Lack of rolling stock for Cornish branches

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Turbostar

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There was a news story on our local ITV news this eve - most local services covering the branch lines in cornwall are to be replaced by buses for the next week at least... due to lack of stock! Me, mum & dad were in fits of giggles, we've never heard anything so funny. Maybe First should of thought about this before sending their 150's & 153's elsewhere! Btw, their excuse was the rolling stock is under maintenance in Bristol??? What, all of them??? lol Jeez!

Mart
 
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g4mby

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There was a news story on our local ITV news this eve - most local services covering the branch lines in cornwall are to be replaced by buses for the next week at least... due to lack of stock! Me, mum & dad were in fits of giggles, we've never heard anything so funny. Maybe First should of thought about this before sending their 150's & 153's elsewhere! Btw, their excuse was the rolling stock is under maintenance in Bristol??? What, all of them??? lol Jeez!

Mart
This is already being discussed elswehere on this forum - http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=10927.
 

paul1609

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Its an absolutely stupid situation. The DfT need to step in and sort it out - most probably by paying for the leases on the units at Eastleigh
I dont believe the Dft should pay First one extra penny!
First bidded for the franchise and patently cant run it at the price.
Firsts shareholders should be paying not the taxpayer.
First are not in the same position that GNER found themselves in, they have other profitable public transport contracts. if First have got their sums wrong on Great Western they should be paying with those profits. The alternative is that First give up the Great Western Franchise and forgo their performance bond.
 

Andrew

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I dont believe the Dft should pay First one extra penny!
First bidded for the franchise and patently cant run it at the price.
Firsts shareholders should be paying not the taxpayer.
First are not in the same position that GNER found themselves in, they have other profitable public transport contracts. if First have got their sums wrong on Great Western they should be paying with those profits. The alternative is that First give up the Great Western Franchise and forgo their performance bond.
In my opinion, that is all rubbish. If the government want the Greater Western network to be run for a profit, rather than as a public service, then FGW are doing a reasonable job. If the government want it as a decent public service, which in my opinion it should be, then they need to provide a subsidy, or at least accept less premium.
 

Andrew

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If FGW could have reasonably drafted the units back in, I personally think they would have. I think the costs are probably too high for FGW to take them on with no DfT backing.
 

Bonemaster

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Its all a very simplistic view of rail franchising, bidders do not put in a single bit but a selection of bids based around a selection of pre definded variables in the franchsing documents and the Dft will then pick from a list of invited bidders and a selection of bids from them based around differing criteria.

The Dft set some criteria that couldnt be met, and the bidders were obliged to put in bids based around what was requested, the Dft picked the bid they wanted with the selection criteria they wanted.

It could be argued that if the criteria could not be met why was the bidder (First) so daft as to put in a bid, except the rules state they have to.

What is becoming obvious is that First group are running a franchise they may or may not have known was impossible to run, the Dft is not being flexible in seeing that the franchise is not working and FGW are resorting to last option measures and getting wrapped over the knuckles for it.

They need Dft permission to obtain extra stock, which there franchise terms dictate and they are not being given this to alleviate any of the problems that they have.

FGW may have its problems and as the operator it is the easy to blame the operator. The press, passengers and casual observers start to blame First for the problems as they are the people who have there name besides everything that is going wring and the Dft are forced to act upon a failing franchise giving the operator a wrap over the knuckles is politically popular, whilst allowing the franchise terms to be amended and extra stock obtained is an admission of failure on there part.

FGW are stuck in an impossible position where until the leash is loosened and they are allowed to run a railway company themselves things wont get better and the critism will get worse.

This is still an outsiders logical perspective of what is going on, but I just find it illogical to lay all of the blame at Firsts feet, given the situation they find themselves in
 

Portishead

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According to FGW, Arriva were requested to carry on for a few weeks. Arriva management are being asked by us why they did not, but claim their contract is with the Welsh Assembly, but by not completing a contract with a Dft awarded franchise have not made many friends here. Trains were delivered in a non-operable condition. Redundant staff from Arriva are being given posts within FGW according to what passed my desk this afternoon and FGW are being allowed to keep some units on lease until the repairs are complete on about 30 vehicles. Bustitution as a concept on the branches has proved to be a useful tool for cutting costs and I would not be surprised if the DfT adopt it as a policy where appropriate.
 

Sprog

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First DO have enough units to operate the advertised service. But it has been stated elsewhere at one point last week 28 of them were out of service.

First terminated the contract with Canton/St.Blazey and moved maintenance to the new purpose built unit facility at St.Philips Marsh. Small problem in that the St.Philips Marsh Unit Depot is more or less a 'virtual depot', its not complete!

Not a great deal goes on at Laira either as they have no spares.

So how can we pass the buck to the DfT for this one???

Or could it actually be true First has made a mess of the situation??
See below:

According to FGW, Arriva were requested to carry on for a few weeks. Arriva management are being asked by us why they did not, but claim their contract is with the Welsh Assembly, but by not completing a contract with a Dft awarded franchise have not made many friends here. Trains were delivered in a non-operable condition. Redundant staff from Arriva are being given posts within FGW according to what passed my desk this afternoon and FGW are being allowed to keep some units on lease until the repairs are complete on about 30 vehicles. Bustitution as a concept on the branches has proved to be a useful tool for cutting costs and I would not be surprised if the DfT adopt it as a policy where appropriate.
FINALLY, the facts are starting to be told here.

I was going to attempt to answer/correct everyone individually on the numerous Anti-First threads on RailUK, but it probably would have taken me hours.

Thank you 'Bonemaster' and 'Portishead'
 

g4mby

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First DO have enough units to operate the advertised service. But it has been stated elsewhere at one point last week 28 of them were out of service.
Thanks for this Nat, I hadn't seen this posted elsewhere. This certainly explains the lack of serviceable units that the FGW website kept using as a reason for cancelled or short-formed trains.

Using the information gleaned on the web I make the current fleet as totalling 68 units, others will no doubt have arrived at a slightly different figure.

28 units equates to 41% of the fleet. No wonder most if not all of the Wessex liveried 158s are still in service as I think they should have moved on by now. According to an informed source on the uk.railway newsgroup, ten have been retained to help keep services running. If they had been returned to Angel as planned then I dread to think what the outcome would have been.
 
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