London Northwestern Railway

Many of you will be aware of the recent problems with London Northwestern Railway (LNW) . As a user of this service myself I know only too well the frustrations of a delays and cancellations. As a commuter there is nothing more annoying!

I have been in touch with Mr Francis Thomas, Head of Corporate affairs at West Midlands Trains and he has identified three separate elements that have hampered performance of late:

  • A number of infrastructure challenges including flooding recently
  • The new May 2019 timetable. The complexity of the timetable is hitting performance. This means trains are spending less time in maintenance increasing the risk of in-service breakdowns. It also means that, when there is disruption, the knock-on effect displacing drivers and conductors is greater than in previous timetables.
  • Historic terms and conditions that LNW have inherited. T&Cs mean that spikes in holiday demands can outstrip LNW’s capacity to cover annual leave.  This franchise has always relied on rest-day working but with a more demanding timetable the offer of  overtime is less attractive.

In terms of a solution, LNW are taking some of the complexity out of the system with the timetable changes in December and again in May. In December they are also due to take delivery of 10 x4 car Class 350/4s from Trans Pennine Express. The first four will be deployed across the West Midlands to alleviate crowding. They are also recruiting 80 extra traincrew.

Obviously this is a problem that will by no means be solved overnight. As Rail Minister and Parliamentary candidate for Daventry in the upcoming election I will continue to follow this matter closely.

For more information, do take a look at the below link:

https://www.londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk/about-us/news-desk/rail-disruption-west-midlands-trains-statement