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Old 21st July 2017, 09:12   #976
Bletchleyite
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Originally Posted by PHILIPE View Post
There were more Brexit "idiots" than remoaners who do nothing but spread doom and gloom
Given that Switzerland is (a) not in the EU and (b) has a fully electrified railway system near enough (ISTR there being only one diesel line, but I forget where it is), I fail to see what the relevance of Brexit is, whatever your view on the matter.
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Old 21st July 2017, 09:16   #977
Rhydgaled
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I couldn't quite work out from the article if Chris Grayling doesn't know that the line between Swansea and Cardiff is used by anyone other than GWR, though, or if he knows but doesn't care.
Bridgend-Swansea electrification isn't much use to the Wales & Borders franchise without wires to Bristol Temple Meads and along the Filton Bank stretch anyway. The Swanline service could go electric, but an electric Swansea-Bristol service would have to wait. Until Bristol gets its electrification therefore I think it makes sense for Wales to concentrate on getting the ValleyLines wired up. Yesterday's announment on Swansea was a big blow only because it was a cancelation not a delay, but perhaps the biggest blow was the Midland Main Line cancelation. That is a total unmitigated disaster which must be reversed urgently.

With the ValleyLines, Bristol and Swansea all electrified however, there would be more trains per hour running on electricity between Bridgend and Cardiff than there will be in the Severn tunnel. The Severn tunnel is three electric trains per hour (two Londons and the Swansea-Bristol), Cardiff-Bridgend could be four or five (Swansea-PAD, Swanline (perhaps a '769 running through to Cheltenham Spa)), Swansea-Bristol and Maesteg-Cardiff/Ebbw Vale, the latter maybe twice an hour).
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Old 21st July 2017, 09:19   #978
PHILIPE
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Originally Posted by Bletchleyite View Post
Given that Switzerland is (a) not in the EU and (b) has a fully electrified railway system near enough (ISTR there being only one diesel line, but I forget where it is), I fail to see what the relevance of Brexit is, whatever your view on the matter.
I was only replying to somebody else who brought Brexit into the discussion if you look back.
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Old 21st July 2017, 09:22   #979
Rhydgaled
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Originally Posted by Bletchleyite View Post
I fail to see what the relevance of Brexit is, whatever your view on the matter.
Absolutely none as far as I can see; at this point my own opinion is that leaving the EU could go well, very badly or anything in between, but it doesn't seem relevant to this discussion. If the government were expecting a big loss in tax revenues (or high inflation) as a result of leaving the EU, why aren't we seeing similar cuts to the road building programme and HS2, for example? That suggests to me that the loss of electrification schemes has nothing to do with leaving the EU and everything to do with the government not being committed to creating an energy effecient transport system fit for the 21st century (or at least, not committed enough to put up with the current skills shortage that appears to be a large part of the problem with the current electrification work).
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Old 21st July 2017, 09:23   #980
Bletchleyite
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I was only replying to somebody else who brought Brexit into the discussion if you look back.
I know, while I replied to your post as the furthest one down my point was general to all those who have brought Brexit up as relevant when it really isn't.
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Old 21st July 2017, 09:47   #981
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I know, while I replied to your post as the furthest one down my point was general to all those who have brought Brexit up as relevant when it really isn't.
Good. We shouldn't go off topic but so easy.
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Old 21st July 2017, 15:53   #982
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My point re: Brexit was in reply to Gareth Marston's post of the delay in the Welsh Govt being awarded the powers to just finalise and release the ITT.

Whilst central govt and the civil service is being overwhelmed by the Brexit process, which remember no-one in govt was prepared for or expecting, all the other normal, seemingly straightforward functions of central govt, such as devolving the rail powers that were promised to Wales over 3 years ago but still haven't arrived, is being lost in the confusion and chaos in central govt right now.

I suspect there is also game playing going on from the Tories to make life as difficult as possible for the Welsh Labour govt, who also hate the fact they have failed to make the inroads they were expecting in Wales in recent years.

Whether you believe that of course depends on where you stand politically, so I agree we shouldn't get into that here, however, I do fail to see how you can disagree with the fact that the lack of powers over the railways in Wales has now become highly political with a stand off between Cardiff Bay and Westminster, esp since the Cardiff - Swansea announcement. I suspect if Chris Grayling had been transport secretary in 2014 no such promise of Cardiff Bay being given the powers to award this new franchise would have been made.

