Too much money on new trains, not enough on infrastructure?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by DerekC, 7 Jan 2020.

  1. DerekC

    DerekC Member

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    I think that's a really important point and one which (sadly, and having seen it from the inside) government just doesn't understand. It's not that the individuals in DfT and the Treasury are stupid, it's just that the maintenance of expertise to reduce risk and improve outcomes on the next three projects isn't allowed to be allocated any value in the business calculation. So it's always better (according to the Treasury) to demobilise the team at the end of the job and then think about creating a new one when the same initiative is re-started five to ten years later. It shouldn't be like that, but sadly it is.
     
  2. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Government Understood the concept for submarine and shipbuilding - they even ordered ships the navy didn’t need to keep the skills on the Clyde
     
  3. Milo T.K

    Milo T.K Member

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    Seems too many new trains are being ordered as the greater angia ones are fine swr just had the old ones upgraded a few years ago avanti self explanatory same with emr replacing the meridians
     
  4. Grannyjoans

    Grannyjoans Member

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    Unfortunately very very little has been done to achieve this in decades
     
  5. Senex

    Senex Established Member

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    But there you've got a combination of the military interest and the Scottish interest to lobby for the continuity. Unfortunately there are no such strong pressure-groups in favour of the railways.
     
  6. achmelvic

    achmelvic Member

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    That's similar to much like project work in various industries where the team, often contractors, will be disbanded at some the project has been delivered. This is all very well in industries where there are plenty of other project and opportunities for those skilled and knowledgable workers to move on to. Obviously the problem here is that this is an situation with only a dozen or so 'projects', it's short term-ism at it's worst!
     
  7. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    I guess if the electrification people all worked in one office/factory in one city/constituency there would be a lot more fuss!
     
  8. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    The 72 Mk1 stock on the Underground were basically ordered to keep Metro Cammell going.
     
  9. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    Yeah. Right...
    So there is no connection between the hundreds of millions of pounds spent on the Strategic Freight Network - gauge clearance, longer loops, diversionary capability, etc. - and the fact that intermodal traffic has almost doubled in the last two decades and construction traffic has more than doubled?
     
  10. 158756

    158756 Member

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    And yet overall rail freight has declined in that time, whilst road traffic continues to increase. And I wouldn't be surprised if the increase in container traffic was bigger on the roads as well.
     
  11. Grannyjoans

    Grannyjoans Member

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    Yes, this talk of rail freight increase is a joke. Just FOC's competing against each other and that's about it!
    Two types of rail traffic have increased while overall it has gone down.
    ROAD overall increases without interruption!
    I bet there isn't even a station anywhere on the network nowadays where there is an average of 6+ freight trains an hour passing through.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jan 2020
  12. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    OK.
    So, noting that you haven't denied that hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested to improve rail freight capability, have you noticed that the UK has virtually stopped burning coal for electricity generation (nearly all of which was moved by rail)?
    Have you also noted from published DfT statistics that goods lifted by road have fallen by 14% over the past 20 years and HGV vehicle km have dropped by 20%. (To be completely transparent, this does only refer to UK-registered HGVs.)
    Given that rail intermodal and construction traffic has increased so much, might that actually be down to the fact that the FOCs are now able to compete more effectively with road by being able to convey far more 9' 6" tall containers on conventional wagons, use shorter routes, run longer/heavier trains of stone more efficiently with lower unit costs, etc., thereby encouraging modal shift?
     
  13. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Were there ever ?
     
  14. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Willesden Jn, Water Orton...
     
  15. Grannyjoans

    Grannyjoans Member

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    Barnetby used to be easily higher than that. Definetely so in the early 2000's, probably before that as well, but I'd never even visited the place until 2001.


    Yes, it's unthinkable today, anywhere.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jan 2020
  16. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    The train builders are bailing out the lack of infrastructure investment.

    Take the Bombardier trains; Class 710s removed the seats and more people stand. Class 345s similar albeit with 9 carriages eventually instead of 8. Class 720s more seats due to fewer cabs 2x5 carriages or 1x10 rather than 3x4 Class 321s / 317s / 360s / 379s. Class 700s fixed 8/12 formation trains rather than several latched together with extra cabs but all private sector funding.

    In terms of infrastructure whats happening to Castlefield Corridor - seems the DfT / Treasury don't want to pay. HS2 debates over its price. MML and GWML wiring truncated with Windermere and Electric spine cancelled to due to cost overruns on GWML wiring - but all public sector funding.

    Perhaps Ian Walmsley is right its relies on the Rolling Stock builders to solve the Track / infrastructure engineers' problems. So maybe the next round of franchises should include infrastructure enhancements paid for by the private sector with them financed long term by usage payments by current and future operators / franchises.
     
  17. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    The Class 317, 321, 153 (and arguably 156) fleets are in need of replacement. What else do you suggest?
     
  18. Adrian1980uk

    Adrian1980uk Member

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    The problem with rail industry is its still dependent on the treasury via the DFT so its always going to be freast or famine... Same with the NHS, what's in vogue at the time. Frieght industry has gotten away from that and look at the general trend of consistency in orders of locos etc.
     
  19. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Still relies on the Treasury for infrastructure, doesn't build any for itself.
     
  20. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    A lot of ‘private’ (non-Treasury) money has gone into freight terminals.
     
  21. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Aren't these personal freight terminals though? Who paid for Felixstowe doubling (Did Hutchinson ever pay their contribution?), Shaftholme Flyover, Werrington diveunder or Settle and Carlisle re-signalling?

    Shared infrastructure forget the freight companies paying for it
     
  22. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    Locos are a fairly standard and flexible product, it's not as if you could potentially get stuck with a large unwanted fleet as may happen with the 707s, 458s, 379s etc
     
  23. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    I struggle with the idea that many new terminals are ‘personal’. Plenty of forwarding and receiving points are handling a range of commodities for a range of customers hauled by different FOCs.
    I have not claimed that ‘main line’ enhancements have been paid for by the FOCs (although it is worth noting that in some cases the work has been done partially to free up capacity for premium-paying franchised passenger services).
     

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