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Railhub Archive
2001-05-18 ATO-001


Rail cracking behind us says ATOC

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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Rail cracking behind us says ATOC

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18 May 2001
source ATOC
type Press release

Problems on the railway network caused by rail cracking are substantially over, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) said today.

Figures compiled by ATOC show that four out of five trains are arriving punctually and all TOCs will be operating normal summer timetables. That means performance overall has returned - by and large - to the same levels as in the month before the Hatfield crash.

Commenting on the latest situation, ATOC Director General, George Muir, said:
"Four out of five trains are now arriving punctually. That means we are now, by and large, back to pre-Hatfield levels of punctuality. We hope our passengers have noticed the improving trend.

"The improving performance figures mask the fact that there are still problems on inter-city routes, which are also affecting some London commuter services.

"We share our passengers' frustration when they experience disruption. We will continue to do all we can working with Railtrack to remove the problems that remain."


For more information: ATOC press office (020) 7904 3010


Gauge Corner Cracking behind us.

Following a major engineering effort, a large number of the Temporary Speed Restrictions caused by Gauge Corner Cracking have been lifted. The industry now has a much better understanding of the problem - and a plan for dealing with it in the future.

The industry's Wheel-Rail Interface System Authority has published a technical report which sets this out in detail.

However, the number of Temporary Speed Restrictions on the network is still above the norm - about 700 rather than about 500. Around 150 of these are as a result of gauge corner cracking.

Rail performance today is much improved on that seen in the immediate aftermath of Hatfield, with four out of five trains - on average - running punctually. However, these figures mask the fact that inter-city routes have still some way to go to get back to normal and in some cases, this is also affecting some London commuter routes, such as WAGN and Silverlink County services.

But overall, the situation is positive. As Olivier Brousse, managing director of Connex South Eastern, said recently: "I am convinced Hatfield is now behind us. We have turned the corner and there are tangible benefits ahead." And First Great Western said: "Railtrack continues with its engineering work and speed restrictions in connection with gauge corner cracking, however, the impact of these has been significantly reduced."

Some good news.
So perhaps the time is now right to talk about some of the good things that have been happening on the railways and to look ahead at improvements to come as the industry gets on with the business of delivering on the 10-year Transport Plan. These include:
12 operators have introduced 550 new carriages into service,
First North Western
Arriva Trains Northern
Gatwick Express
Heathrow Express
Central Trains
Midland Mainline
South West Trains

A further six operators will introduce another 2500 new carriages over the next 3 years including:
Virgin Cross Country's new Voyagers;
Virgin West Coast's new Pendolinos
Connex's new Electrostars
Angel Trains/SWT's £1bn order for 785 new carriages;
First Great Eastern's Desiro trains
First Great Western's Adelante trains
Midland Mainline's Turbostars.

The re-franchising process, which will encourage more investment and a more rigorous performance regime which will mean a better deal for passengers. Some early benefits include major upgrades to track and signalling - more than 200 individual schemes in the SRA's Strategic Agenda, which are currently being evaluated.

Better information for passengers including:
WAP technology to allow passengers to access train information from mobile phones. Operators already using WAP technology include Connex and Midland Mainline.

ATOC's initiative to provide Departure Boards on the Web.

Taking MK1 slam door rolling stock out of service by 2004.

New safety systems are being installed.

Railhub Archive ::: 2001-05-18 ATO-001


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