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Low Javelin passenger numbers spark calls for fare review

St Pancras International, 18 June 2009: two 140mph Hitachi 395 trains about to be used for a preview of the UK’s new high-speed service. Photographed by the Press Association, it is just one of a diverse collection of black and white and colour images contained in a new book,

100 Years of Railways – Twentieth Century

in Pictures, published by Ammonite Press at £14.99.

under review and we must never forget it is a premium service which carries extra benefits and faster times.’ Although Broadstairs is outside its remit, London TravelWatch said that if services were not being used, the price structure should be reviewed. Tunde Olatunji, Passenger Focus

by Peter Brown

Calls are being made for the price of premium fares on Britain’s high-speed service into St Pancras International to be reviewed, following the decision by Southeastern to shorten some trains on its Broadstairs services. Six daily weekday services

worked by 140mph Hitachi 395

units have been reduced in length from 12 cars to six, which means that three trains in the morning peak and three in the evening peak have been reduced in size. A spokesman for Southeastern

said: ‘We have changed three of the Broadstairs services from 12 to six cars, but these high-speed train units can only run as 12 or six. We want

Sunderland to get moving art

display as part of station upgrade

An artist is looking for 60 volunteers from the Sunderland area to be filmed for an art installation at the city’s station. Nexus has commissioned the Jason Bruges Studio to create a

new light art display as part of the £7m refurbishment of platforms at Sunderland Station, as part of its Art on Transport programme. The installation will feature moving images of people in constantly changing groups, behind a 140-metre glass-block wall facing two of the station’s underground platforms. Jonathon Hodges of Jason Bruges Studio said: ‘While the final

work will conceal people’s individual identities, they may still be able to recognise their movements in the characters.’ l As a part of a series of contemporary art projects for the Jubilee line, artist John Gerrard’s Oil Stick Work will be projected onto a massive 15x8-metre screen in Canary Wharf Underground station’s ticket hall for a year. It is one of six works commissioned by Art on the Underground, London Underground’s art programme.

to match the best service to capacity and have calculated that we can accommodate passengers on six cars on these services. ‘In the meantime, it makes

no sense to have 12 cars on these services. The fact we have 5,000 extra passengers every morning shows people want to use the service. The cost is continually

manager said: ‘Southeastern has reduced the number of carriages it’s running on high-speed trains to reflect what appears to be lower passenger demand on the North Kent route. ‘Passengers tell us that value for money is a major concern. If passengers are not using the high-speed services because of the current level of premium fares, then we would expect that Southeastern will review the premium fares to see how they can encourage greater passenger use.’

l peter.brown@railpro.co.uk

When is a dispute not a dispute?

n

Southern Trains has stepped back from an ‘attempt to

undermine rail safety’ by extending driver-only operation, after Britain’s biggest rail union threatened industrial action. That’s how the RMT saw a

dispute which appears to have lasted roughly 24 hours. Southern Railway – to give the

company its correct title – countered that in fact there was no dispute. A source said the only people

informed of a dispute were in the media, not on the railway. The union claimed the company had ‘slipped’ a guardless Victoria- to-Brighton service into the new summer timetable. The company subsequently confirmed that a

PAGE 6 JUNE 2010

guard would be on board. ‘Southern never believed there was any reason for the RMT to be in dispute on this issue,’ the company said in a statement. ‘We have assured the RMT that we do not intend to extend driver-only operation beyond the routes it currently operators on.’ The union is in a lengthy dispute

with ScotRail over trains without guards on the Airdrie-to-Bathgate line. General secretary Bob Crow claimed agreement with Southern represented ‘a significant victory’ in this wider context. A source at Southern

commented that the union was ‘more about spin than any genuine dispute’, and that the episode was an exercise in ‘point scoring’.

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