Thursday, 22 June 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Farringdon

This from a Mr Mike Wallis...



Keep 'em coming!

Gibb Report published

Chris Gibb's report into Southern's performance has been published.

It's a chunky 163 pages so will take some reading.

However, some of the headline findings here:

  • Industrial action is the main cause of problems
  • Unions should accept ORR regulates safety and should work with GTR to modernise working practices
  • Need for NR to establish a System Operator function (done)
  • Need for two track timetable at night on BML to enable maintenance (done)
  • Electrify Uckfield (see relevant appendix)
  • Withdraw the 442s (done)
  • Transfer East Croydon - Milton Keynes to TfL Overground, and Ashford - Hastings to SE franchise
  • Sort out Thameslink 2018 train stabling, provide for future stabling to handle more trains
  • Review Thameslink driver depot strategy
  • Restart stalled station capacity schemes at Victoria, Gatwick and East Croydon
  • Improve despatch at Victoria, London Bridge and Brighton
  • Improve suicide prevention
  • Implement Thameslink 2018 plan in small stages between Dec, 17 and Dec, 18
  • Review off peak and small station service levels
  • Align TOC and NR incentives and targets using joint delay repay
  • Set up 2018 Thameslink industry readiness board (done)
Eye understands not much has been redacted from the final report (although Appendix 9 containing 'Recommendations regarding the GTR franchise agreement' is missing).
 

Electrification benefits explained!

Good news for fans of electrification!

This from the Scotsman...

Plans to close Breich Station in West Lothian, used by just three passengers a week, have been announced by Network Rail. 

The move has been prompted by the £1.4 million cost of replacing its footbridge as part of electrification of the line, which would be saved. 

It is understood the station is likely to have stayed open otherwise.

The Sparks Effect, indeed!

Just imagine how many more of those annoying station things we could close if NR electrified the entire network!

UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic...

If the clever traction engineers at Derby can fit an aluminium tube with seats and air conditioning and braking equipment and doors and bogies and lots of clever electronics and charge £1.2 million a throw for an Aventra vehicle how on earth can civil engineers justify £1.4 million for a footbridge? 

And does that include leaning-on-a-shovel-looking time?


South Eastern and West Coast Partnership bidders

This from the DfT...

South Eastern franchise

The companies which want to run the next South Eastern franchise are:

  • South Eastern Holdings Ltd, a joint venture company that on franchise award will be wholly owned by Abellio Transport Group Ltd and East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd
  • London and South East Passenger Rail Services Lrd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Govia Ltd
  • Stagecoach South Eastern Trains Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stagecoach Group plc
  • Trenitalia UK Ltd, wholly owned by Trenitalia SpA

West Coast Partnership franchise

The WCP will be responsible for services on the West Coast Main Line from April 2019 and will design and run the initial HS2 high speed services between London and Birmingham from 2026.

The shortlist contains bidding consortia which sees UK rail network experts working in partnership with companies that operate high speed railways around the globe, supported by businesses which have an excellent track record in customer services.

They are:
  • First Trenitalia West Coast Ltd, a joint venture between First Rail Holdings Ltd and Trenitalia SpA
  • MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture between MTR Corporation (UK) Ltd and Guangshen Railway Company, with the following key sub-contractors:
    • Deloitte MCS Ltd
    • Panasonic Systems Europe
    • Snowfall AB
    • Trainline.com Ltd
    • WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff
  • West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture between Stagecoach Group plc, Virgin Holdings Ltd and SNCF C3
Can't help but feel that DfT must be disappointed by yet another small field, containing mostly the usual suspects, for these key competitions.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

DfT Ministers - Roles and Responsibilities

Here are the published roles and responsibilities of the refreshed DfT Ministerial team:

Secretary of State – Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

  • Overall responsibility for the Department’s policies
Minister of State – Rt Hon John Hayes MP
  • Highways England
  • Modern Transport Bill
  • maritime (including Maritime and Coastguard Agency)
  • maritime security
  • freight and logistics
  • environment and technology
  • skills and innovation
  • built environment
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for State (Rail Minister) – Paul Maynard MP
  • rail (including housing development)
  • rail security
  • light rail
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for State – Jesse Norman MP
Responsibilities to be confirmed but likely to include:
  • HS2
  • devolution including Northern Powerhouse
  • sustainable accessible travel (including walking and cycling)
  • smart ticketing
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for State – Lord Callanan
Responsibilities to be confirmed
  • Transport spokesman in the House of Lords 
A big Railway Eye welcome back to Paul Maynard (and note the 'housing development' role in Paul's remit).

First/MTR suffers from premature evacuation - Official

Good news from the Shire this morning!

The great and the good are gathering in Derby for an announcement about an order for 750 new 'Aventura' vehicles for the London and South Western franchise, worth £895m

This from First Group:

PRESS CALL: Announcement of South Western rail franchise rolling stock procurement

FirstGroup and MTR will take over the South Western rail franchise from 20 June 2017. This is an opportunity to find out more about the new rolling stock being planned for the new franchise, with new trains to be built in the UK and introduced into service from mid-2019.

Members of the reality based community will of course realise that the new franchise is due to start on the 20th August, rather than June.

No matter.

Regular readers of Eye will recognise today's announcement from this, posted back in April...


Meanwhile here is a tip for other rolling stock manufacturers without a UK footprint:

You've got to be in it, to win it!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Windsor and Eton Central

This from Windsor Lad...

