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Author Topic: Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail / Great British Railways  (Read 49438 times)
grahame
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« Reply #120 on: May 21, 2021, 07:32:22 am »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57186489

Quote
The government has announced the creation of a new unified state-owned rail body called Great British Railways (GBR (Great British Railways)), promising better and more efficient train services from 2023 onwards.

It says the reforms will make travel smoother, removing the existing "over-complicated and fragmented" system.

Complaining about rail travel in the UK (United Kingdom) has long been a national pastime. There is even a popular board game about signal failures and network problems that British families have been playing since 1973.

But the pandemic has brought about new challenges and life is unlikely to look the same as it did before.

So what do commuters want now? Rail travellers tell us their key concerns.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #121 on: May 21, 2021, 08:22:12 am »


Lots to look forward too. Not least some sort of national livery!


...............but perhaps not the same advertising models!...... Shocked
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grahame
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« Reply #122 on: May 21, 2021, 08:31:06 am »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57186489

Quote
The government has announced the creation of a new unified state-owned rail body called Great British Railways (GBR (Great British Railways)), promising better and more efficient train services from 2023 onwards.

It says the reforms will make travel smoother, removing the existing "over-complicated and fragmented" system.

Complaining about rail travel in the UK (United Kingdom) has long been a national pastime. There is even a popular board game about signal failures and network problems that British families have been playing since 1973.

But the pandemic has brought about new challenges and life is unlikely to look the same as it did before.

So what do commuters want now? Rail travellers tell us their key concerns.

A flurry of BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) articles -  above covers So what do commuters want now? Rail travellers tell us their key concerns.

New article at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57187882 covers Rail reform: What does the shake-up mean for you?
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grahame
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« Reply #123 on: May 21, 2021, 12:22:19 pm »

View from "We Own It" ...

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grahame
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« Reply #124 on: May 21, 2021, 05:17:57 pm »

I wonder if this Increase in Pay as you go journeys is to be driven off the existing fares database.

The one that tried to tell me yesterday that the cheapest ticket I could buy for a return trip from Oxford to Newbury with a senior railcard leaving at 09.32 was £31.25 and only 3 tickets where left.  This showed on my West Midland trains App and the National Rail Enquires App.

Further investigation found that this fare was the First class period off peak return available after 09:00 as is the Standard class day return at £9.60. Later trains showed the standard class fare.

As to why only 3 tickets where available is another mystery of the database.

I bought the £9.60 ticket and as I was already on the train I was aware that it conveyed standard and first class accomadation.

Looking at the same 2 Apps for tomorrow at 09:32 shows the correct standard class fare.

I have been trying to book a trip out tomorrow.
* Selected outbound train - AOK. 
* Selected return train - AOK
* Told I must reserve seats
* Entered choices forward / table / window / quiet
... only then message comes up that no seats are available on "one of the trains selected" and suggests "try another"

Oh dear
- why did it offer me trains that there were no seats available on?
- why did it have me select the seat type before saying "nothing on one of these trains"?
- why didn't it tell me WHICH train was full even at that point so I knew which one to change?

I have tried various combinations and found nothing

I can't help wondering ..
- If the system is being intentionally customer unfriendly to put people off travelling
- Whether people will trust a new automated 'pay as you go system' if it's based on something as awkward as this
- Whether all the fare experts who have been working for their TOC (Train Operating Company) will be able to spend time sorting out the customer experience once they all become part of GBR (Great British Railways).

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eXPassenger
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« Reply #125 on: May 21, 2021, 05:42:02 pm »

Also no TOC (Train Operating Company) timetable staff & no staff required to determine cause and attribution of every delay. No fares staff either. Slimmed down TOCs will result in cost reduction and potentially cheaper contracts to run trains.

Since the TOCs will be incentivized to be punctual I suspect more staff will be needed to determine the cause and duration of delays and to negotiate with GBR (Great British Railways) staff.
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Surrey 455
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« Reply #126 on: May 21, 2021, 07:50:57 pm »


I have been trying to book a trip out tomorrow.
* Selected outbound train - AOK. 
* Selected return train - AOK
* Told I must reserve seats
* Entered choices forward / table / window / quiet
... only then message comes up that no seats are available on "one of the trains selected" and suggests "try another"

Oh dear
- why did it offer me trains that there were no seats available on?
- why did it have me select the seat type before saying "nothing on one of these trains"?
- why didn't it tell me WHICH train was full even at that point so I knew which one to change?

