Comment

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?

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?

DOO – are the train companies dicing with death?

More heat than light has been shed by the current on-going debate about driver only operation (DOO) on Southern GTR trains, but the main point seems to have become obscured. Continue reading DOO – are the train companies dicing with death?

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?

Some public sectors are more equal than others

Any notion that the latest version of the EU’s Fourth Railway package might somewhat mitigate the current prohibition of UK public sector bodies from operating rail services has been firmly scotched. Continue reading Some public sectors are more equal than others

Network Rail treads uncertain track

It’s still not clear at this stage what significance should be attached to the proposed revaluation of Network Rail. Clarification sought by 21CR from the ORR on this point has not been successful and the situation remains somewhat ambiguous. Continue reading Network Rail treads uncertain track

End of the line for high-speed rail?

When the California high speed rail project got the go-ahead in 2012 some of the whizz-kids in Silicon Valley were horrified. They said the 220mph scheme linking Los Angeles with San Francisco would be slowest bullet train in the world and have the highest cost per mile. Continue reading End of the line for high-speed rail?

 

Cost implications of Shaw Report not addressed

‘When you reorganise you bleed’ is an old adage well known to generations of long-suffering railwaymen (and women). They have seen many different schemes come and go, all with different outcomes and the Shaw Report proposals would appear to be the latest in a long, long line. Continue reading Cost implications of Shaw Report not addressed