Friday, 9 March 2012

East Coast goes MAD for Railway Children

This from John Gelson over at East Coast...

I thought Eye readers might be interested in East Coast's support for the Railway Children's MAD Day - passenger reaction has been fantastic!

Here customer Alistair McKenzie buys a cake at the café-bar counter for the Railway Children charity from (left to right) Customer Service Assistant Jason Armstrong; Head of Catering Mark Tarry; and East Coast Chairman Michael Holden.

Michael said: “We’re delighted at the wonderful support for today’s Railway Children fundraising from our customers and our staff. It’s also been a great opportunity to work alongside some of our fantastic people, and see at first hand their work to help passengers as they travel.

“Together, we’ve raised funds for a very important cause and had a lot of fun at the same time. My thanks go to everyone who has helped with this memorable and enjoyable day.”

Good effort!

Charitably minded readers can donate to the Railway Children here.

UPDATE: This from East Coast...

Train company East Coast is thanking thousands of passengers who helped raise £10,000 in just one day to make a difference to children living on the streets.

Command Paper - Measuring progress

This from Captain Deltic...

Celebrating 19 years of government meddling

John Major in 1993 - "British Rail is deeply inefficient"

Command Paper in 2012 - "The rail industry... remains unacceptably inefficient."

Progress indeed!

Command Paper 'great leap forward'

This from Our Man at 222 Marylebone Road...

Readers of Soviet Weekly's reports of party conferences in the 1950s will recognise the style of this extract from the Command Paper:

While promoting and protecting the achievements of recent years, we will now focus the industry on collaboration to achieve world-beating excellence in efficiency and in serving its customers – the taxpayer, passenger and the freight industry. Only by making sure everyone in the industry has clear objectives and aligned incentives will we be able to secure our objectives. Partnership working and driving behavioural change in the industry will be at the centre of our strategy for securing the savings we want.

Applause, prolonged and stormy applause, all stand, Cries of 'All power to the Coalition and Secretary Greening'.

Deltic rails at Deadwood's history rewrite

The mad Vulcan is at it again.

This near illiterate anti-rail rant from Redwood's blog:

Listening today to criticisms of the governemnt’s aim to get the UK railway system to a similar level of efficiency as contiental systems by reducing some 30% of cost, I was struck by people telling me our system is dearer becausee it is privatised. I seem to remember passanger numbers and freight volumes rising strongly, and subsidies falling, when it was fully privatised. Then costs and subsidies rose swiftly again ocne the main part of the railway, the track and signals were renationalised. The old nationalised monopoloy had a poor record with falling use, safety problems and high levels of subsidy.

Happily the Welsh national anthem mangling car-loon has been neatly fisked by Captain Deltic in the blog's comment section:

You claim, presumably from Conservative mythology that “the old nationalised monopoloy had a poor record with falling use, safety problems and high levels of subsidy”.

Fact. Between 1983 amd 1989/90 subsidy fell, at 1989/90 prices from £1,329 m to £587m.

Fact: Over the same period Government subsidy as a share of total passenger revenue fell from45% to 25%. Today it’s around 50%

Fact. Ridership increased from 18.3 bn passenger miles to 20.9bn (21.3bn in 1988/89.

Fact: Over the same period Freight tonnage was down slightly from 145.1 m tonnes to 143.1m (149.5m in 1988/89)

Fact: By 2000 when Railtrack was forced into adminstration passenger miles were 23.7 billion and freight tonnage lifted down to 95.4 million.

1989/90 is chosen deliberately because it marks the end of the economic cycle. Note that passenger ridership in 2000 had only just topped the 1988/89 peak.

Good effort and happy birthday Captain Deltic!

That is all.

Fares consultation - slapdash is the word!

This from Mrs A P Tis...

May I salute the Department for Transport for living up to its legendary reputation for attention to detail?

A quick perusal of the Fares & Ticketing consultation document, published on the DfT website yesterday afternoon, reveals incomplete sentences and sections at the bottom of several pages.

Naughty naughty!

If you were passenger and hadn't completed certain journeys you could expect a fine.

Can someone at Marsham Street please get a grip!

The future of railway Smart-ticketing - Exclusive

This from a Mr Rabid Burns...

I can exclusively reveal the details of the new DfT smart-ticketing systems that the Command Paper referenced.

This is the fruit of years of hard work by highly paid consultants and already has its own b
rand name - "IET" (or Intercity Express Ticketing).

Similar in size to Oyster cards the new IET smart-tickets will be rolled out across the network in coming months.

For ease of use the IET will be supplied with a handy pocket sized printer. Plug the printer into the ticket and it will seamlessly produce a small wood pulp based object, on which there will be impressions of words and numbers. These will suggest where the journey starts and ends, together with a use by date.

Passengers can also easily extend the range of their IET by purchasing a BiMode Plus module (a small car battery) that will power the new smart-ticket across areas of the network lacking electric power.

Phase 2 of the roll out is likely to see the printer and BiMode Plus complimented by a personal ticket gate - similar in size to an airport body scanner - for use at stations without gatelines.

All the above lightweight kit (140lbs) will be imported from Asia, assembled by Sid and Doris Bonkers in their Neasden shed and badged British Made.

I think you will agree that this innovative IET concept will be welcomed by passengers and place Britain once again at the forefront of railway ticketing!

UPDATE: This from ticketing expert @SWLines...

ou'll need one for each owning group, as none of it will be interoperable.