Wednesday, 1 June 2011

World's most ironic headline - Official!

This from the Communist Party!

RAIL: On the wrong track

Eye supposes that this knowledge comes from experience?

Villiers vignettes - Can't count, won't count

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
According to Cruella de Villiers, responding to yet another train spotterish question from Maria the Eagle...

Given in a written answer given on the 24th May:

It is expected that 112 vehicles will be built (for Thameslink) during 2014-15 which will make 10 full train length equivalent diagrams.

That's clever, since Thameslink has 12 car trains and the last time I recited my Tables 10 twelves were 120.

Can it be long before Cruella ends up at the Treasury?

UPDATE: This from @Al_S (via Twitter)...

Might 112 carriages be 8x12-car trains plus 2x8-car?

Not all the TL stock will 12 car.

TIE goes from strength to strength

Good news for fans of Tram schemes!

This from The Scotsman...

The four non-executive directors of TIE are understood to have quit last week following the departure of chief executive Richard Jeffrey.

The four men are Neil Scales, the chief executive of Mersey- Travel, Brian Cox, a former board member at Stagecoach, Scottish Government official Kenneth Hogg and Peter Strachan, who previously worked for Network Rail.

Heavy rail good. Light rail better?

Green Hammond Eggs

This for fans of Dr Seuss...

Okay - there were no eggs.

NR produces Rolling Stock RUS

This from GJ Churchward...

So Network Rail has published a Rolling Stock RUS!

Eye readers can discover the salient points here:

We have published the draft for consultation of the Network Route Utilisation Strategy: Passenger Rolling Stock.

The Network RUS: Passenger Rolling Stock focuses on the opportunities and efficiencies which arise when purchasing new rolling stock. It considers the requirements of passengers in each market sector. It then demonstrates how planning the rolling stock and infrastructure together can enable the network to become more inter-operable to enable rolling stock to go anywhere it is needed to serve its nominated market sector.

Given the cost of purchasing new rolling stock, opportunities, to exploit economies of scale which could be achieved from simplifying the types of vehicles available and smoothing the profile of procurement are particularly important.

The emerging strategy of the RUS draft for consultation recommends:

  • The procurement of new rolling stock should consider the requirements of passengers in the market sector it is required to serve as well as the network infrastructure it will run over
  • Rolling stock procurement decisions should seek to take advantage of economies of scale and continuity of production
  • The infrastructure should be planned to enable rolling stock to be more interoperable (within the market sector it serves)
Stangely no mention of the advisability of the wheels being round though.

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

According to NR the RS-RUS also finds that:

  • Owing to the plethora of different vehicle designs 8% (£75m) of average procurement costs is on non-recurring costs associated with the development of bespoke rolling stock
Does this £75m include the £27m sunk to date into the bespoke Incredibly Expensive Procurement (without a single new vehicle to show for it)?

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

According to the Executive summary of Network Rail's Rolling Stock RUS:

Information provided by a number of train manufacturers through RIA, suggests that there are considerable economies of scale to be had from reducing the variety of different rolling stock designs. Based on this information, it is estimated that in the region of £75 million or eight per cent of the average procurement cost is spent on non-recurring costs including research and development of bespoke rolling stock

Hang on a moment!

If £75 million represents 8% of the average procurement cost, then the average rolling stock contract must be £837 million - say 500-600 vehicles

But when was the last time a brand new fleet of that size was ordered in the UK?

And isn't the reallity that the piddling little orders that have been placed have been repeats for more 'Desistars'?

What's going on?

UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic...

I quote:

The analysis in the RUS suggests that a 23 metre vehicle could be deployed across a Considerable amount of the network with relatively low costs for infrastructure interventions.

Look out of the window, Chaps.

It's called a Mk3 coach and it's been doing just that for 35 years.

The Fact Compiler offers the following Old Railway Wisdom - If 'three across and one on top' can get there, anything will get there!