Windsor and Eton Central last week:



A sorry sight these days, especially when compared to the Riverside station.

Railway Gongs - Queen's Birthday Honours

Some of those honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honour's list...

Order of the British Empire
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

Ms Alison Mary MUNRO (MRS REEVES)
Managing Director, Phase 2, HS2 Ltd. For services to the Rail Industry.

Petra, Mrs WILKINSON
Head, Transport Security Co-ordination and Operational Response, Department for Transport. For services to Transport Security.

Order of the British Empire
Officers of the Order of the British Empire

Roger Toby Soames HARGREAVES
Director, Hybrid Bill Delivery, High Speed 2 Ltd. For services to Transport.

Ms Linda Jean MILLER
Project Manager, Crossrail. For services to Engineering and to Promoting Gender Equality.

Ms Wendy Patricia SPINKS
Commercial Director, St Pancras International Station. For services to Rail.

Order of the British Empire
Members of the Order of the British Empire

Babak ERFANI
Chairman, Archway - the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network. For services to Network Rail and Diversity in Transport.

Patricia Lorraine, Mrs THOMAS
HR and Redeployment Adviser, Transport for London. For services to Transport in London and the community.

Order of the British Empire
Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

Steven Barry GREENWOOD
Special Chief Inspector, British Transport Police. For voluntary service to Policing.

Miss Ann STEWART
For voluntary service to the Arts, Healthcare and Steam Railway Preservation in London, Edinburgh and Derby

Good effort.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Eye prepares for Brexit!

An Eye chum in Europe has sent the following screen grab...


Hopefully RENFE and CAF are regular browsers...

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Shaken and stirred - David Brown to Northern

This from Northern...

David Brown has been appointed as Managing Director of Arriva Rail North Ltd which operates the Northern rail franchise.

David, who is currently Chief Executive at Transport for the North, will take up his role at Arriva during September and will succeed Alan Chaplin who has been Acting Managing Director since February.

An interesting case of gamekeeper turned poacher!

Of perhaps greater interest is what this says about TfN...

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Crumbling Edge of Something...

No comment.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Blackburn

This from Kettledrummle...

As you will see Blackburn is well on track to achieving "garden" status. Unfortunately what was in the 4 foot where the train has stopped was not so green.


Probably better classed as fertiliser!

Railway Garden Competition - Eastleigh

This from Rover...


Keep 'em coming.

Rail minister returns!

No. Not that one.

Claire Perry, who is now a minister at BEIS looking after the Industrial Strategy.

A positively glacial formation of a new government.

Strong and stable my arsenal.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Dust settling - GE2017

This from Daisy Hill...

Well that was interesting!

Grayling returned to transport following a very minor reshuffle.

We await news on who will be the rail minister.

Meanwhile,  those wondering what the election result means for transport policy are reminded that Northern Ireland's railways are both state owned and vertically integrated.

Eat your heart out Jeremy Corbyn!


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Charing Cross

This from Dan D. Lion...


It's not as if those cables and cabinets control anything important after all.

Pointless signs - Newark

This from a Mr InterCity Swift..

A contribution for your pointless signs series.

Or should that be pontless signs?



It's been there for a couple of years now.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Retford

This from a Mr InterCity Swift...

Much to the annoyance of VTEC, it's back - bigger and stronger!


Are there any hardy Railway Garden perennials near you? If so do send them in!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

BTP first in the line of duty at London Bridge

This from our 'Railway Plod'; which is very much part of the Railway Family.

Which makes it somewhat personal!

Statement from Chief Constable on British Transport Police officer injured at London Bridge

Following the horrific attacks at London Bridge last night, the British Transport Police officer who was injured is now in a stable condition.

Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: “Having visited the officer in hospital shortly after he was admitted for treatment, I was able to hear his account of what happened last night.

“It became clear that he showed enormous courage in the face of danger, as did many others who were at the scene and rushed to help.

“Although he is seriously unwell, he was able to recount how he faced the attackers armed only with his baton, outside London Bridge station.

“For an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud.

“All of us at BTP wish him a swift recovery, and I know he will be touched by the hundreds of messages of support from across the UK and the world.

“Our thoughts are with all of those who died or were injured, and their loved ones as they try to come to terms with what happened.”


Big respect!

Good effort.

And our prayers and thoughts are with the officer, his colleagues, family and friends.

Also... thank you to all our BTP colleagues for all that you do to keep everyone safe, day in and day out, on or about the railway.

Of course, the BTP has often been at the forefront of policing.

This from the British Transport Police History Group...

The railway police were the first force in the country to use trained police dogs (1909), one of the first to use drug sniffer dogs (1974), and the first to introduce a computerised crime reporting procedure (1970s). 


The force took a national lead in football intelligence in the 1980s, and developed a bomb threat analysis procedure, later adopted nationally, as a result of dealing with twenty high explosive devices, forty incendiary devices and more than five thousand bomb threats during one three year period (1991-94).

Perhaps Theresa May will consult with the railway industry, before attempting to merge the specialist BTP into the constabularies of very different industries?

Meanwhile, Hands off our Bobbies!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

EGIP costs contained - sort of?

This from 'My Laird'...

Truly, the world has gone mad. And budgets madder?


EGIP taking over a public path to Plean south of Stirling!

Railway Garden Competition - Dorking (Main)

This from @NickRH14...

Looking lush at Dorking (Main)...


Keep 'em coming (and remember the rules - only UK railway gardens are eligible)!