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Old April 5th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #121
Tom Hughes
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Martin,
Apologies, somehow I missed your post yesterday.

Like you, my A-level Economics is far too dim and distant (and was only ever a stocking filler in anycase) to afford me any significant knowledge on world economics, but I tend to think that collapsing Banks would be quite catastrophic (particularly in the UK which is now almost totally reliant on that sector). While the ultimate debt was indeed accrued during Labour's tenure, the global downfall which was without precedent, was hardly their making alone. Conversely, I seem to remember several cyclic Tory-prompted downturns, which other countries around us seemed completely impervious to. I was also referring to the main theme of another thread by reflecting on the general fortunes of Liverpool under both, and I don't think that anyone could argue that Liverpool prospered more under the tories than under Labour..... by almost any measure that I can think of.

You're right about the original ECML work, I was referring to the later major upgrades necessary both track and electrification.... and ofcourse major station redevelopments at the likes of Leeds. The WCML was a far bigger job than the ECML for several reasons.... more and heavier traffic, greater complexity, more difficult terrain, and better equipment generally.... but what you have to add to all that of course is the whole post-privatisation complexities which were courtesy of the tories. Nearly all the schemes you've mentioned, including Channel Tunnel and Heathrow express have all been upgraded or added-to substantially under Labour.

As far as trams are concerned, I think the initial enthusiasm has diminished greatly.... the oft-quoted cost/benefit hasn't always been delivered, and the rush to build them tailed off here. I've been involved in their design and the modelling of quite a few speculative projects all over the world.... few went beyond that initial stage, and even some that did (including Merseytram) faultered soon after..... and we were easily the biggest player in this industry, and in rail generally.

As regards Monorails/PRT replacing trams etc..... I would've thought it was a question of trams replacing buses first, they haven't? At the end of the day the next generation of public transport probably only appears in the Technologically advanced and industrially rich countries. I think someone called it the "Morris Minor syndrome" with Britain.... whereby declining industrial countries tend to stick with "what they know", "the tried and tested"...... producing outdated products long after they've been superceded elsewhere, citing expensive R&D, infrastructure and concerns over untried technology etc. Sometimes they survive for a while.... more often they are left behind. Trams definitely do have their place, but I'd suggest perhaps the honeymoon was over a long time ago.... It's no longer a case of build a tram system, problem solved.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:11 AM   #122
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If you would like to know the economic background to the financial collapse then refer to "Conclusions of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission" published by the US Government.

In summary this detailed report concludes that it was caused by arrogant and incompetent USA rating agencies (S&P, Moody's etc) arrogant and incompetent USA financial regulators and an arrogant and avaricious USA financial system.

They all assumed they were above the law and looking at the consequent penalties - they were.

Countries such as the UK relied upon the USA financial community to produce honest fiscal and financial reporting, unfortunately, as the report states, they were a gang of crooks and we as a country suffered.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:37 AM   #123
Martin S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hughes View Post
Martin,
Apologies, somehow I missed your post yesterday.

Like you, my A-level Economics is far too dim and distant (and was only ever a stocking filler in anycase) to afford me any significant knowledge on world economics, but I tend to think that collapsing Banks would be quite catastrophic (particularly in the UK which is now almost totally reliant on that sector). While the ultimate debt was indeed accrued during Labour's tenure, the global downfall which was without precedent, was hardly their making alone. Conversely, I seem to remember several cyclic Tory-prompted downturns, which other countries around us seemed completely impervious to. I was also referring to the main theme of another thread by reflecting on the general fortunes of Liverpool under both, and I don't think that anyone could argue that Liverpool prospered more under the tories than under Labour..... by almost any measure that I can think of.

You're right about the original ECML work, I was referring to the later major upgrades necessary both track and electrification.... and ofcourse major station redevelopments at the likes of Leeds. The WCML was a far bigger job than the ECML for several reasons.... more and heavier traffic, greater complexity, more difficult terrain, and better equipment generally.... but what you have to add to all that of course is the whole post-privatisation complexities which were courtesy of the tories. Nearly all the schemes you've mentioned, including Channel Tunnel and Heathrow express have all been upgraded or added-to substantially under Labour.

As far as trams are concerned, I think the initial enthusiasm has diminished greatly.... the oft-quoted cost/benefit hasn't always been delivered, and the rush to build them tailed off here. I've been involved in their design and the modelling of quite a few speculative projects all over the world.... few went beyond that initial stage, and even some that did (including Merseytram) faultered soon after..... and we were easily the biggest player in this industry, and in rail generally.

