Tagged: London Underground

MP warns Teesside ‘pacer’ trains could be replaced with ageing London Underground trains

A Teesside MP has warned that the Government’s Transport Ministry may look to replace Northern Rail’s Pacer trains with equally ageing former London Underground trains.

Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has joined in calls for improvements on routes served by the trains, which go no faster than 60mph on Northern and Trans-Pennine Express routes.

Easington MP Grahame Morris has called for a firm commitment from the Government on replacing the “outdated, uncomfortable and cramped” trains after Chancellor George Osborne said the re-franchising of the East Coast mainline next year would include “a substantial package of upgrades including new services and modern trains”.

Now Mr Blenkinsop, who uses the trains which operate from Middlesbrough and Darlington to Nunthorpe and Saltburn, said:

“The influential railway industry source, the Rail Business Intelligence Bulletin has become aware of a proposal to convert London Underground District Line D78 units – that were already 30-years-old and being decommissioned by London Underground – into diesel engine carriage sets for use on North of England commuter lines like the ones in my constituency.”

Mr Blenkinsop said the only winner if a deal was brokered would be London Mayor Boris Johnson “who will get a Christmas present of some cash for trains he was going to scrap anyway”.

He continued:

“This worries me as a local rail service user, we don’t want to see veteran trains replaced by equally ageing old London Underground trains which will be nothing more than vintage carriages with a diesel engine bolted on to them.

“I have a simple message to coalition transport ministers – just get rid of the Pacers.

“They are an embarrassment to our rail system and the regular commuters who have to be sardined in them on a daily basis.

“Give people on Teesside the longer trains and comfortable carriages enjoyed in the south. Only then will you see passenger numbers really increase on local routes instead of today’s steady decay.”

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  16 Dec 2014

Tyne & Wear Metro looks to close ticket offices

Metro chiefs are to look at closing ticket stations across the network.

Rail owner Nexus says it is looking at which of its nine ticket offices could be closed down now that it has rolled out new ticket machines and electronic passes.

No decision has yet been made, though it is thought at least some ticket offices will stay open, and that the several dozen staff working at the current offices will be helped to find work elsewhere in the Metro system if possible.

> Note the “ if possible.”  Otherwise it’ll be goodbye and a free Metro ride to your nearest jobcentre.

Huw Lewis, head of communications at Nexus, said: “We are witnessing a big change in how people buy and make journeys as we roll-out smart travel on the Pop card and give customers new more flexible ways to pay. We are reviewing what this means for our nine travelshops but it is clear we still want an over-the-counter service for our customers. We have made no decisions, and we would talk to our staff first and consult with service users on any proposed changes.”

> As ever, they’re making cuts because we, the customer, want it. Or do we? Quite often changes in behaviour are the result of earlier cutbacks in the first place.

There are currently nine travelshops, including three in Newcastle city centre at Central, Monument and Haymarket stations and others at Gateshead, Heworth, Four Lane Ends and Sunderland Park Lane interchanges, as well as at North Shields and in South Shields.

Nexus has made changes to its travelshop network before, previously closing shops at Washington, Blaydon and Metrocentre at different times over the last 15 years.

A recent decision to close ticket offices on the London Underground prompted strike action.

John McDaid, for Unison, said they were hopeful jobs losses could be avoided.

He said: “With the new ticket machines coming on there was always the likelihood of this. We are in general consultation about the future of the travelshops. Although the way people buy tickets has obviously changed, we are in talks aimed at looking at other ways we can use the staff involved, and so far we are hopeful that people will not be losing their jobs as a result.”

Source – Newcastle Journal  11 Feb 2014

She’s not got a ticket to ride – good work strikes on the Tube and beyond?

Now this is an idea I really like… especially as it would allow for a DWP ‘sanction strike’…

Cautiously pessimistic

The RMT, and London Underground staff in particular, have long had a reputation as being among the most militant groups of workers in the UK, so the news that tube workers are taking strike action isn’t hugely surprising in itself. What’s more interesting is the kind of action they’re taking: a revenue strike.

This term isn’t a widely used one, and they explain what it means here:

“…Revenue Control Inspectors

  • Do not issue penalty fares, fares paid, or assist in any duty or activity which involves revenue collection.

Station Supervisors

  • Must open the gates using the SCU – you MUST NOT power them down. Should there be a need to close the gates for crowd control, then you must comply with all relevant safety procedures and legislation.

  • Do not assist customers with ticket purchase at the front of POM/MFM.

  • Close all POMs and TOMs for customer use (to avoid…

View original post 478 more words