Thursday, 30 September 2010

Dark days at Delta Rail

This from Delta Rail...

In recent years we have continued to offer consultancy services in track and train engineering to meet customer demand, although the market for these services has been in decline.

We will now discontinue consultancy services in engineering design, trains electrical engineering, trains mechanical engineering, trains certification, track consultancy and on-call accident investigation. The impact of discontinuing these consultancy services will potentially be around 50 redundancies.

In line with our strategy we will now focus on the key areas that currently form 95% of group revenues and where we are looking forward to working with our customers on a number of exciting projects.

Presumably one of these exciting projects will be outplacement services?

DB expands Open Access offering

This little gem from the latest edition of Rail Professional...

Yeowart was reluctant to name the company that is funding Alliance, which, he explained, was happy to remain in the background for now. But a look at the Companies House website reveals all. The mystery backer is Arriva, which, of course, has just been bought out by Deutsche Bahn.

Eye wonders whether DB will bundle Alliance Rail into its other open access undertaking WSMR, or vice versa?

Perhaps WSMR will remain stand alone?

No doubt by Christmas all will be clear.

Baker solves rolling stock shortage - Shocker!

This from Eastbourne Today...

The December 2010 timetable changes confirm the 6.47pm service from London Victoria to Ore will increase the number of carriages continuing on to Eastbourne from four to eight once it splits at Haywards Heath after Norman Baker MP drew Southern Railway's attention to the problem.

Just fancy that!

Clearly we are all in this together - unless your MP is a junior transport minister.

Sadiq says... at #Lab10

Eye salutes Shadow Transport Secretary Sadiq Khan!

His barnstorming speech today at the Labour Party conference had the Fact Compiler splitting his sides!

Take this for instance:

But talking shop with my family made sure that I never forgot the shambles of a transport system we inherited from the Tories in 1997.

That would be the shambles of a transport system that Labour promised to undo in its 1997 manifesto and then didn't?

The shambles that saw a unified railway industry disaggregated with a resulting explosion in cost most of which occurred during Labour's watch?

Or this for instance:

And in London, we saw what Labour leadership can mean – upgrades to the tube, electronic ticketing, bus services transformed, the congestion charge, and a deal for Crossrail, a scheme which will contribute billions to Britain's economy.

Who can forget the triumph of Gordon and Shriti's PPP? The splendid benefits of which Londoners continue to enjoy to this very day.

No doubt the meaning of Labour's leadership will be evident on London Underground for years to come.

Or what about this:

The value of investment in new trains.

So where, Sadi' baby, are those long promised 1,300 vehicles. We are still waiting... mostly in overcrowded carriages or on platforms due to short formed trains!

Or perhaps even this:

Passengers will not pay more for less.

So pray tell who was it that set the policy that said passengers should pay above inflationary increases to travel by train after years of RPI-1% under the evil Conservatives? That's right, your predecessor at the Department for Transport, Alastair Darling. And in return Passengers got less carriage space, less catering and train travel became a whole lot less pleasant.

No matter.

Sadiq signed off his oration with the following:

We'll win the next General Election if we show people a vision of a better fairer Britain that they can believe in.

Possibly, but don't expect that we'll believe any of those promises for one second! Once bitten, twice shy.

First for stealth opening of stations

Exciting news from First Great Western!

A new station has joined the network - welcome to Penzanze!

Either that or the designer has been on the zider!

ODA invites tenders for Javelettes

Is David Higgins attempting to ingratiate himself with the railway before he moves to Network Rail?

This from an Invitation to Tender released by his current employer the Olympic Delivery Authority:

The ODA is seeking expressions of interest for the supply, management and operation of a number of sets of locomotives and coaches for use during the 2012 Olympic Games. The trains will provide late night additional capacity (as required) from any or all of the following London terminals: Euston, Kings Cross, Paddington and St. Pancras.

Perhaps he'll even consider waiving track access charges for these Javelettes in his new role?

UKPG offers insiders guide to transport

Telegrammed by Our International Correspondent
The UK Press Gazette is the monthly trade journal of choice for phone hackers, paparazzi and those who spend a lot of time badgering the BA press office for free tickets.

Its most recent edition furnishes readers with an eight page Insider’s Briefing to transport and how to cover it.

There-in the alumni of great communicators are all arrayed; including BBC transport men Tom Edwards (London) and Paul Clifton (South and from time to time Rail Professional), Julian Rush, who dabbles in transport for Channel 4, and John Ingham who covers the beat for the Daily Express and has done so for many years.

Interesting omissions include Robert Wright of the pink 'un and Philip Pank of The Thunderer. Perhaps, lurking behind paywalls, they are a bit harder to get hold of.

Part of the briefing lists Key Publications – recommended serious reading for those writing of wheel on rail.

Featured are Transport Times, Local Transport Today, and surprisingly, plucky little Railway Magazine. The listing helpfully gives editors email and phone numbers so they can be contacted for a swift vox pop should incident or other service perturbation occur.

Surprisingly neither RAIL nor Modern Railways gets a mention.

Meanwhile Mystic Wolmar was asked by UKPG to explain the dearth of ladies covering transport. He limply explained that “trains, planes and cars are quite male subjects of interest”.

With such searing insights a golden future for Wolmar's mellifluous tones remains assured at the nation's breakfast tables.