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Author Topic: Talk by Bob Breakwell, non executive at First Great Western  (Read 2546 times)
grahame
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« on: November 04, 2007, 06:26:35 pm »

Rail Futures conference, 3.11.07

Presentation by Bob Breakwell, non executive director of FGW (First Great Western) and many years in the rail industry.  Mr Breakwell's presentation, given in Ely, concentrated on East Anglia which is an area he knows well; his role at FGW is to sit in board meetings once a month. He does not get involved in day to day operations, and although he was able to answer a few points from a national audience that strayed west of Paddington, I felt that these points were the official line.  He is a very smooth speaker, well able to answer the questions that he wishes rather than the ones asked, and (perhaps rightly in some cases, mind you) able to stand behind his non-exec role and say "not my concern" [paraphrashed] to minor issues such as provision of appropriate service [Wiltshire].

For the majority of his talk, Mr B avoided FGW - "Currently I'm in East Anglia and I have not been aske to talk about other areas" .... HOWEVER ...

[These are my notes - E & O E]

Detailed notes on Bob Breakwell's speech as it was specific to FGW. Bob Breakwell is a director of First Great Western. Much of what was said was known to me, but I think I understood him to say:

a) That St Philips' Marsh Depot will now be completed by next May (2008)
b) That Pacers ARE going to Cornwall - "We don't like it, but it's them or no trains at all"
c) That the West fleet refurbishment will run for 18 months as it's a very complex operation with lots of different train types involved (I had previous understood it to be scheduled for completion next September)
d) That there are no suitable routes that the class 180 trains could operate in the FGW area.
e) That FGW have their hands full already providing services up to the SLC (Service Level Commitment) level, are looking to consolidate, and cannot be expected to provide any new services such as the TransWilts. (I don't like the application of the term "new" to the TransWilts service - it makes it look like an attempt to hide that fact that FGW were the company who pulled the plug on the appropriate trains last December and are now trying to walk away from that!)

I'm unsure as to whether any of these are breaking news, brought about as policy and date changes under the new management, or if they're the opposite (i.e. things that have been superceeded / already answered).

Any clarification / comments welcome.

Pacer (2 car). Original cost to build - 100k pounds per unit. Current leasing cost 300k per unit per year. We are cautioned that leasing cost does include heavy maintainance which can be very expensive, and that's why the figures look out of proportion.




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