Senior RMT Staff Meet Carlisle MP to Discuss Potential Job Losses

Carlisle MP John Stevenson (pictured) met with a 6 senior RMT staff representatives from Carlisle, Virgin Trains, Northern Rail and Network rail in his office earlier today to hear a variety of concerns the delegation had with the awarding of the West Coast Main Line rail franchise to First Group a main talking point.

Rail Jobs and Services in Carlisle

The meeting lasted an hour with the group seeking assurances from Mr Stevenson about jobs and services in Carlisle. RMT relief regional organiser for the north, Craig Johnston said “we discussed a whole range of issues but in particular, sought assurances about on-train catering services being protected and expanded, ticket office opening times, staffing levels being maintained and no cuts to front line station staff.”

The rail union representatives were also keen to find Mr Stevenson’s stance on calls for the introduction of driver only operated trains stated in the McNulty report. The incident in Grayrigg in 2007 highlighted the groups concern with Mr Johnston stating this accident and a derailment on the Carlisle to Barrow line a few weeks ago emphasised “the role of the guards and the Network Rail mobile operations manager was crucial in dealing with that situation. We think inspections of tracks should be robust, methodical and properly resourced. We believe there should be a proper, physical inspection rather than relying on video.”

The meeting ended with the rail union representatives agreeing to put their concerns in writing so that Mr Stevenson can raise these matters with Government.

Afterwards, Mr Johnston said about the meeting, it “was a robust and forthright exchange of opinions. Some things we agreed on and some we didn’t. Mr Stevenson said he hoped there would be major improvements in the future to Carlisle railway station, including the addition of numerous retail outlets.”

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