Northern (Arriva Rail North)
#1
Northern (Arriva Rail North)
Not sure if anyone else was listening this morning, but there was a big boss from Northern Rail in the 'hotseat' from 9am on Radio Newcastle.

Apart from the usual, he also announced 40 additional trains will call at Blaydon with extra services calling at Dunston - all from December this year.

It isn't an area I go to that often, but I am aware of how many buses to/from Newcastle and the Metrocentre from Blaydon. It will be interesting to see how GNE react to this, or whether the new deckers for the 10 was their pre-emptive move.
40 trains a day seems a massive number considering it is single figures at the moment.

#2
RE: Northern Rail
Any idea whether these journeys will be covered by Nexus for those Under 16 or not?
(i.e. Will those under 16 be able to use their Nexus CAT ticket as they can for journeys between Sunderland and Newcastle?)

#3
RE: Northern Rail
(05 Mar 2013, 4:36 pm)Daniel Wrote: Any idea whether these journeys will be covered by Nexus for those Under 16 or not?
(i.e. Will those under 16 be able to use their Nexus CAT ticket as they can for journeys between Sunderland and Newcastle?)

I know CAT All Day Tickets can definitely be used on Northern Rail services between Sunderland and Newcastle, but I'm not sure when continuing to Metrocentre/Blaydon.

The NEXUS website states that: "The fare for a single journey on Northern Rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland and Metrocentre/Blaydon is 60p at any time, on any day if you have an Under 16 Pop Card", so I'm guessing that CAT tickets can be used as far as Blaydon?

#4
RE: Northern Rail
(05 Mar 2013, 6:31 pm)tom.robinson206 Wrote:
(05 Mar 2013, 4:36 pm)Daniel Wrote: Any idea whether these journeys will be covered by Nexus for those Under 16 or not?
(i.e. Will those under 16 be able to use their Nexus CAT ticket as they can for journeys between Sunderland and Newcastle?)

I know CAT All Day Tickets can definitely be used on Northern Rail services between Sunderland and Newcastle, but I'm not sure when continuing to Metrocentre/Blaydon.

The NEXUS website states that: "The fare for a single journey on Northern Rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland and Metrocentre/Blaydon is 60p at any time, on any day if you have an Under 16 Pop Card", so I'm guessing that CAT tickets can be used as far as Blaydon?

I'd expect so! Ta for the info - I've always wondered how far you could go.

#5
RE: Northern Rail
(05 Mar 2013, 2:49 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: Not sure if anyone else was listening this morning, but there was a big boss from Northern Rail in the 'hotseat' from 9am on Radio Newcastle.

Apart from the usual, he also announced 40 additional trains will call at Blaydon with extra services calling at Dunston - all from December this year.

It isn't an area I go to that often, but I am aware of how many buses to/from Newcastle and the Metrocentre from Blaydon. It will be interesting to see how GNE react to this, or whether the new deckers for the 10 was their pre-emptive move.
40 trains a day seems a massive number considering it is single figures at the moment.

Hmmm. 40 trains, 20 each way. Trains on the line are every 30 minutes to Hexham, so if you stop most of them, you get your 40 additional trains.

If you are going past, you might as well stop and I think the same applies to Dunston.

#6
RE: Northern Rail
I can't comment if any others have been treated, but one of Northern's Class 156 sets has been internally refurbished. The grey bulky seats have been replaced with less bulky seats with a smart purple trimming. There is much more leg room, but despite thinner seats being used, it seems as though seating capacity has been somewhat reduced.

If I'd thought on I would have got a photo and ID of the train set. Will try next time Smile

#7
RE: Northern Rail
(05 Mar 2013, 7:07 pm)Daniel Wrote: I'd expect so! Ta for the info - I've always wondered how far you could go.

I'd be careful though, most of the times I've tried using the train between Heworth and Newcastle, the inspectors are pretty clueless when they look at the ticket - I don't think it's that commonly used, to be honest.

#8
RE: Northern Rail
(07 Mar 2013, 4:39 pm)tom.robinson206 Wrote:
(05 Mar 2013, 7:07 pm)Daniel Wrote: I'd expect so! Ta for the info - I've always wondered how far you could go.

I'd be careful though, most of the times I've tried using the train between Heworth and Newcastle, the inspectors are pretty clueless when they look at the ticket - I don't think it's that commonly used, to be honest.

I've only ever had trouble with one Northern Rail ticket inspector saying that I can't use a Nexus CAT ticket on their trains. All of the rest have been fine with me. I use it fairly frequently on weekends (and weekdays if it's the school holidays too) but I guess there's always a chance that they'll not know what that ticket is.

