Northern rail delays: Cancellations as new timetable begins

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Katie May Lees

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Many services were cancelled and delayed around the north of England

Rail commuters in the north of England have been hit by cancellations and delays as Northern launched a new timetable promising 50 new trains.

Nineteen trains had been cancelled by 10:00 GMT and 31 delayed, some due to a shortage of drivers.

The operator said the issue affected services between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport, Leeds to York and Sheffield, and Darlington to Saltburn.

Transpennine Express had also cancelled 29 services on Monday morning.

Affected services included those linking Manchester Airport with Edinburgh and Newcastle, and trains from Liverpool Lime Street to Scarborough.

One passenger, posting on Twitter with the username leylandski, wrote: “Every day you get worse. Now you’ve cancelled both my train to and from work until Jan? Why? They were during peak time, this is totally unacceptable.”

In October, fewer than half of Northern rail services ran on time, the firm’s figures showed.

Cancellations were also at their highest level since July and August.

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The operator had said the changes in its new winter timetable would focus on “reliability and stability” and add to the services each week.

On Monday, a Northern spokesperson said: “The new timetable for Northern has performed well.

“The small number of delays and cancellations are due to operational issues including driver sickness, signalling failure and train faults.”

Commuters shared train travel issues on social media on Monday, as the hastag #northernfail was trending.

Calderdale councillor Jane Scullion tweeted: “Good morning @northernassist, trains late, trains cancelled, two carriages, not stopping at various stations, standing from Hebden to Leeds. I could weep and it’s only Monday morning #northernfail”

Keri Lewis Brown shared an image of a departures board which read a service to Blackpool North had been cancelled “due to a train stopping in the wrong position”.

Transpennine is running a pre-planned temporary reduced timetable on some routes as a maintenance backlog and infrastructure problems have delayed staff training on new trains.

Sophie Lichfield tweeted that commuting between Liverpool and Manchester was “near impossible” due to the cancellations and delays.

While another, Pippa Jackson, tweeted: “8.17 to Dewsbury cancelled. Having to wait nearly an hour for the next one. No lunch for me today then. Or I don’t get home till 7pm. And I see my kids for an hour before they go to bed. Truly shambolic service @TPExpressTrains.”

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