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  • Williams Review - 1st deadline: January 18, 2019
  • Williams review - final inputs: May 31, 2019
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Author Topic: Williams Rail Review  (Read 3849 times)
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2019, 01:56:12 pm »

I haven't read it yet and its a bit long to quote here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/keith-williams-at-accelerate-rail-2019
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2019, 08:58:33 am »

Bump

This thread is ... notable by its lack of activity ... on what is potentially a pretty big topic. ...

I am prompted by certain people (who should know better and post themselves) to remind members looking forward to the future of rail in the UK to answer this review.

As a reminder (somewhat) of what we're looking at 'solving', {{here}} is a link to today's Guardian which does far more to criticise the current franchised system that to suggest a constructive alternative;  it offers brick bats all around and lacks plaudits!
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« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 10:10:39 am »

Williams could be so important (if it come up with sense and is adopted) ... yet seems so removed from the day to day traveller and member here that it's generated little response.   Perhaps I can try to light a fire under the discussion again - here's a link to a RailFuture summary ...

https://www.railfuture.org.uk/Press+release+27th+February+2019
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« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 11:03:22 am »

Possibly cynicism that past reviews have come up with little new or have been ignored by Dft/Government.

Personally I hope whatever is recommended is taken up as it can't keep on going the way it is.
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« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 11:19:24 am »

Possibly cynicism that past reviews have come up with little new or have been ignored by Dft/Government.

Indeed ... in something of a coincidence, this came up on my 'campaign' feed this morning - prepared a few days ahead.
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Lee
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« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 11:22:18 am »

I think the importance of Williams largely depends on how much life this current government has left in it. Given that Grayling will not countenance renationalisation, it is very unlikely that Williams will serve up any options that include renationalisation.

This means that if Corbyn and co get in any time soon, then any Williams recommendations will become irrelevant, and be quickly superseded by whatever review process the new lot put in place...

My personal view is that the top priority should be root and branch reform of Network Rail, as a fit for purpose NR could facilitate a number of positive options, either in a private or nationalised system. However, the way Network Rail currently operates acts as a dead weight on the entire industry, which is why change there first is so crucial in order to enable change elsewhere.
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« Reply #21 on: Yesterday at 11:26:25 am »

My personal view is that the top priority should be root and branch reform of Network Rail, as a fit for purpose NR could facilitate a number of positive options, either in a private or nationalised system. However, the way Network Rail currently operates acts as a dead weight on the entire industry, which is why change there first is so crucial in order to enable change elsewhere.
Do you think Andrew Haines is up to the job of achieving that Lee?
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Lee
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« Reply #22 on: Yesterday at 02:39:43 pm »

My personal view is that the top priority should be root and branch reform of Network Rail, as a fit for purpose NR could facilitate a number of positive options, either in a private or nationalised system. However, the way Network Rail currently operates acts as a dead weight on the entire industry, which is why change there first is so crucial in order to enable change elsewhere.
Do you think Andrew Haines is up to the job of achieving that Lee?

Yes and no.

I have watched with interest you debate Climate Change with other forum members, particularly with regard to the view of some that we've done the easy stuff so far, and now we need to do the hard stuff.

I think a similar situation exists with Andrew Haines and Network Rail. So far, he has overseen some small but newsworthy measures designed to build confidence with the public, such as scrapping toilet charges at busy stations. However, now he really needs to tackle the hard stuff.

First of all, I dont really have a problem with Haines himself. I felt he was a good CEO for FGW, and I welcomed his appointment at Network Rail. I have expressed some irritation at the slow speed he appears to be moving at times, but this is Network Rail, and there are far worse people you could have at the helm.

Similarly, I dont have a problem with those at the business end building, fixing and maintaining things - the "Electric train"'s of the world - the vast majority of whom do excellent work day in, day out and tend to be happy to explain what they do to the likes of us as well.

In my view, the real problem lies with those management types in the middle who take regular decisions that have a huge impact on rail users with seemingly very little scrutiny being applied, like a modern day rail version of The Untouchables. These people very rarely break cover and face the public, but when they do, the results can be very illuminating. I remember one FGW Stakeholder Conference around a decade ago, after a sustained campaigning effort to put the case for a station at Corsham had taken place, when some such NR middle management type started his presentation to a stunned crowd with the words "I am here to tell you that a station at Corsham will never open". Another, after receiving a carefully-crafted and well-written case outline for why Pilning should retain its footbridge, wrote a very short reply along the lines of "We are not interested in discussing Pilning, you people are just a nuisance and should stop harrassing us".

Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. These people are very firmly of the view that they are always right, everyone else is wrong, and having decided so, then that is the end of the matter. "And who are you to question us anyway, you are just mere passengers, we are the professionals".

One of the consequences of this is that the failure of Network Rail to step up in this regard has given an excuse to other key rail industry players not to step up either - So a TOC can say "We cant provide a station at x because Network Rail..." and the DfT can say "We cant finish off electrification to y because Network Rail...", and on it goes.

It wasnt always like that. The early 1980s example of when passengers and supporters of newly-reopened Templecombe station who knew what was needed service and infrastructure-wise to build growth came up against a similar culture and attitude in BR middle management is a case in point - but the difference is that both sides worked to build trust successfully to build that growth and together enabled the station to go from strength to strength, as shown in this YouTube Video.

One of the key reasons we are where we are is that successive governments have focussed on ineffective piecemeal reforms of the franchising system, and seemingly just hoped Network Rail was capable of reforming itself, when it clearly isnt in the areas that matter - ie in how to deliver what we, the passengers and customers, want and need. The time has now come for NR to be physically shown what needs to be done - and I have suggested elsewhere how respected passenger/community representatives such as grahame and RichardB, along with similar representatives from the Railfreight sector, who have a proven track record in suggesting solutions that work for everyone, and have demonstrated they have the required knowledge of how things work operationally, could be brought into the process to help reform how Network Rail works with passengers and customers in this respect.

Those NR middle managers who are happy to take on board and take forward those inputs should be encouraged to do so, and those who are unwilling to change should be politely told that their future lies elsewhere.
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« Reply #23 on: Yesterday at 04:45:13 pm »

Network Rail used to have a Community Rail liaison specialist who was well informed on Community and its interaction with Rail as well as on Network Rail stuff, but they re-organised and his role was split between existing Network Rail managers in the various areas.  In principle, having local Network Rail work with communities has sense - except the role got dropped onto those who took it over as a minor part of their roles, and one I suspect many of them had little experience or enthusiasm for.   You can read more recent writings of Jerry Swift ((here)).
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« Reply #24 on: Yesterday at 09:51:19 pm »

One of the other interesting things is that Williams looks at Network Rail re-arrangement ... at the same time that Network Rail says it's in the process of re-arrangement in fact starting in a coupe of months then running for 18 months

From the Network Rail Putting Passengers First page

Quote
When will these changes happen?

Changes are planned in a series of phases.

The first phase, the formation of the new regions, is planned to take place in June 2019 following a period of consultation. Some time will be allowed to let these changes bed in before moving on to the next phase.

It's important that the changes be made when the timing is right and the network is ready, as this will deliver better outcomes for rail users. The aim is to complete the whole programme of change by the end of 2020.

I was taught to give things time to settle before you evaluate them and see about further adjustments.  And to change things one at a time.  This would, it seems, not be applicable for some reason in this case.
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« Reply #25 on: Today at 12:07:24 am »

Promising to save the passengers by re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is not historically the wisest way forward. The trick is to get everybody safely off the bloody boat.
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