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  1. chdot
    Admin

    Services on networks including South Western Railway and ScotRail will be reduced in new timetables.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/13/uk-rail-firms-move-to-shed-thousands-of-jobs-amid-covid-cost-cuts

    Posted 10 months ago #
  2. MediumDave
    Member

    Elsewhere:

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/scotrail-offer-staff-payrise-of-47-in-bid-to-stop-strikes-before-cop26-3415569

    According to that the strike this weekend are off, but according to this:

    https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/passenger-disruption/sunday-strikes-planned

    they are still going ahead.

    Almost like nobody has a clue.

    Hopefully train-assisted Sunday rides will be A Thing again soon

    Posted 10 months ago #
  3. LaidBack
    Member

    Unite says members will be balloted on the latest offer between October 13 and 25.

    A spokesperson for RMT said: “The offer has been received, and going through normal process of being discussed by our reps across Scotland.

    Needs to be given full consideration and will be taking whatever time is necessary before taking the right decision. We’ll be issuing a further statement in due course.”

    UKGov wants a high wage economy so it could be said this rise is in line with Tory policy.
    But will Johnson say hurrah for Unite and RMT in Scotland taking the lead?? :-)

    Let's not talk about inflation and also the strange case of a single rail ticket costing more than a cheap day return. i know there must be a reason but can't think what it is.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  4. chdot
    Admin

    “the strange case of a single rail ticket costing more than a cheap day return“

    That’ll be one of the anomalies they’ve been promising to eliminate for YEARS.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  5. chdot
    Admin

    The shocking rise in electricity prices has sparked some rail freight operators into a startling scenario. Electric locomotives are to be stopped and operators will resort to diesel traction instead. This would pose difficult questions for the UK and devolved governments, who lay claim to a diversified energy generation policy. It would also drive a freight train straight through decarbonisation plans.

    https://www.railfreight.com/railfreight/2021/10/13/freightliner-takes-down-electric-locs-due-to-high-electricity-prices/?gdpr=deny

    Posted 9 months ago #
  6. gembo
    Member

    Cheap day return used to divert from peak, makes sense.

    Cross country Edinburgh to glasgow cheapest as tacked on to intercity?

    Same as cheapest single to a berwick upon tweed £6.10

    Posted 9 months ago #
  7. mercury1and2
    Member

    my sister travels every weekend from edin to helensburgh 2hr trip rtn over 30 pounds- a single costs 19 pounds- and due to strike action it is a nightmare traveling that part of the country

    Posted 9 months ago #
  8. gembo
    Member

    Agreed @merc, you go by train to avoid bus so Is bad when you are taken off a train and put on a bus

    Posted 9 months ago #
  9. crowriver
    Member

    It's an off-peak ticket, a hangover from the days of BR. Designed for leisure travellers who don't need to travel during times of peak demand. Promoted in order to stop trains full of fresh air being driven around after 9.30am, put some bums on seats. Not sure, but I think cheap day returns not available on Fridays for many routes as Friday is Peak. (Think cheaper tickets which are not Day Returns are branded Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak to clarify things).

    Only valid for a journey of up to (I think) 70 miles away from point of departure. Anything over that is "long distance" or Inter City travel, no cheap day returns there. So you can get a cheap day return from Edinburgh to Perth, but not Dundee as a couple of miles too far.

    Since privatisation, train operators have brought in new, unregulated tickets in addition to the old, regulated BR ones. So you can get advance singles on longer distance routes over 70 miles away. But as name implies, need to buy before day of departure, and can only travel on specific booked train. Bit like an airline ticket, earlier you buy the cheaper it is (within arbitrary 12 week purchase window).

    Posted 9 months ago #
  10. MediumDave
    Member

    @gembo if only they ran rail replacement buses on strike days.

    On plus side, Helensburgh<->Edinburgh train is one of the few that run on Sundays as it is DOO.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    RMT have confirmed members have voted in favour of strike action among ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper staff during COP26

    RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch blames "time wasting" by ScotRail and Scot Gov, with next steps to be considered.

    https://twitter.com/conor_matchett/status/1448678825198505984

    Posted 9 months ago #
  12. MediumDave
    Member

    Outstanding...

