Platform 10 at York today
Low speed and no injuries, suggestions of track spread...
Definitely not a good month for charter operators.
UPDATE: This from George Hudson...
Have NR got it in for Charter Operators?
I think we should be told!
Platform 10 at York today
This slightly strange video has been released by HS2 Limited.
Eye wonders if the odd shape of the passengers' heads points towards trains built in Germany?
UPDATE: This from Rabid Burns...
I notice in the map just before the end that the right hand branch of the "Y" in Scotland, avoids Edinburgh and crosses the Forth to serve Fife.
Is this down to Lobbying by Fife Council? Do the good burghers of Edinburgh know?
I think we should be told!
Good news for the government in the Transport Select Committee's report into the InterCity West Coast fiasco!
We now know that the following is self evidently not the case:
“More than 45 million pounds of public money has been wasted, the department and the United Kingdom have suffered huge reputational damage and the railway industry is left in a state of uncertainty and therefore Ministers in post at the time of this fiasco should consider their position.”
Furthermore the following actions are not required:
“Ministers at the time must take responsibility for their mistakes and misjudgements.”
And how do we know that Hammond, Greening and Villiers should shoulder none of the blame?
Because the following coalition members of the TSC voted against the above paragraphs being included in the final report:
Good to see that the DfT hasn't lost its skill at pretending a pig's ear is a triumph.
In today's press release from the Department on the future of the C2C, FGW, FCC and Southern franchises is the following gem from McLoughlin...
"As always our priority is to ensure these changes will not impact on services or our commitment to improving the railways. Our latest step towards delivering a high-speed rail network which will link many of our major cities by a new fleet of state-of-the-art trains is testament to how we are delivering on that commitment."
Presumably this is ministerial confirmation that the franchising debacle will now also not be resolved until the late 2020s?
UPDATE: This from Chionanthus Virginicus...
Aha - we're going to have "state of the art" trains for HS2 are we?
So we must infer that DfT
Good news for Tim O'Toole and First Group following today's announcement on the Thameslink and Great Western Franchises.
This from the DfT:
In the latest issue of Passenger Transport, published on the 18th January, the Fact Compiler questions HS2 station locations...
Not a good 24 hours on the North Western.
With a West Coast Railway empty stock move getting on fire yesterday at Salford Crescent significant disruption was caused to a range of TOCs and their passengers.
Clearly it will be up to RAIB to determine the cause of this incident but the timing could not have been worse.
ORR is currently consulting on proposals that could see an end to Network Rail's cap on penalties charged to charter operators for delay causing incidents (currently set at £5,000) on the basis that this currently acts as a subsidy.
If these proposals are adopted then it is likely to be the death knell for the successors to BR's Special Train Unit.
Either way Wet Toast's social this weekend is likely to be a sombre affair, with the weather in mind perhaps just as well it won't be a BBQ...
UPDATE: This from Cynical Simon...
This from Arriva...
December 2012 - Arriva Netherlands, the Dutch rail operator, is completing a rollout of wireless internet on all its trains through specialist provider Nomad Digital. A pilot of ten trains was first trialed early last year, and, following popular demand from passengers, the project has since been extended to fit Nomad wireless routers on its remaining 51 trains, as well as on an additional 38 new Stadler trains going into service at the end of this year.
By January 2013, its entire fleet of ninety-nine trains will offer free passenger WiFi.
Alas, despite 'popular demand', Arriva Cross Country's class 170 fleet remains resolutely WiFi free.
This from Sue La Manche...
Lloyds List reports that the publication of the European Commission’s 4th Railway Package has been delayed by the direct intervention of Angela Merkel, at the behest of state owned DB.
The Frenchies have also swung behind the Boche, surprisingly enough defending their own entrenched positions.
And where is the brave, newly emboldened and battle ready British Government in all of this?
Is it perhaps speaking out in defence of the UK free-market model?
Is it perhaps rushing to support UK businesses struggling to compete with state owned European railway monopolistic behemoths?
Or is sat twiddling its thumbs awaiting a speech from dithering Dave, that may or may not take place on Wednesday?
So much for defending the national interest! All in all a very grube business...
UPDATE: This from Sir Bean-Counter, the accountant...
I am grateful to Lord Berkeley for sharing the thoughts of one Michel Barnier.
“One should not underestimate social and political unrest that may stem from the perception that the EU is aiming at dismantling bodies of professionals which are cemented by a strong corporate culture and a long history without it being absolutely indispensable for a well-functioning competitive market”.
