Tuesday, 9 October 2012

DfT: Throwing good money after...

According to Her Majesty's Daily Telegraph...

The Department for Transport has asked headhunters to search for senior managers who could run the West Coast rail franchise on behalf of the state-backed Directly Operated Railways (DOR) from December 9.

A spokesman for the DfT said the decision to appoint recruiters was part of the department’s “contingency planning” to determine whether a senior management team could be found quickly enough if the DOR is put in charge of the franchise.

What a lot of wags there are in the Department for Transport!

Safety cases not withstanding.

And precisely how much is this costing and who is paying?

UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic...

Is this the smoking gun that proves an 'ABB' mindset really exists?

Bernard Holden RIP - Saviour of the Bluebell

This from the Mid Sussex Times...

THE funeral of Bernard Holden who helped to found the Bluebell Railway, will take place next Tuesday (October 16) at 12.30pm.

Mr Holden died on October 4 at St Clare’s Care Home at St George’s Retreat in Ditchling. He was 104. 

His funeral will take place at St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling, followed by a private burial.

No flowers please but donations should go to the Bluebell Railway Trust via R.A Brooks & Son, Haywards Heath

Bernard was lauded as a railwayman, war hero and preservationist by the Daily Telegraph.

Where are they now - Roger Salmon

Introducing an exciting new Eye feature!

The first in an occasional series designed to help Patrick McLoughlin and Richard Brown determine the right way forward for contracted passenger services.

Roger Salmon is here.

That is all.

RDG meeting to discuss support for Brown review

Eye understands that the Rail Delivery Group is meeting to discuss how it might assist Richard Brown's Review into Franchising.

This is a massively important piece of work for the future of the passenger railway and also for ensuring that both fare and tax payers get value for money.

Therefore, Eye wishes their discussions well this evening.

That is all.

Arriva XC meets WiFi obligations

This from CrossCountry...

With fitment on 221133 completed on 21st September, all CrossCountry Voyagers and HSTs now have WiFi installed (and working!).

Good news indeed!

But what's this?

Users of CrossCountry's WiFi are apparently unable to view Railway Eye!

No doubt a temporary technical glitch?

UPDATE: The Fact Compiler offers a mea culpa!

This post updated from a CrossCountry Voyager using the trains WiFi!

Access restored!

Industry sets agenda for McLoughlin speech?

This from Scotch Corner...

In light of the Secretary of State's comments at the Tory Party conference yesterday I wonder if the below might have informed his thinking?

Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:16 pm
The 17.40 Skegness - Carnforth has failed at Swineshead with the rear 4 coaches fouling the A17 level crossing. Both 47760 and 47500 are on the front and neither can be got going.

Stock is vacuum braked only and nearest dual braked loco is 47798 apparently. Crossing blocked at 19.15 and ETA for 47798 is midnight. One network rail man plus WCRC guard having to direct traffic

Is this, perchance, the sort of "mix-modal" that Mr McLoughlin was inveighing against?

On planet Vulcan railways are nationalised

Welsh national anthem mangling MP John Redwood has been having a go at Network Rail.

Not unsurprisingly he is concerned that over the last year the infrastructure operator "had to write off £567 million from the value of all the derivatives and financial instruments it holds."

Money which, the Vulcan believes (and probably quite rightly), could be better spent in his Wokingham constituency on "a bridge over the railway line to ease congestion" and "a new station", as well as "safer level crossings" nationally. 

So far so good. 

But then he has to go and spoil it all. 

He concludes his blogpost with the following: 

"I was less amused to learn from the borough council that Network Rail wants to charge the council a fee for suggesting a bridge over the railway line to try to tackle safety and congestion... 

"And they are meant to be a nationalised public service.".

Perhaps he'd like to remind Gideon and the National Audit Office of this fact?

NR launches new Level Crossing TV ad

This from Network Rail...

Network Rail yesterday launched a new TV, radio and online advertising campaign as part of its level crossing awareness programme. It hopes the campaign adverts will make people more aware that they should treat approaching rail footpath crossings as they would a busy road, even in quiet rural area.

The £1m campaign will run for three weeks across terrestrial national and regional television and on satellite channels such as Sky Sports, Sky 1, Dave and FiveUSA. To gain maximum exposure the advert will appear alongside popular shows such as Coronation Street and Downton Abbey. It will also be on video on demand channels including itv.com and will be promoted via social media channels including Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

Good effort.