As many of you know, we’ve been complaining to Northern about the dirty state of their trains for well over a year. A previous post covers this, with comments as things changed (a bit) ….
A new washing plant was promised for Newton Heath, the Manchester depot where all these diesels are maintained, as well as a new one for Blackpool North together with extra cleaners taken on. Things improved a bit, but not a lot. The Newton Heath plant was due to start at the end of June, then end of July, and now we hear it’s any day now. These plants are owned by Network Rail, not Northern, so sorting these things out seems at times to prove anything but easy!
Then along comes this year’s National Passenger Survey run by Passenger Focus. Northern have been marked down heavily on train cleanliness, considered to be running some of the filthiest trains in the country.
We hear this seems to have sparked Northern’s Board into action, with 17 extra cleaners taken on, 13 of them at Newton Heath, with all units to be given a heavy external and internal clean every few weeks. You’ve probably noticed the difference already. About time, to put it mildly!!
We’ve been given a copy of a presentation Northern recently made on train cleaning to interested parties within “the Railway”, and have been allowed to publish it. It’s a Powerpoint presentation of 428kb downloadable by clicking here. It’s got some railway jargon in it, but we think you’ll understand the important bits.
Once the new washing plant is in operation units should start getting really clean and staying really clean inside and out.
As we’ve said to Northern, only when the diesels on our line are as consistently clean as their electric class 323 fleet maintained at Longsight currently is will we be satisfied.