Dale Haslam's train blog: Getting their excuses in early, or are they very late?

This Is Lancashire: Dale Haslam Dale Haslam

Reporter Dale Haslam continues his regular blog on his daily train commute in and out of Bolton.

LAST Monday started off with frustration for train passengers boarding at Bolton.

For the fifth time in six months, the automatic ticket machines at the station failed, leading to a huge queue that stretched as far as Newport Street and leaving dozens of angry customers late for work.

So what was Northern Rail’s explanation for the queues? Christmas, of course!

“Wait,” I hear you say. “You mean that festive fun we had a whole month ago?”

Yes, that one, the celebration with Old Saint Nic, reindeer and presents (or, if you are a train commuter, ‘gifts’ of delays, cancellations and overcrowded carriages, but I digress).

According to a Northern Rail spokesman: “The queue was no doubt the result of a combination of Monday morning (season ticket) renewals and commuters returning to work after the festive break.”

Just to remind you, the date was January 20.

Seriously, though. What planet are these people living on?

When asked why the machines break so much, the spokesman said there was no specific reason, but when it does happen, they open extra ticket windows to try to move the queue along.

Fine, but why not get better machines? They can afford it from the ticket revenues.

Speaking of train companies’ obsession with taking every last penny out of us, they have a ticket seller (or ‘revenue protection officer’) at Bolton station who nabs people leaving the station, which is understandable enough in the circumstances.

But, when the machines break, surely it would make more sense for this chap to sell tickets to those getting on, to bring down that queue?

So, my advice to you is that, rather than dealing with the stress of getting to work this time next year, get a job at Northern Rail.

With its generous holiday times, you probably won’t even have to get out of bed until February.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:02am Mon 27 Jan 14

The Righteous One says...

The machines were broken all weekend and I couldn't print off my ticket - what I was told (as I had pre-booked via the net) was to show my code to the Revenue Inspector and able to travel as normal and then collect the tickets at the other end.

Also with booking online (with the First TPE services) you can get free reserved seating (first class only, of course), which I have used numerous times.

But I did complain to Northern Rail about the machines and the people on their online service said they didn't even know about it (as broken macjines do get mentioned on their website) otherwise it would have been mentioned!!! So who is not telling who?
The machines were broken all weekend and I couldn't print off my ticket - what I was told (as I had pre-booked via the net) was to show my code to the Revenue Inspector and able to travel as normal and then collect the tickets at the other end. Also with booking online (with the First TPE services) you can get free reserved seating (first class only, of course), which I have used numerous times. But I did complain to Northern Rail about the machines and the people on their online service said they didn't even know about it (as broken macjines do get mentioned on their website) otherwise it would have been mentioned!!! So who is not telling who? The Righteous One

10:21am Mon 27 Jan 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????
Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks???????? FreedomOfSpeech1945

11:21am Mon 27 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????
Is that the same Nortern Rail who were seen carrying out a passenger census on Bolton station during Monday morning rush-hour of the November half-term week, then announced that no further carriages were required? Reminds you of the Ministry of Truth, in Orwell's 1984, n'est ce pas? As for you, FoS1945, occasional breakdowns are largely tolerable, but when they occur so regularly, it's a different matter. When you've had to queue at a booth and been late as a result, you might just change you tune. But what can you expect when the rail franchises are handed out willy-nilly to foreign owners?
[quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????[/p][/quote]Is that the same Nortern Rail who were seen carrying out a passenger census on Bolton station during Monday morning rush-hour of the November half-term week, then announced that no further carriages were required? Reminds you of the Ministry of Truth, in Orwell's 1984, n'est ce pas? As for you, FoS1945, occasional breakdowns are largely tolerable, but when they occur so regularly, it's a different matter. When you've had to queue at a booth and been late as a result, you might just change you tune. But what can you expect when the rail franchises are handed out willy-nilly to foreign owners? Darren1951

