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April 21, 2019, 01:43:59 pm *
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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Avon Valley Railway - heritage line, Bristol on: Yesterday at 10:40:56 pm
Or perhaps it could give the IETs a Twirl.
2  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Climate change protests to target overground? on: April 19, 2019, 09:00:53 pm
Getting wierder

Many Crossrail engineers have been arrested after being mistaken for protestors attempting to disrupt transport and cause lengthy delays in London.

My personal favourite quote:

PC Simon Williams was on the scene, We had been briefed to arrest anyone causing problems to commuters, and sure enough there were people milling around on the track, singing loudly and being abusive towards female passengers.

We nicked the lot, but it later turned out wed arrested Paddington station Crossrail engineering team.
3  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: April 19, 2019, 06:10:49 pm
From the Daily Mail

More than 50 new Crossrail trains are sitting idle in a north-west London depot

The trains should have been up and running by now on the new Elizabeth line

Just 15 of 70 new trains are being used for existing, limited, Crossrail services

Crossrail bosses have warned the wait could be another two years until 2021 

No great surprise ... and I don't know what the cost of leasing a modern electric coach in a 7 car train is these days, but I do remember a figure of around 140k per annum for a 15 year old diesel multiple unit carriage, from early in this decade.   Using those figure.   55 * 7 * 140000 * 2 = 107,800,000 over 2 years.  I see a note they're being extended to 9 carriages ... which would put that figure up to 138,600,000.    I'm not terribly sure who owns them, nor who took the risk on being able to have them earn money ... but what could you buy for 138 million?

* A 4 platform station at Wilton - 19 million
* A 2 platform station at Pilning Westgate - 7 million
* A 2 platform station at Aztec West with the engineering issues sorted - 14 million
* 30 years salary for a Community Rail officer for Heart of Wessex - 1.3 million
* Two dynamic loops between Thingley Junction and Bradford Junction - 28 million
... wait - I have only spent a half of the money so far ...
* A new station at Devizes Parkway - 12 million
* Catch up on engineering between Taunton and Minhead and seed commuter and winter service, 3 years - 6 million
* Engineering works and seed passenger service to Fawley via Marchwood,Hounsdown, Hythe - 22 million
* Seeding an extension of the service via Westbury to Swindon up to Oxford hourly - 2 million
* Seeding to extend the hourly Paddington - Bedwyn service to Exeter in place of the 2 hourly semifast - 3 million
* 4th platform at Westbury - 6 million (can't quite believe that figure!)
* Extend Bristol MetroWest to Frome (every half hour) and Yeovil (every hour) - seeding - 2 million
* Link Swindon-Westbury, Westbury - Salisbury and Salisbury - Romsey - Eastleigh = SOU - Fawley - 1 million

And I make it that I've still got 10 million contingency left there.

138 million may sound like a figure that's so big it's hard to take in, but when you look at all these projects that could be done for that su, you start to appreciate the true cost - in lease charge losses alone - of the Crossrail delay.

Probably fair to say that being rail related, all those infrastructure projects would be massively delayed and overspent too, so your contingency probably needs another zero!  Smiley

If I were a DfT Civil Servant (like that's going to happen anytime in the next millennium) in charge of allocating such sums of money to such projects, then I would make it clear that was the limit of my contribution, and as they (local authorities, TOCs, Network Rail etc) are the scheme promoters, my funding would be dependent on them managing their projects effectively and making sure they had enough in reserve to cover any delays or cost overruns.

They would still most likely bite my hand off, which would mean that if they get built, my department would get most of the credit for providing most of the funding, and if they didnt get built, then they would get the blame for not managing their project properly.

Winner, Winner, DfT Chicken Dinner.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Park and ride developments - Lyme Regis on: April 18, 2019, 09:14:35 am
I remember back in the mid-2000s there was a lot of activity around proposals to reopen the Axminster-Lyme Regis railway and have it end at a Park & Ride site -

More recently, Simon Calder raised it as a possibility -
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: April 18, 2019, 08:46:57 am
HS2 spends 600m on route properties -

Workers on HS2 are threatening to escalate a pay row which has broken-out on the Costain/Skanska joint venture (CSJV) enabling works site at Euston -
6  All across the Great Western territory / Who's who on Western railways / Re: Access for All - April 2019 on: April 18, 2019, 08:41:17 am
Article on Weston-super-Mare station's successful bid for Access for All funding -
7  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Sewweb - South East Wales and West of England Business link on: April 18, 2019, 08:38:18 am
Good news for passengers at another station in the SEWWEB orbit as Patchway sees the deck of its new footbridge lifted into place this weekend, with the bridge due to be open for passengers by the summer -
8  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: UK Rail News on: April 18, 2019, 08:22:10 am
Newsnow fine at present - If you could keep it there unless we start getting real problems, then I'd appreciate it.
9  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Climate change protests to target overground? on: April 17, 2019, 10:29:37 pm
It's probably one of those Channel 4 "hoax" comedies, where the actors behave in ever more opposite ways to how you would expect climate change protestors to behave, until the whole thing becomes so outlandish that the public eventually "rumbles" them. Let's face it, "Extinction Rebellion" is just the right mix of absurd excitement as a tv programme title.

Noel Fielding will be along shortly dressed as a sunflower at Canada Water, I expect.

On "Save The Train", to be fair we never really said "please freeze as it is" - From Day 1 grahame and his volunteers based their case on at least 8 trains in each direction being needed to make a start on levering in the huge growth potential that existed on the TransWilts, and it has been great to see that materialise.
10  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Llangollen Railway: heritage line, Llangollen to Carrog - and Corwen on: April 17, 2019, 08:31:11 am

Quote from: BBC
Money needed to complete 45-year project to build a railway line between two Denbighshire towns has been raised, volunteers have said.

Ten miles (16km) of the Llangollen steam railway line has been rebuilt between Llangollen and Corwen, with a platform created at the end.

But 10,000 was needed to fill a gap in the embankment between the new Corwen station and the rest of the line.

The gap was created to allow access to a sewage farm and must now be filled.
11  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: April 16, 2019, 08:31:36 am
Notice to Proceed this year on HS2 Phase 1 work -

Guardian opinion piece -
12  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Midlands, South Eastern & West Coast Franchise Updates April 2019 on: April 16, 2019, 08:27:43 am
DfT deadline for pensions explanation is just hours away, with MPs Committee for Work and Pensions also now involved -
13  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: April 16, 2019, 08:24:45 am
Satellite radar reveals Crossrail tunnels under London -

More than 6,000 people still working on Crossrail -
14  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: Ten big questions on: April 15, 2019, 06:44:03 pm
Integration between different modes of transport. It appeared to happen in my youth. Was that because there was basically on train company and in each area one bus company. At least one of those run for the public good.

Here's how I remember it:

The list of ex-ministers should include Sir David Mitchell (1983 - 88, in two roles) at DfT.
He with SoS Nicholas Ridley (Civil Engineer) put through much of the 1980's electrification.

He should have his statue at KX IMHO, Tory or not.


Growing up as I did in Portsmouth on the South Coast in the 1980s, Ridley is probably the one that sticks in my mind too.

On the minus side:

Bus deregulation and the privatisation/selling off into many pieces of the National Bus Company was steered through on Ridley's watch. Apart from the obvious overnight change and upheaval I remember at the time, I am always mindful of two longer-term effects this policy has had.

1) Before bus deregulation, it was not made obvious to passengers exactly which bus services or journeys on a particular route were loss-making. Once bus deregulation took place though, timetables suddenly began to show the note "Operated under contract to X County Council", thus making the difference between commercial and subsidised journeys very clear.

This system worked ok in the early days when local authorities had the resources and bus subsidies based on social need were higher up the priority list, and actually worked in a largely positive way when successive Labour governments had ring-fenced transport grants to give out to fund such bus services with.

However, one of the first things that the incoming Conservative-led government did in 2010 was to remove the transport grants, and what funding remained available was no longer ring-fenced and often got diverted to other things that councils saw as a higher priority. This led immediately to a bonfire of evening and Sunday bus services, and as time has gone on has to led to a situation where central government has lit the fuse in the form of ever-reducing council funding, and then thrown the bomb over to passengers, bus companies and local authorities to play bus cuts pass the parcel with. This manifests itself in the kind of battles over disappearing bus services that we often document on this forum, and which central government has contrived to stand as far away as possible from despite creating the conditions for such disputes in the first place.

2) We often discuss on the forum how we can best integrate bus and rail ticketing. However, what people have forgotten over time is that prior to bus deregulation, it was the norm to have integrated bus and rail travelcards, certainly in the towns and cities on the south coast where I grew up. Overnight though, all the new bus companies seemingly brought out their standalone products, with hardly any negotiating the continuation of arrangements with rail. Ironically, a key reason not as much progress has been made as one would have liked in the interim is due to fear of the very competition laws that were allegedly there to improve things for passengers in the first place.

As I've said elsewhere, I feel that our Option 24/7 Bus Franchising concept offers a potential model for a way forward on this.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: Timetable and other upcoming changes - overview (from GWR) last Monday on: April 15, 2019, 01:41:15 pm
I did wonder if GWR were still working on the choreography, but it now looks like single dance routine so probably one of the dancers got lost - in NR or maybe in GWR.

He's just turned up now:

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