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Old July 31st, 2015, 03:50 PM   #2221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telemaxx View Post
I have read the Wikipedia articles about Network Rail and National Rail. I have understood that Network rail which owns and manages the infrastructure (tracks, stations etc.) is basically a state-owned and funded company. National Rail, however, is an association of the (private) train operating companies (TOCs) to ensure a somewhat uniform ticketing system. Rail routes are tendered and the best TOC is awarded the license to operate a certain route for a certain period of time. Please correct me if I'm already wrong
That's basically right, but you've missed two key public institutions and two sets of private ones.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is the part of the national government responsible for transport. It issues the franchises to the franchised operators, which include various obligations (including to be a member of ATOC / National Rail and to work with the ticketing system). Franchisees either pay a premium to DfT or receive a subsidy from it, depending on how much the franchise is worth. Franchise contracts require franchisees to run a certain minimum timetable and restrict pricing. It also owns Network Rail, and determines the size of the subsidy that NR receives.

The Office of Road and Rail (ORR - formerly the Office of Rail Regulation) is the regulator of the system, and is responsible for timetabling and pathing, especially for the parts of the system where multiple operators run over the same track, but also it adjudicates when the TOC wants to run more trains and NR doesn't want to let them (no-one can force a TOC to run more trains than it wants to, unless the franchise agreement requires them to increase the number of trains partway through the period of the franchise). If NR wants to close a line for maintenance or upgrade, then it's ORR that says whether they can or not.

The FOCs - Freight Operating Companies - run freight. They are not franchised, but they possess paths on the railway; they don't have to run a train in the path to retain it (they do pay a modest fee), and they only pay access fees when they actually run a train, so one issue is that FOCs may possess more paths than they use, but they won't release them to be used for passenger trains, resulting in a line being underused.

The ROSCOs - Rolling Stock Leasing Companies - own most of the passenger rolling stock and lease it to the TOCs. Many of us, myself included, feel that they make excess profits for the amount of work and risk they undertake.

Hopefully, that points you towards answers to some of your questions and will help you sharpen up the others - several of your questions were based on misunderstandings.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 07:24 PM   #2222
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Thanks, that was already very helpful!

This leaves me with these two issues:
- So ORR makes the timetable? Isn't the infrastructure manager the one selling the paths to the TOCs? I am trying to understand whether there is a body that has an overview of all TOCs and has some kind of planning capacity to make an integrated/synchronized timetable, where passengers have short connecting times when there are no direct trains for example.

This would be very different in Germany. DB Netz AG (infrastructure manager) makes the timetable and sells the paths to its customers. The EBA (Eisenbahnbundesamt), the regulator, supervises DB Netz AG and grants permits (construction, new trains, timetable). Since in Germany there is basically only one operator of long-distance trains (DB Fernverkehr AG) communication and organisation of connecting hubs and trains is fairly straight-forward (it's far from easy, but since there are only two parties involved it's possible).

- The question about the stations is still open. Are there uniform sign, ticket machines, offices etc.? Who is responsible?
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Old July 31st, 2015, 09:03 PM   #2223
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I don't know about how stations, ticket machines, and the like work in the UK. But I know that the condition of the physical infrastructure determines what paths (also called slots) are available and therefore what timetable can be set.

Since NR is in charge of maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure, it therefore sets the available paths. If ORR sets the timetable, it's NR's charge to ensure that the timetable can be met -- that means it has to have a slot available when the timetable says it's available.

NR's predecessor, Railtrack, was a for-profit company, which leads me to think the business model has always been that revenue is generated when the slots provided are used. (The problem with Railtrack's model was that it actually could only generate a profit by not maintaining the infrastructure as well as what the timetable requires ... which means that this part of railroading not only is not, but cannot be, a profit center.) If that's NR's principal revenue stream, then the current British model would be that NR makes enough on its own to maintain existing infrastructure, but is subsidized by the government when it comes to capital upgrades.

The difference between TOC and FOC charge structures also shows that NR charges two fees -- one to reserve a slot, and one to use it. We can consider a TOC will use every slot it reserves (heck, the timetable must be organized around the slots needed for the franchise owners to meet their obligations) but FOCs need not necessarily.

