Northern Rail's Extra-Long Leeds Trains Are Going to be 2 Years Late

By Holly Brockwell on at

The promised six-carriage extra-long trains going to and from Leeds are going to be two years late, it turns out.

Like Crossfail, the trains aren't going to be ready anywhere near the date they were promised, which in this case was the end of this year. Now, it's looking like the end of 2021, if the world still exists then.

The delay was discovered by the BBC this week, but it turns out Network Rail and Northern have known about since 2017, although Northern claims it didn't find out until a year later when it was told in writing rather than just in a report (what?).

The lateness is due to the fact that new, longer platforms need to be built at Leeds stations to accommodate the trains, and they're not going to be ready in time. Network Rail is in charge of the refurb, part of a £160m upgrade that includes a whole new platform (sadly called Platform O rather than 9 3/4).

On the bright side, Northern says it'll still be bringing in £500m worth of new short trains, and getting rid of its manky old Pacer trains from the 80s. Also, the extra-long trains will still run elsewhere on Northern's lines, they just won't go via Leeds.

The rail industry has been looking at some major shakeups lately, including tap-in tap-out fares and getting rid of the franchises. Still, if it can't manage some longer platforms on time, god knows when we'll see any of those changes actually arrive. Presumably later than a Southwestern commuter train. [BBC]

Main image: Matt Buck via Flickr CC