I have tried various combinations and found nothing

I can't help wondering ..
- If the system is being intentionally customer unfriendly to put people off travelling
- Whether people will trust a new automated 'pay as you go system' if it's based on something as awkward as this
- Whether all the fare experts who have been working for their TOC (Train Operating Company) will be able to spend time sorting out the customer experience once they all become part of GBR (Great British Railways).



Last year, tried to book a ticket for immediate travel on the GWR (Great Western Railway) app. One way only involving two trains. App said no, you need a reservation but you can't have one. Fortunately the ticket machine was not as fussy and happily gave me a ticket for the same price. No reservation needed.
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onthecushions
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« Reply #127 on: May 21, 2021, 10:46:41 pm »


I think it is really interesting that Grant Shapps has added his name to this and I think it is very positive too.  A sign to me that the Government are really committed to implementing the plan. 


I would add that the top DfT» (Department for Transport - about) officials in the Rail executive must have also had a big hand in preparing all this detail. As it effectively rubbishes their predecessors privatisation work from the 1990's onwards it is very brave.

I like Chapter 7, Section 52. No qualifications. And it is a White paper.

Just follow through, Boris.

OTC
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Lee
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« Reply #128 on: May 22, 2021, 01:04:37 am »


I think it is really interesting that Grant Shapps has added his name to this and I think it is very positive too.  A sign to me that the Government are really committed to implementing the plan. 


I would add that the top DfT» (Department for Transport - about) officials in the Rail executive must have also had a big hand in preparing all this detail. As it effectively rubbishes their predecessors privatisation work from the 1990's onwards it is very brave.

I like Chapter 7, Section 52. No qualifications. And it is a White paper.

Just follow through, Boris.

OTC

I think you will find that Chapter 4, Section 25 is nearer the mark. Think of Bus Back Better and Great British Railways - The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail as two sides of the same coin, with BBB designed to be utterly irreversible, and GBR (Great British Railways) designed to be eminently reversible "As passenger numbers recover".

If this were truly the return to British Rail that everyone seems to think it is, then the Private TOC (Train Operating Company)'s would have been swept away, and GBR would be running the trains themselves. Instead, the Private TOC's will be left intact to bide their time until coronavirus is a distant memory, the next election is in the bag, and "normal service" can be resumed.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #129 on: May 22, 2021, 02:04:58 pm »

Interesting angle.....

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-rail-revolution-is-nothing-of-the-sort/amp?__twitter_impression=true
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stuving
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« Reply #130 on: May 22, 2021, 02:37:00 pm »


But what is their or his angle? The piece points out that almost nothing has changed - which sticks out a mile, I agree with Lee on that.  But the only aspirations mentioned for something else are the unions', for nationalisation. I don't think the Spectator shares those.

Here's another quote - from the Economist, in September when Shapps announced the "failure of franchising". Their analysis ended with : "When the covid crisis ends, Britain will probably move to a new franchising system, in which private companies bid to operate lines but take less financial risk." And that (apart from my quibble about the term "franchise") is what is being proposed.

I don't think the TOCs (Train Operating Company)'contracts ever deserved to be called franchises, and still less do they now. Nor concessions, really - both terms imply significant commercial freedoms: i.e. a licence to act as an independent private company. Of those freedoms, managing the track and the rolling stock was never included, fare pricing has largely gone, timetabling almost totally (the service level is dictated by DfT» (Department for Transport - about)), so what's left? A bit of superficial branding and just one big one (until last year), revenue risk. And now those last vestiges are to go; more of a skirmish than a revolution.
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onthecushions
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« Reply #131 on: May 22, 2021, 09:32:13 pm »


If this were truly the return to British Rail that everyone seems to think it is, then the Private TOC (Train Operating Company)'s would have been swept away, and GBR (Great British Railways) would be running the trains themselves. Instead, the Private TOC's will be left intact to bide their time until coronavirus is a distant memory, the next election is in the bag, and "normal service" can be resumed.


