Thursday, 4 June 2009

Eye survey LATEST

***Purnell scratched***

Tempting fate

This confident assertion from Network Rail yesterday...

"VT ppm as at 18:00 today 92%"

But what's this?


It would appear that a signal failure this afternoon at Milton Keynes has stopped the job completely on NR's £9bn railway (again).

At least Virgin's contingency plans are by now well rehearsed...

Virgin trains... have promised that tickets for affected trains will be honoured on other services.

Old railway hands will point out that you should never tempt fate, or indeed get over cocky when your customer is already spitting bullets.

UPDATE: This just in from Charles Yerkes...

Heaven forfend that I should trample on someone else's patch, goodness knows we have troubles enough on the Underground.

However, hasn't NR's Rapid Rebuttal Unit gone rather quiet all of a sudden?

UPDATE: Wise words from the Archer...

Having 'enjoyed' the service on the WCML today (standing room & 20 late into London) perhaps Virgin's train-managers could go easy on the PA waffle.

When you start an announcement by apologising for making yet another apology, then it really is time to keep schtum.

Earlier, the train-manager just about stopped short of asking passengers to give the (Virgin Trains') driver a round of applause for his exceptional work having faced (Network Rail) signalling problems.

It was all a bit embarrassing really.

If these two industry giants don't grow up and co-operate then every delay on the WCML will be blown out of all proportion as each party seeks to blame t'other.

So please grow up and get along.

Topic closed.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

Telegrammed by the Major
So Network Rail has something to say!

I'm surprised it dares after being damned by the ORR for continuing shoddy West Coast performance, missing its CP3 efficiency targets, having no clear plan for its CP4 efficiency targets... (cont. page 94)

Despite all this NR still has the audacity to insist:

"We're paying bonuses come what may!"

Who said Network Rail was arrogant?

UPDATE: This just in from NR's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit:

We always have something to say. I'm sure we can all pull out critical comments from the ORR's Network Rail Monitor, but let me just quote the first paragraph:

Network Rail succeeded in delivering its main output obligations for the end of Control Period 3 (CP3), as set in 2003, which included reductions in delays to train services, improvement in the asset stewardship index, and delivery of projects including in particular the main elements of the West Coast route modernisation."

No doubt others have their views on the ORR-mandated management incentive scheme, but our views have been clear and consistent.

I'd just like to compare and contrast the railway we have today with the broken one Network Rail inherited in 2002. I've said this many times before and I'm sure I'll say it again - in fact I'm having these words tattooed on the inside of my eyelids:

As a result of everything the industry has done, we now have a railway carrying a record number of passengers on a record number of trains; passenger satisfaction at 83% has never been higher; 91% of trains arrive on time – the highest national figure ever recorded; travel by train has never been safer and is now the safest form of transport; and we have reduced by £1bn a year for the British people the cost of running the railway.

Now, who HAS got the number of Richard Branson's tattooist?

UPDATE: Captain Deltic muses:

Hmm, the asset stewardship index would be more convincing if we had an Asset Register, something Tom Winsor was demanding from the broken railway and we still haven't got under the soft touch that replaced the hard man.

And what about the problems with gauging for the ScotRail Desiros? Something else the broken railway wasn't very good at either.

But then Railtrack had the excuse that it wasn't funded at Network Rail levels.

Odd that the members don't hold the NR Board to account for these failings.

Now then Captain - that sort of comment won't help your case one bit with the NR 'Dementors' responsible for selecting new public members.

A good day to bury piss-poor news

Telegrammed by The Raver
The NAO report on Metronet's collapse is due to be published tomorrow morning.

As Brown and Vadera are personally responsible for the disastrous PPP, which has cost Londoners billions and nearly brought the Underground to its knees, no doubt the report will receive an appropriate level of media coverage.

After all Friday is bound to be a slow news day...

UPDATE: Wolmar takes up the tale...

A gentle reminder

Please use your vote today.

The greatest threat to our democracy is disinterest.

UPDATE: This just in from Lazarus...

'Ello, 'ello, 'ello.

I'm going to have to caution you over this one:

"The greatest threat to democracy is disinterest."

Disinterest means impartiality, not lack of interest, which is what you meant.

£10 fixed penalty for that.

It's a fair cop - guilty as charged. But get out and vote anyway.