Rail industry press briefing 2013-28

16th August 2013

  • Rail fare increases, announced this week, were widely criticised
  • Concerns over Great Western’s future, with eight weeks to franchise end
  • Transport for Edinburgh to oversee trams and buses in capital city
In this issue:

Main stories this week

There was widespread condemnation of the Government and the rail industry after it was confirmed that the most expensive train fares on the network are yet again to increase by more than the rate of inflation. [The Times]

With eight weeks remaining before the end of First Great Western‘s current franchise, the Department for Transport has denied union claims that a lack of replacement will put services at risk. [Railnews]

A new organisation called Transport for Edinburgh is to oversee the Scottish capital’s tram and bus services. [BBC News]

New services

London Underground‘s Waterloo & City and Central lines are to run greater numbers of trains, beginning next month. [Evening Standard]

Work is underway on Nottingham‘s southern tram extension. [Global Rail News]

Other news this week

All 268 London Underground ticket offices could be closed under “secret” plans, the TSSA transport union and Labour Party have warned. [BBC News]

  • LU chief operating officer Phil Hufton said in a “clarification” note that money needed to be saved “through smarter ways of working”. [Evening Standard]

High Speed 2 is likely to remain on the critical list for some time, according to David Pitchford, the head of the Major Projects Authority, a top Whitehall troubleshooter. [Daily Telegraph]

Network Rail and South West Trains this week teamed up to push a package of rail enhancements which could increase capacity at Waterloo station by 15% by 2019. [Transport Briefing]

  • Four out of five international platforms at Britain’s busiest railway station Waterloo look set to remain out of use for at least a decade. [Transport Briefing]

Companies, finance and people

The last month has seen some movement at the top of certain rail bodies:

  • Peter Wilkinson’s contract as interim franchising director at the Department for Transport has been extended to January 2015 [Rail]
  • Go-Ahead group has Charlie Hodgson as its new managing director for rail development, replacing Alex Hynes, who was previously announced as the new managing director at Northern Rail [Rail]
  • Russell Mears became chief executive of the Freightliner Group, where he has been finance officer since 2005. He replaces Peter Maybury, who will remain with the group as chairman [Rail]
  • Geoff Spencer replaces Alain Thauvette as chief executive of DB Schenker [Rail]