Thursday, 3 December 2009

Nexus update - DB uber Nexus...

This from the Railway Gazette...

Nexus named Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Regio (Tyne and Wear) Ltd as preferred bidder for a contract to operate the Tyne & Wear Metro on December 3.


Chiltern rejects "streamlined fares"

This just in from Hymnody...

As Eye has already noticed, NFM05 content has been uploaded to "The Manual" earlier in the week.

One you may have missed, however, is a fare with a massive 46% increase!

The 1st Anytime Day Single from London Terminals to Banbury (and vv), priced by Chiltern, is increasing from £44.50 to £65.00.

Similarly, the 1st Anytime Day Return is increasing from £89.00 to a whopping £130.00!

At present, the only way to make use of 1st Class is to travel from Paddington via Reading.

But from the December timetable change it will also, of course, be valid on Wrexham and Shropshire services from London Marylebone, which will be making "full calls" at Banbury and Leamington Spa.

Probably best not to tell Lord Adonis, who used Tuesday's Grauniad to praise Open Access "steamlined fares".

UPDATE: This from Central User...

I wonder whether the justification for this is that 1st includes a sit-down cooked meal?

Will DafT's updated Rolling Stock Plan ever appear

This written answer given on the 2nd December by Moley...

David Ruffley (- Shadow Minister, Home Affairs; Bury St Edmunds, Conservative)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the average age of rolling stock used on the Norwich to London railway line was during (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) to date in 2009.

Chris Mole (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport; Ipswich, Labour)

The Department for Transport does not hold the information requested in relation to the average age of rolling stock used on the Norwich to London railway line.

The Eye is still struggling to understand how the Department can produce a meaningful Rolling Stock Plan if they don't have access to such basic data.

As regular Eye readers will be aware Ministers have been assuring Parliament that such a thing will be published in the "Autumn".

As it is now winter perhaps Marsham Street has finally admitted it's just not up to the task?

This just in from Captain Deltic...

Just thought I'd pause from welding up a Pacer underframe to point out the DfT Rail doesn't need to know the age of rolling stock because it is assumed that all ex-BR stock will run forever.

UPDATE: This from J Alfred Prufrock...

The Autumn ends with the winter Equinox, which falls on 21 December.

Mr Mole has also said that the Plan is proving to be a major challenge and he hopes to get it out by Christmas, which this year falls on 25th December...

But note that he did not say Autumn of which year.

UPDATE: This from Trailer Second...

Captain Deltic welding a Pacer underframe?

Their underframes will outlast us all.

In fact the MOD want them for the next version of the AFV, expected to be built by a "British led Consortium" of Krupp, Mitsubishi and Fiat.

UPDATE: This via North Pole depot...

Every year my delivery Plan is a challenge, but I usually manage to achieve it on the night.

However this year I have had to find a new piece of "sliding stock" myself.

Despite promises of a re-worked underframe from a "surplus" Oldham Loop unit (thanks for trying Captain D!), I have had to resort to a short term lease arrangement on a flatrol from a Heritage Line in return for some guest appearances before the big night itself... as if I didn't have enough to do.

So tell DafT they'll be very lucky to get any Plan in their stockings from me!

Père Noel
Gare du Pôle Nord

Lookalike - Down on the farm...

With a bowler tip to NR's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit...

Lord Adonis plays the Fat Controller with SLC2

Good news for all those upset by the proposed SCL2 timetable due to be introduced on the East Coast Main Line in December 2010.

The new timetable was due to be signed off by the ORR in the next couple of weeks.


Word reaches the Eye that no less a figure than Lord Adonis is now taking a close personal interest in its provisions.

Indeed, he has shredded the latest version saying it was "not good enough" and told all involved to go back to the drawing board and deliver a timetable with a sub 4hr Edinburgh to London journey time.

Presumably the Office of Rail Regulation will wish to prove its independence by standing firm against such blatant political interference?

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

Lord Adonis does indeed want a sub-4hr London-Edinburgh headline journey time.

Current journey times

Journey times




London (Kings Cross)-Edinburgh












Indicative future Super Express journey times

Journey times
















So the above table, released in a written answer by Moley won't go down well.

ATOC - photography not a security concern - Official

Exciting news from ATOC!

According to Railnews...

A new online guide to National Rail has been launched by the Association of Train Operating Companies to help passengers, especially those with disabilities, to find their way round more than 2500 stations. The innovation, including 14,000 web pages and interactive maps as well as 700,000 photographs, is said to be a world first.


And what a wonderful on-line resource for passengers... or indeed those with less benign intentions.

With this in mind Eye expects an immediate end to stories of TOC jobsworths preventing photography on stations for spurious 'security' reasons!

UPDATE: This from Simon...

While reluctant to knock what is a brilliant idea and an incredibly useful resource, I was rather amused to note that the guide to Southampton Airport Parkway makes no mention of the brand new covered footbridge complete with lifts, forming the only means of access between the platforms for those with mobility problems.

A little embarrassing as these facilities were opened to great fanfare by Minister Chris Mole only today.

This emphasises the point that ATOC will have to keep the new site bang up to date if it is to be more of a help than a hindrance.

UPDATE: This from consultancy the mhdpartnership via Twitter...

That ATOC site is shocking and just proves how archaic our rail industry is!

There is a critique on our blog.

Nexus concession to be announced today

***Winner of the Nexus concession expected to be announced at 17:00 today***

Lookalike - We can rebrand him, we have the technology...

With a bowler tip to the RMT whose cheeky flyers were distributed outside the NR Board meeting yesterday...

Lookalike - Falcon Crest Railways