Transpennine Express – Is this the worst train company in the worldIs this the worst train company in the UK?

Transpennine Express give the most clown like train service I have ever seen…

1. The Manchester to Edinburgh train is like a daily farce…
We all get taught the alphabet at school don’t we…it goes A-B-C-D-E or that’s how I remember it… Transpennine know better! their train carriages are in alphabetical order but a new alphabetical order…it goes H-A-C-G and it misses out E.

2. There is a real Laural and Hardy moment before we even get on the train. One of the staff from Transpennine is shouting in the distance telling everyone to go to the other end of the platform is they want carriages E to H…they then bring out flags to mark where each carriage is going to stop. This would be great but they are already in the wrong order and there is total confusion as people go backwards and forwards down the platform in total chaos- it’s packed and dangerous already.

3. Of course this means your reserved ticket is a bit messy- the train is full of passengers walking backwards and forwards trying to find the right carriage- they are all doomed because they are using the traditional standard alphabet and not the new transpennine one.
Of course the voice comes over the tannoy ‘we are sorry the seat reservations don’t apply today- some people may have to stand’ – don’t worry it’s only a three hour journey.

4. The staff were really cheerful and helpful? er no… one guard stood guard at one of the first class carriages to make sure none of ‘the mob’ could have a seat and directed everyone back down the train in the wrong direction looking for the mislabelled carriages.

5. One staff member stood on the platform haranguing passengers like they were idiots because they could not work out the strange carriage order or find their non existent seats. Being rude to the passengers seems to be company policy…

6. Eventually we sat in first class were a pip-squeak guard announced no-one was allowed to sit in the hallowed first class- you know the blue seat. We told him we were not moving and that his train was a total mess…he said it’s not his responsibility…well you’re the guard mate…IT IS YOUR RESPONABILITY YOU ARE THE GUARD- IT’S YOUR JOB- your job is not to put the blame onto the passengers and it’s not to still claim one hour into the journey that the carriages are in the right order …the fat cat who runs this appalling company is not going to be on the train are they! I wish they were- I understand the staff are underpaid and the crap gets dumped on them but what are the passengers meant to do!!

7. He said he was going to get the other guard, the family next to us look concerned- they have 5 small children with them and are not keen to have them standing for three hours…we said everyone stays put, no-one moves until they get us a seat.

8. This is not the first time this has happened- exactly the same problem happened three days ago- the same sort of total disrespect for passengers,. the same sort of dangerous confusion, the same sort of money grabbing for a very poor service, this is what you get for privatisation- dismal service and it’s no-one’s fault – they take the money and laugh in our faces…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Yes they are definitely the worst network ever. They didn’t attach the carriage with my seat in and I stood for 3 hours which they didn’t consider refund worthy.

  2. Just been to Liverpool from York. Appallingly over booked and each carriage full wig people standing right through all carriages. All three carriages.

    Disgraceful company.

  3. Apart from one successful journey over the last 18months. I have experienced huge delays, cancellations and non reply to complaints or applications for refund (as per their terms).
    The company is a disgrace.


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