    Posted 9 months ago #
  13. crowriver
    Member

    According to the RMT web site:

    ---

    Scotrail staff will take the following strike action;‎

    0001 hours Monday 1st November 2021 until 2359 hours Friday 12th November 2021.

    Sleeper staff will take the following strike action;‎

    Sunday 31st October 2021 from 1159 hours until 1158 hours on Tuesday 2nd November
    2021

    Thursday 11th November 2021 from 1159 hours until 1158 hours on Saturday 13th November 2021

    ---

    It's not clear if the Scotrail strike will be for the entirety of the twelve days, but I suppose we'll have to assume that is indeed the case...

    Posted 9 months ago #
  14. LaidBack
    Member

    Good that we're investing in the railways though.

    But... are the public really onboard to get a pay rise for these workers?

    I'm self employed on graphics job and a VAT collector at LB so not really warmed up to the concept of pay rises (!) Consider myself very fortunate to be in employment despite the twin barriers of bxt and Covid.

    May well be some RMT members on this forum? Unions are necessary I think to protect conditions and safety of members of course.

    I really want them to sort this out...

    Posted 9 months ago #
  15. Morningsider
    Member

    @LaidBack - I think the real question is whether the public are onboard with this:

    According to the RMT’s research, published today, the three rolling stock companies, Angel, Eversholt and Porterbrook paid £950 million in dividends through their complex group structures last year, with most of it disappearing overseas into opaque companies based in Luxembourg and Jersey, traditionally used to minimise tax liabilities.

    The payments have been effectively made by the taxpayer as the government has guaranteed the pre-pandemic payments they make to the Rolling Stock companies for leasing their trains and refused to cap either lease charges or dividends.

    I know I'm preaching to the converted here - but don't fall for diversionary tactics from Governments and train operators. A decent pay rise for rail staff is not the issue here.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  16. gembo
    Member

    You have to maximise your opportunities.

    No point in lecturers striking after marking exams etc.

    I pay 66p for a pint of milk on my doorstep. Used to be local milk in a glass bottle but that has gone, kenny the milk still delivers but is having to pass costs from supplier on to me to keep afloat.

    Or A Float.

    Dangerous job now on the trains.

    Scotrail and Scotgov Time wasters for sure.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  17. LaidBack
    Member

    @morningsider - thanks for additional context on this. Kerevan in National must have covered too.
    Is RMT then trying to force neoliberal ScotGov to break out of this leasing agreement on rolling stock? Next year ScotRail will be nationalised (officially as already needs a lot of public money).
    Real nationalisation would mean end of the old no risk / high profit model so beloved of the non working class. (ie nationalise whole system including trains ownership.) Of course the current leasees would then need paid off? - like banks and energy companies they can't lose.

    Is the dispute here going to spread to England?

    Posted 9 months ago #
  18. Morningsider
    Member

    @Laidback - the RMT has been on the case of rolling stock leasing companies since the start of privatisation. They have extracted literally billions from the rail system, while providing no real benefit to passengers or the taxpayer. I don't see the UK or Scottish Governments touching that part of the system.

    The odd thing is, ScotRail rolling stock is both priceless and worthless. Priceless, as it is vital for the provision of ScotRail services. It would be impossible to replace much of the existing rolling stock quickly (less than five years). Worthless, as it is mostly only of value to ScotRail. The rolling stock leasing companies would struggle to let most of the units to any other operator. Still - the fact that the rolling stock market is an oligopoly, and conveniently there isn't a pool of unused rolling stock owned by anyone else to help drive competition, we are stuck. Unless the Scottish Government is willing to pay "market" rates to the leasing companies to buy the rolling stock.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  19. MediumDave
    Member

    The ROSCO model is the sort of "clever person" idiocy that only suits profiteering corporate vermin and the consultants that advise them. It should go, but (however costly and morally dubious) I don't think it's the reason this dispute has been so intractable.

