Franchising farce: First MTR ditch new Stagecoach trains
Within days of being awarded the new South Western franchise, it emerges that joint venture First MTR is to abandon the new Class 707 rolling stock currently under construction but ordered by Stagecoach, the previous franchisee. Continue reading Franchising farce: First MTR ditch new Stagecoach trains
Should train operators take control of the tracks?
The dust is still settling from last week’s government call for greater integration between Network Rail and the train operators. Details remain scant but more will be known when a green paper ‘Rail Vision’ is published next spring. Continue reading Should train operators take control of the tracks?
ScotRail nationalisation: practical proposition or political ploy?
Mounting public discontent with poor Abellio ScotRail performance has led to calls for the passenger franchise to be prematurely terminated and replaced with a state run body. Continue reading ScotRail nationalisation: practical proposition or political ploy?
Great Western electrification shambles – will bimodal trains save or sink the scheme?
Last week’s announcement that electrification to Bristol has been deferred by the DfT followed a devastating NAO indictment cataloguing poor management practices with the ongoing Great Western Electrification Programme (GWEP). Continue reading Great Western electrification shambles – will bimodal trains save or sink the scheme?
Is it the end of the line for Hull electrification?
FirstGroup Hull Trains has ordered five AT300 ‘bi-modal’ (electro-diesel) sets from Hitachi in a £60m deal to be financed by Angel Trains. The new five car trains will be delivered in 2019 but the announcement has undermined the case for the long awaited Hull-Selby electrification. Continue reading Is it the end of the line for Hull electrification?
No mandate to privatise
The government knows that full-blooded privatisation of Network Rail would be politically unacceptable. That option was considered but rejected by the Shaw Report but it now looks like partial privatisation is being ushered through the back door. Continue reading No mandate to privatise
A sign of things to come?
Within days of becoming London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan instructed TfL to ban adverts dealing with what it calls ‘body confidence issues’. Continue reading A sign of things to come?
Thinking big, Swiss style
When it comes to mega-construction projects they don’t come any bigger than the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Superlatives run out in describing the longest, deepest and one of the costliest rail tunnels ever built, which opened on June 1st. Continue reading Thinking big, Swiss style
Is HS2 on the right track?
It’s increasingly beginning to look like HS2 is a good cause in the wrong hands. The call by leading transport academics for a review of this costly £51bn project is one that should be heeded, and the sooner the better. Continue reading Is HS2 on the right track?