Tuesday, 22 December 2015

End Of Year

It's been a pretty tough year for rail users in our area with far too many "incidents" occurring that have caused severe delays to journeys.  The majority of these have been infrastructure related (Network Rail responsibility), but we are getting increasing numbers of train faults, caused by the age of the trains, and in some cases by inadequate maintenance.

The new Greater Anglia rail franchise starts in October 2016.   Bids have just gone into the Department for Transport from three rail companies; Abellio (the current operator), National Express (the previous operator) and First Group (who ran the First Great Eastern rail franchise immediately after rail privatisation).   Based on the track record of these companies, there is one that is best qualified of the three by quite a margin, and indeed this company has been a lot more proactive in researching what is needed.   So we are hopeful that common sense will prevail, and we will get a step change in improvement.

We have certainly been very proactive in lobbying MPs, DfT, and other interested parties to ensure that this takes place.  In December, there have been debates in the House of Commons about the poor condition of our rail services, with promises made of new trains and other improvements.  Ministers have been left in no doubt that things need to improve and fast.

So we are left with lots of promises, but being realistic, it will be 2020 before new trains arrive in sufficient quantities to make our train service what it should be.

Local issues have not been neglected.   At last the new lifts are being installed at Manningtree station, and your Chairman has been appointed as the Stakeholder representative while these works are in progress.  We managed  to get the design changed as the previous design was potentially dangerous.

Also we have asked the franchise bidders to consider half hourly train services on all lines in Essex, with one of the first in line being the Harwich branch (because it will not need any infrastructure changes to achieve this).

Friday, 30 October 2015

Greater Anglia Control - Communication

The MRUA recently met with senior management from Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA) to voice concerns at the apparent lack of communication between the Control Room - those responsible for determining which train runs where and when on a daily basis - and platform staff and passengers.

There is a perception that sometimes the Control Room staff forget that the railways needs to be run as a service to passengers and not treated like a very large train set. As such there needs to be better communication with staff on the ground to determine the specific details of what is going on and to act in the best interests of the passengers.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Norwich In 90

In case you haven't seen it there is a very good article in the latest Rail magazine (issue 779) about the Norwich in 90 Campaign. Worth a look.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

MRUA Meeting with AGA and Bernard Jenkin MP

The MRUA has met with Jamie Burles, MD of Abellio Greater Anglia and Bernard Jenkin MP.  Subjects discussed were many a varied but included:

  • Train Reliability
  • Fares
  • Communication
  • Car parking
  • Station Approach at Manningtree
  • A137 Underpass
  • Rail track funding issues
  • Mark 3 (Inter City)  coach refurbishment
  • New Franchise
  • New Trains
  • Crossrail Ticketing
  • GE Mainline Capacity
  • Freight Loops

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Can You Help...?

A lady living in Capel St Mary is looking for somebody who might be able to offer her a lift to the station.  She usually travels between 7:30am and 8:00 Monday to Friday but due to an injured foot cannot currently drive to the station.  If you think you might be able to help then please let us know and we'll put you in touch.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Refurbished Inter City Carriages

The first of the refurbished Inter City carriages has now entered service.  The pics below look quite encouraging - let us know what you think.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Lifts For Manningtree

Things are suddenly gaining pace in getting lifts installed at Manningtree station that could well see them installed before the end of this franchise (Oct 2016).  Watch this space for more information....

Footfall At Manningtree Station

Firstly, apologies for the lack of content recently but things have been a tad hectic.  But do remember that our Twitter account - @ManningtreeRUA - is another source of information.

Interesting statistics released recently confirm the extraordinary rise in passenger numbers at Manningtree Station.  Never quite sure how they measure such things but apparently 1,154,294 journeys were made from Manningtree in 2014.  This is an increase of 5.6% over the previous year and a staggering 38.4% increase from 2009.

You may be aware that there are plans to build a significant number of new houses in the area in the coming years.  If you know of anybody who might be thinking of moving to the area based on the claims of the developers that London is only an hour's commute away, you might like to point out a few facts to ensure they know what they're committing to.  For example, if you're travelling after 6:30am you're going to struggle to get a seat, especially on Inter-City Services.  For the occasional traveller, car parking is all but non existent after 9am. And so on...