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October blog

Tony Potts writes: David,  Terry and I attended a meeting with Northern at Preston on 26 September and a report is available. On returning, I had an informal discussion at Carlisle with Craig Johnson,  the RMT rep about the current dispute.  He wasn’t optimistic about an early settlement.   Although Virgin trains were disrupted [...]


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September blog

Tony Potts writes: There seems to be no end in sight to the RMT dispute with Northern over the presence of guards on trains, despite Merseyrail settling.  According to a report in August’s In Cumbria the first steps have been taken in a business case for improvement to our local line, which has been submitted to the Department for Transport. [...]


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August blog

Tony Potts writes: The RMT strike planned for 21 July was suspended pending talks with Northern about a process for reconvening talks around proposals to set up a joint working party to consider a range of proposals on the deployment of on-board staff, including a specific option of retaining a second safety-critical person on board all Arriva [...]


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July blog

Tony Potts writes: On 14 June I attended the TravelWatch North West meeting at Blackpool’s Solaris Centre. Although no-one from Arriva was there, I took the opportunity to ask the Network Rail (NR) representative about the situation here in west Cumbria. He replied that the Cumbrian coast is very dear to him as he was involved with [...]


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June blog

Tony Potts writes: The introduction of the new timetable on 20 May last has not caused as many problems locally as elsewhere. The emergency timetable from 4 June has not seen us lose any trains. I travelled on the first (0947) train from Whitehaven to Barrow on 20 May and wrote a report -for our newsletter. Contrary to fears expressed locally [...]


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May blog

Tony Potts writes: On 17 April I caught the 1608 train from Corkickle to collect my car from Workington. All went well, until, on the single line between Parton and Harrington, the loco lost power and came to a halt. The driver tried to reset matters but to no avail. As the electricity was off, the toilets wouldn’t flush. After several [...]


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April blog

Tony Potts writes: Part of my interview with Daniel Puddlecombe about our local train service was published in Rail 849 on 28 March, which issue also included a two-page spread by him about the use of Class 68 locos on one locomotive hauled train. West Cumbria Mining are to hold three open days at the former Haig Museum. These are on 17 May [...]


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March blog

Tony reported to the annual general meeting: Although there have been disappointments, such as delays and cancellations and the continuing RMT strikes, several positive items have emerged during the last twelve months. The problems caused by the unreliability of the locomotive-hauled (LHCS) trains have been partially resolved by the substitution [...]


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February blog

Tony Potts writes: On 2 February David and I attended the Community Rail drop-in meeting at Carlisle. We were able to speak to Christopher Winfield from Network Rail, who told us that the May timetable change would be delayed for some eight weeks as the delays to the Manchester-Bolton-Preston electrification have meant that the introduction [...]


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January blog

Tony Potts writes: I regret I am unable to attend this meeting as I shall be returning from the East Lancashire Railway after my Class 40 driving experience course. I shall give a report as soon as possible on my return. Yet again we have had disruption to our train service not only by strikes, crew shortages and failures, but also by a “sinkhole” [...]


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