Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

LAST night, the west coast railway line franchise bids were cancelled – with big repercussions for the would-be operators – and more broadly for the whole franchise business model.

We also saw announced the establishment by the department for transport of two enquiries, the second of which is to look widely at the methodology of the rail franchising process.

One wonders what implication this might have, if any, for the Thames link franchise, which is a matter of concern for users of Harringay and Hornsey railway stations, on which many of us rely.

Tags for Forum Posts: bid, franchise, harringay, hornsey, rail, station, thameslink

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One of the news reports said that some staff involved in the tender evaluation had been suspended. Dodgy doings?

The only suggestion so far has been of incompetence in the dept for transport.

The previous Transport Secretary said her department's evaluation had been "robust". Haringey council often says its evaluations in similar situations are "robust".

When authorities feel they need to use this dodgy word, you may suspect there is something to hide.

I nominate the classic PR-jargon term "robust" [as in, our property developer partner X was selected after an exhaustive and robust process] as sounding alarm bells.

Whew, only incompetence over a multi-million pound contract. I'm sure the Transport Secretary must be breathing a sigh of relief.
As per normal when in times of crisis, I turn to the Daily Mash

The second enquiry report (on franchsing methodology) is due by the end of the year. It is hard to tell what it will mean for us; perhaps the only thing likely, impacting a decision about Thameslink, is delay. My faint hope is that the entire franchising "business model" is abandoned.

Would suggest a look at the railway eye blog spot. Some interesting comments from within the industry including Modern Railways magazine Industry & Technical Editor Roger Ford (aka Captain Deltic) basically saying "I told you so"!

The only "dogy doings" are the fact that DafT bears many grudges. It doesn't like TfL because it made a success of the Silverlink metro services as London Overground and has the successful Oyster card while DafT's rival, ITSO, has yet to find a large scale application, so it refused to fund Barking - Gospel Oak electrification in the July HLOS. It hates Virgin because the company had the department "over a barrel" at the time of the Railtrack collapse and the chaos of the West Coast route modernisation. Railtrack/Network Rail could not deliver the contracted 140 mph railway to Virgin who had to be content with 125 mph with trains designed to run at 140 mph. Virgin, whose lawyer was Tom Winsor, who later became Rail Regulator, got their "pound of flesh" out of the department, who ever since have tried to make Virgin's life as awkward as possible.

The general consensus is that the proposed Thameslink franchise is flawed and there is bound to be a delay as the whole tendering process goes back to the drawing board. Perhaps DafT should be made to look at concession model used by TfL and Merseyside or the 'not for profit' company proposed for north of the border.

Just posted on Railway Eye regarding the Thameslink rolling stock order:

Four Tory MPs have asked the Department for Transport to look again at its decision not to award Derby train-maker Bombardier a lucrative contract following yesterday's furore over its handling of the bidding process for the West Coast Main Line rail franchise.

One of the MPs, Mid Derbyshire's Pauline Latham, attacked the department as "not fit for purpose" following yesterday's announcement by the Tory-Lib Dem Government that it was scrapping the decision to award the franchise to FirstGroup.

Good to see Conservative MP's acting in the interests of their constituents and local industry.



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