THE DEFAULT defence of Northern and TransPennine Express is to say reliability is improving.
Yet, while rail services couldn’t get much worse after this summer’s chaos, the firms are in for a long haul when it comes to winning back lost public confidence.
For, while Northern’s new rolling stock will be an improvement on the ubiquitous Pacers that should have become National Railway Museum exhibits years ago, they’re no good if the operator can’t meet its advertised timetable.
It’s why the Office of Rail and Road is right to keep up the pressure on Northern.
Not only did it fail to keep its staff – and commuters – informed about cancelled services, as the watchdog’s inquiry concluded, but it’s still failing to do so judging by the irate reaction of commuters when the 6.57am rush hour service from Doncaster to Leeds is regularly cancelled with no explanation.
Passengers on this train, and the many others still being postponed at short notice, deserve better than this. When?