3:22pm Mon 27 Jan 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

Darren1951 wrote:
FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????
Is that the same Nortern Rail who were seen carrying out a passenger census on Bolton station during Monday morning rush-hour of the November half-term week, then announced that no further carriages were required? Reminds you of the Ministry of Truth, in Orwell's 1984, n'est ce pas? As for you, FoS1945, occasional breakdowns are largely tolerable, but when they occur so regularly, it's a different matter. When you've had to queue at a booth and been late as a result, you might just change you tune. But what can you expect when the rail franchises are handed out willy-nilly to foreign owners?
It isn't the foreign owners that are to blame. It is our government who sign-off our franchise. They have the say as to how many rolling stock we can operate.
[quote][p][bold]Darren1951[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????[/p][/quote]Is that the same Nortern Rail who were seen carrying out a passenger census on Bolton station during Monday morning rush-hour of the November half-term week, then announced that no further carriages were required? Reminds you of the Ministry of Truth, in Orwell's 1984, n'est ce pas? As for you, FoS1945, occasional breakdowns are largely tolerable, but when they occur so regularly, it's a different matter. When you've had to queue at a booth and been late as a result, you might just change you tune. But what can you expect when the rail franchises are handed out willy-nilly to foreign owners?[/p][/quote]It isn't the foreign owners that are to blame. It is our government who sign-off our franchise. They have the say as to how many rolling stock we can operate. FreedomOfSpeech1945

4:08pm Mon 27 Jan 14

The Righteous One says...

FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Darren1951 wrote:
FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????
Is that the same Nortern Rail who were seen carrying out a passenger census on Bolton station during Monday morning rush-hour of the November half-term week, then announced that no further carriages were required? Reminds you of the Ministry of Truth, in Orwell's 1984, n'est ce pas? As for you, FoS1945, occasional breakdowns are largely tolerable, but when they occur so regularly, it's a different matter. When you've had to queue at a booth and been late as a result, you might just change you tune. But what can you expect when the rail franchises are handed out willy-nilly to foreign owners?
It isn't the foreign owners that are to blame. It is our government who sign-off our franchise. They have the say as to how many rolling stock we can operate.
Exactly
[quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Darren1951[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????[/p][/quote]Is that the same Nortern Rail who were seen carrying out a passenger census on Bolton station during Monday morning rush-hour of the November half-term week, then announced that no further carriages were required? Reminds you of the Ministry of Truth, in Orwell's 1984, n'est ce pas? As for you, FoS1945, occasional breakdowns are largely tolerable, but when they occur so regularly, it's a different matter. When you've had to queue at a booth and been late as a result, you might just change you tune. But what can you expect when the rail franchises are handed out willy-nilly to foreign owners?[/p][/quote]It isn't the foreign owners that are to blame. It is our government who sign-off our franchise. They have the say as to how many rolling stock we can operate.[/p][/quote]Exactly The Righteous One

4:08pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

Who mentioned anything about rolling stock?. I'm referring to the seemingly frequent unreliability of electronically controlled machinery which, supposedly, saves passengers time, and the company money. If a franchise is owned, even in part, by a foreign company, where will THEY be more likely to re-invest their profits?
Who mentioned anything about rolling stock?. I'm referring to the seemingly frequent unreliability of electronically controlled machinery which, supposedly, saves passengers time, and the company money. If a franchise is owned, even in part, by a foreign company, where will THEY be more likely to re-invest their profits? Darren1951

4:13pm Mon 27 Jan 14

The Righteous One says...

With regards to teh ranchise it was Labour's Governemnt that specified no extra rolling stock could be rented or ordered by the franchise holder (in this case Northern Rail)

With regards to the ticket machines, I have queries this and IF Northern Rail wins the next franchise contract then they will be using the same supplier (and machines) that Nederland Spoorwegen use for their ticket machines which are very much more reliable.

With regards to profist - if anyone saw Sunday Politics yesterday then you will have seen a repotrt from the CEO of Deutsche Bahn (who operate freight trains trains and Arriva Trains in the UK) that specified that the profits they make (which is only about 3% of the total income) does help to keep fares reduced back in Germany.

