Tuesday, 10 November 2009

SWT to open new ticket offices

Exciting news from South West Trains (with a bowler tip to @swlines)

Eye readers may recall the recent furore over SWT's plans to close ticket offices.

In an amazing volte face and obvious attempt to curry favour with the Noble Lord they now look to be opening more!

And here are the lucky towns to benefit...

Although The Fact Compiler is struggling to find 'Surbition' and 'Baskingstoke' in his Baker's...

LM Chief Exec blames everyone else

Telegrammed by Golden Connection
Exciting news from the latest splendid edition of New Transit magazine.

In an insightful piece Permatan Rail supremo, Keith Ludeman, reflects on London Midland's Sunday and Rest Day working problems:

"What I find disappointing is it was not sorted out by the time we took the business over. In Southern and Southeastern we dealt with the issue of Sunday working and rest day working years ago, and I don’t know why [previous franchise holder] National Express did not.

"It beggars belief but there you go."

Indeed it does Keith, indeed it does.

But what's this?

Wasn't it London Midland that did a deal which meant all new guards no longer had to work Sundays?

And didn't London Midland also rescinded the long standing arrangements whereby drivers could also work as guards?

And wasn't it London Midland that offered crews double time to work Sundays, then removed the bung and had to promptly reinstate it as Sunday working evaporated?

Nor was Central Trains or Silverlink ever issued with a Remedial Improvement Notice as happened to London Midland only today.

Keith finishes off his puff piece with the self evident truth that "Chief Executives make or break... groups".

Indeed they do Keith. As Richard "call me a villain forevermore" Bowker learnt to his cost.

Lookalike - The Glasnost years

With a bowler tip to Eliot.

Doomed London Midland slapped with wet fish

Disastrous GoAhead franchise London Midland has been severely chastised by Moley and crew:

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Mole):

My right honourable and Noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Transport (Lord Adonis) has made the following Ministerial Statement:

The performance of London Midland on 6 September 2009 fell short of its customers’ expectations and was unacceptable to both passengers and Government.

I can now outline the measures I have taken, and the actions I have agreed with London Midland in respect of London Midland’s breach of its franchise agreement.

First, I have issued London Midland with a Remedial Plan Notice for exceeding the Franchise Agreement threshold on cancellations. This requires London Midland to submit to me a Remedial Plan for addressing the level of cancellations. Discussions are at an advanced stage on a range of measures to be implemented within the Remedial Plan.

The Remedial Plan will be contractualised as a Remedial Agreement.

Second, a package of additional benefits for passengers has been agreed, including:

An additional franchise agreement obligation to invest in new, and additional, high-quality information equipment, spending no less than £4.4 million over the life of the franchise in addition to the investment that has already committed in the franchise agreement; and

A promotion for 50,000 day rover tickets for travel over the Christmas period and London Midland will also make available an additional 400,000 Advance Purchase tickets over the next two years on some of the most popular routes.

That should have Permatan Rail quaking in its boots!

UPDATE: This from D1062...

After LM appears to have climbed back from the brink, I was intrigued to hear that unless the company improve their pay offer then ASLEF members will block RDW and O/T from 14th November.

More mass cancellations at LM then...

UPDATE: This from our man at 222 Marylebone Road...

Clearly the Grey Fox has taken on a long term project.

(Based on recent performance he may be better to view it as a very short term project. Ed)

Had drink been taken?

With a bowler tip to the Daily Telegraph

Ugly, ugly, ugly - Part II

Via Twitter

@PowerHaul: Video footage of the first two PowerHaul locomotives being unveiled

With a bowler tip to @RailwayGazette

DafT in denial - again

Telegrammed by the Archer
Eye readers might be interested in the following DRES lecture on the Management of Rail Projects.

The lecture will focus on the way in which DafT has managed procurement of new trains.

DRES Poster - 2009.12

But what's this?

No reference to the failed procurement of new DMUs.

Obviously no lessons need to be learnt there then!

