The Anonymous Widower

Chris Grayling On The RMT

This article on Rail Technology Magazine is entitled I’m A Lightning Rod’: Grayling Dismisses Criticism From Rail Unions And ‘Anti-Brexit Brigade’

This is Grayling’s view of the RMT.

“This is a trade union that regards Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party as too right-wing to affiliate to and wants to stand in the way of modernisation of the railways.

It is one of the better political put-downs.

February 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel’ As Gatwick Express Trains Trial Due To Start

The title of this post, is the same as that fn this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

There has been pressure for Gatwick Express trains to stop at Preston Park station.

The trial will now start this month, with two stops in the Peak hours at 0714 and 1744.

I think that the trial sets an interesting precedent.

  • Modern trains like the Class 387 trains used on the Gatwick Express can execute a station stop much faster than earlier trains.
  • This could mean,  that there is a high chance that operationally, the trial will be a success.
  • I can’t imagine a train company agreeing to the trial, if the trains didn’t have the performance to do the extra station stop.

So could ia successful trial at Preston Park station, mean that other groups, start pressing for a stop at their local station?

  • The trains would need to be modern ones.
  • The trains would need to able to stop at the station.
  • The signalling must allow it.

I can also see train companies adding extra station stops to take advantage of changing passenger numbers.

February 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Edinburgh Tourist Tax Could Be £2 Per Room, Per Night

The title of this post is the same as this article on the BBC.

Will it actually make any difference?

  • I looked up the price of two nights in a Premier Inn in the City Centre for next week and they want to charge me £263.
  • Glasgow was £137 and Stirling £105 for Premier Inns close to the stations.
  • Will the tax apply to Airbnb?

I do think, we’re going to see some innovative tourist taxes and rewards.

For instance, all hotels in Geneva must give you a voucher for a day’s free travel on public transport. This applies for everything from a camp-site to a five-star hotel.

Some hotels in Hamburg, do something similar.

February 1, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

UK Objects To Description Of Gibraltar As ‘British Colony’ In EU Law

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs.

The UK has objected to Gibraltar being described as a “colony” in European Union legislation allowing UK nationals to travel to the EU after Brexit.

The EU proposed allowing visa-free travel for Britons in November.

The Spanish government has since insisted a footnote be added describing Gibraltar as a “colony” and referring to “controversy” over its status.

The UK’s Ambassador to the EU objected.

 

February 1, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

The Case For Okehampton Reopening

The title of this post in the same as that of an article by Jim Steer, in Issue 871 of Rail Magazine.

The article talks about the need to safeguard the rail route to the far South West of England and describes in detail, the problems of the current route, how it can be improved, so it is less likely to disruption and the problems of reopening the old London and South Western Railway route through Okehampton and Tavistock to Plymouth.

This is a quote, shown in bold in the article.

Politicians are coming round to the idea that more needs to be done to ensure the resilience of the South West’s rail services.

Reasons given for creating the Okehampton route include.

  • Creation of a second route between the Far South West and Exeter.
  • Housing in Okehampton and Tavistock.
  • Creation of a route for freight trains to the Far South West.
  • The route would serve one of the least accessible parts of England.
  • Create better access to Exeter and Plymouth for both educational and job opportunities.

But improving the rail links to the Far South West won’t come cheap and costs in the order of a billion pounds are mentioned.

The biggest problem if the Okehampton route is to be reopened, is probably the Meldon Viaduct, which is between Okehampton and Tavistock stations.

Conclusion

Costs may be high, but if climate change or the weather should make the Dawlish route unuseable, can we really cut Plymouth and Cornwall off from the rest of England?

Network Rail are stated to have developed a plan to improve the Dawlish route, but surely, as that could be destroyed as it was in 2014, now is the time to get some of our finest engineers to create a workable plan for the Okehampton route.

Perhaps Lord Foster or another architect or structural engineer, has an idea that could create a replacement Meldon Viaduct. This could be key to an affordable Okehampton route.

February 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment