January 30, 2020
The transition from school to university is a difficult enough time, but for Keren Efoloko, the issue was compounded by the daily grind of unreliable train travel.
Northern Rail Failed Us – It Deserves To Go, But We Need Something Better
The 22-year-old lives in Manchester, but went to study psychology and sociology at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and thought it would be cheaper to commute.
The constant delays and cancellations by Northern Rail led to her feeling fraught and constantly under pressure and culminated in her missing an important exam. 
“It was hugely stressful and it affected my mental health.” she told HuffPost UK. “The big change in your life from school to uni is hard enough without heaping a load of extra pressure on it.
“I was commuting between Manchester and Preston three or four times a week in my first year of university and it was really difficult.
“Northern Rail’s services were regularly delayed or cancelled and it made me late for lectures.
“I knew I couldn’t rely on the trains so when I had a 9am lecture, I would wake up extra early and catch an earlier train just in case the one I needed was cancelled. The trains would be so late, at times I would feel tearful.”On the day of a major exam, Keren, who now works as a mental health support worker, was dismayed to discover her train was cancelled and remembers feeling panicked and sick.
She called the university to tell them she was stranded and would not be able to get there in time to sit her exam. “I was worried they would think I was lying or say that I should have planned ahead in case this happened. I had revised really hard for this exam and felt very emotional and upset.
“But luckily, the university was very understanding and realised it wasn’t my fault. I was told to come in when I could and show the evidence about what had happened.
“I was allowed to do a written assignment instead of the exam.”
The ordeal of commuting by train was so problematic during her first year, Keren decided to move to Preston for her second and third years and live in halls of residence. “After all the hassle I had with travelling during my first year, I just could not bear the pressure of commuting any more.”
Northern Rail’s unreliable service has had a deep impact on his life personally and financially, Muhammad Waheed, told HuffPost UK.“Northern Rail’s services are hardly ever on time.” he said. “The other train services aren’t as bad – the issue is always with Northern.”
The 25-year-old is self employed. He supplies clothing to different places and travels by train regularly to places including Manchester, Liverpool and Warrington.
“The trains are delayed or cancelled all the time. Every day, it is the same old story. Even on the rare occasions when the train is on time, it suddenly stops in the middle of nowhere and you are stuck for ages.”
Muhammad said he has lost out financially after missing appointments with clients who he wanted to talk about supplying clothing. “If you arrive late, they often can’t see you. Even though it is not your fault, they don’t want to listen to excuses.
“If I wasn’t self employed, I know I would have lost my job several times over by now through being late so much.”
Being unable to rely on regular and punctual train services also affects your personal life, says Muhammad, who is married with a four-month-old baby boy.
“I am always getting home late because of the problems with the trains and as a result, I am missing out on family time. Often, by the time I finally get a train home, my little boy has gone to bed so I can’t see him.
“On one occasion, I was in Warrington and was stood on the platform in the rain and cold. After four trains were cancelled, I ended up getting a taxi to Manchester which cost me about £60 to £70.
“Northern Rail’s failures have affected me personally and financially and I am not surprised they have lost the franchise.”
As a working mum of two teenagers, Rebecca Johnson knows how delayed and cancelled trains impinge on her whole family.She works in museums and regularly travels on trains for meetings. Her husband travels on Northern Rail’s trains daily for his work commute and gets the first train of the day as he knows it is the only one likely to run on time.
“Train travel around here is absolutely horrendous,” she told HuffPost UK. “We have these ridiculous old trains and there aren’t enough trains for the number of people and then they are notoriously late.
“Northern is such an unreliable service that if people can avoid using it, they do. If I go to London or travel by train elsewhere in the country, the journey is beautifully smooth. It is just closer to home that the problems occur.”
Rebecca remembers once coming back from a family holiday abroad and finding the trains had been cancelled so having to pay for a taxi home instead. And she regularly finds herself having to pick up her teenagers from train stations after they find themselves stranded due to delays and cancellations.
“It really does impact family life in so many ways,” she said. “If my teenagers go somewhere on the train, I always have the worry about whether they will be able to get back.”
When Lizzie Leek was studying dance in Manchester, she had to travel from Chorley to Manchester Piccadilly three days a week. But the poor train services led to her often only going in one day a week and it affected her assignments and ability to attend choreography sessions.The 19-year-old told HuffPost UK: “There were so many times that the trains would be cancelled or delayed and you just felt on tenterhooks all the time wondering if you would be able to get there.
“Some days, when trains were cancelled, I would have to get my mum to give me a lift, but this would mean her going 40 minutes out of her way.”
Zaynab Hussain, 21, recently finished college – a period of her life beset by the stress of unreliable trains.
“The worst experience I had was when I arrived half-an-hour late for a mock test which was at 9am,” she said. “Even though I explained the train was delayed, I felt it was not deemed to be acceptable. I cannot control the train service but it was affecting my attendance for my education.
“Rail transport should not be like this because people are paying for it but are getting a terrible service for their money. It is like they are robbing people.
