Letter: Dismay at service to and from Whitby

May I inform people of the farce of Northern Rail train service from Middlesbrough to Whitby.

Saturday October 31, saw my 24th journey by train to Whitby – 10 on a Saturday, 10 on a Wednesday, three on a Thursday, and one on a Monday.

My journey starts with Northern 07.55 Castleford to Leeds, 08.49 Trans-Pennine Leeds to Middlesbrough and then Northern 10.28 Middlesbrough to Whitby.

Saturday, the 10.28 did not leave Middlesbrough until around 11am.

A lady in a wheelchair, along with her husband, could not get on the train and they had arrived early onto the station.

Now that I’m retired, I try to leave Saturday out of my travel but any special events at the North York Moors Railway are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I never travel Friday. Sunday we do not have any early trains so that leaves Saturday. I always attend the last weekend of North York Moors Railway, but last year I do not remember it coinciding with Hallowe’en.

What I do remember is Wednesday October 29, Northern Rail cancelled trains to Whitby – the 14.04 and 17.40 Middlesbrough to Whitby.

I was stranded at Grosmont with my elderly German shepherd.

It was a bitterly cold night; the lady from the model shop gave me a cup of tea and had it not been for a North York Moors Railway worker who lived at Saltburn giving me a lift to Middlesbrough I don’t know how I would have got home.

On a previous occasion while waiting for the 15.15 Northern train into Whitby, a North York Moors Railway worker along with a bus driver came onto the platform saying the train for Whitby was cancelled and a bus was laid on. It is now on the timetable that dogs will not be carried on replacement buses.

So what do I do with my dog?

On arriving into Whitby and staying on the train to get back I could see some kind of reception was taking place on the platform.

The train had to restart to move into place and on asking a lady passenger who was boarding, what was going on, she told me they were naming the train Bram Stoker.

The Middlesbrough station managers were there but they did not travel by train; they came by car.

Around three years ago, before the new timetable,

I missed the 10.38 Middlesbrough to Whitby train six times because of the connection.

It came over the train speaker that taxis were being put on at Middlesbrough and a bus was laid on at Whitby for the 16.00 departure.

I paid £32.10 with my senior rail card for a train ride.

I could use my bus pass and ride for just about nothing on the Coast Liner from Leeds to Whitby.

We have to put up with a poster saying we are here to help. But all we get is that ‘we have fallen below our expectations’.

Horace Clayton

Axeton Road, Cutsyke,