Thursday, 20 June 2013

Chunnel woes - but silver lining in sight

This from Judge Nutmeg...

The European Commission has today announced that it is taking proceedings against the UK and French Governments over their failure to comply with European railway law in the structure and regulation of the Channel Tunnel.  

In particular, the Commission is concerned that this non-compliance is causing prices for passengers and freight customers to be too high. 

No doubt this will be strongly opposed by the Governments, and long protracted court cases will follow.

Of course, if the European single market was working properly, one could rely on competitive powers to control prices; in this case competition from the alternative mode, cross channel ferries.

The same ferries in fact that the Competition Regulator has just banned Eurotunnel from buying, with multiple legal cases also heading to court.

The benefits of EU Membership for the Legal Profession can surely not be doubted even by Monsieur Farage and Co.

RDG parks tanks on Rosco lawns

This from Passenger Transport...

The Rail Delivery Group, the Department for Transport and franchise owning groups have begun initial discussions which could lead to train operating companies purchasing new trains directly rather than leasing them from the ROSCOs (rolling stock leasing companies).

Good news indeed.

Anything that emasculates those with a long term interest in the industry, whilst benefiting "thinly capitalised equity profiteers of the worst kind" has to be a good idea (Is this right? Ed).

Apparently First Group is already chomping at the bit to buy new rolling stock for its Great Western franchise.

According to Tim O'Toole, CEO of First Group:

We need more trains, and we’ve made this plain to the government, and they have got to allow this to happen”.

Quite so Tim and with First Group finances in such robust health it seems such a shame that Dai Woodham is no longer in business.

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Has DfT  Permanent Secretary Philip Rutnam taken a leaf from the General Galtieri Book of  Political Strategems?  

With his department's expensive in-house  procurement of IEP and Thameslink rolling stock under fire, how better to deflect criticism than attacking those nasty people in trade - the  'expensive' ROSCOs.

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...
At a recent meeting of the Rail Delivery Group one topic rasied was:
Rolling stock – issues emerging on value for money.

Can it be that they have woken up to the ludicrous cost of the Great Western and East Coast
Ninky Nonk train ?
Probably not. We suspect that the real concern is the blood-sucking rentals being charged by the Roscos for err.. Pacers.


ORR hopes for 25% uplift in satisfaction

Exciting news from those masters of railway finances - the ORR!

Here is the feedback form from yesterday's ORR industry periodic review 2013 bash in London.

Good to see those charged with the very big numbers can't get a grip on the, er, small numbers..!!

Perhaps option 5 is a reflection of ORR's very own Optimism Bias?