As regards Monorails/PRT replacing trams etc..... I would've thought it was a question of trams replacing buses first, they haven't? At the end of the day the next generation of public transport probably only appears in the Technologically advanced and industrially rich countries. I think someone called it the "Morris Minor syndrome" with Britain.... whereby declining industrial countries tend to stick with "what they know", "the tried and tested"...... producing outdated products long after they've been superceded elsewhere, citing expensive R&D, infrastructure and concerns over untried technology etc. Sometimes they survive for a while.... more often they are left behind. Trams definitely do have their place, but I'd suggest perhaps the honeymoon was over a long time ago.... It's no longer a case of build a tram system, problem solved.
OK Tom, I've tried to steer clear of tram arguments because I had to spend six weeks in the Priory after the last set. There are a number of things that I would take you up on and some that I would agree on - such as the problems inherent in rail privatisation - I often wished we had been spared John Major's second term.

However, I often get into this argument after statements (this time by Evertonian) to the effect that Labour invests so much more in public transport than the Tories. It is very arguable but I might be persuaded to accept that Labour invests about the same as the Tories but, to anyone who remembers the days of the last Tory government when John Prescott was continually castigating them for their failure to invest, it is quite evident that the promised step change in transport investment did not occur - and that is particularly evident in our region even if you discount Merseytram.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee View Post
If you would like to know the economic background to the financial collapse then refer to "Conclusions of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission" published by the US Government.

In summary this detailed report concludes that it was caused by arrogant and incompetent USA rating agencies (S&P, Moody's etc) arrogant and incompetent USA financial regulators and an arrogant and avaricious USA financial system.

They all assumed they were above the law and looking at the consequent penalties - they were.

Countries such as the UK relied upon the USA financial community to produce honest fiscal and financial reporting, unfortunately, as the report states, they were a gang of crooks and we as a country suffered.
If you have seen the film 'Inside Job' about the American financial collapse, you can't help marvelling at the representatives of those rating agencies who all had the mantra 'it was only an opinion' after they had given a AAA rating to some bank loaded up with toxic debt that later collapsed.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
If you have seen the film 'Inside Job' about the American financial collapse, you can't help marvelling at the representatives of those rating agencies who all had the mantra 'it was only an opinion' after they had given a AAA rating to some bank loaded up with toxic debt that later collapsed.
A nice twist would be for the European Bank to start rating the performance of the rating agencies based on empirical data from past evaluations. If they then combined the percentage score (say for S&P) with the institutions country (or financial instrument) ratings with past performance indicators then a 'veracity' index of their competence could be applied to their recommendations.

I would be surprised if their competency/validity index reached 10%.

There's an equation and string in there somewhere!
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Old April 19th, 2011, 12:43 PM   #126
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From May 23rd, some Blackpool - Lime Street services will be extended to Liverpool South Parkway rather than having a 55 minute stop over at Lime Street.

There will be a 13-14 minute stop at Lime Street with these services.

first service dep. LSP TO Blackpool 10:36
last service dep. LSP TO Blackpool 16:36

first service dep. Blackpool 09:37 to LSP
last service arrives into LSP at 16:27
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:29 AM   #127
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FYI:-

1. item 51 question "Merseytravel" at link
http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/...?ID=10728&T=11

2. item 71 question "Merseyside Network" at link
http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/...x?ID=10729&T=1
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 11:22 AM   #128
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<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/T_yDWQsrajA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 11:26 AM   #129
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http://youtu.be/T_yDWQsrajA
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #130
Chris B
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From the Daily Post -

Quote:
Liverpool council ultimatum to Virgin Trains over London rail service

LIVERPOOL council will object to Virgin Trains winning a renewal of its West Coast franchise – unless it improves its “pitifully infrequent” service to London.

Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson will today tell the company it is not acceptable the city only has 17 trains per day to the capital, compared to Manchester’s 47.

The 14-year West Coast intercity rail franchise is due for renewal in December, 2012, and Virgin Trains Chief Executive Tony Collins will meet Cllr Anderson today.

Liverpool effectively has one train per hour from Lime Street Station, with an extra service per hour at peak times.

The service leaves Liverpool as one of the worst served cities across the UK behind Birmingham, which has four an hour, Manchester with three, and Leeds and Newcastle which have two.
Article continues - http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...2534-28773455/
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #131
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Maybe they should try objecting to the Government - who specify the timetables. It doesn't matter WHO runs the service - they run the timetable they are told to run!
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #132
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I have an idea, I know its thinking outside the box.

