Posts Tagged ‘ Railways ’

How many civil servants does it take to run a railway?

Oct 7th, 2012 | By

Judging by the absolute mess that the government has got itself in this week by revealing that there were flaws in the bidding system, a lot more officials are needed than we had. Or a few who know what they are doing.

Rail Confusion

Aug 25th, 2012 | By

Amid all the brouhaha about Virgin Trains losing the west coast line rail franchise and First Group winning it, not much has been said about what is best for the traveller.

The government will say that by accepting the highest tender, it has gained the best deal for the taxpayer. Virgin argues that it has performed a good reliable service since it won.

Santa Specials

Dec 8th, 2010 | By

Becoming a traditional feature of Christmas, almost as traditional as panto, has been the Santa Specials that steam railway companies put on in December. Some even start as early as November.
Press releases have been coming into the CD-Traveller office so we have put together a list (with a click-through link) to their websites plus the dates that they are running. There are 36 listed, but if you know of others please let us know.

First New Rail Route for 100 Years

Jan 28th, 2010 | By

It is hard to believe that there has been no new railway route for a century. Yes, the occasional new station has opened but a new route? Chiltern Railways operates lines out of Marylebone in London to the commuter suburbs of north west London and on into Oxfordshire and Birmingham. For the first time they are going to operate a line to Oxford from Marylebone via High Wycombe and Bicester which will take just over the hour.
But, you will say, there are trains already linking Oxford and London using First Great Western out of Paddington via Reading which also take about an hour. What’s different?

Railways and Customer Satisfaction

Jan 18th, 2010 | By

It is unusual that customer satisfaction gets mentioned by a government. It merits interest especially if it looks as though there is genuine interest rather than lip service in what passengers think.
Lord Bradshaw who worked for various parts of British Rail in his career asked whether additional measures of customer satisfaction would be added to the requirements when companies bid for new rail franchises.
Since 1999 passengers have been asked twice a year on behalf of the rail consumer watchdog, Passenger Focus, a series of questions including being asked to rate satisfaction with a number of elements of the service provided.

Rail Passengers’ Rights

Dec 10th, 2009 | By

A few years ago the EU introduced new right for airline passengers concerned lost or damaged baggage and delayed flights. Those travelling by sea, rail or coach had limited protection but that is changing,. First on the list for change is the rail passenger. A new regulation that came into being this week has given wider protection to the 8 billion passengers who use railways throughout Europe in any year. Of course, the problem with European legislation is that each country has the right to request that some of the rules may be deferred because of local conditions. The bad news is that if any country goes down this track, (sorry about the pun) it could delay things for up to 15 years. (Why such a long time?)

Christmas is Coming…

Oct 3rd, 2009 | By

Christmas is Coming,
The Fares are Getting Fat;
Do drop a Hundred in the Train Man’s Hat

That’s not quite how the Christmas rhyme goes but I was reminded of it when the first of the train companies’ e-mails arrived today saying that I could now book for Christmas.
Apart from the fact that I don’t really want to be reminded that Christmas is only 12 weeks away (I’d prefer it to be hundreds of weeks away!), I’m not a planner.

Australian railway adventure!

Feb 21st, 2009 | By

Well what better way to depart from the shivering cold of a mid-winter English morning than to take a flight to Australia aboard one of Qantas Airway’s brand new Airbus A380-800 super-jumbo jets.

This particular aircraft only came in to service all but a few days ago so. The cabin crew are still removing the wrapping paper and discovering gadgets and spaces that they never knew existed. Without doubt this behemoth of an aircraft is something to wonder at.

Its Half Term: Weather, Travel & A National Day

Oct 27th, 2008 | By

In my part of the world at least its half term. So as you’d expect the weather has taken a wintry turn and rain has come though not as bad as elsewhere frost and wintry showers are expected for the middle of the week, not just on the stock exchange!Half term is the only break between summer and Christmas, the longest period without a public holiday in the year and a dispiriting time with dank and dismal weather. So the announcement last week in a
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