New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

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New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Striding on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:11 pm

Well, this morning the Metrolink service finally reached Rochdale town centre. All at a staggering cost of £37M for the extra half mile, and a little bit of disruption to a few thousand people. One does wonder how long it will take to recoup that cost - even at the high Metrolink prices. The first tram, like many of the services, was late. There are now 77 stations on the 78km 'network' (hardly a network more of a spider with many single points of failure designed in) and you can visit 34 of them in a single journey from Rochdale Town Centre to East Didsbury.
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Atlas on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:35 am

Makes you wonder how we ever created the biggest Empire in history. Perhaps we had a population that wanted to do well for themselves - regardless? The present lot certainly wouldn't. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes 
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Chill37 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:26 am

Striding wrote:Well, this morning the Metrolink service finally reached Rochdale town centre. All at a staggering cost of £37M for the extra half mile, and a little bit of disruption to a few thousand people. One does wonder how long it will take to recoup that cost - even at the high Metrolink prices. The first tram, like many of the services, was late. There are now 77 stations on the 78km 'network' (hardly a network more of a spider with many single points of failure designed in) and you can visit 34 of them in a single journey from Rochdale Town Centre to East Didsbury.

How late was it?

All the occasions I've used Metro- very few have been late. Maybe you are just a bit unlucky with many of the trams you use. Can you please clarify 'many single points of failure'?

Maybe write a letter of complaint to TFGM?

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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Old Regulator on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:27 pm

Alas the first tram was around 15 minutes late into Smith Street, it was 15 minutes late all along the route so not a Rochdale failure more like operational difficulties around Victoria station, in some minds another waste of money? The Metrolink system when complete will have 99 stops, which surprisingly is what tram systems do, connect people with places conveniently. I take the point it is Manchester centric but so are all other modern tram systems, in other words they are not built unless a large City is served.

As for being 'slow' 60 mph is fast enough for most travellers.

A more balanced comment would take into account our ‘marvellous’ bus services with the outrageous fares and scant observation of a written timetable, try the 17 bus for instance.

It would also take into account the daily, well not Sundays, chaos on our arterial road network, has the motorway inner circle really worked and was it free of costs to all of us?

In other towns the arrival, all be it late, around 6 months, of a state of the art tram system would be greeted with a little more than a moan about where it goes and how much it cost, I know the good folk in Wetherspoons are over the moon at the arrival.

Not to bring too much factual information into this but even I as a supporter of all things rail understand that the Victorian infrastructure of the Oldham Loop and our Town would not cope with a modern tram system with all its built in safety regulations and the future proofing of the track bed, the diverting of all utilities from underneath it, which like it or not costs money to employ professionals not Navvies to construct.

I too am interested in what is called ‘single points of failure’ and am in a pposition to comment where it matters if I am enlightened on them.

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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Poppyanna555 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:55 pm

I must say I am pleased that we now have the trams, they should surely help prop up our hit and miss bus services?
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Hinch on Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:03 pm

I think it will be 5 years or so before the full impact of the Metro's effect on Rochdale can be fully assessed. I hope that the effects will be largely positive but I doubt that, even with the new shopping centre, it will bring people in droves like it might have done decades ago. I very much fear that the changing nature of retailing; due in no small part to the internet and the continuing growth of the superstore phenomenon will mean that places like Rochdale have well and truly missed the boat.

I'm not meaning to be negative; just realistic. However, it will help people get to work and could help stimulate economic growth that way.

