Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tue-Wed 23-24 May - Out of town...

We have an out-of-office strategy session for the next couple of days so I won't be participating in the daily Connex lottery. Given that the weather is now well outside Connex' preferred operating conditions we can probably expect further delays and problems in the coming days. At least we haven't got the annual "leaves on the line" excuse that the British commuters have to face every autumn!

Of course if we shifted the lines underground the weather problems would be substantially reduced. And this is the plan that's currently being proposed - thanks to an anonymous contributer for this link. I guess we'd want to see a bit more detail, and there'd sure be a few obstacles along the way, but this is the sort of thinking we need. Forget your poxy billion or so a year on bits and pieces, let's do some serious investment in 21st century public transport solutions. Just install a few hundred more speed cameras and you'll have it funded in a jiffy, Bracksie!


Blogger Connex Whinger said...

In honour of my not commuting today, I see they've cancelled my 07:14!

23 May, 2006 06:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's actually a Northern Ireland link you provided.

The problem in England, Scotland and Wales (i.e. National Rail) the trains take their power from a third rail (no overhead) this third rail gets coated and train is unable to get power.

It's a valid problem facing a railway, like many of the problems encountered by Connex.

23 May, 2006 09:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the tube runs off a third rail, but National Rail trains run off overhead power lines just like here.

23 May, 2006 10:36  
Anonymous sam said...

If the tunnel plan went ahead, Connex would have to upgrade the Kmart walkie talkies they give to drivers now to communicate!

Seriously though, it sounds like a very nice bit of forward thinking. It would eliminate level crossings and so ease traffic snarls, and free up valuable land for development. You can't tell me that wouldn't go a long way towards covering the construction costs. Safety would need to be a huge consideration and given the governments lack of ability to manage quality and tenders, it would need to be closely watched.


23 May, 2006 11:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please see below regarding National Rail. You'll find that the tube actually uses a current run through the existing two rails, one negative, one positive.

"Britain is the only country in the world with extensive 3rd rail electrification of main railways. The reason for this was because back in the early part of this century, Southern Railways, who owned the railways in the south east of england launched a program to get rid of the steam engines. They decided to electrify all their lines. Now of course back in those days no one had established the overhead wires system, the only example was the London Underground which used electicity carrying rails so Southern adopted that idea. So today we have third rail electric systems running at 750 V. "

There are some overhead lines but the majority are third rail or diesel services. The Eurostar actually uses third rail electricity in the UK and then raises a pantograph to the overhead power when it reaches mainland Europe.

In regards to the tunnel it is an idea floated by public companies, none of which has anything to do with public transport so it will be interesting to see if the government goes for it or not.

23 May, 2006 13:07  
Blogger The Met said...

sam, yes and they get theyre vehicles from a toy shop.

anonymous_2, true. Trams are more effected by leaves on the track and wet weather.

23 May, 2006 15:49  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Anonymous said...

That's actually a Northern Ireland link you provided.

Last time I checked, the Rebublicans lost the battle for a united Ireland about 80 years ago and the six counties have been claimed as British ever since. That's not a political debate to pursue in here though, I don't think!

23 May, 2006 17:59  
Blogger The Met said...


They should have them outside all train stations.


23 May, 2006 19:00  
Blogger The Met said...


(blogger doesn't like links)

23 May, 2006 19:01  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Chris, links are fine, click here for your link.

24 May, 2006 07:14  
Anonymous myth buster said...

On the train last night, for the 1st time... well ever, I saw someone hold the train doors open. I was waiting for this "ripple effect" of the train being late, wasn't to be. Can't say I was surprised, as that connex excuse was a bit hard to believe!

24 May, 2006 12:08  
Blogger The Met said...

Im clapping on the inside for you.

24 May, 2006 15:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, look out schools out...

what, no homework to do? Maybe some english?

24 May, 2006 16:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't meant as a political debate.

I mentioned that it was a Northern Ireland link as they have the smallest railway in the UK and are seperate to National Rail that operate the passenger railways in England, Scotland and Wales.

Surely you don't actually think that a NI link represents the "excuse that the British commuters have to face every autumn!"

That's like saying the Sandringham line represents the Connex network.

24 May, 2006 16:46  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Last anon - the point of the link was that it gave one of the best explanations I've seen on why "leaves on the line" causes so much disruption to the British trains during autumn. As a British railway organisation it fit the criteria and had a nice easy to understand explanation.

So your analogy is way off, it's simply an explanation of the problem, not a representation of the entire British rail system!

25 May, 2006 08:45  

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