Tuesday, 10 March 2009

HS2 Endorsed - licence revoked?

So how many endorsements does this need before it takes effect?

This from DafT...

Plans for one of the country's most crucial transport projects to date, High Speed 2, were officially endorsed by the Department for Transport today (Tuesday 10 March).

Talk is cheap.

The Lion roars!


Please close the door behind you on your way out.

Dunn chugging?

It appears that the railway industry is not immune from the Chuggers!

This from Pip Dunn of Railway's Illustrated fame.

Pip writes....

Fancy sticking this on the Railway Eye to see if the lovely people in the railway industry fancy dipping into their pockets to help a worthy cause.

We already have donations from First GB Railfreight, DB Schenker, Network Rail, Riviera Trains, Electric Traction, The Railway Magazine, but more are welcomed...

As some of you may know our daughter Harriet was born moderately deaf and over the last year, the National Deaf Children's Society has been invaluable to us

On 5th July the NDCS is having its annual Big Walk Forward in London. It's a 10 mile walk taking in all the best sights and landmarks the capital has to offer, and my wife, Vicky, (along with Harriet's grandma and godparents) are taking part. Any money we raise goes directly to the PDDCS (Peterborough and District Deaf Childrens Society) of which Harriet is a proud member and has been so crucial to us and other families over the last year and will continue to be as time goes on.

You can sponsor Vicky and co on this walk. Donating through Justgiving website is quick, easy and totally secure. It’s also the most efficient way to sponsor them: The National Deaf Children's Society gets your money faster and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.

So I'd like to ask if you would please sponsor them now!

To make a donation, no matter how small, visit www.justgiving.com/vickysd

Many thanks from Harriet, Pip, Vic and all the children from the PDDCS.

Just fancy that 2

Hurrah for Parliamentary Privilege.

This from yesterday's House of Commons railway debate:

Graham Stringer (Manchester, Blackley) (Lab):
When Network Rail closes a line for improvements or because something has gone wrong, it puts on buses, and calls that — it is a dreadful word — “bustitution”.

Twelve of the 13 major rail franchises that bus companies run effectively use themselves as agents.

Arriva uses Arriva; National Express uses National Express; FirstGroup uses FirstGroup; Stagecoach uses Stagecoach and so on.

That means that anyone bidding does not get the bus service operator grant because it goes to the agent of the main company. There is very little control over the costs.

I have talked to representatives of bus operating companies that have been put out of business because they do not believe that they can compete with bodies that effectively award the contracts to themselves.

They are told that it is a matter of quality as well as price, but when one talks to the bus drivers, one finds that the agents pay two and three times what the competitors would pay.

There is a cost to Network Rail and there is, therefore, a cost to the public purse.

I have talked to several bus operators.
One — Fraser Eagle — was recently put into administration. It believes that that has happened because of those unfair, if not corrupt practices by train operating companies that also run the buses

Here endeth Parliamentary Privilege...

Well just fancy that!

This gem from yesterday's House of Commons debate on Railways.

Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham) (Con):
I called Mr. Bob Holland, the then chief executive of Arriva, and kept complaining about the situation so much that he finally agreed to accompany me on an Arriva service between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton.

Lo and behold, all of a sudden, when the chief executive appeared, the train arrived on time for the first time ever.

We had extra carriages and, amazingly, they served tea and coffee and sold cakes, which was an experience that I had never come across before. The whole service was extremely smooth.

It took me back to the days when I visited communist Romania and everything was prepared specially for President Ceausescu, to give him a false perspective on reality.

Eye readers may be interested to know that Spinning Bob avoided dear old Nikolae's grisly end and is currently Arriva's Managing Director UK Rail.

Saint Jade of Goody

***Jade Goody helps Railway Children***

Max Clifford in action is something to behold!

I declare these barriers open

Okay My Lord Adonis - how precisely will the exciting new gates that your Department is so keen to foist upon the network increase security and reduce fare evasion?

This from the RMT:

SWT "finally let slip to RMT reps that it intends to axe nearly 200 revenue-protection staff – double the number previously admitted."

As ticket barriers need staff to monitor them (for safety reasons) the relentless reduction in TOC platform and revenue protection staff will inevitably result in newly installed gates being left open at more and more locations.

As The Eye previously pointed out, this is already the case at Waterloo mere weeks after their introduction.

So for DafT to continue promoting their installation across the network, at the same time as TOCs reduce headcount, is at best foolish and at worst a criminal waste of money.

Care to suggest which it is My Lord?