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December 17, 2017, 07:27:59 PM *
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Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 9778 times)
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #165 on: December 07, 2017, 05:29:03 PM »


BUT First Group invest virtually zero capital into the business.  If they don't make any profit their capital is not lost.  GWR is essentially a "pass-through" business.  They rake in a huge farebox and pass most of it out as costs keeping 3% for themselves.  Comparing them and their profit percentage to, say Marks and Spencer (or a RoSCo), is therefore completely meaningless.  A better comparison would be to compare them to say, American Express.  American Express collect huge amounts of money from card holders and pay almost all of it to retailers, retaining a small fraction of a percentage for themselves.  Now if Amex was making a profit of 3% of the total transactions on their cards, most people would regard that as a huge margin, massively unfair and contrary to the public interest.  And in fact the EU has decided that Amex's "cut" of transactions must be no more than 0.3% (and only a fraction of that "cut" is profit). 


That's an interesting take. If the Train Companies were just acting as fare collectors, it would also be a fair one, but of course they are doing rather more than that. However most passengers see high fares that increase by more than inflation every year (3.4% next year!), and imagine that some stereotypical fat cat is in control of this and bleeding them dry, whereas as all of us here know it is the government that largely sets the level of fares. In that context, quibbling over 3% or 0.3% is indeed a red herring.

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« Reply #166 on: December 07, 2017, 07:44:02 PM »

My question is why is profit of less than 0.3% seen as adequate for Amex, but 3% is seen as barely enough for a ToC? 

Amex is a card issuer as well a settlement network, so it's easier to look at Mastercard as an example of a transaction processor's business model.

If you pay £100 for a railway ticket, that's the cost of that service - being conveyed by rail.

If you pay £100 for something - say a big toy for a small undeserving relative - using your card that's  the cost of what you bought. If MC gets paid 30p for doing their accounting, that is the cost of the service they provide. According to their figures, of their $9.2Bn of annual global revenue they end  up with $3.4Bn to distribute to shareholders: about 35%.

So, very different.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #167 on: December 07, 2017, 09:23:16 PM »

There's a fair few LTV cancellations tonight and also services starting/finishing short and/or missing out stations......shortage of crew cited in almost every case.....this is going to cause real problems in the evenings going forward as we get into the Christmas party season.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #168 on: December 07, 2017, 09:27:25 PM »

It sure is, and it would’ve been worse had a short term flexibility agreement with LTV drivers not been brokered with the unions.  As I said a few days ago, expect a very poor Christmas of cancellations.
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« Reply #169 on: December 07, 2017, 09:40:30 PM »

It sure is, and it would’ve been worse had a short term flexibility agreement with LTV drivers not been brokered with the unions. As I said a few days ago, expect a very poor Christmas of cancellations.

And that is a caution echoed for other parts of GWR by other knowledgeable sources.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #170 on: December 07, 2017, 10:07:58 PM »

It sure is, and it would’ve been worse had a short term flexibility agreement with LTV drivers not been brokered with the unions. As I said a few days ago, expect a very poor Christmas of cancellations.

And that is a caution echoed for other parts of GWR by other knowledgeable sources.

Rather like leaves on the line isn't it? Everyone knows it's coming every year, but the railways always seem to be caught out.

Suffice to say, in the (awful) words of Chris Rea, I'm driving home for Christmas but my thoughts will be with anyone brave/unlucky/unfortunate enough to have opted for the GWR sardine Christmas experience.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #171 on: December 07, 2017, 10:54:26 PM »

Indeed, I’m optimistic it will be much better next year.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #172 on: December 07, 2017, 11:43:23 PM »

I happen to share your optimism, IndustryInsider - if only because it can't get much worse next year.  Wink

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« Reply #173 on: December 08, 2017, 01:02:22 AM »

I am reminded of a quote that I came across once - and now can't find, even given the wonders of search engines. It's something like

    Saturday, which always comes as a surprise to the Metropolitan Railway.

and (I think) it's from either Gilbert or Sullivan. Can anybody find this for me?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #174 on: December 08, 2017, 01:13:50 AM »

I happen to share your optimism, IndustryInsider - if only because it can't get much worse next year.  Wink

Hmmmm, I'm reminded of the utter shambles in the late 2000s - still a long way to go until we stoop that low!
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #175 on: December 08, 2017, 09:08:56 AM »

Indeed, I’m optimistic it will be much better next year.

Is that an early iteration of the Invisible Hopwood/GWR's latest (and perennial) advertising catchphrase?  Grin
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lympstone_commuter
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« Reply #176 on: December 08, 2017, 10:09:17 AM »

I am reminded of a quote that I came across once - and now can't find, even given the wonders of search engines. It's something like

    Saturday, which always comes as a surprise to the Metropolitan Railway.

and (I think) it's from either Gilbert or Sullivan. Can anybody find this for me?

Lovely quote! It seems a similar set of words was used in the Illustrated London News in 1863:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZuWGDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=surprise+to+the+%22metropolitan+railway%22&source=bl&ots=GT4XGPzwzN&sig=PqSziMJqBw_wLbgtXoAfVBQ_UYI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic7p-SlfrXAhUHmbQKHd8SBFoQ6AEIVTAK#v=onepage&q=surprise%20to%20the%20%22metropolitan%20railway%22&f=false
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #177 on: December 08, 2017, 12:12:04 PM »

Indeed, I’m optimistic it will be much better next year.

Is that an early iteration of the Invisible Hopwood/GWR's latest (and perennial) advertising catchphrase?  Grin

Appreciating the smiley at the end of your post, I do genuinely feel optimistic that the new year will see us start to turn the corner as some of the ‘perfect storm’ pressures that have caused all the recent problems start to subside, some of which were GWR’s making, and some of them weren’t.
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« Reply #178 on: December 08, 2017, 01:13:31 PM »

2018 all depends on the ORR signing off Reading Electrification by 28 December.
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grahame
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« Reply #179 on: December 08, 2017, 01:16:41 PM »

2018 all depends on the ORR signing off Reading Electrification by 28 December.

In the context of GWR changes, yes, maybe ... out of context, 1st January 2018 is unstoppable once 31st December 2017 has ended  Grin
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