Discussion:
Leaked Chris Gibb report on GTR problems
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Recliner
2017-04-08 08:32:28 UTC
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<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/troubled-southern-should-hand-over-services-st3ls9frk>

Extract:

A suppressed report into a series of problems at Britain’s biggest rail
operator will call for the company to be cut back, The Times has learnt.

The review of Southern Rail will suggest moving some services to other
operators to force its parent company to focus on London commuter routes.

It will stop far short of demanding the full break-up or renationalisation
of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) but acknowledge that “practical steps”
must be taken to reduce the size and scope of the franchise.

The report— due to be published in the coming weeks — is expected to
criticise the £1 billion-a-year contract handed to the company by the
Department for Transport, which left the taxpayer with huge bills for lost
fares and passenger compensation.

A further conclusion will criticise timetabling, with many empty trains
running in the middle of the night while the operator fails to provide
rush-hour capacity into London.

The report is the work of a troubleshooter brought in to raise performance
on Southern, which has been dogged by a year of delays, cancellations and
strikes.

More than a quarter of the network’s trains, which carry 300,000 passengers
a day, have been late over the past year. This is around double the
national average.

Chris Gibb, a Network Rail director with 35 years’ experience in the
industry, produced the report for the DfT in December but it has been put
on hold. Opposition MPs have called for GTR, which also runs Thameslink,
Gatwick Express and Great Northern, to be broken up or brought into public
ownership.

Mr Gibb’s report will seek to spread the blame, with GTR, the DfT, unions
and Network Rail, which manages the rail network, each coming in for
criticism. It will not recommend the abolition of the franchise, which is
the biggest in the country, but will conclude that it should be subjected
to repeated reviews with the possibility that some services are taken out
of its hands.

GTR’s seven-year franchise was signed off by Sir Patrick McLoughlin, then
transport secretary, in 2014. It is run as a management contract with the
taxpayer bearing the financial risk due to the disruption created by
projects such as the Thameslink upgrade and the redevelopment of London
Bridge station.

Mr Gibb’s report, which has also been provided to the train company and to
Network Rail, is expected to criticise the deal for effectively letting GTR
operate with no “revenue risk”. The taxpayer picked up a £38 million bill
for loss of revenue caused by strikes on Southern last year and millions
more was paid in compensation to passengers. The report will also attack
the lack of coherence between Network Rail and the train company, with
engineering work poorly planned.

A DfT spokeswoman said: “Improving rail services for Southern passengers is
a priority for the government and for the operator. We have received Chris
Gibb’s report and are looking at it before we publish it in due course.”
r***@ntlworld.com
2017-04-08 08:53:03 UTC
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Post by Recliner
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/troubled-southern-should-hand-over-services-st3ls9frk>
A suppressed report into a series of problems at Britain’s biggest rail
operator will call for the company to be cut back, The Times has learnt.
The review of Southern Rail will suggest moving some services to other
operators to force its parent company to focus on London commuter routes.
It will stop far short of demanding the full break-up or renationalisation
of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) but acknowledge that “practical steps”
must be taken to reduce the size and scope of the franchise.
The report— due to be published in the coming weeks — is expected to
criticise the £1 billion-a-year contract handed to the company by the
Department for Transport, which left the taxpayer with huge bills for lost
fares and passenger compensation.
A further conclusion will criticise timetabling, with many empty trains
running in the middle of the night while the operator fails to provide
rush-hour capacity into London.
The report is the work of a troubleshooter brought in to raise performance
on Southern, which has been dogged by a year of delays, cancellations and
strikes.
More than a quarter of the network’s trains, which carry 300,000 passengers
a day, have been late over the past year. This is around double the
national average.
Chris Gibb, a Network Rail director with 35 years’ experience in the
industry, produced the report for the DfT in December but it has been put
on hold. Opposition MPs have called for GTR, which also runs Thameslink,
Gatwick Express and Great Northern, to be broken up or brought into public
ownership.
Mr Gibb’s report will seek to spread the blame, with GTR, the DfT, unions
and Network Rail, which manages the rail network, each coming in for
criticism. It will not recommend the abolition of the franchise, which is
the biggest in the country, but will conclude that it should be subjected
to repeated reviews with the possibility that some services are taken out
of its hands.
GTR’s seven-year franchise was signed off by Sir Patrick McLoughlin, then
transport secretary, in 2014. It is run as a management contract with the
taxpayer bearing the financial risk due to the disruption created by
projects such as the Thameslink upgrade and the redevelopment of London
Bridge station.
Mr Gibb’s report, which has also been provided to the train company and to
Network Rail, is expected to criticise the deal for effectively letting GTR
operate with no “revenue risk”. The taxpayer picked up a £38 million bill
for loss of revenue caused by strikes on Southern last year and millions
more was paid in compensation to passengers. The report will also attack
the lack of coherence between Network Rail and the train company, with
engineering work poorly planned.
A DfT spokeswoman said: “Improving rail services for Southern passengers is
a priority for the government and for the operator. We have received Chris
Gibb’s report and are looking at it before we publish it in due course.”
" . . . with many empty trains
running in the middle of the night . . .

