Friday, 23 October 2009

First Directly Operated Railways

Rumours on the interweb that FCC's Customer Services Director is to join DOR.

Mutterings from other owner groups that First Class Partnerships is aptly named.

Railway not getting its message across!

Total Politics has published its list of Top 100 Public Affairs Professionals.


Spot the missing industry.

UPDATE: This from the Major...

That the Falkland Islands should make it into the Top 100 puts the railway's lobbying failure into perspective.

Where's a soi disant veteran observer when you need one...?

Mixed trains return to the ECML?

Telegrammed by our Independent Expert
Looks like hard-up NXEC is bringing back mixed trains.

Senior Conductor on a packed HST from Newcastle this afternoon:

Will people with bulky luggage please tell the guard who will lock it away in the brake van...

Presumably with the pigs, chickens and smokey anthracite stove?

UPDATE: This from Shiny Shoes...

Just curious why a 'senior conductor' was working a NXEC HST (or any of their trains for that matter) as such grade does not exist on NX.

Admirably and sensibly NX use the correct term guard.

The term senior conductor was part of the 'train crew' concept of the 80's that sought to bring some promotional steps to the role... (cont p94).

In any event, as far as the public were concerned the term senior conductor was all a bit silly, there being no 'junior conductor' on any train worked by a SC.

Level crossings - a request for consistency

Network Rail has been busy reminding drivers and pedestrians of the dangers of level crossing abuse.

Such as this story from the BBC...

Network Rail has released footage of pedestrians risking their lives at a level crossing in Dorset, including a mother pushing her baby in a pram.

A video shows the woman running across the track with her child moments before a train passed.

Iain Coucher, Network Rail chief executive, said: "The rules around level crossings are clear and simple.

"When the lights flash or the barriers are down, don't cross - a train is approaching."

However, this particular footpath crossing is not gated and the miniature warning lights, of either hue, are steady and do not flash.

Which means that here the 'clear and simple' rules don't actually apply.

And if they don't apply then the rules are not consistent.

Inconsistent safety messages and procedures actually import risk rather than reduce it.

Yet one more reason to undertake a thorough review of the methods by which level crossing users are alerted to on-coming rail traffic.

UPDATE: This from @swlines via Twitter

Although the crossing in question does have a siren that goes off before it goes red.

And that CCTV vid is from signal box.

Friday safety briefing

This from 'Is 1A03 out of Chester yet, Bert?'

Can you spot the significant safety failing in this video?

That's correct. The hard hat has not been secured by a chin strap.

A beautiful city...

This from the National Rail website:

Start date 19/10/2009
End date 23/10/2009
Route Affected

TOC Affected Arriva Trains Wales

The following changes will apply:

Monday only

  • 23:22 Chester to Manchester Piccadilly will be diverted via Norwich. A bus will run between Chester and Manchester Piccadilly. Journey times will be extended by up to 65 minutes
The Fact Compiler's flabber is well and truly gasted.

RMT claims mass dismissal threat

This from the RMT...

RAIL UNION RMT revealed today that Network Rail have threatened to sack their entire maintenance workforce of 13,000 and to re-employ a reduced number of workers on new terms and conditions in a bid to bulldoze through a multi-billion pound cuts package.


Twitter news

According to the Hansard Society...

  • Percentage of Conservative MPs on Twitter: 6%
  • Percentage of Labour MPs on Twitter: 13%
  • Percentage of Liberal Democrat MPs on Twitter: 24%
Just thought you might like to know.

Kettle heaven

The A1 Truss appears to be rewriting history...

Good effort!