Disruption to services caused by....

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poliss
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby poliss » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:15 pm

Don't you think it's bit cruel strapping Alex Salmond to the front of a loco? :o

b308
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby b308 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:17 pm

:D I could think of far more suitable candidates... but they would be (S)MPs rather than MSPs!! :wink:

rocketman
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby rocketman » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:58 pm

Personally, thought not exactly politically aligned I love how he gobbles silly bbc journalists for breakfast.
but my serious question is

the forth bridge has been closed for the first time in its history...why?

there are 'no train services north of Edinburgh" (can you imagine the outcry if there were none south of Watford?)

the question is..
when is the last time this has happened , if ever?
and why

thank you
rocketman

b308
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby b308 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:00 pm

From what i can gather its conditions on the lines north of Edinburgh rather than the conditions on the bridge itself... I know we had a pager message this morning saying that nothing is running north and only some (one?) of the Glasgow Edinburgh lines is open... Does m8 know any more perhaps? FirsT time its been this bad for many years, it should keep a Government "inquest" into why we are having all the problems occupied for many months to come though... even if the answer is blindingly obvious... as in the Railways will not spend millions on equipment which will only be used for a few days a year!

BTW most lines in the SE were at a standstill as well, so it has happened south of Watford Gap!

At least the information highway is working in most places!!

rocketman
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby rocketman » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:10 pm

would steam locos have been able to pass ? or were the leaves too thick and plenty?
just planning my model
not
I think that this is systems failure on a totally unacceptable scale
and heads should roll
how dare they leave us at such huge expense from our taxes with such a useless transport system?
rocketman

b308
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby b308 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:00 pm

Its not just in Scotland, RM, the picture is similar in the NE and SE of England... Last year (earlier this year?) it was other parts which were badly hit.

The issue is that we in this country only have a few days per year where the weather is really bad enough to bring things to a halt... The equipment needed to keep things moving would, however, cost millions, and would be sitting rusting away for the rest of the year... Then there's the problem of where you place the equipment, who have thought that the SE of England would have been stopped, for instance...

Places like the south of Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, etc, have this sort of weather for months at a time so the investment is worth it...

The question is, do we want (or need?) to spend such sumes on equipment which would be very little used?

I can't provide an answer, but I do hope that following the inevitable Government Report which is bound to follow we don't go wasting our money on some knee jerk reaction to this weather without first thinking through the implications...

Having said that, as the Scots have more control over their railways than we do south of the border, so perhaps they could divert some money into it from their railway budget? I only wish we had the same control and a more enlightened government towards the railways like you have!

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PTmodeller
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby PTmodeller » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:18 pm

rocketman wrote:how dare they leave us at such huge expense from our taxes with such a useless transport system?


Yeah, bloody government, how DARE they not be able to control extreme snowfall! Crikey, it makes my blood boil...

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stuartp
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby stuartp » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:22 pm

b308 wrote:The issue is that we in this country only have a few days per year where the weather is really bad enough to bring things to a halt... The equipment needed to keep things moving would, however, cost millions, and would be sitting rusting away for the rest of the year... Then there's the problem of where you place the equipment, who have thought that the SE of England would have been stopped, for instance...


Quite. The last time the SE was stopped (the year of 'the wrong type of snow' - 198?? ) BR spent a couple of million quid on snowblowers after even the big drift ploughs had trouble. I don't know how much use the one at Inveness got but the one allocated to NSE barely turned a wheel in anger.
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/

rocketman
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby rocketman » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:17 pm

Well, today (no snow and not too cold either) my train was late coming due to 'unit failure" then it was stopped twice going to Salisbury (diseasel) because of 'electrical problems in the Salisbury Area".(the frozen wires had melted?' I gathered from the guard that it was a signalling problem.There was also an announced signalling problem between Cosham and Havant which affected all trains past Portsmouth. I was 40 minutes late for my meeting and I trust that no people or animals were harmed etc, but....why can't we do better?. It is not uncommon on this route for a part of the crew not to turn up and there are apparently no spares. Why not?, don't they pay money? are the conditions so bad? etc etc
It feels more like a crisis of our own making every day now
and society is getting smaller and smaller.
rocketman

b308
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby b308 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:26 pm

I suspect in this weather all of the "spare" crews would have been used up pretty quickly... The days of having loads of people sitting around went out with the end of BR, the new companies can't afford to have people sitting around so they knock back staff numbers to the very minimum they can run with... So when something drastic happens there isn't the numbers there to cover for people who overshot their book off time and come in after rest (to give just one example)... they pay us money, but other than the Drivers who get paid a fortune most of us are below the average wage... Which if you are living in the South with high living costs may restrict the numbers of people wishing to join... So they do tend to have staff shortages down in the SE and South Coast.

