Documentary. I got on this train at 7.56am at Hebden Bridge. A few minutes later I got off it again, at Todmorden (where this shot is taken), thanks to it being, as you can hopefully tell,. a stupidly overcrowded two-carriage cattle truck, and waited for the next one. On Monday I have to spend about 10.5 hours on a train…. what we do for our kicks, eh?
I didn’t go out today, and alongside the poor weather, here is a good reason why. I don’t normally do this kind of thing on here, but observations must be made, in photo form, of the ‘helpful’ information currently available on the Northern Rail web site. Nobody in ‘Authority’ really gives a toss one way or the other, so here we are. Twelve and a half years in power and this bunch of idiots can’t even provide a working railway. Or is it the unions’ fault, somehow? For what though, expecting that all that rubbish spoken in 2020 about how important ‘keyworkers’ are might actually translate into an ability, two years later, to at least sustain their rewards in the face of the rising cost of living? (See also nurses, postal workers, etc.)
So be it. The two trips I have to make before the (ostensible) resumption of ‘the usual service’ on 9th Jan. could have been done on the trains, instead I am obliged to use less environmentally sustainable means. Sadly I don’t expect 2023 to be much different, throughout.
Blog-wise, it’s two months since I pulled duty on a 6.32 train out of Hebden Bridge — arrives Manchester about 7.10, like this morning, if it’s feeling energetic. The bloke in yellow is the owner of the fold-up bike on the other side of the shot: he looks the least keen of all of them, but then again he has his onward transport sorted.
There is nothing to complain about regarding the weather, at the moment. It has been glorious, for about three weeks now, certainly since the weekend in Scotland, May 5-7.
There is everything to complain about regarding the state of our local Northern Rail service, a metaphorical view of which could see the recent timetable change as a pint of week-old milk poured into some already dodgy sauce and, consequently, it curdling alarmingly. Was turfed off my original train at Rochdale, hence here you see almost the entire population of said train trying to get on the next one, which will itself already be busy. I waited a little longer, got in 20 minutes late, and the sad thing is, this is now the new normal. Never have I encountered a large company offering such shoddy service before, close to collapse, and we might even have it better on this line than many others.
Monday morning, and it’s raining, and you’ve just bought a weekly ticket for the first time in ages (meaning you’re going into Manchester every day this week) and the 06:59 turns up as a two-carriage piece of obsolete shit as it always does, only today the previous service through was cancelled so by Littleborough it’s already achieved full CTS (Cattle Truck Status) and we haven’t even had the Rochdale passengers on yet. Happy Mondays.
After two blissful days working at home, welcome back to sodding Northern Rail’s dreadful recent performance on the Calderdale line. Just to put this in perspective, over the last two weeks I have lost a total of 7 hours of my life to delays — that’s a whole working day. This is how it feels.
6.52am train in this morning, arrives Manchester 7.40ish. 5.17pm train home, arrives Hebden Bridge – supposedly – about 6pm, except today it was 7 minutes late for no particular reason. Thank God I don’t have to do this every day. Some people do, but it would kill me. (Note the photographer reflected in the window above the head of the napping guy.)