Sunday 31 January 2016

Very Short Notice Service Changes

When I commented last week that diversions of the Liverpool to Manchester Victoria service to Oxford Road had been cancelled for Saturday 30 January, I had failed to check every train.  In fact, a number of westbound trains had been missed and were still recorded in the database as running from Oxford Road.

These errors remained in the system until Saturday morning.  For example, the 10.02 Oxford Road to Liverpool Lime Street was 'live' until 09.30 when it was cancelled.  At the same time a new train was added to the system via the VSTP (Very Short Term Planning) process, this being the 10.02 Victoria to Lime Street, which proceeded to run as normal.

I've just looked at the National Rail web site for trains next Saturday (6 February) and, once again, there's a higgledy piggledy mix of schedules with 13 starting from Victoria and 8 from Oxford Road.  I might be in Manchester that evening, hopefully the data will be updated before I set off.

So, my moan about trains being changed at 48 hours notice pales into insignificance, now they're changing with only 30 minutes notice.  If you are on the ball that's long enough to walk from Oxford Road to Victoria, but, more likely, your desired train from Oxford Road would simply be shown as cancelled, and it'd be up to you to find out what's going on.

I realise the train planners have been very busy with storm damage at various locations but really this just isn't good enough.

Update Friday 05 February:  In the schedule database download this morning the errant services were corrected and all trains have reverted to their standard schedules running to and from Manchester Victoria, tomorrow and the following Saturday.