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Northern Rail - Passenger complaints & feedback at
Welcome to Northern - The Independent Site for Northern Rail Passenger Feedback

Important Disclaimer: This site is run by a regular user of Northern Rail and is not attempting to present itself in any way as representing NorthernRail or its associated companies.

Are you happy with Northern Rail? Have your say here and help get something done! Click on the quick links below to add your complaint, add praise or make a suggestion. To see the full list of options, visit our forums




We are an independent website run by a regular Northern rail user that aims to provide rail travellers using Northern Rail with a public platform (no pun intended) to air their complaints, praise, views and opinions about the services provided by Northern Rail.

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Marsden Greenfield Fare Anomaly to be addressed by Northern Rail?

Date August 14, 2009

It’s official – the Marsden – Greenfield rail journey is one of the most expensive rail rides per mile in Britain. At £4.80 for 6 miles, it works out at 84p/mile. If the Greenfield to Manchester Victoria journey was charged at the same rate, then it would be £8.42 – passengers currently pay only £3.10.

No wonder travelers between Marsden and Greenfield feel hard done by.

At a time when the rail companies and government should be doing everything in their power to encourage more people to use the railways in preference to cars, the high fare on this route is actually causing commuters to drive across the Pennines and then catch the train, rather than use the nearest station.
The reason given in the past has been that the section of line that crosses the border falls between the sections of line subsidized by the bodies on the East and West sides of the Pennines – so neither subsidise it. However, speaking in the Manchester Evening News last week, a Northern Rail spokesman has stated that they are aware and are looking to address anomalies.

After years of suffering infuriatingly high prices and having to watch fellow passengers being charged a fraction of the fare they were paying, there may at last be a light at the end of the tunnel for cross Pennine commuters on this route.

Royce Franklin, a Saddleworth Parish councillor, added his support in the article, stating that he: ’knows of people who drive from Saddleworth to Marsden and from Marsden to Greenfield to get on the train to avoid the exorbitant costs’.
According to Mike Keegan of the Manchester Evening News,  a Northern Rail spokesman has revealed that Northern Rail are: ‘aware of the issues’ and were looking to ‘address anomalies’. He went on to say: ‘we want to encourage as many people as possible to use our services from Marsdn and Greenfield, and we will continue to offer affordable fares from both stations, and address anomalies where we are able to do so’ .
Passengers on this journey have been paying unfairly high prices compared to their fellow passengers on this route for years and the Northern Rail needs to address this anomaly as soon as possible.

Do you use the Marsden/Greenfield cross Pennine route and feel you are being overcharged?

Help raise the profile of this issue by adding a comment below or post a complaint in our Marsden-Greenfield unfair fares section in the Northern Rail forums.

UK Government Rail Fares and Franchises Report - Poor Customer Focus and Short Termist

Date July 30, 2009

The official UK Government 8th report by the Transport committee on UK rail fares and franchises is out and have summarised the findings quite neatly. The authors of the report:

  • accuse the companies of making money but having no obligation to serve the public
  • say the companies don’t give a toss about the needs of passengers
  • are disturbed how the companies have blatantly put up fares six or seven times the rate of inflation
  • note that a bit like some local property developers and finance companies here, the UK rail companies have set  up their company franchise so they protected from any financial fallout or legal threat
  • In short when it comes to private rail: “There is no point in involving the private sector if it simply takes the profits in the good times, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab in bad times
  • The official Government report pulls no punches with statements like:

    A short-term approach and insensitive attitude towards passengers will damage train operators’ relationships with their customers in the long-term. The system encourages and allows train operators to take their passengers for granted.

    Passengers have been living with for years. The franchises need re negotiating with real performance incentives that ensure passenger needs are put first and foremost. Only this way will the revenue return to the railways through increasd passenger usage.

    Does anybody in the Government have the vision, intelligence, common sense and drive to get this sorted?

    Possible Northern Rail Strike Disruptions - 6th August, 2009

    Date July 30, 2009

    News in the Telegraph that Northern Rail passengers face additional disruptions to the service on 6th August. There is no mention of this on the news page at Northern Rail

    Again thanks to the Telegraph, disruption is a:

    result of a joint strike by both RMT and ASLEF.

    Presumably, fare paying customers will be told what is happening as soon as possible.

    When will Northern Rail Customer Services Learn?

    Date April 3, 2009

    When i arrived at my local station this morning, a number of annoyed passengers were voicing their frustration since the earlier train had departed considerably earlier than the scheduled time of departure, resulting in them missing the train, but Northern Rail Customer Services response was even more annoying… Read the rest of this entry »

    Official report into New Northern Rail Timetable Introduction makes… no recommendations

    Date March 4, 2009

    Following the terrible service that accompanied the introduction of the new Northern Rail timetable on 15th December in the Manchester area, GMPTE have published a report into the issues surrounding the implementation. Read the rest of this entry »

    Welcome, Lee Wasnidge, Matt Beeton & Adrian Thompson

    Date January 27, 2009

    Northern Rail yesterday announced three appointments to its team of directors. All three of these people will have important responsibilities that will affect the experience of passengers on Northern Rail. Read the rest of this entry »

    Manchester Congestion Charge No Vote - A Great Opportunity?

    Date December 12, 2008

    Supporters of the Manchester Congestion Charge should not lose sight of their vision for an improved transport system for Manchester just because of todays No vote Read the rest of this entry »

    Northern Rail Passenger Charter Downgrades Customer Service Promise

    Date November 25, 2008

    The Northern Rail Passenger charter is a document that outlines the service that Northern Rail will provide and is reviewed ‘on an annual basis in conjunction with Rail Passengers Committees (RPCs) and PTEs’. Read the rest of this entry »

    New Passenger Information office for Manchester Victoria.

    Date November 19, 2008

    A sign has appeared at Manchester Victoria announcing the imminent arrival of a new Information office. The office is due to open on 30th November. Currently, there is no clearly marked area where passengers can go purely for information or to obtain things such as complaints forms - hopefully this will improve the situation.

    Official Northern Rail Complaints Process Criticised by Government

    Date November 19, 2008

    The difficulty Northern rail customers face when trying to make a complaint has been criticized by an official government body today. Read the rest of this entry »

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