Wednesday, 6 January 2010

NR asset failures are TOCs fault - Official

Exciting news from Network Rail!

Apparently the infrastructure owner is trying to blame "ice falling from trains" for infrastructure failures.

Presumably NR's latest wheeze is designed to shift fault attribution and bolster its PPM performance during the current adverse weather conditions.

Eye has a couple of novel suggestions that might really help address the problem of equipment failure in adverse weather.

Perhaps NR should clear snow from the area "On or About The Line" so it can't interfere with trackside equipment.

And whilst they are at it why not also have a go at improving ride quality so that impacted snow and ice isn't dislodged from trains when passing over switches and crossings.

A foolish dream of course.

UPDATE: This from Network Rail's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit...

The weather is brutal. Transport will always be hit. Roads and airports especially so.

Remarkably, train performance, in the main has held up well in difficult circumstances.

In my experience the hallmark of the last few days is how closely train operators and Network Rail have worked together to keep most lines running.

Of course there will be a time for fault attribution and I know there are those who criticise the fact that the rail industry employs people employed to do this.

All I will say on that subject is - much as I hate to use a phrase from the world of management consultancy - it's true; if you can't measure it, you can't manage it.

Getting to the bottom of what causes specific delays means that we can focus on how to minimise such delays in the future.

The most important work going on across the network now is the tireless work of railwaymen and women who are keeping the tracks clear and the trains running the best they can in tough conditions.

And to illustrate the point here are some of NR's finest at work.

Above: Off track team on fault clearance Thatto Heath

Above: Chainsawing felled trees in Anglia

Above: Snow duty