Why doesnt Joe go and see Louise Ellman MP after all she is a Liverpool MP and Chair of the Commons Transport Select Committee.

She may open a few doors and threaten to bang heads together, or is that a bit too much work for a local MP?
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Isnt it time they closed this white Elephant and stop wasting money
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Old May 28th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #133
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Apparently it was on the news last night that Virgin said they would run 11 carriage Pendolinos on the Liverpool route should they keep the franchise, but still only hourly.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 12:12 AM   #134
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Quote:
Virgin Trains to increase Liverpool to London train seats by 25%
by David Bartlett, Liverpool Echo
May 28 2011




VIRGIN Trains will add extra carriages on the Liverpool to London line to boost the number of seats by 25%.

The announcement follows a crunch meeting between Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson and company boss Tony Collins yesterday.

Ahead of the meeting Cllr Anderson warned Virgin the council will object to the operator winning a renewal of its West Coast franchise – unless it improves its “pitifully infrequent” service to London.

The city only has 17 trains per day to the capital, compared to Manchester’s 47.

Today Virgin told the ECHO that from the end of the year two additional carriages will start being added to its trains.

The additional carriages will be in standard class, boosting the number of seats on board by 25%.

Trains currently have nine carriages, and the additional rolling stock is being manufactured in Italy.

The company hopes all of its trains, including to other destinations such as Glasgow and Manchester, will have 11 carriages within a year.

Arthur Leathley, communications director of Virgin Trains, said: “The meeting was very cordial, we share the same objectives as Cllr Anderson. Over the coming year we will be adding two carriages to trains.

“We understand the frustration people have with busy trains, we want everyone to have a seat and an enjoyable journey.”
Continues >>
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Old May 29th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #135
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Quote:
The company hopes all of its trains, including to other destinations such as Glasgow and Manchester, will have 11 carriages within a year.
Total bullshit. Some trains are not being lengthened!

I find this whole story a farce. The council can't 'object'. The bids for the franchise are based on their merits WITHOUT KNOWING WHO THE BID IS FROM.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 09:39 AM   #136
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Rumours that Crewe - Chester electrification will be announced very shortly, and that the WCML franchise bids will now have to include proposals of using electric stock London - Chester. That could be either a further run of Pendolinos, or conversion of the diesel electric Voyagers to electric via a pantograph.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:39 PM   #137
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Quote:

Rail links between London and Liverpool are currently dominated by the
Virgin Pendolino services on the West Coast mainline | Paul Hill


Liverpool in London event targets rail investment
31 May 2011, 09:43

Peel Group, Merseytravel and Network Rail are sponsoring an event in London later this month to promote "the business case for infrastructure improvements including High Speed 2 and the Northern Hub".

The half-day event on 22 June will take place at the Liverpool in London 'embassy' on Old Broad Street and has been organised by Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, and chairman of the cross-party transport select committee, will address the event. The chamber said it aims to showcase "Liverpool's new confidence, its vibrant economy and its readiness to seize the economic opportunities associated with key developments such as the Mersey Waters, SuperPort and offshore wind programmes."

Other speakers include Alan Stillwell, director of Integrated Transport at Merseytravel, Peter Nears, strategic planning director at Peel Group and Graham Botham, programme sponsor for the Northern Hub at Network Rail.

High Speed 2 is the proposed Y-shaped national high speed rail network linking London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. It would cost £32bn to build and is estimated to generate benefits of £44bn and revenues totalling £27bn.

Network Rail's Northern Hub is a plan to improve infrastructure to expand capacity by a further 3.5m passengers a year, with a 40% increase in daily services across the region, equivalent to 700 extra services. Political and planning consent is still required.
Source: Place North West
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Old May 31st, 2011, 03:35 PM   #138
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Why is the Liverpool Embassy being used to promote something that will be of little benefit to the city while, at the same time, benefiting other cities.
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Isnt it time they closed this white Elephant and stop wasting money
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Old May 31st, 2011, 09:57 PM   #139
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Because its a con and Louise Ellman is a manc.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:27 PM   #140
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Allerton MPD will be re-opening later this year to service Northern Rail class 156 DMU's.

Consideration is being given to install carriage washing, maintenance pits and wheel turning facilities.

Allerton is also being considered as a base for the class 319's that will be cascaded from Thameslink services when the Manchester-Liverpool (via Chat Moss) route is electrified in 2014.
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