Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Planning ahead

***Determined not to be caught out by ORR again, Iain Coucher has summoned TOC owner groups to a meeting on the 1st July to discuss CP5 ! ***

Angel double counting?

***According to the latest Rail Business Intelligence the 14 five car Cl180 units are going to remain on-lease to First.***

This may come as a surprise to Virgin West Coast who believe they are getting two.

London to lose O'Toole?

A report from Railway Eye's International Correspondent:

Tim O'Toole, MD of LUL, looks set to return to his native America if a multi-billion dollar bid by UK
Hedge Fund TCI for US Class 1 freight railroad CSX gets the green light.

O'Toole, 52, came to London in 2003 as part of a Mayor Ken Livingstone's inspired American invasion of Transport for London.

Recruited by
controversial Transport Commisioner and vodka enthusiast Bob Kiley, O'Toole took the top Tube job after Gordon's ill-fated PPP had been imposed on the world's oldest metro. The resulting split between operations and infrastructure left O'Toole responsible for running the trains but not much more; a cause of frequent tensions with the new private sector infrastructure owners.

More at home with
heavy freight than Oyster-card bearing Londoners he earned his spurs in Conrail, the cumbersome corporation created by the US government when the Penn Central ("Standard Railroad to the World") went tits up.

Conrail subsequently became part of CSX, the
very corporation O'Toole is now tipped to be joining. He knows the patch, as they say. Or more likely where the bodies are buried.

O'Toole has been impressive at LU which carries over a billion passengers a year and he will be sorely missed. He was on duty when Islamic fundamentalists blew up three of his trains simultaneously and hardened LUL operators say he was a cool head in an unprecedented situation.

Finding a successor will be a challenge for BoJo and his New Best Mate Hendy.

Mike Brown (LUs current COO) has been headhunted by BAE to lift them out of the sticky brown stuff at
Heathrow. Although his number two, Howard Collins, is made for the COO role the top job may elude him this time round..

Other possible contenders within the TfL empire include Ian Brown who currently runs the London Overground and DLR operations. Rumours continue to circulate that he is getting itchy feet after DfT blew a raspberry at TfL's plans to take over South London Metro services.

Perhaps the opportunity for Ian Brown to
fold his "S-Bahn" empire into Tim O'Toole's "U-Bahn" may well keep him interested for a couple more years.