It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

For the customers of Greater Anglia, FCC and Network Rail
JohnSmith
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 2:04 pm

It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby JohnSmith » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 11:37 am

Restricted services through Hertford North again due to major signalling failures.

This comes less than three months after Network Rail announced an additional investment of £15 million on the infrastructure between Stevenage & London.

I can only assume they spent most of it on bonuses for the directors.

Kateg28
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 9:53 am

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby Kateg28 » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 12:24 pm

Is it just me or has the Hertford North deteriorated recently? When I moved from Ware to Hertford, I switched lines and found them much more frequent and reliable than the Hertford East line but recent events seem at odds with this opinion.

I switched to Hertford East this morning and all was well.

Moose66
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu 05 Dec, 2013 12:12 pm

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby Moose66 » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 12:39 pm

Kateg28 wrote:Is it just me or has the Hertford North deteriorated recently? When I moved from Ware to Hertford, I switched lines and found them much more frequent and reliable than the Hertford East line but recent events seem at odds with this opinion.

I switched to Hertford East this morning and all was well.


Yes, a rubbish service again today. It's becoming reliably unreliable.
But at least I was forewarned today - I signed up to FCC's Twitter feed thanks to Kateg28's previous advice :!:

JohnSmith
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 2:04 pm

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby JohnSmith » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 12:57 pm

The chickens have come home to roost.

Years of making do with aging rolling stock (37 years old and no new trains planned) and years of neglect on the infrastructure.

On top of this there is a franchise system that allows First Capital Connect to make a disgraceful amount of money from the taxpayer (i.e. not the commuters who use the services) with no risk, and the ability to deny responsibility for any failings in the service they are supposed to be providing.

It will get a lot worse over the next 10 years.

Kateg28
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 9:53 am

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby Kateg28 » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 1:51 pm

Moose66 wrote:
Kateg28 wrote:Is it just me or has the Hertford North deteriorated recently? When I moved from Ware to Hertford, I switched lines and found them much more frequent and reliable than the Hertford East line but recent events seem at odds with this opinion.

I switched to Hertford East this morning and all was well.


Yes, a rubbish service again today. It's becoming reliably unreliable.
But at least I was forewarned today - I signed up to FCC's Twitter feed thanks to Kateg28's previous advice :!:

Yes, I checked twitter as I was just about to leave house and was able to get OH to drop me at HFE. It is invaluable at the moment. 8-)

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Steve
Project Leader
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed 06 Nov, 2013 12:01 am

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby Steve » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 2:54 pm

JohnSmith wrote:The chickens have come home to roost.

Years of making do with aging rolling stock (37 years old and no new trains planned) and years of neglect on the infrastructure.

On top of this there is a franchise system that allows First Capital Connect to make a disgraceful amount of money from the taxpayer (i.e. not the commuters who use the services) with no risk, and the ability to deny responsibility for any failings in the service they are supposed to be providing.

And most of those failings are down to Network Rail and the infrastructure, not First Capital Connect. Therefore it seems perfectly reasonable that they deny responsibility for many of the problems on the line.

JohnSmith
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 2:04 pm

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby JohnSmith » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 3:25 pm

Steve wrote:
JohnSmith wrote:The chickens have come home to roost.

Years of making do with aging rolling stock (37 years old and no new trains planned) and years of neglect on the infrastructure.

On top of this there is a franchise system that allows First Capital Connect to make a disgraceful amount of money from the taxpayer (i.e. not the commuters who use the services) with no risk, and the ability to deny responsibility for any failings in the service they are supposed to be providing.

And most of those failings are down to Network Rail and the infrastructure, not First Capital Connect. Therefore it seems perfectly reasonable that they deny responsibility for many of the problems on the line.


We are paying money to FCC for a service. They are not providing it. If they have a problem with their service provider (i.e. Network Rail) they should take it up with them. They don't. They just sit back and say "it's not our fault". It doesn't matter to FCC as any compensation they pay out is recouped from Network Rail (i.e. the taxpayer). FCC put no pressure on Network Rail to provide a decent service to them.

The rolling stock is now within the oldest 10% in the country. There are no plans to renew it and some of it is original stock that wasn't renewed when West Anglia Great Northern were in charge. There are daily failures of this stock. FCC simply puts the blame on the terms of the franchise as they lease the rolling stock (although FCC are supposed to maintain it). As it gets older, the rolling stock will become less reliable and faults more common. A faulty train in the tunnel between Drayton Park and Moorgate causes havoc. Again, there is no incentive for FCC to do anything about this, they just blame the terms of the franchise.

At the moment, some of their drivers are working to rule (not working their rest days) which can result in swathes of cancellations, usually on Friday afternoon. This is something where FCC cannot pass the buck, but they simply refuse to acknowledge it.

At the end of the day, it is us, the paying customer, who loses out whilst FCC just rake in the money as this article explains http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ors-profit

Kateg28
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 9:53 am

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby Kateg28 » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 4:02 pm

Replacing the rolling stock isnt overly easy due to the requirement to use two different power sources.

You state:
"FCC put no pressure on Network Rail to provide a decent service to them".

Do you know that for fact or are you guessing?

The article may be factually correct but it reads like a polictical attack and that always instantly puts me off so I gave up reading it.

codek2
Posts: 306
Joined: Tue 12 Nov, 2013 4:32 pm

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby codek2 » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 4:19 pm

errm, thats wrong anyway. There are plans to replace the FCC rolling stock, new stock being delivered from 2015 onwards.

JohnSmith
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 2:04 pm

Re: It's Tuesday so it must mean trouble on the trains

Postby JohnSmith » Tue 17 Dec, 2013 4:35 pm

codek2 wrote:errm, thats wrong anyway. There are plans to replace the FCC rolling stock, new stock being delivered from 2015 onwards.


Not on the GN route into Moorgate.


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