Also if one looks into the accounts of Nederland Spoorwegen (50% owners of Norther Rail) they also reap the rewards and help to control costs of their Dutch divsion (although in The Netherlands the fares are set by the Government and there are at least 3 Trains Operating Companies - so its not a monopoly)
With regards to teh ranchise it was Labour's Governemnt that specified no extra rolling stock could be rented or ordered by the franchise holder (in this case Northern Rail) With regards to the ticket machines, I have queries this and IF Northern Rail wins the next franchise contract then they will be using the same supplier (and machines) that Nederland Spoorwegen use for their ticket machines which are very much more reliable. With regards to profist - if anyone saw Sunday Politics yesterday then you will have seen a repotrt from the CEO of Deutsche Bahn (who operate freight trains trains and Arriva Trains in the UK) that specified that the profits they make (which is only about 3% of the total income) does help to keep fares reduced back in Germany. Also if one looks into the accounts of Nederland Spoorwegen (50% owners of Norther Rail) they also reap the rewards and help to control costs of their Dutch divsion (although in The Netherlands the fares are set by the Government and there are at least 3 Trains Operating Companies - so its not a monopoly) The Righteous One

4:23pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

Thank You Righteous One! I didn't have that much factual detail at my disposal, but it seems to support the point I'm trying to make, ie. still more money being allowed to bleed out of of this country, regardless of which set of buffoons is in charge!
Thank You Righteous One! I didn't have that much factual detail at my disposal, but it seems to support the point I'm trying to make, ie. still more money being allowed to bleed out of of this country, regardless of which set of buffoons is in charge! Darren1951

6:01pm Mon 27 Jan 14

wsw69 says...

FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????
Actually FOS1945, Dale Haslam, as a rail fair ticket payer, has every right to voice his views and concerns. This is proper first hand experience journalism, let's say it's direct from the horses mouth.

The big problem with Great Britain plc is that everything, in every industry is p 1 5 5 poorly manged. We are just utter crap at management of everything, and have been for a moons age!

The railco's will always favour the new rolling stock being deployed in the south. The p i 5 5 poor north can do with 5 h g g e d out rolling stock. That is exactly how British Airways operate. New aircraft get based at southern hubs, and the ageing, much older aircraft end up being shoved 'up north'.
[quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????[/p][/quote]Actually FOS1945, Dale Haslam, as a rail fair ticket payer, has every right to voice his views and concerns. This is proper first hand experience journalism, let's say it's direct from the horses mouth. [Dale, I'm not calling you a horse by the way] The big problem with Great Britain plc is that everything, in every industry is p 1 5 5 poorly manged. We are just utter crap at management of everything, and have been for a moons age! The railco's will always favour the new rolling stock being deployed in the south. The p i 5 5 poor north can do with 5 h g g e d out rolling stock. That is exactly how British Airways operate. New aircraft get based at southern hubs, and the ageing, much older aircraft end up being shoved 'up north'. wsw69

7:20pm Mon 27 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

wsw69 wrote:
FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????
Actually FOS1945, Dale Haslam, as a rail fair ticket payer, has every right to voice his views and concerns. This is proper first hand experience journalism, let's say it's direct from the horses mouth.

The big problem with Great Britain plc is that everything, in every industry is p 1 5 5 poorly manged. We are just utter crap at management of everything, and have been for a moons age!

The railco's will always favour the new rolling stock being deployed in the south. The p i 5 5 poor north can do with 5 h g g e d out rolling stock. That is exactly how British Airways operate. New aircraft get based at southern hubs, and the ageing, much older aircraft end up being shoved 'up north'.
British Airways don't have a base in the north! They only operate 3 flights a day from Manchester to Heathrow and they are subcontracted out to another airline!

