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Govia Rail Eyes Irish Rail Network

  • 24-02-2019 10:08am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 10,480 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    They are parant of Go-Ahead Group.

    Govia Thameslink Railway operate Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink and Great Northern and Southeastern.

    Not sure about this operator but it might be enough to give Irish Rail the shake up it needs.

    Source Sunday Business Post.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    The only trouble is that group is just about the most delayed services in the entire of the UK but yeah, easy money for them and might give IR the shakeup, as you say.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,480 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    The only trouble is that group is just about the most delayed services in the entire of the UK but yeah, easy money for them and might give IR the shakeup, as you say.

    Well Irish Rail and them have a lot in common if you ask me. Delays, Strikes, Overcrowding and so on....


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Can't see any operator making much difference really. It will be the same number of trains and stock in place. It's down to the NTA to source rolling stock and build new infrastructure. Its hardly been a game changer tendering bus routes.

    Unless a company is going to provide new stock and build new routes it's a pointless exercise. The private companies have only been successful in the bus market due to the cheaper running costs and the fact the road infrastructure has seen radical improvements over the years allowing Express services between cities.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    The only trouble is that group is just about the most delayed services in the entire of the UK but yeah, easy money for them and might give IR the shakeup, as you say.

    Well a lot of the issues rail transport is having in the UK can be blamed by the government rather than individual train operating companies at the end of the day it's the government calling the shots when it comes to funding, infrastructructure and rolling stock.

    It's really the same in this case private train operators can say all they want that they want to enter the Irish market but it won't happen until the government actually announce a plan to put IE services out to tender which they have yet to do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,480 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    Stephen15 wrote: »
    Well a lot of the issues rail transport is having in the UK can be blamed by the government rather than individual train operating companies at the end of the day it's the government calling the shots when it comes to funding, infrastructructure and rolling stock.

    It's really the same in this case private train operators can say all they want that they want to enter the Irish market but it won't happen until the government actually announce a plan to put IE services out to tender which they have yet to do.

    NTA issues a notice that IE services from 1/12/19 to 30/11/29 and the tender was published in December. Wonder did Govia made a submission.

    https://irl.eu-supply.com/ctm/Supplier/PublicTenders/ViewNotice/210155


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26 ✭✭✭ London Correspondent


    Anyone who has worked with Govia Rail on a professional basis would laugh at loud at the prospect of them “giving Irish Rail a shake up”. Useless.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Indeed, but still better than the shower we have.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    Anyone who has worked with Govia Rail on a professional basis would laugh at loud at the prospect of them “giving Irish Rail a shake up”. Useless.

    To be fair a lot of the blame can be pointed at the UK DfT rather than the individual TOCs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    Indeed, but still better than the shower we have.

    How do you come to that conclusion?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    Just to clear up some confusion they are not part of the Go Ahead group or their parent.

    They are a joint venture between Go-Ahead Group (65%) and Keolis (35%).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,058 ✭✭✭ Emme


    Indeed, but still better than the shower we have.

    They might not be. The UK train system is even more notorious than Irish Rail for delays, overcrowding and overcharging. I don't know about their standards of cleanliness but in that regard they couldn't be much worse than Irish Rail.

    Perhaps the UK companies see Irish rail commuters as an ideal cash cow to be milked - compliant, non-complaining and willing to pay more and more. Ireland is an ideal place for an incompetent rail company to operate.

    Rail companies seem to be able to get away with just about anything - there are no health and safety regulations and no limit on overcrowding. It is very difficult to get a refund for delays.

    They are probably rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of fleecing the uncomplaining Paddies even more!

    This is what we have to look forward to. Traffic chaos on the M7 doesn't look so bad now.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/24/most-overcrowded-trains-in-england-and-wales-revealed

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/21/crowded-platforms-hour-long-wait-trains-new-timetable-causes/

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/28/revealed-rail-passengers-suffer-unbearable-levels-of-overcrowdin/

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/30/govia-thameslink-rail-chaos-ministers-urged-to-take-emergency-measures


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    Emme wrote: »
    Indeed, but still better than the shower we have.

