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Author Topic: South Western Railway - Stakeholder Conference  (Read 531 times)
grahame
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« on: May 21, 2020, 02:48:38 pm »

South Western Railway - 21st May 2020 - Stakeholder Conference via Zoom 11:30 - 13:00

Hosted by Mark Hopwood with assistance from Phil Dominey, with many of the team talking.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris joined at the start and talked to us for few minutes

The Minister described how odd he's finding it to be spending billions but at the same time saying "please use alternatives if you can".

Thanks to all at SWR; it's amazing how people have stood up and stood out to be helpful and what a partnership it has been.

The Minister picked up in particular the innovations on the Isle of Wight - the track and trace app, the use of drones for medical supplies, and the new trains and infrastructure work that's ongoing and thanked the people from the Island for being at the forefront.

Once the situation is resolved we will be massively promoting public transport
We will be returning to the original agenda soon
We will renew our climate change objective.

Finally, as an aside the minister commented that he's not found it as easy to work from home as the thought he would. And the unscheduled arrival of a cup of coffee from his partner early on in his talk helped add to the informality, but never the less the topics were very serious ones.

Posts / details from following speakers to follow
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 03:31:20 pm »

Mark Hopwood

I'm the interim MD but you'll notice I've been here over my three months.  These are exceptional times with Coronavirun and challenges to be addressed ahead.

Our TOCS relationship with Network Rail has greatly improved

Our ppmmeasure has increased from 68.5 to 95.1 in recent weeks.  That is instructive and has helped us to understand so much of what the issues have been, but isn't really to be celebrated because it comes on the back of a much reduced service and a massive reduction in passenger numbers.

We have been carrying around 6,000 passengers into Waterloo in each a.m. peak.
We're not only London - for example we have 21 A&Es across our area

Industrial relations; matters are settled with ASLEF and there is no RMT industrial action planned at the current time.  Mark chose his words very carefully, but is clearly of the view that a return to such action over current and recend issues can be avolided.

The reliability of the future timetable is key to future.  But there will certainly be reveue issues.

From business, some people will go back to In Real Life meetings (Mark wished this meeting was IRL) but there will be some impact forsure

What was expected / wondered about to sort out SWR in contract / how it would work - "expected @end April" has been overtaken by emergency measures.
Need to be ready to respond to Williams review and the need for a different model probably applies not only to SWR but to all others now.

Some screen captures from that talk:













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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 03:53:02 pm »


Alex Carson

Head of Crime and security, but talking today on the immediate Coronavirus response.
Best illustrated by a slide set

Screen captures from that talk:




















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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 04:22:40 pm »

Neil Drury
Engineering Director, SWR

Took us through each of the classes of rolling stock.   Mainline and suburban electric units are not, I confess, my strong point and rather than spend a lot of time getting it wrong, I have noted purely what said about the diesel units and Isle of Wight stock.

158/159 - Major work including accessibility all completed.    Still some minor works left to do.
Innovative work being tested on emissions and particulates - showing promise to be implemented across the fleet

484 5 x 2 car on order, first delivery late this year, not very much delayed by Coronavirus
Gauging issues and infrastructure changes will be needed for the 484s, but wll then mean the 483 can't run any more
Anticipating switch to new (!) trains in Spring 2021
SWR people keen to ensure audience aware that the trains have had so much done they're virtually new



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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 06:24:08 pm »

Peter Williams
Commercial Director, SWR

Commuters first on restart.  Longer term leisure will comeback and also business travel as apppropriate.

I noted a comment from Peter about "optimised" leisure traffic coming back, and found myself thinking from his words and how he said them that he was sugegsting that it should be the traffic they want that they encourage back - I found myself feeling a threat of SWR discouraging or now providing for flowas that might be awkard or inconvenient.

We have so many unknowns at present.

Recover phases (see graphic below)

Where we talk of "normal", what will we mean by that?

At present, capacity of trains is only about 10% of normal.

We are not a reservation railway - however we need to consider how we control numbers on particular trains to avoid overcrowding. As Advance Purchase only accounts for less than 5% of journeys, controlling those tickets is not a strong measure.   It may need to be done with pricing and peak adjustements.

SWR looking to be much more British affiliated for example to leaisure attractions / for staycations
More partnerships to set up. To give an idea of volume that have already been going on, 123 cancelled parnership events due to Covid

Peter's talk and the slides below were really interesting ... his subject and how and in what way markets might recover is almost cetainly of far wider application that just SWR and I suggest people scroll down and have a look at my screeen captures.






















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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 08:39:09 am »

My final post in this series .. Q&A to Mark Hopwood, later answers below from Neil Drury and Steve Tyler.

Q: Could you introduce season carnets so that peopelca bulk buy jouneys to be used on regular but not-so-often trips?   
A: We have some options like this. Could do more but we are in emerency measures and would need HMG signoff. Likely they would be concerned about consistency right across rail industry, protect revenew and be suitable to growing traffic

Q: Could station car parks be used for none-rail activities as there are so few parking there?
A: Yes, in theory why not, but noting that such car parks are typically tuned for rail parking and not sure what other use they might have
[GE note - GWR signage states "Car park for rail use only" in places. Does SWR differ?]

Q: On relationship with RMT
A: They have not notified us of any planned action at present.  Agreement reached with ASLEF; hope for that with RMT too

Q: Are the franchise committemnts still in place
A: For the most part they are, but clearly some are impractical at present and have been suspended
We are keen to move the franchise forward - just not clear how for the moment.

Q: How long will it take to get back to normal
A: Sorry - don't know.
We do expect leisure to bounce back well "Visiting Corfe Castle on line is not the same as visiting in person"
However, many people will work from home a lot more.

Q: Will Williams still be relevant?
A: Look forward to seeing the report; it's clear than changes in the areas he's been asked to look at are now all the more needed.

Q: On train cleaning
A: More attention to immediate virus cleaning, and more resources taken on so that longer term can be pickedup too

Q: On repays and season ticket refunds
A: A trickle of requests has turned into a flood; 15,000 have been processed
Social distancing still needed for team doing the refunds. Not a job suitable for doing at home
A: Refund amount is not pro rata.  We work out what you would have paid for a season ticket up to the point you cancel and repay the difference.
This is a UK wide rule.  We asked the government if they wanted to change the algorithm / system but they said there was to be no review.

Q: On resillience
A: We have increased timetable resillience by tuning timetables to have longer dwells at Waterloo (before virus)
A: At present, what would have been a big issue with many repersuccion waves is hardly creating a ripple due to thin service
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 08:41:09 am »

I hope this log was useful (I appreciate it's "Read Mostly" type content so there may be few followups)

Would it be useful to have the same of the GWR Stakeholder conference which usually takes place in the Autumn?
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 10:34:16 am »

Gauging issues and infrastructure changes will be needed for the 484s, but wll then mean the 483 can't run any more

Ride height/platform heights presumably? Once the platform is built up for the 484s the 483s would be a big step down?

Split the platform adjustment work at Ryde St John's Road so a service could still be run with old/new stock maybe with passengers changing there.
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