So I was giving my opinion on why Wales STILL doesn't have the rail franchise awarding powers devolved that it should have by now. (Tinged by anger at the rail electrification announcements yesterday as well)
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Old 21st July 2017, 16:21   #983
PHILIPE
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My point re: Brexit was in reply to Gareth Marston's post of the delay in the Welsh Govt being awarded the powers to just finalise and release the ITT.

Whilst central govt and the civil service is being overwhelmed by the Brexit process, which remember no-one in govt was prepared for or expecting, all the other normal, seemingly straightforward functions of central govt, such as devolving the rail powers that were promised to Wales over 3 years ago but still haven't arrived, is being lost in the confusion and chaos in central govt right now.

I suspect there is also game playing going on from the Tories to make life as difficult as possible for the Welsh Labour govt, who also hate the fact they have failed to make the inroads they were expecting in Wales in recent years.

Whether you believe that of course depends on where you stand politically, so I agree we shouldn't get into that here, however, I do fail to see how you can disagree with the fact that the lack of powers over the railways in Wales has now become highly political with a stand off between Cardiff Bay and Westminster, esp since the Cardiff - Swansea announcement. I suspect if Chris Grayling had been transport secretary in 2014 no such promise of Cardiff Bay being given the powers to award this new franchise would have been made.

So I was giving my opinion on why Wales STILL doesn't have the rail franchise awarding powers devolved that it should have by now. (Tinged by anger at the rail electrification announcements yesterday as well)
Agreed. Perhaps it is just a political game because I suspect Westminster might want to make things a little awkward for Wales or is the Welsh Government mistaken re the handover.
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Old 21st July 2017, 17:02   #984
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Agreed. Perhaps it is just a political game because I suspect Westminster might want to make things a little awkward for Wales or is the Welsh Government mistaken re the handover.
There might well be significant differences between Westminster and Cardiff on the nature of the franchise.
The WG seems to want a lot more than simply controlling the ITT and mounting a normal competition (eg more like a Merseyrail contract than one like ATW, and maybe local train and station ownership).
It also affects services in parts of England.
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Old Yesterday, 23:37   #985
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I've been following this thread with interest from afar for some time. I live up in York at the moment but I'm a Rhondda boy. I've been catching trains to Cardiff since I was a toddler.

I wanted to ask the forum - is light rail off the agenda now? I'm very concerned about it. You see, in the valleys we have been absolutely robbed of some of our vital public transport infrastructure in recent years. As the roads have improved, bus services have been cut. In my valley, which lost its passenger service in the 60s, we lost the Rail Link bus service to the next valley due to austerity cuts a few years ago - instead they encouraged us to take a normal service bus to Porth, which isn't the same. A year or two later, we also lost the express bus service to Cardiff - we now have to change at Pontypridd if we want to get to Cardiff within 2 hours. It's that bad - where once you had a choice of a bus to link to a train, or an express bus, now you have to make your own way to the capital, 20 miles away. It's absurd, and I don't think anyone outside the valleys really understands, especially in light of the huge deprivation here.

Now we're facing the possibility (unbeknownst to most of the people who live here) of losing our trains altogether. The WAG have been promoting this idea of trams as a cleaner, cheaper alternative - if it went ahead, no doubt they would say it's huge investment, rather than avoiding doing a proper job, and make it easier to expand. The disruption would be enormous because every station would have to be altered and the wires would still have to be put up. We'd probably lose the freight too, even if there's not much these days. It feels like to me that why would you bother going to the length of electrifying in a half-arsed way? It feels so short-sighted. It's not what people want.

And yet when I'm reading the industry magazines, it's basically being heavily implied that this is what the WAG wants to do. I can't help but feel Ken Skates is totally out of his depth - it seems like he's just parroting some Lyle Lanley-esque scheme that he's been sold, an easy political win which 10-20 years down the line will end up a total disaster. I don't trust Welsh Labour on this at all - contrasted with the Westminster party, they've become very pro-business and Cardiff-centric. I'm supportive of the concept of the Metro, but not if it's just a glorified cover for more valleys austerity so that Cardiff city centre and the Bay can get some shiny trams to show it's "competing" with Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh et al. It would make far more sense if it was basically the same as the West Yorkshire Metro which seems to work quite well - but that means retaining heavy rail. No one would suggest sticking trams or tram-trains out to Castleford, Knottingley, Ilkley or Harrogate. Why is that South Wales seems to be bottom of the pile, below even the North in the pecking order?

So what's the score? Is this an inevitability now? My gut feeling is that it is - I can't help think that we're going to get shafted again, and that within a few years we're going to be longing for Pacers again.

Last edited by Bwlch y Groes; Yesterday at 23:40.
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