Wednesday, 22 March 2017

HS2 and UCR 2016

Not a good week for HS2.

The Guido Fawkes website is running a number of articles on the project; suggesting that a crisis board meeting is being held today and calling into question the use of 17 PR agencies.

Meanwhile, UK companies looking to supply into the new railway are getting increasingly frustrated by HS2’s apparent insistence on strict adherence to the Utility Contracts Regulations 2016.

The UK rolling stock supply chain, having been burnt by previous government procurement exercises for both Thameslink and the IEP, is calling for UK content to be a contractual requirement for the new HS2 fleet.

HS2 remains adamant that under the EU mandated Utility Contracts Regulations this cannot happen.

If Chris Grayling is serious about securing a post Brexit Bounce for Britain's rail supply chain then a more flexible approach to HS2 procurement, that favours UK suppliers, must be mandated.

Otherwise the project's multi-billion pound spend risks disappearing off-shore.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Brothers field nag in The National

This from The Liverpool Echo...

"Merseyrail will be hit by a 24 hour strike on April 8 - the day of the Grand National."

Meanwhile, here is an image of the RMT, possibly at Brecher's Brook...


On they go, and on they go; with Public Opinion, Furious Passenger and Withdrawn Funding in the lead...

Racegoers, Merseyside and Eye ask if colleagues might think again?

World Poetry Day - Adelstrop

So today is World Poetry Day...



Not that you ever need an excuse to hear this.

Beardie Rail (East) plays trains

This from Virgin Trains East Coast...

"Four trains spanning four generations will travel side by side, in the same direction, along the East Coast Main Line on April 23 2017.

"This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the world famous Flying Scotsman travel alongside two trains from Virgin Trains’ revitalised fleet - an HST (Class 43), an intercity225 (Class 91) - and the rail operator’s brand new train, the Virgin Azuma (Class 800) which is being built by Hitachi in the North East, and will come into service in 2018.

"The four trains will travel together for several miles north of York to showcase the past, present and future of rail travel."


A nice of bit Beardie Rail PR that should look stunning from the air.

The event is being supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, Network Rail and the National Railway Museum.

Does Eye detect the hand of Stanton?

NR sources 96% of steel rails from UK

Some nice NR infographics appearing on Twitter...



Let's hope tax-payer funded HS2 will match NR's commitment to UK industry?

Monday, 20 March 2017

BRoR: First national TV ad campaign for 20 years

Coming to a Devil's Lantern near you...


Due to run for 'more than three weeks' on TV and at cinemas; and will be supported by posters on trains and at stations.

Good to hear both goods and passengers mentioned.

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

That's some confidence in the product.

Not a train to be seen!

UPDATE: This from Paul (Brigg Line) @Saturday_Only...



UPDATE: This apparently from ‘Tulyar’…

Good to see the Rail Delivery Group embracing both the tradition and diversity of today's railway in their new logo.

Much as new nations emerging from former colonies, or ethnic/cultural reformations attach significance to the colours and symbols (cont’ p94)…

I wonder if there is (or readers might attribute) significance to the colours used and their positions on the logo. 

Eye suspects it had something to do with not using any existing TOC house colours (future franchise winners - fill your boots!).

Industry simplification - Supply and Deliver!

Eye exclusive: Inside the office of the RDG CEO!

An Aldersgate mole has supplied extraordinary footage of recent high level discussions between leaders of the RDG and RSG.

Here Paul Plummer offers the Supply Chain a seat at the table:



Truly, Master of all he surveys!

Super Inquiry into Air Quality announced

This from the Transport Select Committee:


"MP’s from four select committees have combined forces to launch an unprecedented joint inquiry on air quality to scrutinise cross-government plans to tackle urban pollution hotspots.

"The Environmental Audit Committee, Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Health, and Transport Committees will hold four evidence sessions to consider mounting scientific evidence on the health and environmental impacts of outdoor air pollution.

"The Government has lost two UK court cases about its plans to tackle the key pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The High Court has ordered the Government to publish a draft new clean air plan to tackle NO2 by 24 April, with a final plan by 31 July."