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Has the Derby Constabulary been alerted to Mr Dillon's lecture?

There is a strong possibility of a break down of public order if local rail firms attend.

The presence of the riot squad might be worthwhile to separate Interfleet - recipient of squillions of DfT largess on Thameslink rolling stock procurement and Porterbrook non-recipeint of even a brass farthing.

Add in the mass demonstration from Litchurch Lane praising Marshall Dillon for booting Alstom out of the Thameslink contest and Brush, from down the road, joining Porterbrook in demanding life extension of IC125 to the end of the century to ensure the binning of IEP and we have the making of a bar room brawl beyond even the dreams of the great western film director John Ford.

Or perhaps the well known artist Mr Firth might add the lecture to his works such as 'Derby Day' and the 'Railway Station'.

UPDATE: This, allegedly and somewhat surprisingly, from Brian Sewell...

My dear Fact Compiler

My very old and dear chum Leo has committed the most egregious solecism in miss-spelling that minor Victorian painter Frith, noted for his scenes of public venues.

May I add in passing how much I was disturbed by the decorated HST power car portrayed in your eximious blog.

Surely the imposition of a faux Hurst spot print on that masterly icon of railway velocity is akin to erecting Tracey Emin's tent on a Bentley convertible.

UPDATE: this from 5741 Duck...

Maybe Matt Dillon has been spending too much time in the Long Branch Saloon with Miss Kitty.

UPDATE: This from Globetrotter...

Shurely any talk by DafT's IEP sponsor in Derby risks inflaming the locals, regardless of which side they are on?

More significantly, my colleagues have pointed out that Leo Pink's attribution of said paintings needs clarification.

Is he perchance referring to the well-known efforts of one Mr FRITH, or has HMRI's former inspector of light rail systems (Stephen Firth, of that ilk) found a new direction in life?

That Gordon Brown transcript

The Fact Compiler is no fan of the OESI.

However, he feels very uncomfortable about the way that certain media is handling the continuing revelations about the telephone conversation that the PM had with grieving mother Mrs Janes.

Just thought you might like to know.

UPDATE: Then again, Gordon's been up to his old tricks again...

Labour forces secret inquests Bill through the Commons

They just can't be trusted can they.

Eye backs the Sun - get the truth out!

First for moving the deckchairs

As Eye revealed yesterday Jim Morgan is to leave First Group.

Mary Grant will cover the MD role at FuCC until a permanent (ie longer than six months) replacement can be found.

Meanwhile Karen Bosworth, former Customer Services Director at FuCC, is to be named as the new MD of nationalised East Coast Main Line.

Would the First one out last please turn off the lights.

UPDATE: The Daily Telegraph suggests that Susan Goldsmith may not prosper under the new East Coast Main Line regime.

UPDATE: This from the Shunter...

If the new regime over at East Coast Main Line is DfT's best shot then they may already have answered the 'Wolmar Question"!

Pudsey overlooked in great East Coast giveaway - Shocker

Telegrammed by Globetrotter
With apologies to the BBC, but isn’t his Lordship out by a week in his timing?

Surely it’s next Friday night (November 20) when UK taxpayers are traditionally invited to dig deep in their pockets and give generously for charitable causes?

Not that last year’s £28m would go far in filling the bottomless pit formerly known as NXEC.

UPDATE: This from J Alfred Prufrock...

Oh, I don't know.

£25 million would probably top up DOR East Coast's revenue shortfall for almost the next four months, now that NXEC's £40 million has gone.

Mutley moment at the DfT

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Oak leaves have been added to Lord Adonis' Орден Ленина in recognition of another heroic act of railway statism that will get them dancing round their handbags in Essex.

Andy baby has stepped in where even uber-privatiser Richard Bowker feared to tread and announced that when c2c is refranchised in 2011 the line will be named Essex Thameside.

It would have been oak leaves with diamonds had he reverted to London Tilbury and Sarf'end - the railway that serves where it says on the tin.