But (G)BR (British Rail(ways)) will be in charge of the concessions and be operator of last resort. GBR will also be publicly answerable for operations so concessionaires will have more motivation to behave... or be sacked. Even in BR days the Region and Area had some freedom for special trains and fares where local conditions indicated. Open access will only be relevant where there is spare capacity (and demand).

The (G)BR proposal is radical enough, without additionally trying to create from scratch a Nationwide public sector TOC, which would also be operator of last resort!

Let's not run before we can walk.

OTC
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Lee
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« Reply #132 on: May 23, 2021, 11:21:14 am »


If this were truly the return to British Rail that everyone seems to think it is, then the Private TOC (Train Operating Company)'s would have been swept away, and GBR (Great British Railways) would be running the trains themselves. Instead, the Private TOC's will be left intact to bide their time until coronavirus is a distant memory, the next election is in the bag, and "normal service" can be resumed.


But (G)BR (British Rail(ways)) will be in charge of the concessions and be operator of last resort. GBR will also be publicly answerable for operations so concessionaires will have more motivation to behave... or be sacked. Even in BR days the Region and Area had some freedom for special trains and fares where local conditions indicated. Open access will only be relevant where there is spare capacity (and demand).

The (G)BR proposal is radical enough, without additionally trying to create from scratch a Nationwide public sector TOC, which would also be operator of last resort!

Let's not run before we can walk.

OTC

The point I was actually trying to make - which stuving spotted and picked up on in his post - was that if you leave the Private TOC's intact, and you "abolish" Network Rail, but allow it to design and create its successor in its own image, then it really is as both WeOwnIt's Pascale Robinson and the Spectator's Ross Clark suggest - largely a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

You dont have to agree with or endorse either of their radically different ideologies or ethos in order to recognise that - but it should be seen as a rather big red flag that they both think it.

If passenger numbers do recover, then Chapter 4, Section 25 looks "oven-ready" to enable a return to something very similar to the "franchise" system - or however else you want to describe it.

And if passenger numbers dont recover...well, it will need something a lot more radical than these proposals to fix that.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #133 on: May 23, 2021, 06:02:09 pm »

Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail : Page 14

'Overcomplication appears built into many aspects of the rail network. There are around 75 different types of train in passenger service on today’s network, imposing greater costs in maintenance, regulation and crew training.22 No commercial airline would have that many types of aircraft; no bus, coach or lorry company that many types of vehicle.'

Since the days of franchisees specifying what rolling stock is operated are over who gets to do this in the future? Surely this function must pass to GBR (Great British Railways) (Great British Railways). In which case is this project missing a golden opportunity to both progressively reduce the variety of the rolling stock portfolio and have GBR own any new trains. The document indicates (Page 81) that the ROSCO» (Rolling Stock Owning Company - about)'s will remain in business, something I regard as disappointing to say the least.
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« Reply #134 on: May 23, 2021, 06:36:34 pm »

This is one part of the report where I am not sure that the comparison with airlines is helpful, albeit that there is an underlying sound point to be made. No airline has as many planes as the entire UK (United Kingdom) rail system, and there are no third rail/OHL (Over-Head Line)/non-electrified split to be dealt with. The impression I have (without spending a long time on Wikipedia checking it out) is that most of the UK rolling stock comes from a small number of suppliers, and many of the different types are members of larger "families" of types that have been adapted for different power sources or use.

What is not satisfactory is that many do not seem to be capable of working in multiple with one another, as a recent post about rescuing a broken down class 769 indicates. From the stories coming out about software problems being an issue with Crossrail and the "new" Isle of Wight stock, I an concerned that this is another possible source of reducing inter-operability.

As regards the ROSCOS continuing, I am not so concerned. I would rather available funds were spent elsewhere rather than in buying out the current leases. In this respect the airline industry (if I understand it correctly) runs largely on leasing assets. Not sure I would want to be in the aircraft leasing business at present! 
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