East Coast franchise – direct award to LNER until 2025

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by JaJaWa, 10 Jul 2019.

  1. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    LNER will become the longest operator of InterCity East Coast since GNER.

    GNER: 11½ years
    National Express East Coast: 2 years
    East Coast: 5½ years
    Virgin Trains East Coast: 3 years
    LNER: 7 years

    https://www.theparliamentaryreview....on-of-east-coast-mainline-extended-until-2025
     
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  3. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    it's a complete mess
     
  4. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    Well there goes any incentive to improve the ECML for 5 years.
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Or there goes with a stable, punctual and reliable ECML for 5 years. The continuing VTWC Direct Awards have meant that, the "via Birmingham" changes aside, nobody has seen fit to prat about with something that is actually working quite well, to the extent that anything ever does on the railway.

    If it's by and large satisfying passengers and it's turning a profit to Government coffers, why prat with it unnecessarily?

    FWIW, if they announced a 5 year Direct Award to Virgin Rail Group on the WCML I think passengers would be quite happy. Passengers by and large didn't want it pratting with last time and were relieved when "First Horizon Trains" (utterly silly name) disappeared off over the, er, horizon.
     
  6. 700007

    700007 Member

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    LNER is in the process of introducing new Azuma trains and will be rolling out a new timetable next (?) year going to several new destinations around the East Coast. Improvements are happening as we speak and will happen over the next few years. Should take us to 2025 and then there is reason to introduce a new tender.
     
  7. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    Fair enough. I just hope it doesn't become another XC situation with direct award after direct award and no improvements.
     
  8. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    So they illustrate the piece with a picture of a class 373 Eurostar on HS1!

    DfT probably had to make some kind of statement about LNER under EU contract rules, and have given themselves an extra 5 years.
    I don't think it means very much, because they could restart the franchise process at any time.
    The OLR status of LNER is not a franchise or direct award, but does need some kind of service agreement to cover its operation.
    I'd be more impressed if this was a proper public announcement.
    It just kicks the can down the road beyond the outcome of the Williams review (and the reorganisation of Network Rail).
    The target operation is supposed to be the "East Coast Partnership".
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    XC didn't have improvements when it was a franchise either, other than the original Virgin one (with its well-known major flaws).
     
  10. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    Maybe currently but...
     
  11. 800002

    800002 Member

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    I would have thought a five year direct award was better than what XC got, as there is a clear development timeline in place on the east coast which sensibly (in my own opinion) now has continuity in its operator and whom can now see through the implementation / glitch fixing / development on the projects that it inherited from the previous operator.
    They have now been given some responsibility to ensure things progress, surely, as unlike XC who can potentially sit back and simply tinker with the overall product, as they haven't been given sufficient time to fully implement anything significant.
    That's my thought anyway.
     
  12. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Looking through the fares for a couple of months hence, they still seem to be persisting with VTEC's uninspiring pricing model.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    When has a pricing model ever been inspiring? :D
     
  14. AndrewNewens

    AndrewNewens Member

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    My understanding is that LNER is run by an 'operator of last resort' so, unlike when East Coast was run by a government company (Directy Operated Railways Ltd I think), it is still technically run by a private company. Can anyone confirm this and name the mystery company that runs LNER on a day to day basis?
     
  15. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    DfT OLR Holdings Limited (DOHL)

    Formed of Arun Group, Ernest & Young and SNC-Lavalin Rail Transit
     
  16. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    When you can find a good value fare in it !
     
  17. 800002

    800002 Member

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    So that makes it what
    A government backed / underwritten consortium? Or
    A private entity run for profit but reports directly to government? Or
    Something else?
     
  18. AndrewNewens

    AndrewNewens Member

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    Thanks. So is it effectively still being run by a 'private' company. SNC-Lavalin are a private company as are the rest of the companies mentioned. How are they paid for running the trains?
     
  19. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Effectively the dft appoints this companies to operate the service on their behalf instead of it being directly operated by the DfT.
     
  20. AndrewNewens

    AndrewNewens Member

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    You are dripping us fascinating snippits of information here Jorge. How are their fees negotiated and do we now how much more (or less) do they get than if the service was run as a concession?
     
  21. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    I do not know I do not work for LNER. This information I know is very easy to find. I would imagine it would be similar to concession i.e. they get paid a fee for operating the service depending on the performance.
     
  22. AndrewNewens

    AndrewNewens Member

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    I'm not so sure about easy to find. I found a link to a FOI request about the issue and the contract that was released was only a couple of pages long and included no figures whatsoever.
     
  23. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    The Operator of Last Resort function was advertised by the DfT after the DOR period at East Coast, and before the VTEC debacle.
    The aim is to step in to manage problematic rail franchises, and is mandated by the Railways Act.
    The tender was won by the consortium of consultants noted above, with SNC Lavelin (a Canadian engineering consultancy) taking the lead.
    They were therefore appointed ("mobilised") by the DfT after VTEC collapsed, under what is effectively a management contract.
    The OLR person running LNER used to be a senior Network Rail director, and has wide rail experience.
    They will earn high fees for the work, which is regulated by a service agreement with the DfT.
    I have no idea what the financial arrangements are or what targets LNER is charged with.

    This is not that different from how Directly Operated Railways was formed, using external consultants.
     
  24. 700007

    700007 Member

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    You mean it is formed of Arup Group, EY and SNC.
     
  25. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Thanks. Yes
     
  26. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...ain-franchises-to-private-firms-a6818436.html

    Article from when Directly Operated Railways was folded and changed to OLR

    So technically it is operated by private companies but managed by the DfT. I am surprised Jeremy Corbyn has not picked up on this.
     
  27. GoneSouth

    GoneSouth Member

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    Ah that explains why I’ve never found XC’s fare structure inspiring... shocking is probably a better word!
     
  28. westv

    westv Established Member

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    So 15 minute delay repay from 2025 then?
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Yes, that sounds about right.
     
  30. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Because a significant upgrade program was begun years ago, with new services promised, some infrastructure upgrades and the introduction of a much larger fleet of new rolling stock?

    Continuing to do the same as now is, er, not an option...
     
  31. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    So what improvements will be made in this period?
     

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