Are these empty stock movements or trains for the
public to travel in?
Recliner
2017-04-08 08:54:30 UTC
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Post by r***@ntlworld.com
Post by Recliner
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/troubled-southern-should-hand-over-services-st3ls9frk>
A suppressed report into a series of problems at Britain’s biggest rail
operator will call for the company to be cut back, The Times has learnt.
The review of Southern Rail will suggest moving some services to other
operators to force its parent company to focus on London commuter routes.
It will stop far short of demanding the full break-up or renationalisation
of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) but acknowledge that “practical steps”
must be taken to reduce the size and scope of the franchise.
The report— due to be published in the coming weeks — is expected to
criticise the £1 billion-a-year contract handed to the company by the
Department for Transport, which left the taxpayer with huge bills for lost
fares and passenger compensation.
A further conclusion will criticise timetabling, with many empty trains
running in the middle of the night while the operator fails to provide
rush-hour capacity into London.
The report is the work of a troubleshooter brought in to raise performance
on Southern, which has been dogged by a year of delays, cancellations and
strikes.
More than a quarter of the network’s trains, which carry 300,000 passengers
a day, have been late over the past year. This is around double the
national average.
Chris Gibb, a Network Rail director with 35 years’ experience in the
industry, produced the report for the DfT in December but it has been put
on hold. Opposition MPs have called for GTR, which also runs Thameslink,
Gatwick Express and Great Northern, to be broken up or brought into public
ownership.
Mr Gibb’s report will seek to spread the blame, with GTR, the DfT, unions
and Network Rail, which manages the rail network, each coming in for
criticism. It will not recommend the abolition of the franchise, which is
the biggest in the country, but will conclude that it should be subjected
to repeated reviews with the possibility that some services are taken out
of its hands.
GTR’s seven-year franchise was signed off by Sir Patrick McLoughlin, then
transport secretary, in 2014. It is run as a management contract with the
taxpayer bearing the financial risk due to the disruption created by
projects such as the Thameslink upgrade and the redevelopment of London
Bridge station.
Mr Gibb’s report, which has also been provided to the train company and to
Network Rail, is expected to criticise the deal for effectively letting GTR
operate with no “revenue risk”. The taxpayer picked up a £38 million bill
for loss of revenue caused by strikes on Southern last year and millions
more was paid in compensation to passengers. The report will also attack
the lack of coherence between Network Rail and the train company, with
engineering work poorly planned.
A DfT spokeswoman said: “Improving rail services for Southern passengers is
a priority for the government and for the operator. We have received Chris
Gibb’s report and are looking at it before we publish it in due course.”
" . . . with many empty trains
running in the middle of the night . . .
Are these empty stock movements or trains for the
public to travel in?
I'm guessing that it means that GTR runs more passenger services than
needed at night, and fewer than needed during the day.
Roland Perry
2017-04-08 09:07:02 UTC
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<1572960873.513334519.072794.recliner.ng-***@news.eternal-sept
ember.org>, at 08:54:30 on Sat, 8 Apr 2017, Recliner
Post by Recliner
Post by r***@ntlworld.com
" . . . with many empty trains
running in the middle of the night . . .
Are these empty stock movements or trains for the
public to travel in?
I'm guessing that it means that GTR runs more passenger services than
needed at night, and fewer than needed during the day.
"more in the night" being a handful, "fewer in the day" limited by stock
availability [take a bow, DT] and track capacity - especially the
Thameslink core - [take a bow, Network Rail].
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2017-04-08 09:05:03 UTC
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Post by r***@ntlworld.com
" . . . with many empty trains
running in the middle of the night . . .
Are these empty stock movements or trains for the
public to travel in?
Probably the "many" 2ph trains serving Luton and Gatwick Airports in the
middle of the night.
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2017-04-08 08:59:12 UTC
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<1143024584.513333095.612811.recliner.ng-***@news.eternal-sept
ember.org>, at 08:32:28 on Sat, 8 Apr 2017, Recliner
Post by Recliner
It will stop far short of demanding the full break-up or
renationalisation of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) but acknowledge
that "practical steps" must be taken to reduce the size and scope of
the franchise.
But it *is* in effect nationalised, being merely a fixed-fee lackey for
the DfT.
Post by Recliner
The taxpayer picked up a £38 million bill for loss of revenue caused by
strikes on Southern last year
Strikes caused by the DfT, and that's 3.8% of turnover, so pocket
change.
--
Roland Perry
tim...
2017-04-08 12:54:41 UTC
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Post by Recliner
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/troubled-southern-should-hand-over-services-st3ls9frk>
A suppressed report into a series of problems at Britain’s biggest rail
operator will call for the company to be cut back, The Times has learnt.
The review of Southern Rail will suggest moving some services to other
operators to force its parent company to focus on London commuter routes.
It will stop far short of demanding the full break-up or renationalisation
of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) but acknowledge that “practical steps”
must be taken to reduce the size and scope of the franchise.
well if Southern is too big then so are South East and South West

they both contain the same mix of inner suburban metro lines and longer
distance lines, in a very similar quantity

And separating the operator of these doesn't remove the problems of trying
to run both on the same tracks, but it will remove the possibility of adding
station stops on the longer distance trains to supplement those provided by
the metro.

I presume that the metro stock is different so there would be no changes in
the fleet allocation for each type

tim
Arthur Figgis
2017-04-08 18:22:22 UTC
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Post by tim...
I presume that the metro stock is different
Not really on Southern; Electrostars operate across the electric routes
(I was on one recently which appeared to be heading off to Tonbridge
after doing Guildford - West Croydon - London Bridge). The 455s are
more-or-less suburban-only, but they make it to places like Horsham and
one even ran to Brighton recently.
--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK
tim...
2017-04-09 15:18:40 UTC
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Post by Arthur Figgis
Post by tim...
I presume that the metro stock is different
Not really on Southern;
you mean they don't run 2+3 seating exclusively in the inner area?

tim
Arthur Figgis
2017-04-10 17:53:38 UTC
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Post by tim...
Post by Arthur Figgis
Post by tim...
I presume that the metro stock is different
Not really on Southern;
you mean they don't run 2+3 seating exclusively in the inner area?
No. I was on one yesterday which was heading for Hastings and Ore.
--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK
David Cantrell
2017-04-10 11:57:03 UTC
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Post by tim...
I presume that the metro stock is different so there would be no changes in
the fleet allocation for each type
Southern shares quite a bit of stock between suburban and extra-urban
routes.
--
David Cantrell | Godless Liberal Elitist

