After my blog yesterday about how we in the North are seen by the “aliens” who live in London I now find that we are being offered “cast offs” from London Underground trains. There is obviously an attitude towards we Northeners that we can “make do and mend” with clapped out old rolling stock and do not deserve a modern carriage to make the travelling experience acceptable.
Manchester commuters have been warned they may have to travel in decades-old London Underground trains after a company announced it could use them to replace creaking Pacer trains.
The refurbished Tube trains are being offered as a “cheap and comfortable” alternative to the Pacers. Vivarail has bought 70 former carriages to revamp with new diesel engines and seat covers. But rail unions and passenger groups have raised safety and comfort concerns.
John Moorhouse, company secretary for TravelWatch NorthWest, said: “We just don’t think cast-off 30-year-old trains are what the network deserves in the North.”
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said clapped-out subway trains in New York are dumped in the sea, but in Britain “they are threatening to dump them on the railways of the North”.
The Department for Transport said it is “committed to improving services for passengers across the North” and that bidders for the next Northern franchise must replace Pacers with improved rolling stock.