I've still to take a ride on it. I have a mistrust of railed transport unless it's steam-hauled!
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Atlas on Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:02 am

Old Regulator. Your reply was for Chill37, not me. But nice to hear from you anyway. Like Hinch I hope the expenditures and upheaval of the past ten years has been worth it. You now have the new transport system and hopefully it will expand the town's future. Please keep us informed of anything pertinent. We like to 'keep in touch'. Wink 
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Old Regulator on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:28 am

Atlas wrote:Old Regulator. Your reply was for Chill37, not me. But nice to hear from you anyway. Like Hinch I hope the expenditures and upheaval of the past ten years has been worth it. You now have the new transport system and hopefully it will expand the town's future. Please keep us informed of anything pertinent. We like to 'keep in touch'. Wink 

Atlas look you. my comment was not to Chill but to striding.

from last nights STORM meeting things went reasonably well, photo on their website with more to follow. the footfall, or should that be seat fall, on the newly opened Oldham Town centre is over pridictions and growing monthly so let's hope the finished line can mirror this. there were working folk on the first tram who greeted the opening with great enthusiasm as it puts them into the City. you will have to pop over and we can hold Hinch's hand and take him for a ride on the new magic electric horse carriage.

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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Hinch on Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:32 pm

Never been comfortable with that new-fangled electricity OR. It moves too fast and is dangerous and unpredictable.

Give me a roaring firebox fuelled with white hot coals drawn to raging intensity with a blast pipe, boiling water, superheated steam working at 125 psi, hot surfaces and Victorian engineering and I feel much safer. Far less risk of something going wrong with solid technology like that.

Also, could prove to be cheap to run and environmentally friendly by converting steam trams to burn all that carelessly discarded rubbish, old settees etc that Poppy keeps writing about!

Still, I might be up for a trip with you providing that you can make adequate provision for the odd refreshment halt. I have a shedload of vouchers for JD Wetherspoon to get rid of now that I have rejoined CAMRA.
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Old Regulator on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:00 pm

Hinch. Pencil in the 23rd April for them there vouchers. Saltytours is visiting the Up Steps Spoons in Oldham by tram on that day, 11:57 from Railway Station stop, 11:53 Smith Street. All welcome.

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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Hinch on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:55 pm

It's on my scheduler OR. I hope it's steam-hauled. Am happy to loan 76084 if you can arrange with Metrolink. I am hoping for a Castleton extension to link up to the East Lancs. With a General Election in the offing, now might be a good time to pile the pressure on. I intend to put the issue before the Official Monster Raving Loony Party annual conference in Llandidrod Wells in September.

I must bell you to bring you up to speed on a few issues.


Last edited by Hinch on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Single points of failure

Post  Striding on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:54 pm

The trams at Shaw, and presumably at all points along the Oldham Rochdale line have not been on time in the morning all week, so the introduction of the new Rochdale stop seems to have disrupted the system, with a 19 minute wait this morning, trams missing yesterday causing massive overcrowding and people physically unable to get on for the last few stops before Manchester.

By single points of failure I mean points where a single failure disrupts the whole or most of the network, eg. Victoria, Cornbrook and all points in between, and Queens Road. Also, when there is a problem on one line it causes services to stop for multiple stations or whole lines. The service is shocking several times a week, and the communication and handling of problems with unreliable track, points and trams is terrible. The 'network' has no alternative routes, and is a poor design creating obvious bottlenecks. Even when the Oldham centre line started the old track was pulled up within a week, that would have given an alternative route and stopped some of the chaos when the office collapsed a few weeks later.

You ask is 60 mph not fast enough, well the trams don't spend very much time at that speed. With 77 stations on 78km of track you get some idea of the average distance between stops - some are less than a minute. It will be 34 stops from Rochdale centre to East Didsbury, and over 80 minutes.

It does have the potential to be a good service, but it has a lot to sort out to achieve that, not least the high cost compared to buses, trains and just walking when the service collapses completely.
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And another thing

Post  Striding on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:59 pm

The Metrolink handling of broken down trams is appalling. They seem to forget about the poor passengers stuck on board. A few months ago my daughter was stuck on a tram between Shaw and Derker for over two hours. The driver was not permitted to walk the passengers 800m along the track to Derker, and nothing was done to help them. She missed her train from Manchester to London (a journey that is quicker than Shaw to Derker that day!), and walked home.
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More delays

Post  Striding on Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:58 am

Just checked the Metrolink website before setting off for work :

Due to a failed tram at Rochdale, we are currently experiencing minor delays on the East Didsbury - Rochdale Town Centre line. We are sorry for any delay to your journey

On the other lines it says 'Good Service'. Metrolink used to use the term ' Normal Service' but changed it, presumably because regular passenger took 'normal' that to mean as bad as normal.
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Chill37 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:18 am

Striding wrote:The Metrolink handling of broken down trams is appalling. They seem to forget about the poor passengers stuck on board. A few months ago my daughter was stuck on a tram between Shaw and Derker for over two hours. The driver was not permitted to walk the passengers 800m along the track to Derker, and nothing was done to help them. She missed her train from Manchester to London (a journey that is quicker than Shaw to Derker that day!), and walked home.

My Wife was stuck on that Tram as well. I remember numerous people appearing on the track as I was waiting at Derker and watching them walk further on towards the then located Oldham Mumps.


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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Hinch on Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:25 am

Certainly appears to be a few teething troubles. You wouldn't get this with steam.
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  keithatrochdale on Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:13 pm

Hinch wrote:Certainly appears to be a few teething troubles. You wouldn't get this with steam.

To be fair, in the days of steam you didn't have to worry as much about 'elf and safety'.  affraid 

Not sure how many steam trains would run in todays climate.  Sad 
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Metrolink - 0 / 5 for the week

Post  Striding on Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:17 pm

Well on Friday, the trams from Shaw failed to arrive on time for the fifth day out of five. To be fair, at least the website did say that there were minor delays due to an earlier problem at Rochdale.
So what should have been four trams at 07:19 , 07:31, 07:43 and 07:55 turned out be be 07:25, 07:35 and going from the display board, 07:55. I suppose if the trams get gradually later, then they start to look on time. Metrolink really should look into the way trams are going missing. Customer services insist that the schedule was not changed, but they admit that with the new stop, they are not able to keep to it and are going to try something different next week to get trams and drivers in place. It is a shame that all the planning (and £37m) failed to come up with a workable plan for one extra stop, in advance.

For my journey home the trams were on time 4 days out of 5. I even saw the perfect 1,13,25 display a couple of times!
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  keithatrochdale on Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:24 pm

Striding wrote:

Well on Friday, the trams from Shaw failed to arrive on time for the fifth day out of five. To be fair, at least the website did say that there were minor delays due to an earlier problem at Rochdale.


Good to see consistancy.  Rolling Eyes 
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Chill37 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:31 pm

Depends what the issue was at Rochdale. Maybe some car took a trip down the line. Happened a lot over at Oldham Mumps , before the new section opened.

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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Atlas on Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:47 am

So Rochdale's Metro-link made the Jeremy Vine Show today. Part of the 'traffic snarl-up reports'. There's famous isn't it now.
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Chill37 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:18 am

Atlas wrote:So Rochdale's Metro-link made the Jeremy Vine Show today. Part of the 'traffic snarl-up reports'. There's famous isn't it now.


In what way has it become part of the traffic chaos?


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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Atlas on Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:12 am

Don't know chill37. Caught the latter end of a snarl up your area (which happens on a regular basis - usually Milnrow) which went on to mention links for the Metro-link running late as a consequence. ?????? I can't see how it might have caused the traffic problem unless it crosses any roads on level crossings????? affraid 
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  Old Regulator on Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:54 am

the trams cross at level at Shaw so maybe the 'rare' traffic jam was backed up from Milnrow.

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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

Post  johnb on Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:06 pm

Like London, the life of Manchester is distributed around the 'greater' city. Unlike London, there are very few circumferential routes. As I said at the time of the proposed congestion charge, most journeys about the city are circumferential, not radial.

The most eloquent illustration of the stupidity of ex system is that to get fro Oldham to Ashton, you go via the city centre. No-one in their right mind would have dreamed that one up.
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Re: New extended Metrolink service - more of the same late, expensive, slow unreliable service

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