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25m Southeastern HS1 journeys since 2009

There have been 25m domestic passenger journeys on Southeastern’s services on HS1 between London and Kent since its launch in 2009.

Celebrating the service’s third

anniversary, Southeastern managing director Charles Horton called it “an overwhelming success”.

He added: “The service has made the connection

and London far more accessible than ever before and has slashed journey times.

“It’s also opened the county up to the rest of the UK; we’ve seen around 25% more journeys to Kent from beyond London than there were prior to the service.”

Go-ahead freight terminal for Radlett

A rail freight terminal at Radlett in Hertfordshire has been granted planning permission by communities’ secretary Eric Pickles. The £400m intermodal interchange has been welcomed by transport groups and campaigners.

Maggie Simpson, Rail Freight Group executive director, said: “Radlett has been in the planning system for over a decade, and we are delighted that it has finally reached a positive conclusion.”

New Midland Metro partnership launched

Centro has formed a partnership with Midland Metro operator National Express to drive a £130m improvements plan.

The agreement, ‘Metro Forward’, includes commitments to introduce 20 new, larger trams to provide 10 services an hour throughout the day, increasing capacity by 40% and easing peak-time overcrowding.

Other promised improvements include smartcard technology and tram stop upgrades.

6 | rail technology magazine Dec/Jan 13 between Kent

£7m compensation for London Midland passengers

London Midland passengers will be offered free and discounted travel after months of cancellations and delays on the franchise.

Rail minister Norman Baker has announced that London Midland will have to provide a £7m compensation package, as well as spending more on infrastructure improvements to avoid future disruption.

Season ticket holders will be given five days worth of free travel passes, and 500,000 discounted tickets will be made available.

Speaking just before Christmas, Baker said: “London Midland has cancelled or delayed hundreds of services in recent months. Securing these benefits for passengers represents a firm yellow-card for London Midland and some financial benefit for those who have been hardest hit

by their poor performance.

“I am confident London Midland has now rectified their driver shortage but the company need to be clear that we will continue to

monitor their performance

closely and take firmer action if necessary.”

There has been extreme disruption on the line in recent months, due mainly to the operator being unable to provide enough drivers. This was felt most keenly in the West Midlands. After the Olympics, many of London Midland’s staff took leave that they had been unable to take during the Games, leading to shortages and cancellations.

A statement on the operator’s website

said: was “Although addressed we

worked hard to ensure the shortage


resolved as quickly as possible, we recognise that recent

Contactless ticket payment trialled at Chiltern Railways

Chiltern Railways has become the first UK operator to launch contactless payment for tickets.

The technology, developed by Parkeon Transit and Barclaycard, is being trialled between Great Missenden and Marylebone.

Passengers will be able to ‘wave and pay’ for the most popular tickets: Adult Anytime Day Singles, Adult Anytime Day Returns, Adult Day Returns with Railcard and Adult Day Singles with Railcard. Tickets

will be available on platform via a Parkeon TVM and can accommodate transactions of up to £20. The process of contactless payment takes an average of 12.5 seconds per transaction, compared to 34 seconds for cash and 27 seconds for traditional card payments.

Thomas Ableman, commercial director at Chiltern Railways, said: “The contactless revolution has arrived for rail ticketing and once again we are embracing another technological development.”

PPM falls to 85.3%

National train performance fell to just 85.3% in period 9, from November 11 – December 8, and compares to 88.4% for the same period last year. PPM is also significantly lower than in period 8, when it stood at 88.9%. The Moving Annual Average (MAA) is now at 91.5%.

The top performing franchise this period was London Overground, with a PPM of 97.3%. c2c Rail now has the highest MAA at 97.3%. East Coast was the worst performing franchise in period 9, with PPM at just 74.5%. Virgin now has the lowest MAA, at 86%. Network Rail is also now publishing right-time performance by operator, in a move towards greater transparency.

Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director of network operations said: “The right-time data, which we publish more of today, is used by the industry to identify areas where we can improve performance on the network.”

disruption has been unacceptable to passengers. It is also not what we expect of ourselves and we are sorry for letting you down.”

Labour peer Lord Hunt said in the Lords in the autumn: “[There is a] general obligation contained in the franchise agreement…that the operator should undertake its job with a ‘degree of skill, diligence, prudence

and foresight’. The

problem with the London Midland service is a shortage of drivers. I would have thought that that is ample evidence for an intervention into the franchise agreement. This company is not fit to run the franchise.”

© Alvey and Towers

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