Funny how Jet2, EasyJet, Flybe and a couple of other southern based airline companies actually have bases up here in the north with brand new planes!!!
[quote][p][bold]wsw69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????[/p][/quote]Actually FOS1945, Dale Haslam, as a rail fair ticket payer, has every right to voice his views and concerns. This is proper first hand experience journalism, let's say it's direct from the horses mouth. [Dale, I'm not calling you a horse by the way] The big problem with Great Britain plc is that everything, in every industry is p 1 5 5 poorly manged. We are just utter crap at management of everything, and have been for a moons age! The railco's will always favour the new rolling stock being deployed in the south. The p i 5 5 poor north can do with 5 h g g e d out rolling stock. That is exactly how British Airways operate. New aircraft get based at southern hubs, and the ageing, much older aircraft end up being shoved 'up north'.[/p][/quote]British Airways don't have a base in the north! They only operate 3 flights a day from Manchester to Heathrow and they are subcontracted out to another airline! Funny how Jet2, EasyJet, Flybe and a couple of other southern based airline companies actually have bases up here in the north with brand new planes!!! BWFC71

8:55pm Mon 27 Jan 14

wsw69 says...

BWFC71 wrote:
wsw69 wrote:
FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????
Actually FOS1945, Dale Haslam, as a rail fair ticket payer, has every right to voice his views and concerns. This is proper first hand experience journalism, let's say it's direct from the horses mouth.

The big problem with Great Britain plc is that everything, in every industry is p 1 5 5 poorly manged. We are just utter crap at management of everything, and have been for a moons age!

The railco's will always favour the new rolling stock being deployed in the south. The p i 5 5 poor north can do with 5 h g g e d out rolling stock. That is exactly how British Airways operate. New aircraft get based at southern hubs, and the ageing, much older aircraft end up being shoved 'up north'.
British Airways don't have a base in the north! They only operate 3 flights a day from Manchester to Heathrow and they are subcontracted out to another airline!

Funny how Jet2, EasyJet, Flybe and a couple of other southern based airline companies actually have bases up here in the north with brand new planes!!!
I was talking from the time my ex-Mrs worked for BA based at the Manchester hub. A shi*h*use of an airline in how they treat their staff.

My point is that the north will nearly always get the sh**ty end of the stick. I've never seen a decent train yet around this area
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]wsw69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Why don't you, Dale Haslam, do some proper reporting for once! Machines break, just because Northern is in the public eye doesn't give you the right to nit-pick. Please can you put up a report on the Bolton News website the next time your computer, printer or phone breaks????????[/p][/quote]Actually FOS1945, Dale Haslam, as a rail fair ticket payer, has every right to voice his views and concerns. This is proper first hand experience journalism, let's say it's direct from the horses mouth. [Dale, I'm not calling you a horse by the way] The big problem with Great Britain plc is that everything, in every industry is p 1 5 5 poorly manged. We are just utter crap at management of everything, and have been for a moons age! The railco's will always favour the new rolling stock being deployed in the south. The p i 5 5 poor north can do with 5 h g g e d out rolling stock. That is exactly how British Airways operate. New aircraft get based at southern hubs, and the ageing, much older aircraft end up being shoved 'up north'.[/p][/quote]British Airways don't have a base in the north! They only operate 3 flights a day from Manchester to Heathrow and they are subcontracted out to another airline! Funny how Jet2, EasyJet, Flybe and a couple of other southern based airline companies actually have bases up here in the north with brand new planes!!![/p][/quote]I was talking from the time my ex-Mrs worked for BA based at the Manchester hub. A shi*h*use of an airline in how they treat their staff. My point is that the north will nearly always get the sh**ty end of the stick. I've never seen a decent train yet around this area wsw69

9:25pm Mon 27 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

The diesel ones with First TPE were brand new and never used else where, same with all of Virgins trains, but in a report according to one of the rail magazines there are about 2000 carriages on order of which only about 40 will be brand new to the North and 40 brand new to the East Midlands, the rest are for the south-east!
The diesel ones with First TPE were brand new and never used else where, same with all of Virgins trains, but in a report according to one of the rail magazines there are about 2000 carriages on order of which only about 40 will be brand new to the North and 40 brand new to the East Midlands, the rest are for the south-east! BWFC71

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree