ATW £170m railway franchise is "flawed"

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by jones_bangor, 10 Nov 2011.

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  1. jones_bangor

    jones_bangor Member

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  3. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    The then Minister & others could not wait to get there hands on Wales & Borders, they were warned about being sold a pup with no growth.

    The strategic report on Rail Delayed yet again to December it seems will be interesting.

    And no I did not know it was the highest per mile subsidised in the UK,


    Bob
     
  4. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    The subsidy-per-passenger-mile for each ("English") TOC is published by DfT here:

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/dft-business-plan-indicators-input-01

    However it excludes ATW and Scotrail as these are devolved.
    I have never been able to find the equivalent for ATW on the WG site.

    Even these figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, because the network grant has been "fudged" across each TOC according to their access charges and is not the true amount.
     
  5. Oliver

    Oliver Member

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    But the point is that under ATW the usage has grown, whereas outsiders thought it wouldn't. The Welsh economy hasn't been great, so doesn't that indicate that Arriva must be doing something right?
     
  6. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    It is an ex Regional operation , much improved - which will always require subsidy + a profit margin for the operator.

    Arriva in any case , won the franchise by offering the standard pattern timetable which offered around 25% more trains , more capacity within existing fleet
     
  7. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    No matter who it was under, it would have grown,a DFT mandarin with no idea of life invited this "No Growth" idea.

    In the real world, & franchise railways are not in the same world as grow or die many private Companies face.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I was under the impression the contract ATW won was "No Growth" do I recall others interested offered new stock.

    ATW got the first 15 year contract, which is not impressive and lessons must be learned.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2011
  8. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Arriva have introduced additional stock, such as extra 150s and being able to take on all the 175s for their own use, previously they had 'belonged' to the Wales franchise but been subleased for use on North West routes.
     
  9. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    Many have tried to ask the question,why does WG hide the figures,
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The 175s were always coming back, part of the deal when FNW left, so where with all respect have these 150s arrived from
     
  10. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Yes but they always been used on North West routes previously so they were effectively new stock for Wales.

    Arriva Trains Wales got an additional 12x150s from Scotrail, 8x150s from First Great Western and the rest came from Central Trains. The last were mainly brought in to strengthen services on the Borderlands line.

    ATW have sent 1x153 to FGW and as well as 2x153s to EMT as well as being well know for loaning out 150s.
     
  11. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I am reminded of a quote that was floating around recently (made by, I think, the head of Network Rail) along the lines of "this is the only industry I've ever been involved in where growth is seen as a problem". He's certainly right, I can't think of any other situation where you hear about growth and think "oh no, how are we going to cater for that new demand?". Yet on the privatised railway...
     
  12. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    For an operator which consistantly deliverers over 92% PPM , low cancellation rates and has (from my journeys and viewings) a very clean and cared for fleet, - all within a fixed subsidy (for what is , as said, a non commercial regional operation) - perhaps the critical individuals might care to comment as to where extra funding to pay for improvements might come from - farebox , more grants ?)

    I am reminded of a previous MD of this kind of operation who observed that the more they did , the more support is needed.

    No doubt people always think they are hard done by -
     
  13. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Surprising news, given all these reports of "overcrowded" ATW services we keep hearing about...

    Seriously though, its not that big a shock, given the territory that ATW run (you're not going to make much profit on the Heart Of Wales line...).

    I'd be interested in a comparison between the different areas of the business - I'd imagine that the Manchester services and the Valley Lines part of the operation need less subsidy than some of the rural parts.

    This may temper some of the demands for greater services on rural lines though.
     
  14. cle

    cle Established Member

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    They should up the services from central money, i.e. frequencies and wires in the Valleys, which is where the money potential is - and then once the demand is much hgiher and the people are loving the train - cut the subsidies so they pay more normal fares.
     
  15. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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  16. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    When the North Wales services were transferred the 175s had their branding removed and were put in a common pool to be shared between FNW and Wales & Borders, some were stabled at Longsight and Stockport sidings overnight but which ones were stabled there were rotated. ATW took over from W&B and branded a couple of the 175s in an experimental livery, the rest remained unbranded. TPE took over from FNW and it remained very similar until the 185s came in to service when ATW got extra stock.

