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New structure for British railways


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Well the carnet tickets sounds good. The rest? No idea to be honest, the usual (generally justified) scepticism of any change is at play. I suppose the worry is whether it's another move towards a railway run even more by politicians.

 

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I fully expect that the RMT will already be warming up ready for some tub thumping.

 

I think GB Railfreight (a.k.a. GBRf) may have something to say about GBR.....

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Just call it British Railways no fancy names ,run the trains on time ,reasonable fares ,electrify all main lines ,comfortable trains ie good seats.Hope that mp,s dont poke their noses into day to day running and provide a decent budget for development  ,but I am not holding out much hope.

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Sounds like a similar set up to TFL. For the modeller this will herald a big change, and possibly not a good one for manufacturers, as it will operate as one brand. This means one livery I suspect, so fewer variations of a model to sell. 

 

David 

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4 minutes ago, bmthtrains - David said:

Sounds like a similar set up to TFL. For the modeller this will herald a big change, and possibly not a good one for manufacturers, as it will operate as one brand. This means one livery I suspect, so fewer variations of a model to sell. 

 

David 

No I think you’ll see the same variety as the franchises just morph into these set rate operations. The govt already set the names on the main franchises like GWR, LNER and SWR and the new idea was already mooted as bidding to run at a set fee. 

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The headline seems to be the changing of franchises into management contracts, though the devil will be in the detail as far as how the various parties work together.

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Having just skimmed through the report , on the face of it a lot sounds positive.

 

Naturally having a vested interest , chapter 8 regarding staff was the bit I was looking closely at. Whilst my salary is in the public domain , I'm not necessarily happy with the concept of comparison with other sectors and labour markets - we've been down this road before with McNulty comparing train drivers to white van man. I think we can all see where this is heading....

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Lots of good ideas, but all will rest on the implementation. Hopefully it won't be rushed in nationwide without a proper pilot scheme. 

 

The real worry is that all the ingredients are there to produce DaFTRail.

 

John

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46 minutes ago, PaulRhB said:

No I think you’ll see the same variety as the franchises just morph into these set rate operations. The govt already set the names on the main franchises like GWR, LNER and SWR and the new idea was already mooted as bidding to run at a set fee. 

 

The report states that one national brand (sub brand for Wales) will use an updated version of the BR double arrow and will replace current liveries as and when they need repainting.

 

David

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4 minutes ago, bmthtrains - David said:

 

The report states that one national brand (sub brand for Wales) will use an updated version of the BR double arrow and will replace current liveries as and when they need repainting.

 

David

It looks like a sort of return to the BR sub brands so I think from what we’ve seen there will be different livery variations like that but carrying the same brand name.  Plus they want more open access and the existing freight. 
It’s scant on detail at present so I’m going by what’s been said on the ‘management contracts’ already. 

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Posted (edited)

Hoo-blooming-ray! (tempered with fears)

 

I've experience the Old BR, Sectorised BR, TfL/LUL, and NR/TOC arrangements, and the TfL one, which this seems most akin to, is without doubt the best for both customers and staff (although for the latter it can actually be a tougher regime in some ways, because it leaves fewer places to hide!).

 

My fears for it relate four main things:

 

- The TfL model has very, very clear accountability, direct to a bodies that represents the interests of public very effectively (for many years now an elected mayor, and a board with good representation across the community), whereas all previous national models for England (Scotland and Wales have become different since devolution) have been woefully short on direct accountability, with accountability getting lost in the mire of DfT and parliament, the second of which isn't a fit body for the job, because it has far too many other, much bigger, fish to fry;

 

- TfL has managed very well to keep the national civil service off their back for the vast majority of practical purposes, by a combination of its legislative positioning, and by having directors who have been prepared to hold the line against "well intentioned overstepping of the regulatory line". Again, I wonder if this new body will be able to achieve that, to get the regulatory line set in the right place, and hold that line;

 

- the national rail network is big, which always makes for a tension between centralised and devolved control, which TfL only for a short period in the 1980s allowed itself to get enmeshed in. It was a potential tension under the Old BR model, but the very traditional modes of communication and the regional board structures largely prevented trouble (the regions were on a pretty loose rein in many things), it plagues NR now, despite best efforts to resolve it, and modern communications bring with them a really sore temptation for the centre to micro-manage the periphery, because they give the illusion that such a thing is possible;

 

- culture and competence across the industry have been set by donkey's years of roughly how it is now, and two worrying things that I have observed at every one of the "worm's eye" contacts that I have with it are: that only a tiny fraction of people in NR really "live and breath" the combination of end-user-customer focus and personal accountability that is needed to deliver a cracking good service at a stated price, far too many people simply don't get it, and haven't been required to get it in 20+ years; and, there are genuinely serious competence gaps all over the place, with attempts made to plug them using outside services that themselves are also short of competence. Fixing these two things is going to be a monster task, but if they aren't fixed, the new model railway will bog-in up to its axles.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

Kevin

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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The link takes you to the Gov.uk page where you can read or download the  source document of Williams -Shapps plan

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/great-british-railways-williams-shapps-plan-for-rail

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Has he not noticed that he is only talking about England? Wales is not a "sub-brand", it is devolved for train operation (not the infrastructure side except for the Cardiff area light rail scheme) and Scotland and Ireland are also devolved. So he can have a "Great  English Railway" if he likes though to parallel our current diplomatic activities it should probably be "Little English Railway".

Come back Gerry Fiennes: "When you reorganise you bleed"

Jonathan

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