Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Villiers vignettes: On empowering TOCs

Oh dear!

The Saviour of the Jammy Dodger's exciting proposals to let TOC's run whole swathes of the network appear to be crashing down around her ears.

Much noise was made by Cruella about the benefits that 'thinly capitalised equity profiteers of the worst kind' could deliver to the railway were they to take on future investment.

And the model for this great leap forward?

Behold Chiltern! Masters of multiple Evergreens... or perhaps not.

The from the Grauniad today:

A £250m upgrade of the Chiltern Line that should cut journey times between London and Birmingham by 20 minutes is beset by cost claims and poor planning, according to a confidential industry report.

Network Rail
, the owner of Britain's tracks and stations, is now helping Chiltern Railways complete the project

The ORR Monitor asked a slightly more robust question about the debacle now... ahem... no longer overseen by Deutsche Reichsbahn...

Q: Does NR believe that the Evergreen difficulties raises serious questions over government proposals to "encourage operators to invest in projects that have a financial return over 15 years."

A: No, longer franchises are essential to help re-align the interest of operator and infrastructure owner so a closer, partnership approach to deliver can be achieved. We believe longer franchises will encourage more private sector investment in our railway but it’s clear that large-scale, complex infrastructure projects will need experience and expertise to ensure successful delivery.

As Blazing Saddles might say: NR 'talks prettier than a $20 whore'...

Eye salutes the new spirit of sensitive diplomacy under Huggable's leadership!