Thursday, 31 August 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Sleaford

This from Dogboxdriver...

Here is the Sleaford North Jn - Sleaford West Jn single line, showing how well Mr Verster's famed vegetation control policy is working so far.

Photo taken during an assessment ride, in case anyone should ask!

Railway Garden Competition - Derby

A wonderful example of the plantsman's craft.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

RAIB on Waterloo collision

RAIB has confirmed it is conducting an investigation into the 15th August derailment at Waterloo.

The RAIB statement says:

The collision occurred because a set of points were misaligned and directed the passenger train away from its intended route. The misalignment was a consequence of a temporary modification to the points control system which also caused the train driver and signaller to receive indications that the points were correctly aligned.

Our investigation will examine:

  • the circumstances leading to installation of the temporary control system modification
  • the safety measures provided while the temporary modification was in place
  • the checking and testing procedures applicable to the modification
  • any relevant underlying management factors.
Bloody hell!

Eye thought the IRSE's vice like grip on signal testing was supposed to prevent this sort of thing happening?

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Dft Policy Explained via Twitter Meme

This is very good!

Sadly, only too true.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Peterborough

This from Albatross...

Snapped these from the comfort of my Virgin EC Saloon – photographs of just North of Peterborough, around Eastfield SB and the sidings.

It appears that everyone has given up on vegetation clearance here!

Railway Garden Competition - Newquay

This from Talgo Tony...

Who knew that the Cornish branches had been converted to tramways?

Colonel Stephens would be proud!

Bombardier to retraction LUL 92 Stock

Good news for the Shire!

This from Bombardier...

Press Release - Bombardier Wins Contract to Supply New Propulsion Technology to London Underground

- Bombardier to supply new traction systems for trains on London Underground's Central line

- MITRAC propulsion technology will significantly improve fleet reliability, availability and energy efficiency

The project will be led from Bombardier's Västeras site in Sweden, also leveraging the capabilities of other sites in the Bombardier manufacturing network. 

The installation of the first train, plus associated vehicle integration works and testing will be undertaken at Bombardier's Derby site in the UK.

Very good. Carry on.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Pointless sign - Kings Cross

This from a Mr Greg Tingey...

Perhaps not an entirely pointless sign.

Although the branding harks back to an event that took place five years ago.

Is this now an integral part of the much vaunted Olympic Legacy?

Best railway tweet, ever!

And the prize goes to - Greater Anglia!

Run Away!

Pointless signs - St Erth

This from Harry the Voice...

Pictured at St Erth today.

Hmmm... 'regularly patrol', although on an infrequent basis?

Perchance a case of Optimism Bias?

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Labour proposes gender segregation on rail

Good news for fans of Chris Williamson MP (Sid and Doris Gricer).

The Shadow Home Office minister has suggested a return to Ladies Only carriages.

Alas, this discrimatory nonsense will not do!

As any ful kno there are now at least 39 genders that will need similarly catering for if the industry is not to fall foul of equalities legislation (40! You forgot to include Mighty Oaks, of which I am one. Ed).

Despite his proposals being subjected to wide spread derision, Eye understands at least one part of the industry has welcomed Williamson's 'bold and exciting' initiative.

Step foward the Roscos, who are expecting a bumper bonanza as all those displaced vehicles are hurriedly pressed into gender specific service!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Osborne undermines his own case for enhancements

So, George Osborne is on manoeuvres, again.

The former Chancellor, and now free sheet editor, made the case for Northern Powerhouse Rail in yesterday's FT and on BBC Radio 4 this morning.

Good news for fans of connectivity and rebalancing of the economy.

But what's this.

Whilst George was busy tripping the light fantastic between green rooms, his own title is running with the following headline:

Not exactly a headline that will enamour readers to the vital works that enable delivery of much needed additional railway capacity, whether in the North or the South (don't forget the Squeezed Midlands! Ed).

Perhaps time for George to focus on the day job and exercise some editorial judgement?

Monday, 21 August 2017

SWT - the brand that refused to die!

Top tweeting here from the new incumbents of the SWT franchise...

But what is that cheeky logo on the bottom left of the message?

Surely not!

Come on First/MTR social media peeps - it really isn't that difficult to update the on-line branding!

UPDATE: They are getting there!

Note the subtle, but important, change to the hashtag.

Paddington - an expert speaks!

This via Twitter...


RMT reaffirms commitment to work with minorities

This from The Brothers...

