Friday, 1 October 2010

DfT pleads for responses to Future of Franchising

The Reforming Rail Franchising consultation document was originally published on the 22nd July 2010.

Eye understands that ministers have been "disappointed" by the number of responses to this consultation to date.

So the Saviour of the Jammy Dodger today launched this YouTube video to try and drum up some more responses.

As future franchising policy will effect the entire industry it is perhaps not a bad idea to think about responding.

The consultation document can be found here and the
closing date is the 18th October.

Remember vote early - vote often!

UPDATE: This from Sinoda...

Despite the change of background logo, Ms Villiers appears to be speaking from Eurostar's famous broom cupboard from where Richard Brown made his very memorable broadcasts.

And what to make of the final salvo from Mr Voiceover: "If you are unable to access this video, please contact the 'digital engagement team' at the Department for Transport, so we can arrange an alternative format".

Surely you wouldn't know who to contact unless you had watched the video?

UPDATE: This from Herb Aceous...

The video clip lasts 2 minutes and 45 seconds but the clap board at the end refers to a running time of 3 minutes 40 seconds.

What sundry delights were edited out I wonder?

"They shall not pass" claims Frenchies

This, surprisingly, from Generals Helmuth von Moltke (senior) and Alfred von Schlieffen...

Unser liebe Fact Compiler

Can we through Railway Eye pass on our congratulations to Herr Doktor Professor Wolmar on the timeliness of his latest book, Engines of War, on sale yesterday.

Today as the French try to prevent German trains running through the tunnel can we commend pages 71 to 88 and 133 to 159 of his meisterwerk detailing our respective rail strategies in 1870 and 1914 to your readers.

It would appear that having lost the competition to supply new trains for Eurostar, technically and commercially, the French have resorted to rule bending in an attempt to protect their archaic railway industry.

Nach St Pancras!

UPDATE: This from Our International Correspondent...

In their understandable resentment at the traditional intransigence of French Railways to be cowed by Die Bahn, the German generals overlook the historic fact that while their attempts to come this way have a poor sustainability record during the last century, plucky old Britain’s one attempt to go east past the Calais Up Starter on her own was more successful.

As part of a larger coalition of English-speaking nations on tour in 1944, the Walmington-On-Sea platoon used a pretty ramshackle collection of British and American kettles to run trains as far as the Rhine.

They then went on to Berlin using German kettles whose ownership had become a little confused following the total surrender of the Thousand Year Reich at Luneberg Heath.

Somehow, all this was done without EU Interoperability Regulations.

Perhaps the British Army Railway Squadron, soon to be disinvented by the spending review, could have one Last Hurrah nach Berlin!

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

Eurostar's new trains - did a cunning plan backfire?

Eurostar has run its procurement of 10 new trains in unprecedented secrecy.

The news came as a surprise to the most experienced industry watchers.

Eurostar avoided issuing an OJEU, which would have given the game away, by using the Link-up qualification system.


Could it be that the aim was to use Siemens as a stalking horse to cover up an order destined to go, naturellement, to Alstom?

After all, everyone in France knows that German trains could not match the commercial offer from the French champion.

But les sales boche cheated and put in a more attractive offer. A knock-out offer, in fact, which could not be refused.

And now Johny Crapaud is trying to rectify this unfortunate error.

One question remains.

Was Bombardier invited to bid?

Look across the Channel and weep

Compare and contrast:

This from the FT:

The French authorities have been accused of trying to block the first-ever order by an affiliate of SNCF, France’s national train operator, for non-French high-speed trains, after Eurostar named Germany’s Siemens preferred bidder for a new train fleet.

With this from Rail Business Intelligence...

Bombardier insiders continue to express their frustration at the lack of progress in developing a bi-mode version of the Class 22X DEMU... According to Bombardier, the company has held numerous meetings over the past three years with DfT...

So in France you can have whatever you want, as long as it is built by Alstom. Whilst in the UK you just can't.

Tom Winsor returns to Whitehall!

This from the Home Office...

The independent study, announced by Home Secretary Theresa May, will help bring modern management practices into policing and increase operational flexibility for the country’s 43 territorial forces.

Former Rail Regulator Tom Winsor will head the review, supported by professional advice from former West Midlands Chief Constable Sir Edward Crew and leading labour market economist Professor Richard Disney.

Eye hopes Tom has bought lots of batteries for that famous tape recorder...