Friday, 20 March 2009

Crossrail news from Franchise Frankie

Telegrammed by Franchise Frankie
Seen the stuff in NCE?

Didn't have it all but looks like we're in for a US Double on project delivery on Crossrail - CH have secured programme partner and Doug O is recommending Bechtel for pdp according to our little friend in the CLRL bunker, so looking at platoons of US execs for both roles flying backwards and forwards with the rest swept up from the growing ranks of offloaded project managers coming out of stopped jobs all over the place.

What's ridiculous is that he goes for this but there will be nothing for new talent and nothing coming out of it how many jobs did they create on the jubilee?

Boris has left him in the swamp re boris island and hoon will not save him.

Could end up messy because you can bet Rob will have another look at it next month and to be honest we're all waiting for him to come in and give it a bit of direction as is PH. no love lost there.

Give me a call if you are in tfl vicinity next week

UPDATE: This from Paul...

Keep an eye on the NCE's newly revamped website.

"NCE for unrivalled engineering disaster coverage."

It is even funnier when you see that the Transcend story is just below it.

All together now...

Telegrammed by Alfred J Prufrock
Question: What is the book life of trains?
Answer: 30-35 years

Question: So given an even spread from new through to about to be scrapped what would the average age be?
Answer: 15-17 years.

Of course this only applies if you are replacing 300 or so vehicles a year

Question: How many vehicles are DafT replacing a year?
Answer: None

In which case we're in a Hymns Ancient and Modern Situation.

Change and decay in all around I see.
Funder of the railways oh invest in me.

Last train

Telegrammed by The Raver
Exciting news from Network Rail.

According to a press release issued today there is to be...



One without trains.

First for redundancies

This from Transport Briefing...

Some 600 posts are slated to go at the company's rail division, which includes the Scotrail, First Great Western and First Capital Connect franchises and a stake in the TransPennine Express venture run in partnership with French transport firm Keolis.

Perhaps they'll be sent on their way with a copy of Moir's lovely book?

IEP Farm

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
This written answer given in the House of Commons on the 18th March:

Theresa Villiers (Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Transport; Chipping Barnet, Conservative) | Hansard source
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department assessed Bombardier's bid under the Intercity Express Programme contract to be substantially compliant with the specifications set by his Department.

Paul Clark (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport; Gillingham, Labour)
Both bids, from Agility Trains and from Express Rail Alliance (which includes Bombardier) were of a very high quality and were deemed substantially compliant.

How did Orwell put it? All trains are substantially compliant, but some are more substantially compliant than others?

Station usage shocker

Telegrammed by The Master
You may remember the little faux pas from the spotters who run the 'Going Loco' forum where they managed to confuse reopening an old railway line with a brand-new one.

Well, it seems that they're at it again.

They've attempted some analysis of the latest station usage figures from ORR and come up with this gem:

"In a rather disappointing finding for the newly opened Ebbw Vale line the 2 stations with the lowest usage are both on it. Crosskeys was the least used station with 8 people in the 2007/08 period. 2nd least used station was Llanhilleth with 10."

Hardly surprising really.

Llanhilleth (28th April 2008) was opened three weeks after the reporting period and Crosskeys opened two months (7th June 2008) after the reporting period!

A career with DaFT certainly beckons.

UPDATE: This from an 'Anonymous' reader...

They've come up with another stunner today in their 'Front page news'

"The Rail Regulator has published its report on the average of rolling stock on the network, which shows that the average age has risen to a five year high. [b]The average age is now 15.5 years, compared to 15.7 in the Summer of 2004[/b]."


One hopes that putative careers at DafT have nothing to do with statistical analysis.

UPDATE: This from a completely 'Anonymous' reader...

I had hitherto thought that was patently obvious ...

Tom - we still miss you

Railway Eye mourned the departure of former rail minister Tom Harris.

And here is an example why...

I shall be raising this with the minister.

To see a video of the incident concerned click here...

A shame the same level of common sense doesn't exist amongst the TOCs