I shall ask an inspector next time I'm on one of their trains just how far you can go.

#9
RE: Northern Rail
(05 Mar 2013, 9:47 pm)Brandon Wrote: I can't comment if any others have been treated, but one of Northern's Class 156 sets has been internally refurbished. The grey bulky seats have been replaced with less bulky seats with a smart purple trimming. There is much more leg room, but despite thinner seats being used, it seems as though seating capacity has been somewhat reduced.

If I'd thought on I would have got a photo and ID of the train set. Will try next time Smile

Didn't get a photo of the interior, but did of the exterior. A poor photo, so it didn't go on my Flickr which is now incorporating train photos (if anyone had noticed!), but can be viewed on the attachment below.

142087.

#10
RE: Northern Rail
The start date of the next Northern Franchise has now been delayed until 5 February 2016.

#11
RE: Northern Rail
Has anyone used the Day Rangers that Northern offer? I have a family and friends railcard and hadn't heard of it until earlier.

#12
RE: Northern Rail
(01 Apr 2013, 7:37 pm)Kuyoyo Wrote: The start date of the next Northern Franchise has now been delayed until 5 February 2016.

What is the chances of TPE being merged into the Northern Franchise

#13
RE: Northern Rail
(14 Apr 2013, 10:31 am)fozzovmurton Wrote: What is the chances of TPE being merged into the Northern Franchise

Highly unlikely I'd say. Something like that chance to catch the eye of the competition commission. More so with what happened with the West Coast franchise.
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#14
RE: Northern Rail
(14 Apr 2013, 2:09 pm)aureolin Wrote:
(14 Apr 2013, 10:31 am)fozzovmurton Wrote: What is the chances of TPE being merged into the Northern Franchise

Highly unlikely I'd say. Something like that chance to catch the eye of the competition commission. More so with what happened with the West Coast franchise.

Actually, that's the whole point of timing both the current Northern and TPE finishing at the same time. To merge the two together again.

#15
RE: Northern Rail
(14 Apr 2013, 2:21 pm)Kuyoyo Wrote:
(14 Apr 2013, 2:09 pm)aureolin Wrote:
(14 Apr 2013, 10:31 am)fozzovmurton Wrote: What is the chances of TPE being merged into the Northern Franchise

Highly unlikely I'd say. Something like that chance to catch the eye of the competition commission. More so with what happened with the West Coast franchise.

Actually, that's the whole point of timing both the current Northern and TPE finishing at the same time. To merge the two together again.

As pointed out above by aureolin, I would be very surprised to see the competitions commision actually allow that, giving the winning operator a would have a virtual monopoly over Northern England.

#16
RE: Northern Rail
(14 Apr 2013, 2:21 pm)Kuyoyo Wrote: Actually, that's the whole point of timing both the current Northern and TPE finishing at the same time. To merge the two together again.

That totally goes against the governments policy on putting contracts out to tender. If you look at any other department where they've outsourced work, you'll find they're now creating silos, rather than giving one organisation the lot. I'd be extremely surprised if this is any different. The system works for them - it creates competition across the board, and usually means they end up getting a lot more for paying a lot less.
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#17
RE: Northern Rail
Isn't it more likely that we'll see a transfer of routes between the two franchises, while remaining separate. There are rumours that York-Blackpool will transfer back to TPE, perhaps extended through to Scarborough.

#18
RE: Northern Rail
(14 Apr 2013, 9:52 pm)tyresmoke Wrote: Isn't it more likely that we'll see a transfer of routes between the two franchises, while remaining separate. There are rumours that York-Blackpool will transfer back to TPE, perhaps extended through to Scarborough.

I'd love them to put something quicker along to Blackpool. It's crazy how long it takes at the moment to get from York - Blackpool North.
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#19
RE: Northern Rail
(14 Apr 2013, 2:09 pm)aureolin Wrote:
(14 Apr 2013, 10:31 am)fozzovmurton Wrote: What is the chances of TPE being merged into the Northern Franchise

Highly unlikely I'd say. Something like that chance to catch the eye of the competition commission. More so with what happened with the West Coast franchise.

Wouldn't be a problem for the DfT. It would be more of a problem for the operator, but there are checks in place on First Scotrail and First in Glasgow.

The government has chosen to slim down most operations, with Arriva operating Wales, First in Scotland and the South West.

To be honest, a lot of it is up in the air with local Authorities appearing to want to get involved but balking at the financial risk.

#20
RE: Northern Rail
The RMT union are balloting for strikes regarding the use of sub-contractors for tasks the union feels Northern Rail staff are able to carry out.