    They might not be. The UK train system is even more notorious than Irish Rail for delays, overcrowding and overcharging. I don't know about their standards of cleanliness but in that regard they couldn't be much worse than Irish Rail.

    Rail companies seem to be able to get away with just about anything - there are no health and safety regulations and no limit on overcrowding. It is very difficult to get a refund for delays.

    Delay repay is a far better system than we have here. Trying to get a refund from Irish rail or compensation is very difficult in my experience.

    The UK system has its issues, it's no Austria that's for sure. But much of that is down to government who set policies and control allocations of rolling stock. There have been several occasions where they stopped an operator ordering stock to prevent future overcrowding then a couple of years lambasted the operator for not doing anything about overcrowding.

    The train system is like much of state services that have been divested in the UK under Tory governments such as schools to academies. If you can give the impression that you are not directly running them then someone else gets blamed when things go wrong. Even though you are the ones pulling the strings the public don't see that so blame the providers rather than the politicians.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,399 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    As it stands, any EU licenced railway undertaking can access the Irish Rail network and that of the Fishguard and Rosslare company, they being the owner of the network from Wexford to Waterford. Irish Rail can not stop a company from running on the network here, subject to paths and timetables being agreed in advance by Irish Rail and the applicant undertaking.

    On this basis there is nothing stopping the likes of Go Ahead or Arriva applying for services here. Where it may be fruitful for them is that a licence issued in Ireland covers them to run services on the continent; a boon in the event of Brexit wiping out any benefit of their current licences. A couple of token Parliamentary trains once a week on the South Wexford and they are good to go; it's not about making money here as they know it's nigh impossible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,934 ✭✭✭ GM228


    As it stands, any EU licenced railway undertaking can access the Irish Rail network and that of the Fishguard and Rosslare company, they being the owner of the network from Wexford to Waterford. Irish Rail can not stop a company from running on the network here, subject to paths and timetables being agreed in advance by Irish Rail and the applicant undertaking.

    On this basis there is nothing stopping the likes of Go Ahead or Arriva applying for services here. Where it may be fruitful for them is that a licence issued in Ireland covers them to run services on the continent; a boon in the event of Brexit wiping out any benefit of their current licences. A couple of token Parliamentary trains once a week on the South Wexford and they are good to go; it's not about making money here as they know it's nigh impossible.

    Only freight and cross border passenger services access is currently allowed.

    Any Direct Award contract (as is the case here) issued before 31st December 2022 has a 10 year transition period to implement new PSO rules as per the EUs Fourth Railway Package.

    Otherwise all EU states have to December 2020 to open up the domestic market (subject to analysis of the economic impact on PSO service).

    And just for clarify on the South Wexford line, it is indeed owned by the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company, the F&RR&H itself is jointly owned by Stena and IE (note not CIE).

    The F&RR&H does not have any say nor does it have a licence as IE look after all interests on the line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,573 ✭✭✭ Infini


    Realistically it's not going to work with a private operator here unless the intent is to let private operators milk the passengers for money or make a bad situation even worse. Let's face it a ton of the problems being experienced now are down to lack of investment in the rail network and capacity is at it's limit. These things simply cannot be fixed overnight it takes serious investment in the physical infrastructure and rolling stock. Bringing in a private operator isnt going to work the same way as the busses it would get messy.

    IR management can be brutal at time's as well lets face it the biggest problem with the company is communication but they still keep the trains running.


  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭ XPS_Zero


    IE 222 wrote: »
    Can't see any operator making much difference really. It will be the same number of trains and stock in place. It's down to the NTA to source rolling stock and build new infrastructure. Its hardly been a game changer tendering bus routes.