This joint inquiry creates both opportunities and potential threats for the rail industry.

Passenger operators into London termini may wish to consider their idling policy for diesel trains?

Whilst station owners may want to look at whether their stations offer adequate ventilation...

On a more positive note, with the London Mayor particularly keen to introduce low-emission zones, Eye wonders whether railfreight operators can work with TfL and DfT to utilise passenger stations at night (and dormant Royal Mail facilities) to offer logistics services to the Capital?

Either way, hopefully RFG and RDG will see fit to submit evidence?

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Lookalike - 'Dr Lazarus' edition

By Grabthar's hammer, by the Suns of Warvan...


...shippers, passengers and Treasury shall be assuaged!

VTEC ups its game on Accessibility

That's the way to do it!


Although asking whether people might 'need this' appears a little superfluous?

On a two hour journey who can tell?

So best assume we all will?

But it's a start!

A song for Thursday?

Just going to leave this here.


But who knows?

Lookalike - 'Careful what you wish for' edition

Eye is always keen to respond to reader requests!




How's that working for you Alfred?

Wheel flat fails first Okehampton to London train

Oh Dear!

This from CornwallLive:

"An historic train journey which was supposed the first train to run direct from Okehampton to London in 50 years has been scrapped after the engine slipped down the line this morning, damaging the wheels."

A nice shiny green HST as well, with not a kettle in sight.

Friday, 17 March 2017

There have been requests...

On St Patrick's Day, a reminder to Whitehall.



You're wasting your time!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Welcome back

The Fact Compiler is on his hols!


Normal vitriol may be resumed, shortly...

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Can Eye not make this clearer?

With thanks to to the many colleagues who have asked: "What has happened to Eye?"



We are between diagrams.

Keep safe.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

An end to Asymetric Warfare?

This from the Derbyshire Mafia...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en-gb"><p>Another high profile <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Derby175&src=hash">#Derby175</a> supporter? <a href="https://twitter.com/PhilipRutnam">@PhilipRutnam</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidHorne">@DavidHorne</a> outside <a href="https://twitter.com/EMTrains">@EMTrains</a> Derby station today! <a href="http://t.co/vJEBfaebX2">pic.twitter.com/vJEBfaebX2</a></p>— The Fact Compiler (@TheFactCompiler) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheFactCompiler/statuses/446992318093340672">March 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

And this from no less a person than the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport! 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en-gb"><p>Great visit this morning to <a href="https://twitter.com/EMTrains">@EMTrains</a> cab ride London to Derby to see line upgrade 125mph & great train availability achieved at Etches Pk</p>— Philip Rutnam (@PhilipRutnam) <a href="https://twitter.com/PhilipRutnam/statuses/447002466740363264">March 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Followed by: 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en-gb"><p>Stayed Derby to meet world's greatest cluster rail supply chain, like expert engineering firm RVEL, Derby & Derbys Rail Forum, Porterbrook</p>— Philip Rutnam (@PhilipRutnam) <a href="https://twitter.com/PhilipRutnam/statuses/447004761783795712">March 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

That is probably all! ;-)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Bob Crow RIP

The Fact Compiler was resting when the sad news of Bob Crow's death was announced.

Bob was a straight dealing man and had an indefatigable belief that railways are very much part of the solution.

And of course he was, and is, right. 

He was also a very good friend to Derby!



Eye salutes Bob and sends heartfelt condolences to RMT colleagues and, of course, Bob's family.

That is all.

Rutnam speaks!

This from the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport:



Perhaps the industry should share our own internal comms best practice with Marsham Street?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Latest ABC - Steady as you go!

It's ABC time again.

Remember most industry magazines don't submit their titles to circulation audit so a bowler tip to those that do.

Here the 2013 circulation figures with those for 2012 in brackets...

Railway Magazine: 37,853 (37,285) - up 1.5% 

Rail: 20,122 (20,123) - no change

Railway Gazette International: 10,711 (10,533) - up 1.7%

And by way of comparison, Steam Railway: 31,281 (31,810) - down 1.7%

Yet again reports of the demise of Dead Tree Media appear somewhat exaggerated.