Wednesday, 14 April 2010

First but possibly not for freight

Industry and Twitter sources suggesting GBRf may be looking for a new home.

Freightliner GBRf anyone?

How the media works...

Eye yesterday...

Torygraph today (actually tomorrow if you still pay for it).

Nice to see the Telegraph using credible sources.

Chartered Institution irony

The following amusing email has just arrived from the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation

Reminder - cancellation of 14 April presentation

Dear Colleagues

Just a reminder to advise that unfortunately this event has been cancelled this evening, as notified below.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

And the title of the cancelled meeting?

The 'Advantage of Hindsight'!

White joins Stagecoach

This from TransportXtra...

Former National Express Group chief executive Phil White is to join Stagecoach's board as a non-executive director.

Souter circling NatEx?

Thin Controller's election Pilgrimage of Grice

The Thin Controller is out and about on the network this month.

To help voters keep tabs on the unelected Secretary of State the Labour party has created a special website covering this latest Pilgrimage of Grice.

As policy is evidently being formulated on the hoof - Adonis used Monday's visit to Sheffield to concede the Battle of the Barriers - this should make for some interesting announcements en-route.

Eye would welcome details of said as well as any pictures or observations that might not make it on to Labour's official site...

UPDATE: This just in from Only2misters...

Thanks for providing a link to Labour's 'Pilgrimage of Grice' mini-site.

However, you may be interested to see from the screen-grab below that NR sees this as 'potentially damaging' content and a possible 'security threat'.


UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Could not Eye itemise the miracles the Thin Micro-manager has wrought on his Pilgrimage of Grice?

Having had the casting out of the gates at Sheffield can we expect the miracle of the bodyshells and bogies which create 202 DMU vehicles?

Sadly the resurrection of IEP is probably beyond divine providence.

First for ruining the pleasure of rail travel

This from the BBC...

The first on-board TV service for train travellers in the UK has begun.

The service, which passengers have to pay for, has been introduced on some high-speed trains operated by the First Great Western (FGW) rail company

Presumably to ensure picture quality FGW will now dispense with cleaning train windows?

UPDATE: This from @cbuchanancubed, via Twitter...

On train entertainment - First Great Western fail to spot market moved on years ago eg laptops playing DVDs

UPDATE: This from a Mr Saltaire...

As reported on The Eye (and the BBC), I sampled the Volo equipment on a First HST today..... it’s rubbish!

The content is all repeats of old TV shows, and the equipment is in one coach (D) of Standard Class only.

Alas, our elected representatives (but not our brave boys) look set to be spared this indignity.

UPDATE: This from @tonyveitchUK, via Twitter..

GWR always different, eh?

GNER, GC, Amtrak, DB, Virgin, etc must have been barking up wrong tree.

LibDem Manifesto - Transport section

This from the LibDems manifesto launched today...

public transport you can rely on
Britain needs a well-run, efficient transport system.

Public transport is an important part of a fair society and the best way to cut carbon emissions from transport without trying to limit people’s opportunities to travel.

We want to improve the experience for the traveller and cut carbon emissions.

We will:

  • Switch traffic from road to rail by investing in local rail improvements, such as opening closed rail lines and adding extra tracks, paid for by cutting the major roads budget.
  • Cut rail fares, changing the contracts with Train Operating Companies so that regulated fares fall behind inflation by 1 per cent each year, meaning a real-terms cut.
  • Make Network Rail refund a third of your ticket price if you have to take a rail replacement bus service.
  • Overhaul Network Rail to put the interests of passengers first and bring it under the Freedom of Information Act to make it more open.
  • Set up a UK Infrastructure Bank to invest in public transport like high speed rail.
  • Give councils greater powers to regulate bus services according to community needs so that local people get a real say over routes and fares.
  • Include the promotion of safer cycling and pedestrian routes in all local transport plans.

restricting aviation growth
The emissions from rising aviation are a serious problem in the fight against climate change. But in some more remote parts of the country, flights are a vital lifeline, and aviation is important for the economy as a whole.

Liberal Democrats believe that we should do all we can to ensure people use alternatives where that makes sense.

We will:
  • Replace the per-passenger Air Passenger Duty with a per-plane duty (PPD), so capturing freight movements by air for the first time.
  • Introduce an additional, higher rate of PPD on domestic flights for which alternative and less polluting travel is readily available.
  • Cancel plans for the third runway at Heathrow and any expansion of other airports in the South East.
a fair deal for motorists
Our planned expansion of public transport will provide much-needed alternatives to private cars, and cut carbon emissions.

However, in many places there will always be a need for car travel, so we need to ensure that it is as environmentally friendly as possible.

We will:
  • Work through the EU for a zero emissions target for all new cars by 2040 and extend targets to other vehicles.
  • Undertake preparations for the introduction of a system of road pricing in a second parliament. Any such system would be revenue neutral for motorists, with revenue from cars used to abolish Vehicle Excise Duty and reduce fuel duty, helping those in rural areas who have no alternatives to road travel. Some of the revenue from lorries
  • would be used to fund further extensions of high speed rail through the UK Infrastructure Bank.
  • Introduce a rural fuel discount scheme which would allow a reduced rate of fuel duty to be paid in remote rural areas, as is allowed under EU law.
Still no mention of Thameslink or indeed Crossrail in this one...

Pointless signs - Baker Street

With a bowler tip to
@swlines, via Twitter.

Merseyrail's grand Grand National

Unnoticed by most of the industry Merseyside operator Merseyrail pulled off quite a coup over the extended Grand National weekend.

This from PR man Rudi...

For us of course, it was our opportunity to show to the casual user what we are about.

Eye readers may be interested to know that we doubled services on the Aintree route to 8 trains an hour in each direction.

We also laid on all sorts of entertainment such as Juice FM broadcasting their programmes from the station and entertaining the waiting hordes, give-aways (remember the flipflops for ladies day?), extra toilets (with dedicated cleaners to keep them salubrious) etc etc.

Over the 3 days we had very little delays and even fewer trains failing PPM; in fact on Saturday, in spite of all the extra trains and the crowds, our network PPM was 93.95%...

And here is our MD Bart Schmeink's thank you to staff:

Hi all,

Thank you so much for another great Grand National performance by you all over the last three days.

We've had more passengers than ever before, even more then in our record year 2008.

First indication is that more than 100.000 passengers travelled with us over the three days.

The whole system worked as smoothly as a swiss watch with all our units in service and every station chipping in.

Our overall performance, including our showbiz X factor at Aintree, has pushed our reputation on Merseyside to new heights.

I know I shouldn't push it, by saying I'd like to have the Grand National every day but then again these 3 days seem to get the best out of everyone.

Thank you so much for a great performance, a great day and another truly remarkable grand national event.

All the best

Good effort.

Don't mention the 'T' word

Telegrammed by Our Man at 222 Marylebone Road
Noticeably missing from both the Labour and Conservative manifesti is any commitment to Th*m*sl*nk.

This project is, of course, fully funded in Control Period 4 which ends on 31 March 2014.

But with London Bridge remodelling and the new train fleet deliveries running through to the end of 2016 - two years into CP5 (the Control Period of Doom) - Thameslink appears at serious risk of truncation.

And that's before the great experiment of resignalling with ETCS plus an ATO overlay for 24 trains/hour.

With CP5 promising massive cut-backs in railway funding is this mass aversion to the 'T' word an augury?