“Northern Rail failed us so it deserves to go. But we need something better in its place.”Mohammed Ali, 21, is studying pharmacy at Huddersfield University and commutes there from Manchester. He says his punctuality is regularly impacted due to the unreliable Northern Rail service.“I am always arriving for lectures late and it makes you feel very stressed,” he said. “I found it particularly hard during exam season as I arrived five or 10 minutes late for some of my exams and this made me feel pressurised and the whole experience a lot more stressful.”Recruitment consultant Will Adams finds the only way to cope with the unreliable train services is to constantly book a much earlier train than the one he actually needs.“If I have meetings with clients, I always get an earlier train rather than risk being late,” he said. “My worst experience was getting stuck in Crewe on a train for about 40 minutes and the power went off and no one was telling us anything.“I know sometimes things can happen, but the trains are just so unreliable and it makes life particularly difficult when you have a connecting train to get which you end up missing.”Alison Richards, 72, who lives in Warrington, says it’s ludicrous how atrocious the train services in the UK are compared to abroad.She believes the dreadful public transport services make it almost impossible for people to leave their cars at home, as commuters are urged.“I travel by train to Manchester for shopping and often find the trains are late or cancelled,” she said.“The worst experience I had was when I went to the platform about 5pm and trains kept getting cancelled so the platform became extremely overcrowded. It seemed dangerous and it makes you feel vulnerable.“It makes you feel really sorry for commuters who must go through this ordeal every day.”When Alison and her husband travel by train in countries such as Spain or Portugal, she says it is a completely different experience. “Train travel there is cheap and the trains are electrified and punctual.“But in the UK, we are paying over the odds for an inferior service. It makes me feel quite depressed when we are supposed to be a first world country.”Arriva Rail North’s responseChris Burchell, managing director for Arriva’s UK trains division, said: “We had a clear vision for the Northern franchise that would better connect the cities of the north with more frequent, reliable and modern services and unlock economic growth.
“It was clear, however, that – largely because of external factors – the franchise plan had become undeliverable.
“A new plan is needed that will secure the future for Northern train services.  As such, we understand [the] government’s decision today.
“I would like to recognise the hard work of the 6,000 strong team at Northern who have worked tirelessly over the last four years to deliver improvements to local rail services in the north, at times under extremely difficult conditions.
“The scale of the challenges we faced outside of our direct control were unprecedented, particularly around delayed or cancelled infrastructure projects and prolonged strike action.
“Despite the challenges, the team has introduced brand new trains onto the network for the first time in a generation. They have introduced more than 2,000 extra services per week, refurbished trains and stations, and created hundreds of new customer-facing jobs as part of a £600m investment programme for the north.
“We recognise, however, that overall service improvements have not come quickly enough, and passengers deserve better.
“For that, we wholeheartedly apologise. We now stand ready to support [the] government and the operator of last resort to ensure a smooth transfer for our passengers and colleagues alike.”Related... Northern Rail Stripped Of Franchise After Years Of Passenger Misery Train Fares Have Gone Up Again – Here's Why All The Christmas Eve Travel Disruption, Mostly Due To Northern Rail's 'Staff Sickness' Hey Northern Rail, This Is What Your Timetable Chaos Is Doing To People’s Lives
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Tracy Morgan Hands Out Turkeys to Long Line of New Yorkers | TMZ
November 24, 2020
BW7UB1bkvxI
Chris Hemsworth Working On Body, Chris Pratt Pokes Fun | TMZ TV
November 24, 2020
2giqjWteb4Y
Kamala, Jill Should Pick American Designer For Inaugural Ball Dress, Michael Costello Says
November 22, 2020
cGsraoPqUzM
Katherine Heigl Learns NSFW Meaning of Harry Styles' "Watermelon Sugar" | E! News
November 25, 2020
LOh670tuLvI
The Weeknd Calls Out Recording Academy After Grammys Snub | E! News
November 25, 2020
C-LHfTO2wD4
Meghan Markle Reveals She Suffered a Miscarriage | E! News
November 25, 2020
Jm-mdT4Z-Uk
7 Questions with 'Wild Irish Thyme' Star Jamie Dornan
November 25, 2020
bqZLJEd8Gxs
Why 'Selena' star Christian Serratos Chose to Lip-Sync Selena's Songs
November 25, 2020
FNz_Pal3qeo
'Time' Director Garrett Bradley on Covering Incarceration, Why Black Family Archives Are Important
November 23, 2020
m7j3n7dPFOI
Interim ‘Jeopardy!’ host Ken Jennings slammed for wheelchair tweet | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
GF8JOA07ZpI
The one with the cast of 'Friends', then and now | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
FLlqmbxCjnI
Bill Murray’s brother Ed, inspiration behind ‘Caddyshack,’ dies | Page Six Celebrity News
November 25, 2020
VEzPd5ot58g
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Derby County
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Watford
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Sheffield Wednesday
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Cardiff City
25
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Reading
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Rotherham
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Norwich City
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Preston NE - Blackburn
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Luton - Birmingham
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Huddersfield
24
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Barnsley - Brentford
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Southampton
23
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Real Betis
23
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Crystal Palace
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - AC Milan
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Arsenal
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Torino
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Parma
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Koln - Union Berlin
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Valencia
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - West Ham United
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Genoa
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Granada CF - Real Valladolid
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Sassuolo
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Real Sociedad
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Sampdoria - Bologna
22
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
SC Freiburg - Mainz
22
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Eibar - Getafe
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Everton
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - Benevento
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester City
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hertha Berlin - Borussia Dortmund
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Werder Bremen
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Chelsea
21
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - West Bromwich Albion
21
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Cagliari
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Real Madrid
21
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Eintracht Frankfurt - RB Leipzig
21
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Celta Vigo
21
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Spezia - Atalanta
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.