Rail 749: The Channel Tunnel: An engineering success but not a European game changer

May 17th, 2014 Rail Magazine 3 comments
  The Channel Tunnel’s 20th anniversary on May 6 received scant attention. There was barely anything in the British press and the only two interviews I did on it were, interestingly, for German and Russian media suggesting there was more recognition of the anniversary abroad than in the UK. That is a shame because building the tunnel was a massive achievement, this nation’s biggest ever engineering projectthat has never received the recognition ...

East Coast set to remain in the public sector (sort of)

October 2nd, 2013 Christian Says 5 comments
There are some stories in the modern railway that you could not make up because they would be too far-fetched. The story of  the PPP on the London Underground was one, but now we have another great one. Eurostar is bidding  jointly for the East Coast franchise with Keolis, which normaly partners Go-Ahead. Now of course this is the franchise that is being rushed through for privatisation because currently it is ...

Rail 655: Eurostar needs to really set itself free

October 21st, 2010 Rail Magazine 21 comments
Eurostar has always been a creature of government. All the major decisions determining its service have been made by government or state-owned railways but now the company is determined to establish itself in its own right. To do that would, ultimately, require Eurostar to be entirely freestanding and, obviously, to make a profit so that it would not be dependent on government handouts.  The first step towards this was Eurostar’s establishment, ...

Railway can no longer respond to crisis

April 16th, 2010 Christian Says 26 comments
After the Xmas Eurostar debacle, the company repeatedly said that it would improve its website in future to communicate better with its passengers and respond better to crisis. Fat chance. On the website today, there is a mere two paragraph warning telling people not to come to the stations without a ticket but there is no mention of any extra trains or anything that is being done to accommodate displaced ...

Rail 638: No dead, no injured, too much fuss about Eurostar

March 8th, 2010 Rail Magazine 5 comments
It could have been a lot worse for the 152 passengers and crew when ice led to an engine failure. Indeed, they were lucky to escape alive but strangely the media coverage of the report into the incident was relatively muted - a few interviews with the heroic crew and a bit of technical explanation, but with only very minor injuries and no dead, the matter was soon forgotten.  That, of ...

Eurostar report to reveal all – or not?

February 9th, 2010 Christian Says 9 comments
The independent report on the Eurostar pre xmas breakdown is being released on friday with a press conference - itself a rarity these days in the rail industry - and hopefully a full exposition of what exactly went wrong. Chris Garnett, one of the two independent authors of the report, has promised that all aspects of the fiasco will be examined but one suspects that he is too much of a ...

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