End of Open Access Entrepreneurs

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Schnellzug

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i needn't worry, like all these Government Consultation Papers and Command Papers and all the rest of it, it's all a combination of flannel and hot air. That's why i always find very amnusing these incredibly long discussions there always are about What the Government will or Ought to do, and What this will mean, and Will this mean that Pacers will have to go by 2020, and so on. It's all just speculation, and there is a very good chance, if not an absolute certainity, that it will not be the same Government by 2018-19.
 
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So actually, the point of privatisation increasing proper competition on the rails takes another hit. Backward move. What a shame.....

http://www.railpro.co.uk/news/?idArticles=1324
I would agree with you if any open access operations actually wanted to operate anywhere other than the ECML or WCML but they dont. Those lines are full to capacity and more trains full of fresh air just as an ORCATS raid benifits nobody.
 

YorkshireBear

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If open access do prove to impede investment by the TOC then i think they should go.
Take for example EC, they will take the routes off FHT and GC as a franchise minimum for course of franchise. They can intergrate it with rest of franchise therefore not impeding investment. I personally think FHT should maybe be in EC anyway post electrification of hull (i know its not confirmed but it might happen) and have the same long distance electric stock as the rest of the ECML operating 7-10 returns a day.
 

91101

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Whilst the government may want to impede Open Access, I am fairly certain that European legislation would forbid them from preventing access. This is why now almost all European rail operators are separated into Operations and Infrastructure.
 

Wath Yard

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I agree, the Government has little say in the matter. European law and the way the railway has been structured are more significant. The Government can huff and puff, and formally object, to OAOs but it is the ORR's decision whether they meet the set criteria and what paths they get. Obviously the Government can put pressure on the ORR but it is independent and will decide itself.
 

142094

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I would agree with you if any open access operations actually wanted to operate anywhere other than the ECML or WCML but they dont. Those lines are full to capacity and more trains full of fresh air just as an ORCATS raid benifits nobody.
But at the same time could GC make a profit in not serving London or stations on the ECML? Highly doubtful.
 

D1009

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I would agree with you if any open access operations actually wanted to operate anywhere other than the ECML or WCML but they dont. Those lines are full to capacity and more trains full of fresh air just as an ORCATS raid benifits nobody.
Erm, Devon and Cornwall Railway from Okehampton ?
 

AlanFry1

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Whilst the government may want to impede Open Access, I am fairly certain that European legislation would forbid them from preventing access. This is why now almost all European rail operators are separated into Operations and Infrastructure.
They cannot force them off the rails, but they can take them over

 

LNW-GW Joint

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The arbitrator is not the government (DfT) but the regulator (ORR).
We will soon see what ORR makes of the West Coast OA applications (GNWR), in parallel with the new franchisee.
If they refuse them it's pretty well the end for new OA operations to a London terminal.
If they let them have an hourly path out of Euston we are in for an interesting ride.

However, it's clear OA is only about raiding the premium routes.
Not much interest away from London.
 

HSTEd

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Open Access Operators are supposed to operate routes that for whatever reason are not in the franchises.

If Hull trains are included in the next East Coast franchise to begin once the Hull Trains current set of paths expire I'm pretty sure they would win the ensuing court case. Hull Trains have no right to expect that the paths they have secured for however long will continue past the end of the current agreement and the franchised operator should (and as I understand it does) get first call on the paths.
 

DownSouth

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However, it's clear OA is only about raiding the premium routes.
Not much interest away from London.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if Open Access operators were somehow excluded from collecting revenue via ORCATS and had to rely on collecting the revenue only due to the actual number of passengers carried.
 

Masboroughlad

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It would be interesting to see what would happen if Open Access operators were somehow excluded from collecting revenue via ORCATS and had to rely on collecting the revenue only due to the actual number of passengers carried.
What a great idea! Far too sensible for the railway to adopt!!! :lol:
 

Badger

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In my mind what OA operators are better suited for, rather than long distance routes that get in the way of other companies, is disused branch lines (that are still open for whatever reason). For example (and sorry it's a local example as I can't think of any others right now), the Wolverhampton to Walsall line which was withdrawn by London Midland but is still open as a diversion route. I'm sure there are better examples.
 

Masboroughlad

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In my mind what OA operators are better suited for, rather than long distance routes that get in the way of other companies, is disused branch lines (that are still open for whatever reason). For example (and sorry it's a local example as I can't think of any others right now), the Wolverhampton to Walsall line which was withdrawn by London Midland but is still open as a diversion route. I'm sure there are better examples.
I think there is something like this at planning stage in the North East somewhere. Probably be knocked on the head now though :roll:
 

Wath Yard

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The open access proposal in the North East won't be knocked on the head now due to the Government restating its opposition to OAOs. It won't happen because it is pure fantasy. OAOs are not suited to branch lines. The fares are usually very cheap and there are nowhere near enough passengers to cover their costs. What has to be remembered is that OAOs don't receive a subsidy and they are not public spirited philanthropists who want to lose money.
 

swt_passenger

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Speaking about OAO's, GO OP has not been mentioned. This OAO aims to run services between Birmingham and Westbury via Melksham and Oxford.
I predict it will never start.

