Thursday, 11 May 2017

TfL shows how we deliver the service

This from TfL, is brilliant!

Finally somebody acknowledges those who make our industry happen.

Day in. Day out. And safely. We get you home!

The Worrying Case of the Global Market

Overheard at Railtex...

I must says, Holmes, it certainly makes you proud to see that so many rolling stock manufacturers see such potential in the British market that they have taken such large stands at Railtex this year. One can only hope that many are thinking of building their new trains here in the UK?

Indeed so, Watson, and I noticed the enthusiastic manner in which you attacked the buffet on the Stadler stand.

Speaking of which, Holmes, I could not but observe the cordiality with which the Swiss welcomed you.  Do you have some connection with their agent?

No, Watson, while I am not averse to a bottle of Mr Wilson’s Crémant, the connection goes back much further.  You will not need to be reminded that the Reichenbach Falls are also in Switzerland.

Ah, yes indeed, Holmes.

Now to business Watson! You will have noted the significance of Derby based Bombardier’s contribution to Railtex,  especially as they are rumoured to have won the order to build new trains for the London and South Western franchise?

But Holmes, I don’t think I have seen a Bombardier stand here today or heard any mention of train manufacturing in Derby.

That, Watson, is the significance.  

RFG publishes rail freight 'manifesto'

As ever the Rail Freight Group is quick off the mark!

RFG managed to publish their manifesto the day before Labour's was leaked!

Headlines here:

Rail Freight Group (RFG) has set out its priorities for the new Government and called on party leaders to include rail freight as part of their transport commitments.

Rail freight is a key part of UK’s freight and logistics, moving a quarter of all containerised imports from the nation’s port to consumers, delivering 40% of the construction aggregates used in London and the South East’s building boom, and underpinning key industrial sectors such as steel. Government action is key to providing a framework which allows rail freight to prosper, and allow the private sector operators and customers to invest for the future.

Our five priorities are:

1. Put Rail Freight at the heart of post Brexit trade links

2. Invest in rail freight infrastructure and technology

3. Provide a stable environment for freight to enable private sector investment

4. Restore and promote rail freight grants to support new services

5. Enable the development of modern fit for purpose terminals


The full Rail Freight Group manifesto can be found here.

Leaked Labour Manifesto - Transport

Here is the Transport section of Labour's leaked manifesto:

Labour will invest in a modern, integrated, accessible transport system that is reliable and affordable.

Our transport systems illustrate the abject failure of Tory policies: relentless deregulation, privatisation and fragmentation.

They say we get choice and efficiency but the reality of their transport privatisations has been that services are less reliable, safety is compromised, fares have risen, ticketing has become complicated and public health has worsened.

On rail we pay the highest fares in Europe for an increasingly unreliable and overcrowded service.

The beneficiaries of public funding siphoned off through transport privatisations have been the rocketing earnings of directors, dividends for shareholders, and the coffers of overseas governments. 

A different system is possible. A Labour government will prioritise public service over private profit. and we will start by bringing our railways back into public ownership, as franchises expire. 

A Labour government will introduce a Public Ownership of the Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways.

In public ownership, we will deliver real improvements for passengers by freezing fares, introducing free wi-fi across the network, ensuring safe staffing levels and ending driver only operation, and by improving accessibility for disabled people. 

A publicly owned railway system can be the backbone of our plans for integrated transport. It will be built on the platform of Network Rail, already in public ownership, and consider establishing a new public rolling stock company. 

A Labour government will complete the HS2 high speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, and then into Scotland, consulting with communities affected about the optimal route. 

A Labour government will invest to regenerate the local and regional economies across the whole country, so that every area gets its fair share of transport investment. 

A Labour government will link HS2 with other new investments, such as Crossrail of the North.

To harness the economic potential of new technologies and science we will complete the Science Vale transport arc, from Oxford to Cambridge through Milton Keynes. To prepare for global new trade arrangements, we will study the feasibility of port development in Southampton and Avonmouth as well as Liverpool, Hull and Birmingham. 

In London, to ensure our capital continues to prosper, we will build Crossrail 2 and devolve responsibilities for running the commuter train lines to the Transport for London authority.

We will invest in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, too, working with devolved administrations through the National Infrastructure Commission.

Our plans for will encourage and enable people to get out of their cars, for better health and a cleaner environment.

Across the country we will enable the creation of municipal bus companies, publicly run for passengers not profit.

We will introduce regulations to designate and protect routes of critical community value, including those that serve local schools hospitals and isolated settlements in rural areas.

We will better regulate the licensed taxi and private carriage hire sectors in the knowledge that new technologies, consumer service and public safety all require competitive playing field between these sectors to be levelled.

We will invite the National Infrastructure Commission to recommend the next stages for developing and upgrading the National Cycle Network.

We will continue to upgrade our highways and improve road works at known bottlenecks. !he A1 North, the Severn Bridge and the A30 provide essential connections and require our urgent consideration.

We will refocus the roads building and maintenance programmes on road safety, connecting our communities, feeding public transport hubs and realising untapped economic potential.

Our rail freight programme on a publicly owned railway will leave our roads freer and our air cleaner.

Labour supports the expansion of aviation capacity and we will continue to support the work of the Airports Commission. 

We will continue working with our neighbours through the European Union’s Highways of the Seas and by negotiating to retain membership of the Common Aviation Area and Open Skies arrangements.

Unclear at this stage whether Labour is looking to nationalise rail freight.

UPDATE: An Eye notes that the Airports Commission hasn't existed for two years!