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Northern Rail

Info about Northern Rail

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Punctuality was particularly bad in the North West due to the delay in the Blackpool–Preston electrification scheme, and the number of trains per hour through Manchester increased, with more trains using the Ordsall Chord which became operational in December 2017. Network Rail only informed train operating companies in January 2018 that the electrification scheme would be delayed until November; Northern had planned for the scheme to be complete as scheduled by May 2018 (it had already been postponed from Autumn 2017) and had trained drivers to operate new routes with electric rolling stock. Consequently, an alternative timetable had to be drafted up, and many train drivers were not sufficiently trained to drive the existing diesel rolling stock; this resulted in widespread cancellations. Furthermore, the additional services through the Manchester corridor resulted in increased congestion, and this had a knock-on effect. Performance statistics published by the Office of Rail and Road in October 2018 showed that from April to June 2018, the franchise recorded the lowest PPM – measured by train service departing within 5 minutes of its scheduled time – of any quarter since punctuality records began on the Northern franchise in 2009.