Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Railfreight and Article 50

This from Hildegard of the Vinzgau...

As Parliament triggers Article 50, and starts the process of Brexit, let's remember that our railways have always been for moving trade, connecting people and opening up new horizons.

Long may it continue!

Mystic Wolmar on rolling stock procurement

This from Henry Hectare...

In the past Eye has been somewhat critical of a certain Mr Kipling's role in the procurement of new rolling stock.

The latest fleets for Thameslink, East Coast and Great Western were specified and procured by the DfT, often against the best advice of those who actually have to operate them, and not withstanding passenger (sorry - customer) fury about uncomfortable seating and the absence of wifi and sockets. 

No matter!

Surely this could all have been solved by simple recourse to the wise words of the World's Greatest Living Transport Correspondent?

But what do we find when we turn to an epistle from Mystic Wolmar, penned for the pages of RAIL Magazine in 2004, as Virgin Trains launched its first "tilting" Red Revolution timetable:

"It is obvious that the Voyagers or Pendolinos must not be used as the model for new rolling stock for inter-city services and let us hope the lessons from their failings are learned. The HSTs are going to need replacing, probably by the end of the decade, and the same mistake of having modern trains that are less pleasant than the ones they are replacing must not be repeated...

"The sensible option would be for the SRA – or, rather, its replacement – to commission a new design for the trains and insist that they be used on the Great Western franchise where most sets are required and for any other similar routes. Why should a franchisee design trains when they are but temporary holders of a management contract, especially given that when things go wrong, we all know who foots the bill."

Wise words indeed. If only Mr Kipling and his legions in the DfT had listened to Woemar's sage advice! (Is this right? Ed)

ORR fires starting gun on PR18

The ORR has issued a review initiation notice beginning the statutory process for the periodic review.

In a note sent yesterday to interested parties the ORR stated:

As part of PR18, we have today issued a formal notice confirming our intention to carry out a periodic review (known in law as an ‘access charges review’) of all track and station access agreements relating to Network Rail’s network. PR18 will determine what Network Rail Infrastructure Limited is expected to deliver and the funding that it is given in control period 6 (CP6), which we expect to run from 2019 to 2024. 
The notice also requires that the Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers each provide to us certain information by 20 July 2017. We expect this information will take the form of a high-level output statement (HLOS – setting out what should be achieved by railway activities in CP6) and a statements of funds available (SoFA – setting out the public financial resources that are expected to be made available to support the HLOS).
Our original timetable for PR18 envisaged that the HLOSs and SoFAs would be provided in May/June 2017. The date in our notice does not prevent the governments providing this information in line with this timescale, but provides additional time up to the UK Parliamentary recess, should this be required. This is consistent with the deadline given by us in previous periodic reviews.
Summer recess is expected to be on the 20 July 2017.
A generous right-time measurement from ORR.

Who will be the new MD of First/MTR SWT?

Time for an exciting Eye poll!

Using your skills and judgement select who is most likely to be new MD of First MTR South Western Trains.

The exclusive Eye poll is on the right hand side menu bar.

Remember, vote early vote often!