    Unless a company is going to provide new stock and build new routes it's a pointless exercise. The private companies have only been successful in the bus market due to the cheaper running costs and the fact the road infrastructure has seen radical improvements over the years allowing Express services between cities.


    All of our rail problems are down to three things:


    1. Infrastructure (which would stay controlled by the state no matter what)
    2. Work practices and bad management

    3. Strategic planning decided more on political than technical grounds (where stations are, which stations are served by what service, the reaction to the Rosslare stopping and turning around at Bray proposal is an easy example)


    1 and 3 won't be solved by competition and while 2 might, the downsides would massively outweigh the upsides.





    Indeed, but still better than the shower we have.



    I fully support the competition in the bus market as London shows us it works (as do our own experiences here) - but rail competition has been shown to = private monopoly where the state spends more making the shareholders of multinationals rich than it spent on the govt owned service, you'd have to be mental to support a plan like that.
    Even Mary Harney, who wanted to de-facto privatize the health service, said the only thing worse than a public monopoly is a private monopoly and with the shift to the center-left within FF, and the passing of the PDesque figures you won't get them supporting it, defo won't get SF supporting it or Labour (what's left of them), you might get FG to support it (they did wanna privatize the water network contrary to their protests now it was in their last manifesto) but not any indos or coalition partners and the public would be viciously opposed to it as the UK system is an infamous disaster even the most policy ignorant, dancing with the stars and easterners watching super-uninformed voter knows about.
    There is huge regret among former FF ministers for the blunder in privatizing Eircom without taking the infrastructure off them first, leading to our current broadband issues (partly) they are wary of making another such mistake.




    It's a total non starter politically.





    devnull wrote: »
    Delay repay is a far better system than we have here. Trying to get a refund from Irish rail or compensation is very difficult in my experience.

    The UK system has its issues, it's no Austria that's for sure. But much of that is down to government who set policies and control allocations of rolling stock. There have been several occasions where they stopped an operator ordering stock to prevent future overcrowding then a couple of years lambasted the operetmp for not doing anything about overcrowding.

    The train system is like much of static services thict have been divested in the UK under tory governments such as schools to academies. If you can give the impression that you are not directly running them then someone else gets blamed when things go wrong. Even though you are the ones pulling the strings the public don't see that so blame the providers rather than the politicans.



    TBH this argument strikes me as the same as ex-PDs who tell me "no no no it's not that neoliberal economics was a disaster in itself (cough...2008...cough) you just didn't DO IT RIGHT!" and PBP/SWP/SP/ULA/4CHANGE...whatever other names they use now, will tell you central economic planning failed in the USSR because they just didn't do it right.


    "The state got in the way of our pure libertarian market utopia" rings the same to me.




    If these multinationals wanna build a high speed TGV style line connecting Belfast-Dublin-Cork-Galway then run it as a fully commercial line, no PSO, no FT cards, and set the fares I'd be ok with that, I'd even support CPO'ing them the land to do it.



    If they wanna run trains on the existing network in the gaps they already can as others pointed out - let them try the WRC


    If they wanna get a state supported and funded private monopoly to make already multimillionaire shareholders richer on the backs of my tax money and stressed commuters mashed into rush hour trains they can f---k right off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,399 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    You've gone off on some largely irrelevant tangents. The market here is open to passenger and freight; the RPSI bear such a licence while all freight hauled by Irish Rail is on a charter basis. A UK operator can obtain it's licence here and use it on a bare minimum basis to get the asset of a licence. Once gained, an operator has an EU issued licence and it may well be invaluable in years to come if required.

    I don't know what your point is re the FRR and it's ownership. I only mention it as an owner of railway in Ireland that carried trains on it's network.
    GM228 wrote: »
    Only freight and cross border passenger services access is currently allowed.

    Any Direct Award contract (as is the case here) issued before 31st December 2022 has a 10 year transition period to open up the domestic market as per the EUs Fourth Railway Package.