To be fair, RM, the weather we are having is extreme by British standards, even in places where they get snow like Scotland... As I said before we CAN make sure that if this ever happens again we have the equipment and manpower to deal with it, thats not the issue... The issue is cost... and it would cost a great deal - why not ask the Germans how much they spend on keeping roads and rail open - What i doubt is that you or any of us is willing to pay that money for something which only happens a few days a year...

Or do you really want to see a big hike in your income tax bill?!

rocketman
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby rocketman » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:37 pm

I don't think that is necessary. If we stopped overstretching ourselves everywhere in the High Streets we could easily afford it. Our priorities are cockeyed (and the weather here stopped being 'extreme" days ago, if it ever was).
rocketman

b308
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby b308 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:55 pm

I agree, but I doubt people will want to go back to that, as instead of an increase in tax, you'll see a big increase in food costs... I don't know if you've been watching that series on the "High Street" but that showed exactly why we are now so reliant on Supermarkets and imported cheap goods sold at the likes of Poundland... People just aren't prepared to pay more...

I asked once on a thread on here how many people would be prepared to pay more for their model railway equipment if it was produced in the UK rather than cheaply in China... no-one was prepared to pay the extra cost... there's your answer! We've created this world where we want everything cheap and yesterday, but are not prepared to pay to cover all eventualities when nature turns against us.

(Some parts of the country did (and are) suffering weather which is extreme by the standards they normally get)

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weezerd
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby weezerd » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:18 pm

During the first few days of this extreme-weather traffic snarl-ups, the news media were ranting on about how many millions/billions the lost time was costing the economy.

Well if it's costing the economy that much, then it would be a worthwhile investment to have the necessary equipment in service/on hold/stand-by, because the "waste" cost of keeping it for the 50 weeks of the year that it may be unused would be covered by the savings made on the few days it was actually needed (if anyone can understand that bit of rambling waffle!)

When I was living/working in Germany a couple of decades ago I noticed that they had a version of the Civil Defence which maintained and operated all this sort of extreme weather/unique incident equipment, all in a dark blue livery with blues and twos for use when necessary. This was additional to the regular snowploughs/blowers etc. that were operated by the local councils.

It might be time for our government to start thinking along those lines.

b308
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby b308 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:45 am

There's certainly plenty of people around who have nothing better to do and we are paying them through our taxes, so why not! :twisted:

As long as the British way of interpreting H&S is not introduced... Thats one thing the Continentals do better than us as they still work on the basis that its the Individual's fault if something goes wrong when they don't apply a bit of common sense... Unlike us where the Individual tries to blame someone else... and claim lots of money for it... :roll:

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Bufferstop
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Re: Disruption to services caused by....

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:33 am

One cause of excessive costs for clearing snow is the outsourcing of so many services to specialist contractors. When our bins were emptied by council employees, they didn't sit round in their depots waiting for someone to clear the roads, and getting paid for doing nothing, they went out and helped clear the snow along with other trades (road repair gangs, groundsmen etc) who couldn't work because of the weather. The benefits of staff flexibility obviously do not show up in the accountants costings.

I agree with b308 the British Approach to H&S is a big obstacle. We were staying in a Brussels hotel within half a mile of the EU headquarters when an electrician turned up to replace the light bulbs on the roof of the building next door. It was one of those roofs with four curved faces going up to a little square flat bit with rails around it. He arrived on his own in a cherry picker which would only reach half way up the roof. So he set it up, climbed in the cage and raised himself as high as it would go then got out and walked straight up the roof so that if he slipped he would slide back down to the cage. I can't see that any part of his methods would satisfy a British H&S inspector. He'd obviously done it many times before as he took a rope up with him which he used to pull up his tool bag, then when he'd finished used the same rope to abseil back down to the cage.
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