the best possible level of service for our passengers.

Later this year, customers across Yorkshire will begin travelling on the 
first of our £500m Nova trains – with 
this futuristic fleet being the newest in the UK.

In a couple of weeks time, building work will begin on a new £7m maintenance depot for these trains,
which is situated just outside Scarborough station.

With such positive and transformational changes just
around the corner, our priority
now is working with the rest of
the rail industry to fully restore the reliability of all services.

I want to assure customers 
across the North of England that 
this is our number one priority
and I thank them for their
patience.

Leo Goodwin is managing director of 
TransPennine Express.