Thursday, 5 November 2009

Pointless signs - LU mistooks

First for not running trains

Eye wonders if Elaine Holt might have any spare time between now and the 13th November to fix a small problem.

Apparently her old TOC isn't running any trains on the Great Northern route this Sunday.

Something to do with driver shortages.

Surely they haven't all been recruited by DOR as well?

UPDATE: This from The Sussex Driver...

FCC are indeed short of drivers at the moment, both on the GN and Thameslink routes.

This is being compounded by First Group awarding the driving grade a 0% pay rise, backdated to April!

As I'm sure you'll appreciate, the brothers aren't exactly best pleased, and have told them to shove rest day working up their siding, hence no GN services this Sunday.

Last Saturday evening it was buses between Bedford and London because of the shortage, and so far there have been over 100 services cancelled on the Thameslink route in the last two weeks.

Lookalike - Dor Who

Fire Coucher demands ASLEF

This from ASLEF...

Train drivers’ union ASLEF is calling for the dismissal of Network Rail chief Iain Coucher after an enquiry yesterday revealed ‘gross incompetence’ which contributed to three deaths at the Halkirk level crossing in Caithness last month.

Strong words from the brothers, in advance of the full enquiry which is to take place later in the year.

DOR caught on hop by Adonis NXEC decision

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Directly Operated Railways seems to have been taken by surprise by the decision to bring forward the termination date of the National Express East Franchise by a month.

Until this week DOR was working on taking over at the timetable change on 13th December.

Now it is 13th November - just over a week away.

Had they had a subscription to the Orange Peril, otherwise known as Rail Business Intelligence, they would have found on the City Page of the October 29 issue an erudite analysis of the NXEC burn rate.

This showed that the franchise was losing £1.27m a week and had £6 million left in the kitty as of 30th September.

So it was pretty clear that NXEC was going to run out of money well before 13th December.

Perhaps DOR was hoping that all those cheap advance purchase tickets NXEC has been flogging would boost revenue - despite other operators experience showing it hammering the revenue line.

UPDATE: This from Charles Yerkes...

DOR still appears to be caught on the back foot judging by their website.

It still has no mention of the momentous news...

UPDATE: This from Lobby Fodder...

I'm not surprised that DOR has been caught out.

There were 'animated discussions' and raised voices late into last night, between party spin doctors and Treasury officials, over how the renationalisation was to be portrayed.

Judging from today's low key announcement the Treasury won.

Adonis pulls plug on NXEC - Official Statement

Franchised Rail Services: Update

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): Further to my statements on 1 July 2009 [Official Report, Col.225 and Official Report, Col. WS 24] on East Coast main line rail services, after the close of the markets yesterday I notified National Express East Coast Ltd that I am terminating their franchise with effect from 11:59 pm on 13 November.

The publicly owned East Coast Main Line company will take over running of this franchise from that time, with an orderly handover from National Express East Coast. I can assure the travelling public that services will continue without disruption and all tickets will be honoured.

Staff currently employed by National Express East Coast will transfer to the East Coast Main Line company under the Transfers of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE), with the necessary statutory consultation.