The Group has found itself having to contact Northern management too often about cancelled trains and the disruption they cause. We continue to monitor what is happening, but if you have been delayed by a cancellation on the Lakes Line, please let us know using the general enquiries address below.
The Winter Bulletin is now available. If you'd like a copy and aren't yet a member, please download, fill in and send us your application form.
The next committee meeting (members invited to attend) will be held on Monday 15th January, in Kendal. We haven't had a booking confirmation yet, but will post the venue as soon as it's definite.
The Group was very disappointed to hear, on 17th July, that the Department for Transport has abandoned plans to electrify the line between Oxenholme and Windermere. After hearing the Secretary Of State for Transport tell us in 2013 he was confident the scheme would be approved and up and running for December 2016, then one of his junior ministers confirm £16 million had been set aside for the job, it is a great let-down to learn the scheme has been pulled. Coming so soon after the news that the Lake District had been awarded World Heritage Site status, it is a real blow. We need a truly modern railway to match the expectations of visitors.
From 10th December we have been running on a new timetable, though not much has actually changed between Oxenholme and Windermere. Northern tried to rationalise the timetables for their Cumbrian lines by adding the Lakes Line to their booklet number 6, which covers the Furness and Coast lines. They did manage to get the times in, but without giving as much detail about connections as we'd asked for. The main mistake is in the map on the cover - Kendal isn't there at all and Oxenholme is where Kendal should be! Northern has agreed to print another mini timetable for the Lakes Line, but hadn't delivered them to the Group in time for our Bulletin delivery.
After the strikes on Northern, we now have strikes on Virgin Trains. These will affect both on-train and station staff. Virgin Trains has issued a statement, and the bits which concern us are: ‘The RMT and TSSA have called strike action on the West Coast which will affect our services on the 15th and 22nd December, and 5th, 8th, 26th and 29th January.
During this period we will be running the majority of our services. Customers may find that trains are busier on strike days and we are encouraging people to reserve a seat, and to allow for extra time for their journeys. If customers find that the train they are booked to travel on is cancelled, their tickets will be accepted on the service immediately before or after their booked train. Customers who are booked on a train on a route that we are not serving can apply for a refund, travel the day before or after, or travel via another operator.
We expect to run six trains per hour from Euston, as follows:
· One service per hour from London to Liverpool.
· Two services per hour from London to the West Midlands (one service continuing to Preston).
· One fast service per hour from London to Glasgow.
· Trains will not serve Edinburgh which can be reached via other operators’ services.
More information can be found at https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/strike.
We remain open to continuing discussions with the RMT and TSSA and hope to find a solution as soon as possible.’
We advise anyone who intends to travel on these days to check journey times with Virgin Trains' own website or National Rail Enquiries.
We also recommend checking journey times on these sites, or Northern's or TransPennine Express' websites, if you are travelling over the Christmas period, or around New year's Day.
Updated 17th December 2017