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Questions & Answers in Relation to Recent Disruption on the Northern Line

General Interest

16 February 2016

We are sorry that over the last two days, many passengers have experienced disruption to our Northern line services. This was caused by a series of track and train faults, which resulted in delays and cancellations. Please be assured that we are now addressing these problems and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Please find answers to frequently asked questions regarding service disruption below. If you have any other queries please do not hesitate to get in touch here.

All applications for a refund have a £10 admin fee. How does that make sense as no day ticket costs that much? 

Not all refunds are subject to a £10 administration fee, and indeed there is no charge for passengers seeking compensation resulting from delays or cancellations to our services.

How can you claim a refund?

There are several ways to claim a refund depending on the type of ticket. We advise people to speak to a member of Merseyrail station staff or to visit the Refunds information page here

Will passengers be compensated for delays to their journeys?

The level of compensation depends on the length of the delay and the type of ticket you hold. Season ticket-holders are compensated based on the train performance over the period their ticket covers. Passengers can receive instant refunds on day tickets, depending on the length of the delay. Again, please see a member of Merseyrail station staff or click here for more information.

Why does this keep happening? 

Delays of this nature are rare on our network. Train performance on Merseyrail is among the best in the country, with 95 out of every 100 arriving on time. However, we understand that any delay can be frustrating and we are working hard to minimise disruption to Merseyrail services. 

If commuters are facing disciplinary action after being late for work will Merseyrail contact their employer to help them explain? 

We are happy to respond in writing or otherwise to anyone about the performance of our trains. Please contact our customer services department here or email [email protected].  

Can more information be provided at platforms when there are problems? 

During times of disruption, staff in our control centre provide up-to-date information over the public address system to passengers at stations. Our station staff have current information, and are there to give assistance. Also, all stations are fitted with customer information screens, which give departure times of the next trains.

Why are passengers told to leave some trains at certain stations, eg, Sandhills, then an empty train continues to Central?

Passengers can be asked to leave trains for several reasons, depending on why a journey is disrupted. If a train has a fault, it has to be returned to the depot. If it is significantly late, the control centre will determine how best to minimise disruption to passengers, both on the particular train affected, and on subsequent services.  This can mean running trains semi-fast (these are trains that only stop at some stations, but not all) to the final station stop. 

Can passengers who have had to pay for taxis to work claim any money back?

When we are unable to run trains, Merseyrail provides alternative transport for passengers affected − usually rail replacement buses. As such, we don’t offer reimbursement for taxi fares.

Why do prices keep going up after passengers have experienced repeated problems with the service?

Merseyrail has one of the highest scores in the country for train performance and our fares, linked to RPI, are among the lowest nationwide. The National Rail Passenger Survey (autumn 2015) shows that our customers are the most satisfied in the country with the value for money for the price of their ticket.

Why is money being spent on refurbishing stations instead of making trains on time?

Merseyrail and partners are continually investing in the network. With one of the best performing train services in the country, we continue to seek ways to further improve our services, investing in trains, stations and track.

Should people be blaming Network Rail instead of Merseyrail?

Merseyrail and Network Rail work together to provide the best services for the people of Merseyside, and this continues to prove a successful partnership.

Can more six car trains be put on at rush hour to ease congestion?

Merseyrail constantly reviews passenger numbers and we provide six-car trains on the most popular journeys. However, the number of trains we have is limited, which means that it is not possible to run six-car services on all journeys.