DfT: South Western Railway NOT Financially Sustainable

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by KashmireHawker, 22 Jan 2020.

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  1. KashmireHawker

    KashmireHawker Member

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    That is the view, of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who has released the following statement this morning:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/rail-update-on-south-western-railway

     
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  3. HamworthyGoods

    HamworthyGoods Member

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  4. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    And all the while the Government is sitting on the Williams Rail Review... I wonder what their plans are?
     
  5. DelW

    DelW Member

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    They've failed to meet most of their other commitments though. (OK, the Desiro refurbs are finished at last, but around a year late).
    I imagine the business driven away by the endless guards strikes is a significant part of the problem, so the RMT may feel they've "won" in possibly breaking another franchise. Long term, it may look different though.
     
  6. Nicholas Lewis

    Nicholas Lewis Member

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    Its pretty evident OLR cannot handle all the TOCs either failing or in financial distress so this will be driven by political merits ie Northern to OLR and the rest through a multiplicity of direct awards to manage the transition to the new operating model for passenger services. With the concession model surely now seen as the best way forward i would suggest direct awards also allows the DofT, or whoever Williams promotes to administer the process, the base information to go out to the market for suppliers.
     
  7. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    The strikes are a symptom rather than a direct cause, when you discount them the punctuality is still horrendous. Most of it is because the infrastructure is in a right state, the South Western Division needs billions invested for upgrades and basic maintenance. Scheduling isn't great either, they are trying to squeeze more and more services on a network that just can't handle it. In addition they underestimated the numbers of staff they would need to implement their new timetable as well as the time it takes to train them.
     
  8. Nicholas Lewis

    Nicholas Lewis Member

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    PPM on the floor again today due in part due to failed signalling at Hilsea which is relatively modern!
     
  9. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    It failed quite badly on Monday evening too causing all kinds of trouble. To my knowledge while the signaling down there isn't ancient it's not exactly cutting edge either. NR is struggling to keep up with all the issues we've been having and it shows.
     
  10. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    That is true. If experienced teams are, apparently, no good at running one TOC there is no way inexperienced teams can handle multiple TOCs and achieve the utopia required of them. I predict a muddled mess as reality dawns and DfT et al try to make inconsistent decisions (required to make 'something' work) look fair and consistent. The trains will still run because those focused on making them run still get on with it despite, rather than because of, the political masters.
     
  11. HH

    HH Established Member

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    Not according to those in OLR. Theoretically I would agree with that...
     
  12. HH

    HH Established Member

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    The teams running the TOCs would be just as experienced as those running them today; indeed it is likely that some of the same people would be running them. The difference would be that they reported to the OLR rather than the rail board of the owning group. And, of course,the driving force would be good news for the politicos rather than maximising shareholder benefit.
     
  13. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    Given how many operators seem to be failing at the moment I think the DfT is making unrealistic expectations of train operating companies and something has to change there.
     
  14. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    There isn't just one OLR - DfT have many OLR companies set up...
     
  15. HH

    HH Established Member

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    The DfT has not put a gun to their head and told them to submit unrealistic bids. You could argue that DfT ought to reject those bids, but the problem is that if they do, then they get taken to court!

    I do think that DfT is over-specifying and also requiring far too much from the bids, but then not allowing bidders either enough time or enough words to go into depth (this is a big issue - while the requirements have exponentially increased, the length of what can be submitted has shrunk considerably). This makes it very difficult to evaluate the bids and this in turn makes DfT even more nervous of challenging them.
     
  16. HH

    HH Established Member

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    Yes, but having companies set up is not the same as having people to run them. Apart from a core group, these have to be hired as required.
     
  17. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    "Hired as required" - And that is where I suspect there may effectively be some double+ counting /assuming that most franchises can't be in trouble at once going on!
     
  18. HH

    HH Established Member

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    DfT will absolutely not have assumed that so many TOCs could be in trouble at once. Of course that causes issues about having the requisite number of suitable, senior OLR staff. Of course, if the department took decisions in a more timely manner, then the issue wouldn't be quite so large - e.g. Northern have been clearly failing for some time, and why did it take so long to cancel the SEF competition? When it cmes to making decisions the DfT's motto appears to be, never do today what you can put off until next quarter.
     
  19. Socanxdis

    Socanxdis Member

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    What impact will it have on staff?
     
  20. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

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    Today is the third day in a row the same three signals have failed on the up line at Hilsea, with no resolution in sight.
     
  21. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    More Williams review wicket rolling.........................

    None, outside of the most senior executives
     
  22. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    The Office of Rail and Road criticised Network Rail for problems in the north. Are those worse than in the SWR region as I'm not aware of them critising Network Rail for this area, unless they already did so previously?
     
  23. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    They have located the cable at fault, so I suspect there will be a resolution.
     
  24. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    I can't comment on the state of the rail network in the North, but what I do know is that it's bad on the SWD.
     
  25. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Yet again, a situation where we are going to have to stifle demand.
     
  26. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    I would imagine very little, South Western Railway like many other "Essential services" is too big and important to fail, even if the company is taken over by the Department for Transport I can't see any redundancies happening as a result.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There's a definite undertone, if you read it all, of "we'll put the anti-strike law in place and then it'll be DOO for breakfast, lunch and dinner".
     
  28. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    The ORR did a review of South Western performance as recently as July 2018. See Review of Network Rail's performance delivery to South Western Railway services
     
  29. Nicholas Lewis

    Nicholas Lewis Member

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    Dont worry the Aventras are designed for to accommodate more standing in comfort
     
  30. dctraindriver

    dctraindriver Member

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    New uniform....
     
  31. dctraindriver

    dctraindriver Member

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    I sense this too
     
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