Rail industry press briefing 2013-33

20th September 2013

  • Network Rail has delivered enhancements but overstated efficiences, says ORR
  • Cheaper season tickets and reduced single journey fares soon available
  • First Capital Connect fined £75,000 for health and safety breaches
In this issue:

Main stories this week

Network Rail is on course to deliver enhancement schemes but has overstated some efficiency savings, according to the latest annual assessment by the Office of Rail Regulation. [Transport Briefing]

Part-time rail commuters will be able to buy cheaper season tickets for travel three to four days a week in a trial scheme announced by the transport minister, Norman Baker. [The Guardian]

  • [Transport Briefing] says the trial will begin next year.
  • Rail passengers are also likely to see the cost of single-journey fares decreased, as the Government announces a “mix and match” plan for long-distance journeys. [Evening Standard]

First Capital Connect pleaded guilty this week to breaching health and safety laws after 700 passengers were left stranded on a crowded commuter train without toilets, air conditioning or adequate updates from the driver for three hours. [The Times]

  • The operator was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £27,718 after pleading guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. [Transport Briefing]

New services

City of Edinburgh Council has announced that tram services in the city will begin by the end of May 2013. [Transport Briefing]

Chiltern Railways has handed its landmark Evergreen extension project over to Network Rail [Transport Briefing]

Blackpool‘s tram system is to be extended in an £18.2m scheme and work could begin in 2015. [BBC News]

Other stories this week

Network Rail‘s decision to appoint a new chief executive with no rail experience has received a lukewarm reception from rail industry sources, says [Transport Briefing]

A Treasury-led task force scrutinising High Speed 2 would consider axing the most expensive last few miles of the route into Euston. [Financial Times]

  • The planned High Speed 2 railway fails to link effectively with existing lines and will cause a “capacity crunch” on the network, the Rail Freight Group has warned. [The Times]
  • Government dithering over crucial infrastructure investment risks undermining Britain’s fragile economic recovery, says the CBI. [The Times]

Finance and companies

Go-Ahead has effectively increased its 2015/16 bus division profit target from £100m to nearly £105m. [Transport Briefing]