Monday, 12 November 2012

ORR makes grab for fares regulation

This from Sue Persaver...

In her evidence at today's Transport Select Committee, Anna Walker, Chair of ORR suggested that she was keen to take on the role of regulating fares.

This is the same ORR who's summer consultation on freight suggested that an increase in charges leading to a 10% per annum reduction in traffic levels was perfectly acceptable.

Passenger Focus and Rail User Groups may wish to start panicking now.

Of course should Anna succeed in her audacious bid we may need to think up a new nickname for 'Right Price', her CEO.

Perhaps 'Price D'Off' would be a more fitting soubriquet?

Alliance goes Jesuit on railway safety

This from Network Rail...

Children in primary schools across the south and south west of England are to take the lead in educating classmates about staying safe on the railway.

The Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance is launching the railway safety reps programme across the route which runs from London Waterloo out to the south coast and south west England.

Primary schools will nominate children to learn about how to stay safe when using level crossings and the dangers of trespassing on the railway and will then share their new knowledge with their friends.

The programme will complement Network Rail’s ongoing safety campaigns and continued efforts to improve safety and reduce the number of incidents involving children and young people.

Eye missed this when it was released last Wednesday but, in light of ASLEF's comments the day before, well worth a mention.

V. Good. Tick.

ICWC fiasco - RMT consult M'learned friends

This from the RMT...

RAIL UNION RMT today notified the Government that it will be petitioning the European Commisson over breaches of the Consolidated Directive on Public Procurement (2004) over the planned award of an extension to the current West Coast Main Line contract to Virgin Rail Group.

Solicitors for the union will be tabling the petition this week as the talks over the new contract, due to start on the 9th December, remain log-jammed.

Good to see the brothers ensuring that the only real beneficiaries of rail privatisation can continue to live in the style to which they have become accustomed.

Pointless signs - Welwyn Garden City

This from a Mr Lost in Space...

Or perhaps a Railway Garden?

First TPE in wage cost-push - Shocker

This from George & Weedon Grossmith...

Good news for the train driving community:

TPE may expect bumper crop of applications with a potential salary like this!

Longsight honours war dead

This from Alstom (who actually bother to send press releases to Railway Eye, other PRs please note)...

Manchester Traincare Centre hosts second annual war memorial service

Staff and dignitaries at Longsight joined together to remember the dead of two world wars at a special ceremony at the traincare centre.

The memorial service, again led by the Rev Richard Cook of the National Rail Chaplaincy, remembered the 21 men of the Locomotive Department at Longsight who lost their lives during the Great War, as well as the 89 who served in the armed forces, together with those who served and died in the 1939-45 war.

Present on the day were 30 Alstom employees, including Customer Director Tim Bentley, who laid the wreath, and Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch, Manchester’s Lord Mayor, Elaine Boyes, and the Lady Mayoress, Linda Geoghegan.

The ceremony took place in the Memorial Room at Alstom’s Manchester Traincare centre, which was originally dedicated on 13 November 1921, in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the First World War. In 2011 Rev Cook led a service to re-dedicate the roll of honour.

Alstom refurbished the roll of honour in 2011 and in doing so created the Memorial Room for employees and visitors to remember the former railway workers from the site.

Here Tim Bentley, Alstom's Customer Director, honours Longsight's war dead.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn...

UPDATE: This from the Vice Marshall...

"I went over to the National Memorial Arboretum yesterday.  

"Couldn't get in initially, until the official ceremonies had taken place, but having got in at about 14.00 we walked down to the Railway Industry Memorial — sadly to find no tributes had been left on it at all, save for a single poppy on a cross resting against one of the surrounding seats.  You can see it bottom right of the attached picture.

"Shame — after all the fuss made about its unveiling back in May.

"Most of the other memorials in the Arboretum featured tributes — some wreathes, but mainly lots of poppies on crosses."

Oh dear, this is very disappointing! 

Perhaps coordinating a suitable annual Armistice Day commemoration at the Railway Industry Memorial is something that the RDG can take on?

Virgin on the ridiculous - part 94

This from Our Man by the Photocopier...

Virgin Trains has issued a timely press release about Christmas travel which includes the following wise advice:

Planning ahead is the best way to ensure you get back home to your nearest and dearest without a hitch this Christmas.

With less than a month to go before the present West Coast franchise runs out of steam and with still no confirmation of what will happen after 02.00 on 9 December let’s hope this release was sent as an advisory to DafT, where there is precious little indication of any kind of planning and absolutely none of actually getting things done.

Indeed, if the present impasse between Euston and Horseferry Road is not resolved pdq, the only way to get home for Christmas on West Coast will be a nice brisk walk.

Railway Garden Competition - Birmingham Int'l

Blessed to do announcements on SWT?

This from @BrianBlessed...

I'll do the voiceover for @sw_trains if my fee is donated to Samaritans @My6Percent @joekolakowski #MINDTHEGAP

And with the generous offer to donate his fee to the Samaritans, that will do nicely!

Here a gratuitous video of Brian at his best.

The ball, as they say, now lies in SWT's court...