A major change in the way the Rail network runs

  Forum Editor 11:13 06 Dec 2016

is being proposed.

The Transport Secretary wants each rail franchise to be run by joint management teams, including representatives from both the train operating company and Network Rail.

That would be a good thing, wouldn't it?

  wee eddie 14:50 06 Dec 2016

It has recently been reported, in Scotland, that Network Rail is the primary cause of Train Delays and only a very small proportion are down to the Operators

  Forum Editor 17:43 06 Dec 2016


Each franchise will be run by one joint team, but the franchise owners and Network Rail will continue to exist separately. Network Rail will presumably continue as it is now - a not-for-dividend, arm’s-length central government body.

  morddwyd 19:28 06 Dec 2016

Things gave got worse in Scotland since it started here.

  oresome 21:05 06 Dec 2016

That would be a good thing, wouldn't it?

I don't know and I suspect neither does anyone else.

Give it a try on one franchise for a while and then let us review the evidence would seem to be a responsible way forward.

The fact is that rail maintenance causes inevitable disruption to passenger services and outdoor work is subject to weather and other variables that cause overruns with the best of planning.

What do the maintenance staff do the rest of the time, if their work hours are severely restricted?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:21 10 Dec 2016

Apart from getting worse ( more managers), I can't see what difference it will make The TOCs and FOCs (Train Operating Companies, Freight Operating Companies) have to talk to Network Rail to arrange their "paths" on the rail network anyway.

Having spent 47 years working for the railway I can honestly say it was better organised in the days of British Rail.

Overstaffed but less chaos than I see today. In those days there were more staff on the ground, now there are more managers in offices holding meetings / conference calls than workers required to keep the trains running. :0)

  Forum Editor 10:32 10 Dec 2016

"...it was better organised in the days of British Rail."

I can't comment on that, apart from agreeing with you that in those days there were certainly more staff around.

I travel fairly frequently by train, and one regular trip is London to Truro by Great Western. It's a pleasant ride, comfortable train and lovely scenery, but one basic inefficiency really irritates me. It concerns the operation of the buffet service.

I know that crews have to change en-route - it's all about having people in the right place at the end of their shift - but somebody please tell me why, when the crew change takes place, the service has to close for fifteen or twenty minutes while the people fiddle about with till floats etc. A gorilla could work out a system that made all the faffing unnecessary, but no; passenger convenience comes after the company's systems.

Then there's the frequent announcement that the coffee - making machinery has broken down.

Running a rail service is not just about tracks and train times - customer service is what keeps passengers happy as well.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:59 10 Dec 2016

Accounts run the railways now - not the Engineers.

  Burn-it 14:00 10 Dec 2016

Not just the railways -- being a contractor and seeing lots of companies it is immediately obvious which ones are run by accountants. It is also noticable how much lower productivity is in those companies.

  wee eddie 14:51 10 Dec 2016

I am old enough to have travelled regularly on British Rail.

You really don't want to go back to that: Dirty trains, sullen staff, appalling timekeeping, unexplained delays, dreadful station food, filthy toilets, I could go on but I have run out of expletives.

I will just add: horrendous safety record and accidents caused by lack of communication between Departments

  Quickbeam 15:05 10 Dec 2016

I don't think that a modern day British Rail that would be subject to the present day performance penalties would be a bad thing. All in one house has it's merits.

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