Irregular English:
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Paul Corfield
2017-04-09 12:42:21 UTC
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Post by Recliner
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/troubled-southern-should-hand-over-services-st3ls9frk>
A suppressed report into a series of problems at Britain’s biggest rail
operator will call for the company to be cut back, The Times has learnt.
The review of Southern Rail will suggest moving some services to other
operators to force its parent company to focus on London commuter routes.
It will stop far short of demanding the full break-up or renationalisation
of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) but acknowledge that “practical steps”
must be taken to reduce the size and scope of the franchise.
If those headline excerpts are correct then it seems a rather odd report. If trains are running overnight that is presumably because the DfT specified them. Blame the people who wrote the spec not the operator. Overnight Thameslink services have run for many years have they not to serve the airports on the route?

As for there being "problems" then why is anyone surprised? It is a management contract for a reason - risk! Introducing new infrastructure and new rolling stock is not risk free. Yes there have been some very unfortunate mistakes and errors made in respect of train service planning and operation at London Bridge but that appears to have resolved itself. No one should be shocked that the new class 700s are having issues - all new stock does. The industry knows this and should perhaps have used a different approach to bedding the trains in but you still have to accept that you will get in service failures.

The staffing / IR issues are partly an inheritance from FCC days and partly the result of the demands of the DfT via the franchise terms. Yes it's a mess but this is a government mandated and supported dispute despite Mr Grayling's "I can't do anything" protestations.

As for splitting up the franchise then that is very unlikely. The obvious candidates are splitting off inner area services (non Thameslink) and allowing TfL to tender the contracts. However that won't happen while Grayling is at the DfT so I expect the GTR structure will persist through to 2021. The only real crunch point is if the new timetables in 2018 prove to be a complete disaster and then there will be monumental pressure GTR and DfT to "do something". Until then I think GTR will be left to get on with it.
--
Paul C
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Roland Perry
2017-04-09 13:35:19 UTC
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Post by Paul Corfield
The only real crunch point is if the new timetables in 2018 prove to be
a complete disaster and then there will be monumental pressure GTR and
DfT to "do something". Until then I think GTR will be left to get on
with it.
And won't that be Network Rail's fault, rather than the train operators?
--
Roland Perry
r***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2017-04-09 23:05:42 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by Paul Corfield
The only real crunch point is if the new timetables in 2018 prove to be
a complete disaster and then there will be monumental pressure GTR and
DfT to "do something". Until then I think GTR will be left to get on
with it.
And won't that be Network Rail's fault, rather than the train
operators?
I am shocked to find that GTR (and other TOCs) have timetablers and so do
Network Rail. Sounds like a recipe for cock-ups to me. See the shambles over
Cambridge North's peak service that has come to light from an informed
source this weekend.
--
Colin Rosenstiel
Paul Corfield
2017-04-12 19:43:10 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
Post by Paul Corfield
The only real crunch point is if the new timetables in 2018 prove to be
a complete disaster and then there will be monumental pressure GTR and
DfT to "do something". Until then I think GTR will be left to get on
with it.
And won't that be Network Rail's fault, rather than the train operators?
I think it could pan out in different ways. If GTR have not got stock reliability right in conjunction with Siemens or there are staff shortages or they can't manage dwell times properly then none of that is down to Network Rail. If East Midlands or Virgin EC have problems that then screw up GTR's operation then the root cause is not with GTR or NR. Ditto if the planned Gillingham (Kent) T'Link service is screwed by South Eastern failings like their trains conking out.

If points, traction current, track, signals etc fail then clearly that is with Network Rail. If the timetable is unworkable then I suspect it may not be solely down to NR. GTR and other TOCs may also be wrapped up in whatever mess there is as there must be an iterative process between TOCs and NR in constructing a viable timetable that aligns with franchise obligations and the ability to crew the stations.
--
Paul C
via Google
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