But then again I'm not a Brit, and I'm not involved in the industry.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 09:29 PM   #2224
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Quote:
This would be very different in Germany. DB Netz AG (infrastructure manager) makes the timetable and sells the paths to its customers. The EBA (Eisenbahnbundesamt), the regulator, supervises DB Netz AG and grants permits (construction, new trains, timetable). Since in Germany there is basically only one operator of long-distance trains (DB Fernverkehr AG) communication and organisation of connecting hubs and trains is fairly straight-forward (it's far from easy, but since there are only two parties involved it's possible).
Its a very bad situation. DB Netz and DB Fernverkehr belong to the same for-profit cooperation DB AG.
DB Netz can favour DB Fernverkehr.
They do it by charging very high track access fees. Hence, DB Fernverkehr earns only little money and DB Netz is racking up big profits.
However, other railway operators have to pay the same high track access fees. Most of them cannot afford it, thus, DB Fernverkehr has almost no competition on long distance routes.
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 03:39 AM   #2225
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First Great Western's new look before the 'First' bit get's removed.

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Old August 2nd, 2015, 01:48 PM   #2226
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Old August 7th, 2015, 02:43 PM   #2227
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From Rail Journal:

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http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=524

ORR approves London - Blackpool open-access
Friday, August 07, 2015



BRITAIN's rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has approved an application by Arriva subsidiary Alliance Rail Holdings for a new open-access inter-city service from London Euston to Blackpool via the West Coast Main Line (WCML)

From 2018 Alliance plans to operate six services per day on the 350km route under the Great North Western Railway (GNWR) brand, using a new fleet of six-car Alstom Pendolino EMUs. Alliance says GNWR will serve a number of intermediate stations in central and northwest England and 120 new jobs will be created by the operator

...
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Old August 15th, 2015, 09:09 PM   #2228
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Borders Railway in Scottland will open on 6th September:

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Old August 22nd, 2015, 08:25 AM   #2229
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The High Speed Train (HST):



On the 1st July 1985, ex works pair 43143 and 43015 depart from Taunton passing the semaphore signals at Obridge with a Plymouth - Paddington service. This was the original BR Blue livery which was applied to every HST set, First Class being denoted by the addition of a yellow line along the top of the coach, and buffet vehicles carrying a half length red strip. (Photo: Dave Jones)
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Old August 27th, 2015, 10:23 AM   #2230
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From Construction Enquirer:

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http://www.constructionenquirer.com/...s-green-light/

£22m Worcestershire Parkway gets green light
Thu 27th August 2015, 6:51





Contractor Osborne has got the green light to start work on a new £22m rail station in Worcestershire

Members of Worcestershire County Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee have rubber stamped the plans to build Worcestershire Parkway, near Junction 7 of the M5 for Worcester.

Work on the station, which will link the Cotswolds and Birmingham to Bristol lines, is being paid for by both the county council and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership

...
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Old August 27th, 2015, 10:32 AM   #2231
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Good to hear that UK has approved proposals for a new railway station in Chesterton and which will improve access to Cambridge Science Park.In this 1,000-space cycle park, a 450-space car park for passengers and three new platforms.

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Old August 27th, 2015, 02:53 PM   #2232
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See the situation sop far at Cambridge, nothing has really changed sine this videa was made.

New name for the station is Cambridge north.

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Old September 2nd, 2015, 07:48 PM   #2233
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Timelapses from Network Rail:








Last edited by dimlys1994; September 2nd, 2015 at 07:56 PM.
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 11:32 PM   #2234
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Have there been limitations for the Box Tunnel that the track was lowered?
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 04:17 PM   #2235
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Quote:
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Have there been limitations for the Box Tunnel that the track was lowered?
Yes, because they had to avoid making changes to historic infrastructure
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 04:18 PM   #2236
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/t...olled-out.html

Refurbished ScotRail DMU rolled out
03 Sep 2015





UK: The first of 40 Class 158 diesel multiple-units to be refurbished at Knorr-Bremse RailServices' Springburn facility was unveiled by ScotRail on September 1.

The £14m modernisation of the units built in 1989-92 includes seating improvements, better lighting, modern carpets, improved accessibility, new CCTV, automated passenger-counting systems and at-seat power sockets. The DMUs will be painted in ScotRail’s ‘saltire’ livery

...
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 04:34 PM   #2237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimlys1994 View Post
Yes, because they had to avoid making changes to historic infrastructure
No, I meant operational limitations to the railway line as such (structure gauge), not the construction.
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 04:38 PM   #2238
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The tracks lowered to make room for overhead wires, weren't they?
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 05:05 PM   #2239
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The tracks lowered to make room for overhead wires, weren't they?
Exactly
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 05:25 PM   #2240
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Okay, that makes sense.
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