    To me the RMT tactics in this dispute appear foolish: Abellio had already lost their contract (announced December 2019) so were hardly likely to engage in pay discussions in good faith.

    A good outcome for passengers/the RMT in the dispute would only lose Abellio money. Plus the SG (being unwilling to put their hand in their pocket until COP26 came along) could not influence Abellio either.

    The RMT choosing this particular road meant no good deal (or overtime) for RMT members and a terrible train service for the rest of us on Sundays. For months.

    *golf clap*

    Posted 9 months ago #
  20. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Isn't the ROSCO model basically another example of paying money to outsource risk?

    Posted 9 months ago #
  21. chdot
    Admin

    Which risk?

    Posted 9 months ago #
  22. Arellcat
    Moderator

    The risk of owning and operating complicated, expensive assets. Let a contract for delivery of services, with rigorous KPIs and perhaps some profit sharing. Then even if you own some of the assets you only need to find the money to repair them if they go wrong. Anything to do with SLAs is bulleted on a bit of paper that you can point to saying you agreed to x, y and z, so it's your problem, not ours. Then your contractor can sub out the specialist stuff to others in turn.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  23. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    Easy to decry ROSCOs with no sight of what alternative bourachs the respective govts would generate (thinking of QEUH and new Sick Kids Hospital here vs preceding PPP hospitals, which at least didn't explicitly kill anyone, as far as we know). Or ferry procurement?

    Rolling stock availability seems to be the one thing isn't an issue on the railways at the moment...

    Posted 9 months ago #
  24. Morningsider
    Member

    ROSCOs are just finance companies. The maintenance of most new train fleets is handled by the manufacturer as part of a long-term contract with the owner. Ex-BR stock is generally maintained by third-party contractors, although light maintenance may be done in-house by a TOC. No reason a Government couldn't do the same, just cut out the private sector middle man.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  25. MediumDave
    Member

    Problems of specification (and procurers being unable to decide what they want or wanting mad things) exist with leasing as with direct procurement. The intercity express program (Agility Trains) is an example of this.

    Adding an additional contractual interface to an already complicated setup doesn't help anyone except grifters. Grifters like those who got hold of the ex-BR rust buckets and rented them back to us for the next 20+ years. What did the ROSCOs add other than cost? BR already knew perfectly well how to maintain the old trains.

    Plus the inflexibility that such an arrangement introduces. The trauma of getting decent cycle provision on trains being another good example.

    And is the risk even gone? If a ROSCO goes bust, government can't really say "oh well, no trains anymore". They have to pick up the pieces and unlike leasing simple things photocopiers or generic road vehicles there's not exactly a vast market of competing suppliers to turn to.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  26. Tulyar
    Member

    Time to post a wee piece perhaps - notably the way that Class 385's and Class 80x trains are being 'supplied' to train operators, on the basis of receiving a contracted number of working trains per day rather than leasing a fleet that the operator maintains

    The Class 385 are funded by Caledonian Rail Leasing (backed by a Japanese Bank) and will be owned by the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland at the end of their projected book life of 25 years. There was an option for additional trains

    Hitachi Rail Europe was awarded the 'supply' contract which includes a provision for the maintenance of the trains at depots - mainly in Edinburgh - for ten years. There will be some form of a mid-life major overhaul/rebuild (C6 plus) and possibly other contract options

    Siemens Mobility has just had a 5 year extension to their similar contract for Class 380, maintained at Shields Road

    Class 334 are leased to Scotrail (TS) by Eversholt & maintained by Alsthom (Polmadie). In a neat move the train couplings have been changed to Dellner, which match the Class 380 and 385 (but not the control wiring) so that all the 100mph electric units running 'East' of Glasgow can connect together for a quick shove if one breaks down

    Which leaves the older trains in the old system, although the Class 153's are IIRC going to be ultimately owned by Transport Scotland as effectively they would otherwise have no prospective new customers, and end up being scrapped

    Scotrail HST's are from the Angel Trains fleet

    Posted 9 months ago #
  27. chdot
    Admin

  28. chdot
    Admin

  29. chdot
    Admin

  30. chdot
    Admin


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