Union calls on new Chinese operator to honour commitment to South West Trains passengers to keep guard “legends” on every train

As Chinese State owned MTR takes over the South West Trains contract RMT has called on SWT Chinese owner’s operator to honour previous commitments made to South West Trains passengers to keep a guard on every train.

What could possibly have induced RMT to lobby a Communist government company?

Alas, South Western Railways is only 30% owned by MTR.

MTR's partner and the majority shareholder in SWT is also red, but only in tooth and claw. Step forward the resolutely private sector and capitalist First Group!

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Case of the Green Aspect

The scene: A room at 221b Baker Street...

I say Holmes dashed bad luck about Tuesday’s early morning derailment in the middle of the Waterloo possession, eh?

Indeed Watson, the train crew behaved impeccably, but I suspect the consequences of the derailment may impact on the project’s overall timeline.

Quite so Holmes. It was nice of SWT to afford Season Ticket holders 10 days of free travel for putting up with the disruption?

A welcome gesture Watson. Now have you noted the significance of Aslef’s statement on the derailment?

Can’t say I have Holmes, in fact I’m not sure they’ve said anything about it?

That, Watson, is the significance.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Shaken and stirred: New South Western directors

This from First/MTR...

FirstGroup unveiled the senior management team for the new South Western train operating company today, ahead of the franchise starting on Sunday 20 August.

In addition to Andy Mellors, previously announced as Managing Director, several senior directors have now been appointed. The senior team at the new South Western rail franchise contains a wealth of railway experience and brings experience in customer service from a world-leading airline.

Jacqui Dey has been appointed as Operations Director with responsibility for the driver, resourcing, planning, performance and operational standards teams.  Jacqui has previously held senior rail leadership roles, including Operations and Safety Director at First ScotRail. 

Gerard O’Hanlon, from FirstGroup’s franchise bidding team, will provide additional support to Jacqui, particularly in relation to planning and performance activities where we will continue to operate joint teams with Network Rail.

Neil Drury, who led the rolling stock planning in the successful South Western franchise bid, has been appointed as Engineering Director.  Neil is a Chartered Engineer who joined FirstGroup in 2004. He has had a number of roles in First Rail franchises, including Head of Engineering at First Capital Connect, prior to joining FirstGroup’s franchise bidding team in 2014. 

Alan Penlington joins from Virgin Atlantic as Customer Experience Director to lead the on-board, stations and revenue protection teams. He brings valuable experience to help transform customer experience having most recently been Head of Cabin Crew Operations and Senior Manager Customer Experience-Innovation at the transatlantic airline. 

Joost Noordewier will be Commercial and Business Development Director. Joost joined FirstGroup in 2005 and led FirstGroup’s successful bid for the TransPennine Express franchise, as well as the subsequent mobilisation of the franchise. 

Chris Cornthwaite has been appointed as Finance Director. He brings a wealth of experience to the new franchise having previously been Finance Director at First Capital Connect, as well as a number of roles supporting franchise development within FirstGroup.

Seamus Scallon, Safety Director, First Rail, will act as Safety, Sustainability and Security Director, pending a permanent appointment into this role.

Eye notes that none of the existing Stagecoach senior team are transferring over to the new First/MTR franchise.

That sound? That is the sound of corporate knowledge trickling away...

Monday, 7 August 2017

NR slaps down the Daily Star over #Fakenews

Nice use of social media by Network Rail today.

This from the Daily Star this morning...

Was followed up by this response from NR's press office...

Fake news from the Daily Star?

Colour me surprised.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Railway Garden Competition - Liverpool Lime Street

This from a slightly off route Solent&Wessex...

I've always liked the annual hanging gardens display on the approaches to Liverpool Lime Street, but this year it is particularly green, with some ground level displays on the middle and right too.

Perhaps Network Rail could spend some time during the forthcoming station closure period to tend to the greenery too?

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

RSSB goes all Virtual Reality

What sort of fresh hell is this?

RSSB's 2017/18 Business Plan eschews old fashioned nonsense like photographs for vibrant avatar style imagery.

Here is the image that graces CEO Mark Phillips' forward...

My eyes... they burn!

Railway Garden Competition - Sapperton Tunnel

This from The Duke...

The p-way near Sapperton Tunnel on the Swindon Gloucester line.

Surely GWEP hasn't sucked all the money out of the Western route's weed spray programme?

Exciting news ahead of BTP merger into Police Scotland

This from The Scotsman...

Officers have begun leaving the British Transport Police ahead of its controversial integration into Police Scotland, it has emerged.

The British Transport Police Federation said a small number of officers had left to join specialist forces elsewhere in Scotland, while others were seeking transfers to England.