Thursday, 30 March 2017

Silence of lambs as South Western fleets displaced

This from from Daddy Warbucks...

First MTR seem intriguingly reticent about the collateral damage from their new train bonanza for the South Western franchise.  

Asked by the jackals of the railway press about the implications for SWT's existing fleets all they will confirm is that the Class 707s (Angel - £240 million investment) will definitely be replaced.  

As for the expensively reconstructed Class 458/5s (Porterbrook £65 million) and currently-being-expensively-retractioned Class 455s (Porterbrook £40 million), the rest is silence - at least until after the standstill period.

Still Angel had the foresight to specify dual voltage for the Class 707s. And also now has the opportunity to spend even more millions on refurbishing and retractioning the 18 Plastic Pigs, AKA Class 442.

Our man who prefers letters to Class Numbers points out that under the Mk 3 Coach bodies of the  5WES is traction equipment from the legendary 4REPs which weighed 175 tonnes, had the power of a Class 55 Deltic and a notional maximum speed of 100 mile/h if someone was looking.

Let's hope whoever gets the contract to re-traction the Class 442s maintains this hooligan tradition. After all, they do hold the speed record on 750 Volt DC third rail.

RIA ups its lobbying game

New Railway Industry Association CEO Darren Caplan is making his mark.

According to both Railnews and Railway Gazette International RIA issued a statement yesterday on the back of the Article 50 activation:

"Brexit presents the industry with both challenges and opportunities’, said Chief Executive Darren Caplan. "The Railway Industry Association will seek to be specifically included in any Brexit agreement negotiated, ensuring UK railways sit alongside automotive and aerospace as one of the Department for Exiting the EU’s top transport sectors.

"Additionally, we will work with the UK government to maintain trade in as frictionless a manner as possible, for example on standards and tariffs; and we will seek to ensure our industry continues to have access to an adequate supply of skilled labour from the UK and around the world, regardless of the outcome of these negotiations."

Although perhaps a shame that you can't yet find it on the news section of the RIA website...

A couple of good causes for your attention...

If you have a spare minute or two?

Wolmar has asked that you consider signing this petition to have the provision of on-train defibrillators discussed in Parliament

And here, Driver Potter is after the price of a pint to return the 4VEP to the mainline.

Ah, go on, go on, go on, go on...