ORR will determine that it fails the 'not primarily abstractive test' on the Oxford to Birmingham section of the proposed route.
 

DarloRich

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The open access proposal in the North East won't be knocked on the head now due to the Government restating its opposition to OAOs. It won't happen because it is pure fantasy. OAOs are not suited to branch lines. The fares are usually very cheap and there are nowhere near enough passengers to cover their costs. What has to be remembered is that OAOs don't receive a subsidy and they are not public spirited philanthropists who want to lose money.
This scheme just seems like total wibble! The website is terrible and has very little information and some spelling mistakes on it. http://www.teestrainscic.com/
 

HexDriver

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It would be interesting to see what would happen if Open Access operators were somehow excluded from collecting revenue via ORCATS and had to rely on collecting the revenue only due to the actual number of passengers carried.
Thats essentially how Heathrow Express operate in that it only receives revenue from its own tickets. But that then forces the ticket price up, while this works for Hex because it's aimed at business travellers that formula is not the same for the other open access operators and would see passengers desert them very quickly
 

NSEFAN

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Badger said:
In my mind what OA operators are better suited for, rather than long distance routes that get in the way of other companies, is disused branch lines (that are still open for whatever reason). For example (and sorry it's a local example as I can't think of any others right now), the Wolverhampton to Walsall line which was withdrawn by London Midland but is still open as a diversion route. I'm sure there are better examples.
Surely open-access can only work where there is profit to be had? There's probably a reason why little-used branch lines are little-used!

I've always found the idea of competition for passengers on the railway to be silly, especially now more and more routes are starting to reach line capacity. As we have seen, it is operationally much simpler if every service on a route is provided by one company. In most London terminals, we have only one or two operators running everything, with suburban and long-distance being run seperately. Competition does exist in some places (London-Birmingham via the WCML or Chiltern, for example), but most other places have a complete monopoly.

This is in contrast to freight, which has done very well from privatisation and competition. I suppose it comes down to the fact that rail travel for passengers has social benefits as well as economic ones, whereas freight will always largely be driven by money. As far as I know, there are no subsidies for freight, and loss-making flows just don't exist anymore.

In the meantime, I wouldn't be suprised if open-access operations like Grand Central and Hull Trains are merged into the East Coast franchise. They are evidently a commerically viable operation, so the government will want to grab a slice or two! :lol:
 

martinsh

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I predict it will never start.

ORR will determine that it fails the 'not primarily abstractive test' on the Oxford to Birmingham section of the proposed route.
It may well never start (I hope it does), but they have been going for 3 years now. Surely ORR will have told them whether or not their proposal fails the 'not primarily abstractive test' ? Or are they an even bigger load of w*nkers than I thought ?
 

swt_passenger

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It may well never start (I hope it does), but they have been going for 3 years now. Surely ORR will have told them whether or not their proposal fails the 'not primarily abstractive test' ? Or are they an even bigger load of w*nkers than I thought ?
They may not even have applied formally yet. At least the various Alliance proposals get as far as ORR's website...
 

34D

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I would agree with you if any open access operations actually wanted to operate anywhere other than the ECML or WCML but they dont. Those lines are full to capacity and more trains full of fresh air just as an ORCATS raid benifits nobody.
However, it's clear OA is only about raiding the premium routes.
Not much interest away from London.
Not fair. I suggest there is little demand for a Sunderland-Peterborough or Sunderland-York service. The whole point is to serve London as people want to go there. If GC had their paths cut, they would just divide/join units at Doncaster. Ditto HT.

When NXEC won intercity east coast there was nothing to stop it from bidding to serve sunderland, Hull or halifax.
 

Chris M

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It would be interesting to see what would happen if Open Access operators were somehow excluded from collecting revenue via ORCATS and had to rely on collecting the revenue only due to the actual number of passengers carried.
What a great idea! Far too sensible for the railway to adopt!!! :lol:
The only way to operate that is fair to all parties is to have a level playing field - i.e. they all get a slice of all the revenue (ORCATS) or they all only get revenue for the actual number of passengers carried.

The latter would be the fairest way, and there would be an incentive to actually offer what passengers want. I'm sure though that some (franchised) operators would scream blue murder about this as it would end the guaranteed revenue and actually require them to employ sufficient on-train staff to check every ticket.

The point of privatisation is that private companies take the risks and earn the rewards if they get it right but have to take the hit if they get it wrong. However the current attitude of many (and it's not exactly discouraged by the DfT) seems to be that they don't want any risk but still want the rewards - otherwise known as having ones cake and eating it.

There is an alternative method of operating a privatised railway, which is that employed by TfL for the London Overground franchise. All LOROL have to do is provide the level of service specified in their contract and they get guaranteed revenue, whatever the farebox receipts. However, because it's TfL taking the risks it's TfL, not LOROL, who get to keep any additional profit.
 
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