Friday, 20 May 2011

DfT issues West Coast franchise Super Injunction

Amidst yesterday's McNulty excitement Petrol-head also confirmed that re-franchising of InterCity West Coast has been delayed.

"Because relaxation of full prescription of train services in line with Sir Roy's recommendations was not signalled in the consultation document that we published on 19 January, I have decided that it is right and proper to consult on these proposals again, starting today, and ending on 17 August.

"As a consequence of this decision, Mr Speaker, I can inform the House that the new franchise on the Intercity West Coast will now be awarded in August 2012, after a competitive process involving the four shortlisted train operators, and will commence operations on 9th December 2012.

"The Department will seek to agree acceptable terms with the existing franchisee for a contract extension to 9th December 2012, but Directly Operated Railways Ltd, the Government-owned company that runs East Coast, will be ready to operate the franchise between April and December 2012 if necessary."

Good news indeed.

And comforting to see that the ICWC ITT contains its very own Super Injunction:

Here's to transparent bid processes and Open Government!

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

As the British Transport Police are soon to be armed presumably any bidders who transgress this injunction will be shot?

Villiers vignettes - Customer focused franchises

This from Cruella...

Written answers and statements, 18 May 2011

Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Plaid Cymru)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for the Great Western franchise beyond 2013.

Theresa Villiers (Minister of State (Rail and Aviation), Transport; Chipping Barnet, Conservative)

The specification for the new franchise, to commence in 2013, will be developed over the next year in consultation with the railway industry and stakeholders.

No mention of listening to actual passengers then?

IEP's first test run - Exclusive Video

This from Barry Spotter...

The video below shows the benefit of the bi-mode design to full advantage, as the prototype unit makes headway by making best use of its available traction packages.

Captain Deltic will be delighted to see that the suspected weight-versus-performance issues have clearly been recognised and remedied through lightweight body construction.

So let us hear no more criticism of DfT's excellent HST replacement programme!

Rail Delivery Group membership analysed

This from John...

I read with interest your recent piece on the new Railway Delivery Group.

What an interesting selection of people who have been chosen to deliver our new-and-improved railway.

They are:

  • The head of one owner group who publicly referred to DfT as 'dysfunctional and deceitful'
  • The head of a nationalised TOC that replaced two failed private sector operators
  • A representative of the group that last ran the failed franchise above and which is in the process of losing its remaining two franchises
  • A formerly successful British transport company which has since been bought by German State Railways and has had its assets sold off to the Italians
  • A nominee of the Dutch State Railways
  • A major British franchise operator whose only franchise may be nationalised next year as the government can’t decide what to do with it when it expires
  • The transport group that is handing a major franchise back early to save money
  • An executive from one owner group who will shortly join Network Rail's board
  • A successful British freight operator, which is now owned by the Baharainis
  • A nominee of German State Railways
  • Two representatives from the Infrastructure controller
  • And all records to be kept by a member of the Railway Heritage Committee
All bodes well for a bright new future!!

UPDATE: This from Bacon Butty...

Interestingly there is no financier representation on the new Rail Delivery Group.

Perhaps private sector investment in our railways is no longer required?

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

One unintended consequence of nationalisation is that the new Rail Delivery Group will not fall foul of Harriet Harperson's Equality Act...

UPDATE: This from the Globetrotter...

Whoops, I see no French freight operator amongst the forward-looking membership of this dynamic new industry leadership group.

Like all of the new entrants and open access competitors, the blue team appears to have been passed over in favour of the usual suspects from the ex-incumbents and/or state-owned nominees.

The green team, which I think is the organisation in question, is in fact owned by a Bahrain investment group, so the boys in red braces are not entirely overlooked.

Of course, the German-owned red team is represented by a French-Canadian, so at least the linguistic pot-pourri remains intact.

With the Scots supplying an American and the thin controller hailing from Brisbane, we have a truly British line-up going forward.

The Fact Compiler stands corrected - post amended.

McNulty - Transform Scotland gets it!

Exciting news for ScotRail passengers!

This press release from Transform Scotland...

Not so much a request as a dead certainty.