Straight Outta Bolton: A Passenger’s Eye View of Overcrowding on Northern Trains

In Pictures: The Evening Crush Hour

Over the last six months, there has been a lot of coverage on the Southern Rail strike and the cancellations faced by its commuters. The main reason for the strike is the introduction of Driver Only Operation on 8 to 12 car units. That’s right: 8 to 12 carriages, without a guard.
Continue reading “Straight Outta Bolton: A Passenger’s Eye View of Overcrowding on Northern Trains”

Know Your Sprinters: The Class 150 Series of DMUs

An easy to digest guide to Sprinter units

On our railways, the Sprinter family of diesel multiple units have formed the mainstay of provincial services for nearly 30 years. Today, they are still common with Greater Manchester and South Wales happy hunting grounds for the DMUs. With longer distance routes covered by more modern units (i.e Siemens’ Desiros), Sprinter units of various degrees are seen on local services. Continue reading “Know Your Sprinters: The Class 150 Series of DMUs”

Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive

Go back to your stations and prepare for backache, piles and migraines ahead…

Greater Manchester, besides having more Pacer units than anywhere else on the planet plays host to some rather grim trains. Most of which are fellow Northerners built in Lillyhall, Workington from bus bodies. Till recently, a lot of our rolling stock were cast-offs from the South of England. By 2012, we will getting some more Southern cast-offs, though seven of these are returning to their spiritual home. They are the seven Pacer units returning to the North of England from First Great Western, four of which The Infamous Oldham Four, referring to the spare units used on the Oldham-Rochdale Loop line.

For the purpose of our new feature, The Infamous Five Alive, we are focusing on the railway carriage interiors which have brought shame onto our railways. Continue reading “Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive”

All Your Pacers Belong To Us

22 more carriages for Northern Rail

Any improvement in capacity for Greater Manchester’s squeezed commuters (both physically and financially) is a welcome development. A further 22 carriages (11 two-car diesel multiple units) will be made available to Northern Rail by Christmas 2011. This is in addition to a further 50 carriages due the same month, and a further 10 which are already in revenue earning service. This takes the total to 82 for one of National Rail’s biggest franchises in terms of operating area. Continue reading “All Your Pacers Belong To Us”