Friday, 26 December 2008

The Ghost Train

A seasonal tale to delight even the hardest heart.

It was Christmas Eve and nothing stirred not even a mouse.

And certainly not the 21:37 from Leeds to Manchester Victoria.

Which although advertised doesn't actually exist.

Which left over 70 disgruntled and stranded passengers at Leeds station besieging NR's reception demanding an explanation and a way home.

And they all didn't have a very merry Christmas. The End

UPDATE: This from Tim Scougall of West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive...

The 21.37 from Leeds to Manchester Victoria certainly does exist - look
in the timetable.

It didn't run on Christmas Eve, neither did the 22.37, but there was plenty of advance publicity concerning the fact.

Your piece is somewhat misleading to say the least- it wasn't NR's fault at all.

The Fact Compiler never said it was - he merely pointed out that NR took the brunt of stranded passengers anger.

UPDATE: An irate passenger writes...

"If it wasn't 'advertised' why was it up on the PIS, then shown as running late?

"And why were 70+ people waiting for it and platform staff expecting it?

"The train may have been a ghost but the pax weren't..."

UPDATE: Tim responds...

"I wasn't at Leeds Station on Christmas Eve so I cannot comment on the fact that the train was shown as running on the PIS and I am at a loss to understand why the platform staff were still apparently expecting it to appear.

"In common with the rest of the rail network several trains in West Yorkshire, after 20.00 on Christmas Eve, either stopped short of their usual destination or didn't run at all. The same will apply on New Year's Eve. This much was contained in Metro's publicity issued well in advance of the Christmas period.

"As far as the detail is concerned I knew that this particular train wasn't running on Christmas Eve (if it's any help to anyone it won't be running on New Years Eve either even though the National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner still says that it is!) and since my information came from Northern Trains you can appreciate my comments above.

"Sadly, this appears to be yet another breakdown in communications between National Rail Enquiries, Train Operating Companies, their staff, and their "Customers".

"I would be grateful if you could point out that I don't speak for the WYPTE and my comments are very much those of an individual to whom The Railway Eye has brought hours of entertainment."

Happy to do so and thanks for the update.

UPDATE: It emerges that a data entry error saw the Ghost Train being left in TRUST so it was advertised on NRES (and the PIS).