    Otherwise all EU states have to December 2020 to open up the domestic market (subject to analysis of the economic impact on PSO service).

    And just for clarify on the South Wexford line, it is indeed owned by the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company, the F&RR&H itself is jointly owned by Stena and IE (note not CIE).

    The F&RR&H does not have any say nor does it have a licence as IE look after all interests on the line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,934 ✭✭✭ GM228


    You've gone off on some largely irrelevant tangents.   The market here is open to passenger and freight; the RPSI bear such a licence while all freight hauled by Irish Rail is on a charter basis.   A UK operator can obtain it's licence here and use it on a bare minimum basis to get the asset of a licence.  Once gained, an operator has an EU issued licence and it may well be invaluable in years to come if required.

    I don't know what your point is re the FRR and it's ownership.  I only mention it as an owner of railway in Ireland that carried trains on it's network.

    The market here is not open to other than domestic freight or cross border passenger services. It is not due to open until December 2020 under EU law, and also Irish law specifically excludes mandatory access to all but the above which is in accordance with the current EU law.

    The opening up date is very specifically December 14th 2020 as per the "Market Pillar" of the Fourth Railway Package, (Directive 2016/2370/EU).

    With regards to the RPSI yes they have a licence because they are legally required to as they are by definition a Railway Undertaking.

    They do not operate under an open system, rather they operate under a long standing agreement with IE and freight is operated under contract by IE, not another operator.

    There are currently only four heavy rail licenced operators in this country namely, IE, NIR, RPSI and Balfour Beatty (BB will be replaced by Romberg soon). Belmond don't even have a licence because they are not a RU, that train is actually operated by IE under contract under IEs licence.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    The NTA are going to be handing Irish Rail a new 10 year direct award contract later in the year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,934 ✭✭✭ GM228


    devnull wrote: »
    The NTA are going to be handing Irish Rail a new 10 year direct award contract later in the year.

    Indeed and as a result the NTA/Government have a 10 year transition period to implement new PSO rules and our first competitive tendering process for rail services in 2029.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,670 ✭✭✭ IE 222


    I'd also love to see where and how a new company will recruit drivers from. Can't see many private companies putting the funds up for a years training course for 50 plus drivers. IE will have to conduct the training.

    Regardless what company name is on the side of the train it's still going to be an IE service of sorts. Same trains, stations, infrastructure, IE rules of operation and trained drivers.

    The tax payer will be left paying a glorious price to paint a few rail carriages.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,707 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Suspect they see it as having the biggest issue they've had in the UK - Driver Only Operation - already solved. But there's multiple problems, first one obviously being the direct award contract; no ROSCOs with 1600mm stock; and that our network operator isn't Network Rail or even vaguely similar.

    Reality is that track access charges from the Infrastructure Operator side of Irish Rail are not going to be cheap for multiple reasons. Scale - small network; age of infrastructure - oldest commuter railway in the world on the DSER; and some long standing structural and staffing issues.

    And we aren't going to go down the surreal subsidy and franchise fee left hand gives/right hand takes system the UK has so there won't be as clear methods to cream money off the top.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,480 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    IE 222 wrote: »
    I'd also love to see where and how a new company will recruit drivers from. Can't see many private companies putting the funds up for a years training course for 50 plus drivers. IE will have to conduct the training.

    Regardless what company name is on the side of the train it's still going to be an IE service of sorts. Same trains, stations, infrastructure, IE rules of operation and trained drivers.

    The tax payer will be left paying a glorious price to paint a few rail carriages.

    Recruiting drivers wouldn't be easy however IE management culture, pay and terms could get some to move over. Unlike bus drivers wages wouldn't be cut and should be higher. IE drivers are paid pretty well but they could justify more based on various competitors.

    I never really think it will happen but just remember IE (+CIE) tried to disrupt the current Luas BXD route so the threat of a private operator is something the NTA should never rule out.


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