Thursday, 27 October 2011

Recent Delays Caused By Faulty Component

The delays experienced on the 18th October due to overhead line failure in the Bethnal Green area, were caused by a manufacturing defect in a particular component.  Network Rail have checked the same component elsewhere and not found the same fault.  Hopefully therefore this is a one off.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Abellio To Reduce The Number Of Trains?

Reports in the media are suggesting that Abellio - announced last week as the company to take over the Greater Anglia franchise from National Express East Anglia - may reduce the number of trains in the fleet by 15 units.  That equates to 4,770 seats.  Trains are expensive to lease and this may be a contributory factor in Abellio being able to deliver a service for less.  However such a move would be a complete reversal of steps taken by NXEA to introduce more seats in an attempt to reduce overcrowding.

A sign of things to come?

Manningtree Wins Best Station Award

Manningtree train station has been named the best medium station in the National Express East Anglia’s station adopters 2011 awards. The hanging baskets and flower tubs certainly attracted much praise this year! 

Congratulations to Paul Sankey and all those involved in contributing to the upkeep of Manningtree station.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Abellio Announced As The Replacement For NXEA

The Department for Transport has today issued the following announcement:

"Abellio Greater Anglia Limited has been chosen as the new operator for the 'Greater Anglia' franchise which is currently operated by National Express East Anglia and stretches across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. It will be part of the transport provision for the London 2012 Games, serving the Olympic Park area. Under the terms of the deal, the new operator will carry out a range of improvements during the 29 month contract. These will include improvements to stations, new ticket facilities and better passenger information. In addition, the majority of the train fleet will be 'deep-cleaned', some will be refurbished and more carriages will be fitted with CCTV.
Theresa Villiers said:
“This new franchise will start delivering important improvements for passengers, with more to come in the longer contract that will follow it. The franchise will also play a significant role in transport for the London 2012 Games providing crucial services to the Olympic Park area.”
“We want to make it easier for passengers to use the railways so the new operator will extend Oyster pay-as-you-go services to ten stations on the Shenfield and Hertford East lines and introduce mobile phone and print-at-home ticketing facilities. Passengers will also get better access to information as the new operator is introducing a text messaging service to keep passengers informed if disruption occurs and new information desks at major stations including Liverpool Street, Cambridge, Norwich, Ipswich and Stansted Airport.”
Other improvements to be delivered by the new franchise include:
· A new cycle hire scheme at Norwich station and cycle storage points at 15 stations, including space for 500 bicycles at Chelmsford.
· Up to 300 new car parking spaces, plus a further 300 at Shenfield and Wickford stations, subject to planning approval.
· Cleaning and painting of 141 stations across the franchise."

Talk To NXEA Managers On Twitter

North Area station managers will be on Twitter between 13:00 and 15:00 on Friday (21st) to answer your questions.  Follow @NXEastAnglia or hashtag #nxeanorth

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Cable Thefts

Cable theft coming an increasing problem for Network Rail and train operators across the UK. Incidents of cable theft cause huge disruption and inconvenience.  In addition, they can result in a significant loss of productivity, with thousands of people late for work and meetings. So it is not just passengers and the rail industry that are disadvantaged – businesses and the economy suffer too.  Train operators including NXEA, and Network Rail are working together and in coordination with the British Transport Police to try and both prevent such problems and mitigate their effects.

Furthermore, all players in the rail industry are collaborating to try and secure a change to legislation to increase the penalties on criminals found guilty of stealing the cables and make it more difficult for scrap metal merchants to trade in stolen metal.  Measures being called for include:

        a new licensing scheme with rigorous requirements relating to identification and quarantine of metals received;
        restrictions to cash transactions;
        significant penalties for non compliance with direct links to proceeds of crime legislation; and
        powers for the police to close premises that breach conditions and seize assets.
  The MRUA supports this initiative and will be campaigning for the law to be changed.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Your Thoughts On Fare Increases Wanted

Keo Films is making a programme for BBC1 to be broadcast in January to coincide with the fare increases. They are very keen to make contact with as many rail passengers as possible so they can record your experiences, monitor rail performance by both the train operators and Network Rail.

They are looking for people who are willing to take part in this nationwide experience. If you are interested please email and they will be in touch.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Further Complaints About Parking Charges

Lawford Parish Council is pushing for the parking charges at Manningtree Station to be cut to encourage people to park at the underused station car park rather than nearby streets.  The Daily Gazette is reporting that NCP have stated they would be willing to work with National Express East Anglia to change the tariff, which is set by the train operator.

The MRUA has been campaigning for some considerable time for parking charges to be reduced as they are a significant factor in discouraging rail use - especially for journeys to places such as Ipswich, Colchester, Witham and Chelmsford.  Sadly the government has cited car parking as a significant revenue stream to be used to counter the contribution made by the tax payer in rail subsidies.  The MRUA will however continue to press for reduced parking charges at Manningtree.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

NXEA Successor To Be Dutch?

There are reports in the media that the successor to NXEA will be the Dutch company, Abellio. The Department for Transport has declined to comment but an announcement is due this month.  A short 29 month franchise running from next February is being bid for the Greater Anglian area and a permanent 15 year contract could follow if the line is well managed.  As well as Abellio, Stagecoach and Go-Ahead are bidding for the franchise.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Leaf Fall Timetable Commences

Today sees the commencement of the Leaf Fall Timetable.  Certain train times will be altered to take into account the possible effect of fallen leaves on the line. Passengers are advised to check train times before traveling