Issue - meetings

Rail North Partnership Operational Update

Meeting: 07/06/2023 - Rail North Committee (Item 7)

7 Rail North Partnership Operational Update pdf icon PDF 397 KB

To consider the update on operational rail matters.

Lead: Gary Bogan

Additional documents:


7.1             Members received the report from the Rail North Partnership Director who highlighted the key points of the report.  Members also received a presentation for Mr Donovan who highlighted the key points within his presentation on revenue growth.


7.2             The Chair congratulated Northern on the work they are doing and stated that he hoped that TPE would soon be on a similar journey.


7.3             Mr Richard George provided an update on TPE. He explained that it was a very quick transition taking the company into operator of last resort.  He praised the work of the previous Managing Director of TPE and their managers and Directors for all their hard work on the recovery plan.  He explained that Mr Jackson is now the new Interim Managing Director as the organisation needed a reset.  He explained that the key issue is to understand what is happening with the plan and the trajectory going forward.  He stated that it is dealing with the right issue, specifically the need for more drivers but there are many other issues as well.


7.4             Mr Chris Jackson outlined TPE’s three key priorities which are to reduce cancellations, reset relationships and to support the delivery of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. He confirmed that the Committee can hold him to account on these three priorities.


He explained that an operational deep dive has been commissioned covering every aspect of the operation identifying what are the causal issues and what can be done to remedy these and this will be used  to create a plan.  He stated that the business has become far too complicated, with 4 different types of train creating a large training burden and over 5,000 outstanding training days which need to be reduced to improve reliability.  He also highlighted that only 50% of drivers are competent to drive all types of train and all routes.


7.5             The Chair asked Mr Jackson to convey to his staff that at no point did the Committee mean to suggest that they were part of the problem and he offered the staff the Committee’s support.


On the Rail Academy he asked if the academy can be integrated to serve both operators.  He also requested an update on rest day working.


Mr. George informed the Committee that he views rest day working as an accelerator but it is inappropriate to run a railway like this in the long term.  He stated that more drivers are needed so that they can run a system that allows them to work without rest day working.  However, the current situation means that this needs to be used in order to cut through the training backlog as quickly as possible.


Mr Jackson echoed Mr George’s view and explained that this issue is at the top of his list and stated he wanted to come to an agreement with ASLEF on this issue as soon as possible.


Mr Donavan addressed the question about the academy. He explained that they are looking to have an integrated approach across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7