Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A word on today's incident in London...

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.

Without wishing to diminish in anyway those caught up in the incident, the emergency services and the families and friends of those injured or who lost their lives, might Eye extend a very small plaudit to the railway and those who enabled it to keep running throughout today (NR, SWT, The brothers, Met, LFB, BTP, etc...)

This evening many local road users are still experiencing significant disruption.

But the railway kept on running. 

Eye salutes all those involved.

As a wise man once said: Keep calm and run trains.

UPDATE: This from the Wandsworth Wanderer...

As a “PS” to the worthy tribute to the railway in south London yesterday, while Vauxhall station did close yesterday morning, it was open again to passengers within a few hours... and as someone who had travelled in from Hampshire via SWT for a meeting in the West End at 10.30am, I arrived at Waterloo right time.  

So, yes, the railways played a blinder!

And I can also vouch for the ongoing transport chaos on local roads in SW London during this morning’s rush-hour. 

Cars, vans and lorries bumper to bumper clogging up road junctions and several buses on lengthy diversions.

Happily many bus passengers abandoned the road network, walking considerable distances to use the train from Clapham Junction instead!

Rolling stock manufacturing returns to York?

Good to see Third Degree Burns getting to grips with the industry's rolling stock shortage in York today...

"So how many of these can you let me have for Thameslink?"

UPDATE: This from Glory's Gas-axe...
Clearly the new train maker in York needs to learn about the right colour to paint trains. 

Where there are nice brass bits on the outside, these should be well polished and matched with a coat of Brunswick Green, not a sort of bloody red.

Derby steals a march on industry - again!

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!

Britain's best value senior railway manager?

According to TfL's annual report Mike Brown's salary was £310,734 last year.

He is managing director of both London Underground and London Overground, which together carry more passengers than the national rail network.

According to the Standard today, based on an FOI request from @MayorWatch: 

London Underground managing director Mike Brown did not claim for any taxis during 2010 and 2011. His total expenses for 2010 came to £112 and in 2011 £710.95.

Good effort.

ATOC starts journey from wrong place?

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?