Commuting Hell

There’s been a great deal on the news and in the press about just how rubbish the trains are in the UK, especially Northern Rail. So I thought that I would blog about my experiences. Last month the company that I work for moved offices from Leigh to Horwich, which I no longer have an cycling on my commute, but I know have to use Northern Rail instead of Virgin.

My wife and I share a car so I don’t have to use the train every day, in fact yesterday was only the fifth time that I’ve used the train to get to my new office. Four of those days I’ve ended up applying online for a refund using the ‘delay repay’ system. The other day the train was ‘only’ 25 minutes late, so no refund.

It gets worse, the trains are old, very old. Buses on rails. There aren’t enough carriages, so it’s not uncommon for them to be cattle truck busy.


The photo from Preston doesn’t really show just how many people were waiting at the station, but it was  too cramped for me to get my phone out of my pocket once I was on the train.

There’s more. It’s 45 miles from Lancaster to Horwich, for which I have to pay £22.60 per day. Someone is making a fortune. Northern Rail are owned by Arriva, who in turn are owned by the German National Railway, so the hundreds of millions of pounds in profits are used to subsidise the German railways. This should make you really angry, and is probably why over 70% of people in the UK want the rail network to be nationalised again.