Tuesday, 12 October 2010

First unveils budget train fleet

Exciting news from First Group's Sir Moir Lockhead.

The DfT's favourite operator is determined to show how, in the Age of Austerity, it is possible to get more train fleet for your pennies.

Here Sir Moir receives the first of his new Value for Money trains from Man with Beard.

First strenuously denied that the challenging dimension of the new vehicles would cause overcrowding problems.

University of Aberdeen computer modelling has shown the new fleet will comfortably meet demand for rail travel after January's fare increases.

Villiers vignettes... not us Guv', talk to DOR...

Tom Harris may not have a Shadow ministerial role but he is still more than able to expose nonsense from the Government front bench.

This extraordinary written response to a Harris PQ given in the House yesterday:

Tom Harris (Glasgow South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans there are for use of Pendolino rolling stock for service on the East Coast Main Line; and what assumptions were made about the availability of rolling stock when the East Coast Main Line 2011 timetable was being prepared.

Theresa Villiers (Minister of State (Rail and Aviation), Transport; Chipping Barnet, Conservative)
We are aware of discussions that Directly Operated Railways have had about the use of a new Pendolino set on the east coast main line. This is an operational matter for Directly Operated Railways.

Additional rolling stock is not required for the operation of the May 2011 east coast timetable, which has been developed on the assumption that it will be operated using the existing east coast fleet.

So Villiers and her officials are claiming that the discussions about commissioning a new Pendolino on the East Coast Main Line was all Rail Barbie's idea and her's alone?

Eye does not believe this for one moment.

It is inconceivable that these discussions could have taken place without support from the highest level within DfT - after all Marsham Street is paying for the new trains.

How quickly the Saviour of the Jammy Dodger has become complicit in DafT's machinations!

Quiet Zone enforcement

Eye has been sent this Customer Service training video from an unnamed TOC.

Sadly it appears to promote a form of behaviour that is strictly against the law.

Perhaps you can spot where it is at fault?

That is correct.

The Man-with-no-name appears to be smoking.

ACoRP - his master's voice?

Oh dear.

It would appear that DafT's running dogs have been instructed to savage all those expressing views at variance with the wisdom that emanates from Marsham Street.

Amidst the news of scarecrows, flower gardens and coffee mornings this rather caustic comment appears in the October edition of ACoRP's Train on Line:

In the same issue [of New Transit] Richard Malins opines from his planet, wherever it is, that the benefits of gating are mythical...

The piece continues...

There’s a particularly interesting article by Adrian Wheatley [in Railway Strategies] on what stations should offer (including ‘live’ rather than recorded announcements and restricting access to non-travellers – are you reading this Mr Malins?)

Perhaps a little strong?

No matter.

Good to know that ACoRP has added revenue protection modelling to its current skillset of weeding, dusting and hanging bunting.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Malins of that Ilk!

Perhaps you could illustrate the news in your organ that I am being savaged by the DfT's running dogs with this picture, which was used to demonstrate the alleged benefits of ticket barriers in said letter to "Transit", and comes to us courtesy of Passenger Focus.

That letter went on to point out that these benefits are to be brought to East Coast passengers at King's Cross, a scheme piloted by Rail Barbie (self confessed no less) and, she tells me, to be installed on Platforms 0 - 5 by February 2011.

Sadly I am not a subscriber to ACoRP so I don't know what I am actually accused of in Train on Line, but I don't imagine, even in DfT's wildest dreams, that many stations they sponsor will get gated.