This is clearly a Damascene conversion from the man who sought to break up the Big 4 audit firms, bodies of professionals cemented by a strong corporate culture and a long history, no less!
Reading this wiki entry you might detect a whiff of a revenge strike on the UK for keeping his hands off the City.
This from Bernie the Bolt...
With this morning's PPM languishing at just over 60% expect lots of huffing and puffing from ministers on delivery and the importance of correct information.
So time to look at the DafT website - which apparently contains an exciting announcement on High Speed Rail, published on the 17th January 2013...
White flags are hanging out of the windows of One Kemble Street, judging from the below...
So farewell NR uber-spinner PJ Taylor!
After eight years defending the indefensible PJ's last day at Network Rail is today.
There but for the Grace of God...
...thought many of us who looked at the pictures from Lambeth this morning, knowing it could have been so much worse.
Look at the 'Crash site' on the BBC infographic below and see its proximity to the railway.
Good to see Third Degree Burns getting to grips with the industry's rolling stock shortage in York today...
An interesting line up for the DDRF annual conference on the 8th February:
Key note speaker is the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin.
He is being joined by Tim O'Toole, the Chair of the Rail Delivery Group; Richard Brown who has led the Brown Review into franchising; Martin Elwood Director of NDS at Network Rail; Maggie Simpson, Executive Director of the Rail Freight Group; and Douglas Oakervee, Non-Executive Chairman of HS2 Ltd.
One for the diary, Eye thinks!
According to TfL's annual report Mike Brown's salary was £310,734 last year.
This from Captain Deltic...
I note that ATOC's Michael Roberts has a letter published in the Pink 'Un today, in which he says:
Your article “Network Rail lays out £37bn spending plans” (January 9) states that the “average rail fare has risen 40 per cent in the past decade”.
Rather than taking an average of all the prices that were advertised, looking at tickets people actually purchased reveals that between 2001-02 and 2011-12, the average price paid by passengers for a single journey expressed at 2011-12 prices fell by 1.9 per cent, hovering round £5 through that period. That is down to train companies working to attract passengers by offering a range of good value fares, including cheap advance tickets and Railcard deals.
So, the average cost of a journey between 2001-02 and 2011-12 'hovered around £5'.
Yet another case of Year Zero statistical legerdemain.
In 1991-92, with the recession biting the average fare, at 2011-12 prices, was er... £4.30.
And while passenger journeys have increased by just over 80% over the same period, subsidy per journey is still 50% more than in 1991-92!
Proof positive of the triumph of privatisation?
This from the Mail on Sunday...
Former Tory Minister Edwina Currie has defended a rail union banned from publishing an 'offensive' advertisement which uses her affair with John Major to mark the 20th anniversary of the then Prime Minister's decision to sell off Britain's railways.
The advert shows a cartoon of Mrs Currie and Sir John with the slogan: 'It wasn't just Edwina who John Major screwed. He also screwed our railway and millions of passengers.'
The Advertising Standards Authority is refusing to allow the TSSA rail union to publish the adverts this week to commemorate Sir John's rail sell-off in 1993, unless it removes the 'offensive' word 'screwed'.
This from The Inchworm...
The new year has seen the publication of some interesting statistics on the costs of Britain's railway.
Eye readers may wish to file these under 'Just Fancy That!'.
This from the TUC's Action for Rail campaign...
Brown Review into railways a missed opportunity, says the TUC
Lord Brown’s Review into rail franchising, published today (Thursday), has missed the opportunity to improve the UK’s rail system, says the TUC.
Lord Brown concludes in his report that rail franchising is ‘not broken’ but the TUC has expressed disappointment that he appears to have joined the government in turning a blind eye to the problems of rail privatisation.
Remember, you saw Richard Brown elevated to the peerage here first!
This from the BBC...
The launch of NR Strategic Business Plan yesterday was pretty well received, despite Fleet Street media fixating on fares, shedding more heat than light.
This from a Mr Lergy Fee...
My delight at reading the Rail 2020 report was tempered by their inability to get the publication year right.
The only interesting thing in a very dull document was the complete omission of transport as a heading.
In happier news it allowed CamClegg to re-re-re-announce one or two rail projects.
Page 11 of the Together in the National Interest document offered the following tidbits:
We will further invest in infrastructure by:
This from PR Week...
David Cameron's deputy official spokeswoman Vickie Sheriff is to become director of group comms at the Department for Transport.
Sheriff, who is also head of news at Number 10, will take on the role within the next few weeks.