Event at the Science Museum, London in 2013 to mark 50 years since the Beeching Report.
The Williams Review was initiated in 2018. Following on from the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements and termination of the franchises, the DfT at last published the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail on 20 May 2021. The creation of Great British Railways will preserve the benefits of a national network, and private initiative will continue through the award of concessions. Railfuture will review the plan to identify the issues that are likely to arise during implementation, including for example how decision making will be brought closer to users so that the railway will be better able to meet the needs of its customers.
Great British Railways must take the opportunity to dramatically improve the cost efficiency of operating, maintaining and enhancing the railway, and DfT must move forward on the Market–Led Proposals that have been submitted for expanding the rail network.
Ian Brown, Railfuture Policy Director, has prepared this comprehensive, and hopefully informed, critique on the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail to brief members and stakeholders on it and also the changes that led to it. Things may never be the same again. Image by The Times.
This briefing explains how devolution of responsibility for rail development and planning is evolving and what may be expected from the delayed Williams Rail Review, first announced in September 2018. It has been a traumatic ride since that time, but an announcement from government is expected soon on how our railways will be structured as, hopefully, lockdown continues to be eased.
A briefing by Ian Brown, Railfuture Policy Director, on the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) with the train operators announced by the Department for Transport on 21 September 2020. Rail services are essential to connect people to work, education and a social life. Photo of Liverpool Street station by Rail Delivery Group.
The snap general election is with us as expected and we have to wait until afterwards to find out what the recommendations of the Williams and Oakervee reviews of franchising and HS2 will be – as amended to make them acceptable to the new government. Enter our competition to propose a new name for HS2 which will capture the public imagination. Image HS2 Ltd.
In the first of a series focusing on individual topics raised by the Railfuture response to the Williams review, South East Northumberland Rail User Group (SENRUG) chair Dennis Fancett highlights the lack of a coordinated timetable on routes served by multiple train operators. Arriva Cross Country and East Coast (now LNER) trains at Newcastle Central - photo by Russel Wills reproduced under Creative Commons.
Railfuture has submitted its initial response to the Williams Rail Review, with the theme of incentivising the rail industry to work efficiently on behalf of its customers. These passengers at Euston want to feel that the industry cares for them, and that disruption is a rarity rather than the norm. Photo Network Rail.
The Rail Review – what are the facts? A briefing by Ian Brown CBE FCILT, Railfuture Policy Director, on the Rail Review announced by Chris Grayling on 20 September 2018. Image: DfT.
Investment in new rail infrastructure is essential to provide extra capacity to deal with increasing passenger numbers and promote economic growth. However Network Rail has maxed out its capacity and budget for rail enhancements because the lack of skilled and experienced rail engineers has driven up NR costs, so the government is looking for innovative ways to finance, resource and share risk on more new rail infrastructure projects than Network Rail can handle. The government has given East West Rail the green light, whilst two other potential privately-financed projects, Heathrow Southern Railway and London and Southern Counties Railway, are also vying for government attention.
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