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The Examiner is joining other regional press across the north to put pressure on the government to sort out the train chaos commuters are facing.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has blamed everyone bar himself for the chaos and confusion that has hit Northern Rail.

Today we are taking on the morning commute from Marsden to Manchester to see first hand what passengers are putting up with every day.

Bosses at train operator Northern Rail said sorry to passengers last week for the “unacceptable” state of its services following a huge timetable shake-up.

But there was no immediate end to the misery as Northern revealed it would temporarily axe a further 165 trains from yesterday, amounting to 6% of its daily service.

Trains from Huddersfield to Manchester – passing through Slaithwaite, Marsden and Greenfield – will operate changed timetables all this week.

Stay with us to follow our journey to Manchester and find out how commuters are affected.

You can also download our app to get news on the go and push notifications for the latest breaking stories here .

If there's something you've noticed and want us to check out then please feel free to get in touch - you can call us on 01484 437712, email editorial@examiner.co.uk or tweet @Examiner. You can also find us on social media here .

The magnitude of the issue stretching towards Liverpool

"nightmare"

Michael O’Brien, a 56-year-old, published writer and freelance English teacher from Bradford, said: “I’ve never learnt to drive so I’m completely, almost pathetically dependent on public transport to get around.
“These last few days have been a nightmare getting around West Yorkshire and the Greater Manchester area.
“I’ve missed several appointments and because I’m freelance that’s meant missing out on some assignments.
“It’s been very frustrating but hopefully it will settle down soon. At least I’ve got to know Huddersfield a bit better when I’ve had to wait around for connections”

Michael O’Brien
Michael O’Brien

Reporter Robert travelling from Leeds to Huddersfield

“We stand firmly with passengers across the North – they expect and deserve better"

Transport for the North have thrown their support behind the campaign.

John Cridland, Chairman of the group, which unites the north’s nineteen local transport authorities, said: “We stand firmly with passengers across the North – they expect and deserve better.

“The patience of residents, businesses and visitors in the North has been tested. They have been inconvenienced and disrupted and need a rail service that they can rely on.

“As the voice of the Northern civic and business leaders, we call for Northern to:

  • Ensure any services in total are at least as good as they were before the introduction of the new timetable on 20 May 2018
  • Provide clear communication to customers so that they can plan with confidence
  • Compensate passengers who have bought advance or season tickets for the next two months, given the reduced level of service
  • Reduce the cost of journeys for customers experiencing disruption
  • Arrange for their tickets to be accepted on other rail operators and modes of transport, to provide passengers with an alternative route
  • Engage businesses and northern leaders on any future changes that may impact passengers

“We are deeply disappointed that – two weeks in from the timetable change – we are not yet seeing more improvement. We will scrutinise, challenge and track services over the coming days.

“We, as a group, commit to communities in the North to speak on their behalf and demand a service that is fit for purpose.”

John Cridland. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
John Cridland. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker discussed transport with Chris Grayling last night

Last night Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker, along with Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham West and Saddleworth) and Jonathan Reynolds MP (Stalybridge and Hyde) met with the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to discuss the issues that were affecting the Manchester to Leeds Line, which passes through all three constituencies.
The MPs raised constituent concerns including the possibility of job losses, people moving away from the area, and issues surrounding childcare arrangements.
Mr Grayling promised that the North would see further increase of investment, new rolling stock and better access at stations.
Following the meeting Thelma commented: “I am more concerned about the immediate situation facing passengers, as opposed to the longer-term plan which may yield results from 2020 onwards.”

Thelma Walker met Chris Grayling to discuss problems with northern trains
Thelma Walker met Chris Grayling to discuss problems with northern trains

Chris Grayling is cancelling meetings with northern MPs

Labour MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy, tweeted her annoyance that Chris Grayling has started cancelling meetings with northern MPs because he hadn’t expected such a rush of meeting requests.

And Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said her meeting with the Minister had been cancelled as well...

Interview with Managing Director of Northern Rail

David Brown, the man in charge at Northern Rail, speaks to the BBC about plans to deal with the chaos and how Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has encouraged Northern Rail to sort the mess out.

How our MPs responded to train chaos

All four of Kirklees’ MPs challenged Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over his handling of the train crisis in the North.

Paula Sherriff, Labour MP for Dewsbury said: “What a mess! How would the Secretary of State respond to my constituent who contacted my office this morning to say that he has already had to use a significant portion of his annual leave allocation because he has arrived at work hours late every single day over the past couple of weeks?”

Read the full story here.

Huddersfield to Newcastle was absolutely packed

Only half an hour late to work

Leeds Live reporter Sam Gildea arrived at work half an hour late this morning.

Sam wasn’t one of the lucky ten or so passengers to force her way onto a packed 8.40 service from Headingley and had to wait on the platform for the next train.

"Not fit to run a bath let alone a railway"

Mick Cash, general secretary RMT rail union, speaking about Northern Railway’s performance so far today, said: “If you draw up an emergency timetable that cancels trains to avoid cancelling trains and yet still cancel trains you are not fit to run a bath let alone a railway”

I suppose this depends on your definition of 'minor disruption'

The latest update from Northern Assist on disruption to their train routes doesn’t quite tally with reporters’ experiences on the ground:

How to claim train delay compensation

If Northern train delays have affected you today. Here’s how you can claim some money back:

Made it on - 20 minutes late!

Sam made it on to the next train and just grabbed a seat. Everyone else she was left on the platform with is now 20 minutes late though.

Only ten people squeezed on - rest left on platform

Leeds Live reporter Sam Gildea had intended to make the 8.40 from Headingley to Leeds. Unfortunately when the train arrived there were only two carriages and only ten people managed to fit on the train.

The rest were left on the platform to wait for the next service.

Fine if you’re reporting on train chaos - nightmare if you’re not at work yet!

People couldn't fit on the Headingley to Leeds train
People couldn't fit on the Headingley to Leeds train

Andrew Robinson: stories of horrendous journeys

Headingley to Leeds

Leeds Live reporter Sam Gildea is testing out the Headingley to Leeds route today.

There used to be three services running but its been slashed to two.

Ouch!

Train staff called it a 'fiasco'

That does not make for happy reading!

Cancelled due to "more trains needing repairs than usual"

Andrew made it to Manchester

And he heard some horror stories on the way.

Our message to Theresa May

After unprecedented chaos on the North’s trains in the last few weeks the Examiner has joined other newspapers in the North from different publishing groups to deliver a message to Prime Minister Theresa May.

First among them is a vote of no confidence in the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who has denied any responsibility throughout the whole debacle.

Read the full list of demands here as the North unites.

Northern Rail train
Northern Rail train (Image: PA)

"Sorry" for people who get the train everyday

8.07am doesn't get him to work for 9am

Simon Hartley, 31, from Slawit, said the 1747 train from Manchester was cancelled on Friday and Monday.

He said: “There was no train until 1847, I was stranded in Manchester for an hour.

Simon says the commute from Slaithwaite to Manchester has been “awful” and “grim” since timetable changed. They have been hit by delays and waiting around in Manchester.

The upside though is “cleaner and newer” Trans pennine Express trains. He now gets early train as 8.07am no good for 9am work.

Simon Hartley on the commute from Slaithwaite to Manchester
Simon Hartley on the commute from Slaithwaite to Manchester

Campaign has Barry's backing

Andrew on the 7.23

Examiner reporter Andrew Robinson is on the 7.23 to Manchester form Huddersfield. So far it seems OK but passengers have told him about the chaos of the last few days.

“How have they made such a mess?"

Manchester to Leeds cancelled

"Hellish" journeys