This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Editorial Editor


Adam Hewitt


adamh@cognitivepublishing.com editorial@railtechnologymagazine.com


Assistant Editor Kate Ashley


katea@cognitivepublishing.com


Editorial Assistant Fenton Coulthurst


webeditor@cognitivepublishing.com Production


Art Director Rachel Ginty


advert@railtechnologymagazine.com Advertising


Advertising Sales Manager David Johnson


davidj@cognitivepublishing.com


Advertising Sales Executives Steve Delanty


steved@cognitivepublishing.com Patrick Bowley


patrickb@cognitivepublishing.com


Advertising Sales Executives Neil Butcher


neilb@cognitivepublishing.com Commercial


Business Development Manager Roy C. Rowlands


royc@cognitivepublishing.com


Circulation Manager Leanne Bennett


subscriptions@railtechnologymagazine.com


Accounts/Finance Heidi Rowlands


heidir@cognitivepublishing.com


Administration Danny Leatham


daniell@cognitivepublishing.com Holly Cooke


hollyc@cognitivepublishing.com Publisher


Roy V. Rowlands royv@cognitivepublishing.com


© Copyright 2012 Cognitive Publishing Ltd. ISSN 1471-0668


The opinions and views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the management or the publishers.


First things first W


ith much public discussion of the franchising process


so restricted, for corporate, legal and PR reasons, it can be refreshing once in a while to get a taste of what the people at the top really think – and FirstGroup’s defeat of Virgin gave both sides ample opportunity to let off some steam.


Sir Richard Branson lashed out at the ‘insanity’ of the DfT and suggested FirstGroup would make heavy cuts and would likely ‘let everyone down’; while Tim O’Toole, having had quite enough of all this, called Branson’s attacks outrageous and hypocritical, and accused him of hysteria.


This was a high-stakes battle, and Virgin lost. Some of Branson’s criticisms of the DfT are fair; others are just wounded self- interest. But it is the reaction of the press and public that has been more interesting. It has stirred far more emotion than most such re- franchising decisions: Virgin is a high-profile brand and Branson a high-profile figure, while the franchise itself serves some of the country’s biggest cities.


Few think it perfect, but almost anyone would rather take an inter- city trip on the West Coast Main Line today than when Virgin took over.


It probably says more about our London-centric media than it does about FirstGroup that much national press and online coverage of the decision has contrasted Virgin’s service with First Great Western’s commuters’ opinions, few of them happy.


As primarily an inter-city, long- distance service, Virgin runs trains with the (relative!) comforts that implies. FirstGroup, for many journalists and web commentators, is associated with commuting, and as such, overcrowding, unavoidable high fares, and work.


But of course that’s hardly the whole story: FGW and First Capital Connect do suffer for these reasons in the National Passenger Survey, but ScotRail, First Hull Trains and FTPE do much better (all scored within three points of Virgin in the spring 2012 survey, some above it, some just below). As this shows, the way passengers feel about a train service is a function of much


more than just who ultimately runs the franchise: it’s about the nature of the route, the rolling stock, the stations, local management, fares, and so on.


The new West Coast franchise will employ many of the same people, serving similar routes, with similar fare prices and using, mostly, the same rolling stock. Many of us are curious to see how FirstGroup brands its newest franchise (‘Horizon? The only problem with that is you never get there’, as one waggish letter-writer put it), and the new Pendolino livery, though these are hardly the issues that will decide how the service is perceived in the long term.


FirstGroup has denied many of the ‘cuts’ reports, and will have to put its money where its mouth is: its own business case depends on getting the passenger growth it claims is possible, and it will lose a fortune on this deal if it fails because of the huge amount it is to pay the Government. For now, it deserves a fair crack of the whip.


Adam Hewitt Editor


Cognitive Publishing Ltd


86 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2ER Tel: +44 (0)161 833 6320 Fax: +44 (0)161 832 0571


Email: info@railtechnologymagazine.com


22 Supply side Network Rail’s quest to engage with its supply chain.


26 Freight on HS2 HS2’s direct and indirect boost for rail freight.


116 Signal strength The Cardiff area re-signalling project and what it means.


134 Super Express Hitachi Rail Europe boss Keith Jordan on the IEP sign-off.


rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 12 | 1


© FirstGroup

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156