    This was similar to what the situation with the 350s was under Central Trains and Silverlink. Like with the 350s there were even some services where the operator changed changed part way through the journey. The 06:5x Chester-Altrincham-Manchester-Warrington-Chester-Llandudno service was an example of this.
     
  17. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    Do you recall the loco hauled hired in by FNW, I travelled on it a few times to Altrincham, it left Chester around 3.30p,m,. for Blackpool. & thanks for the info

    Bob
     
  18. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Yes. It was hired in to cover the loan of 2x158s and formed of class 31s and 4 mk2 carriages.

    It did the following each weekday:
    * ECS Blackpool Sidings to St-Annes-on-Sea.
    * St-Annes-on-Sea to Greenbank in service. Between Preston and Stockport it's times were virtually the same as the morning Blackpool-Hazel Grove service is now with an approx 08:20 arrival at Manchester Piccadilly. It arrived at Greenbank at around 09:15.
    * ECS Greenbank to Chester.
    * Chester to Blackpool North, departing Chester at around 15:50 and running semi-fast to Manchester with an approx 17:05 departure from Manchester Piccadilly.
    * ECS to Blackpool Sidings
     
  19. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    Thanks it was hired in from a strange named Company.
     
  20. Arglwydd Golau

    Arglwydd Golau Established Member

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    Fragonset?
     
  21. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    Valley Lines are rammed at peak periods yet they run around at 15 min frequency in off peak with low loadings hence the skew in support as there still crewed, pay track access, use fuel etc
     
  22. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    The same is true of commuter lines elsewhere in the UK, which tend to be the profitable parts of the railway (or at least the "least loss making").

    Plus its not like the leasing costs of Valley Line Pacers is going to cost loads either.

    If Valley Lines was a separate TOC (as it once was) then it'd be interesting to see whether it would be profitable (in which case it is cross subsidising the rural services)
     
  23. jones_bangor

    jones_bangor Member

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    Weren't there few reopening proposals in the original Arriva tender....that were promptly poo-pooed by Whitehall bureaucrats.
     
  24. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    As it was previously the Valley Line franchises was not financially sound and they couldn't afford the cost of leasing and running a fleet of mainly Sprinters, so had to switch Sprinters for Pacers to be able to keep afloat.
     
  25. jones_bangor

    jones_bangor Member

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    Makes sense- I suspect this bit of the franchise must be making a profit.

    Losses on the Cambrian Mach - Pwllheli and HoW must be horrendous.
     
  26. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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  27. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    There's obviously been significant growth since then.

    All the "Provincial" operators had big problems in the first few years after privatisation (Northern Spirit etc) - plus there were the problems with Prism.
     
  28. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    I agree. However, based on the above posts Valley Lines have Pacers that are running around fairly empty at off-peak times due to a 15 minute frequency. In comparison with Merseyrail, who can get healthy numbers of passengers using 3 car EMUs at 15 minute intervals at off-peak times, Valley Lines as a new franchise should be less profitable than Merseyrail.
     
  29. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    The aberdare & merthyr Tydfil trains can still be busy even with 3 or 4 carriages off peak same with the Treherbert & Rhymney services although this is on journeys to Cardiff heading to these places off peak trains can be fairly quiet apart from between Cardiff & Pontypridd & Caerphilly etc.

    I travelled on the Ebbw Vale yesterday the train was very quiet as i stated in the report on my trip i published on this forum last night with only 3 other passengers apart from me and my freind andrew. Coming back from Ebbw Vale however was a different story as the train was busy with little seats free by the time we got to Rogerstone.
     
  30. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    From my Valley experiences, they do fill up/ empty a few times on the journey between Cardiff and the far terminus (there's a lot of "local" traffic which doesn't involve the capital)

    I only say this to contrast with some other "urban" areas where the significant majority of trade is into the city centre.
     
  31. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    I've heard ATW Managers say bulk of the subsidy goes into Valley lines. Its also a question of farebox revenue - its dirt cheap compared to most of UK and nearly all short local trips.

    We did a study on Cwmbran/Abergavenny compared with BR who ran 19 trains in 91/92 with now 29 trains at face value 50% more trains but when you analysed it the number of peak trains in both periods was 5. the extra 10 are all off peak. So 50% more running cost but the revenue curve didn't follow as off peak is full of club 55, AP etc
     
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