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  RAIL NEWS SNIPPETS   Issue 89 - 3rd April 2002  
  News from the East Anglian Branch of Railfuture   Edited by Martin Thorne and Jerry Alderson  

John Lee still has some free pairs of Central Trains tickets for the AGM on Saturday 27th April. If you want a pair, please contact John [john.lee@rdsadmin.freewire.co.uk] with your starting station and address by Friday 5th April.

The Rail Passengers Council has moved out of the Gresham Street office into a new London office. The address is: Whittles House, 14 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HF. The new telephone number is 020 7713 2700.


Deadline for submitting comments about 'superCAM' guided bendy-bus is Friday 5th April
Comments about the 'superCAM' guided bendy-bus can be sent free of charge to: superCAM, Communiqué, Freepost LON 10503, London, SW1W 0BR, by Friday 5th April.

This is not an impartial consultation, so criticisms may be binned, but there may be some pro-rail arguments which the Gallaghers/Stagecoach consortium might listen to, such as:
* rail route to Oakington/Longstanton could open two years earlier than guided bus, so they could build and sell their houses sooner
* rail would offer a more comfortable ride than rubber tyred bendy-bus, hence more passengers
* rail offers working environment (e.g. tables), refreshments and toilets
* rail route would go to more places useful so more people would use it
* rail service from Science Park would benefit businesses much more than a bendy-bus service to the station
* houses with a nearby rail station are more attractive, and will be in greater demand (more profit for Gallaghers!)
* building materials could be transferred by rail, not road, appeasing residents of Oakington/Longstanton and diminishing chance of rival development locations being chosen.

In Cambridge, the Christ's Pieces Residents' Association, has been complaining in the Cambridge Evening News about the traffic congestion that the superCAM bendy-buses will cause in the narrow streets, and their alleged inability to get around corners safety.

The list of 'alternative names' dreamt up for the guided busway in the press is rapidly increasing. First there was the "mis-guided busway", then "superCon", "superSham" and now "superScam".
Hunts Post "Let's boot out the bus": http://www.huntspost.co.uk/man/community/Hunts/asp/BootOutBus.asp.

Freight train derails near Chesterton Junction
On Wednesday 3rd April, a freight train derailed near to Chesterton Junction (where the St.Ives line begins), blocking both lines and causing WAGN and Central Trains services to be replaced by buses. Railtrack have been assessing the track damage.


SRA launches pre-qualifying process for Greater [East] Anglia franchise
The Strategic Rail Authority has launched the pre-qualification process for its new Greater [East] Anglia franchise, prior to the formal bidding process which begins in the summer. It is currently producing a detailed specification of the new franchise for pre-qualified bidders.

From 29th April there will be consultation meetings with key regional passenger groups, local authorities and other regional stakeholders. SRA Chairman Richard Bowker said: "The new Greater Anglia franchise needs to provide benefits both for passengers who use local and regional services and the many thousands of commuters who travel daily to the capital". The SRA aims to award the franchise by Summer 2003.

The SRA has given Anglia Railways £23.7 million of additional subsidy, which includes an immediate payment of £3.2million to ensure that its services continue to operate at current levels, with a provision for the SRA to share in profits if the company performs better than forecast. The deal allows the SRA to terminate Anglia's franchise early, on 6 months notice, to commence the new franchise before April 2004.
SRA press release: http://www.sra.gov.uk/news/releases/2002/mar/


ATOC sticks to proposed weekday £10 minimum charge for Network Cards

  On 25th March ATOC announced that it has decided to go ahead with the £10 minimum charge when using the Network Railcard.
ATOC press release: http://www.atoc.org/communications/press/press/25_03_02.htm.


Anglia Railways installs life saving equipment at Norwich and Ipswich stations
Anglia Railways has installed life saving heart resuscitators on platforms at Ipswich and Norwich stations through a Government’s £2 million initiative. 18 members of Anglia Railways staff have been trained to use the equipment. Around 12,000 people each year suffer cardiac arrest in a public place.
Anglia Railways press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=284.


Anglia Railways wins customer service award

  Anglia Railways has won the ATOC award for Innovation in Customer Service award at the national Railway Industry Innovation Awards 2002. Anglia had been a runner up on two previous occasions.

The judges applauded the wide range of "customer oriented, operational and marketing innovations introduced by Anglia as the most comprehensive customer focused package in the industry" and "a range of projects from better timetabling, to the Commuter Club scheme, passenger focus and many others, all combine to demonstrate a train operator who is ready to seize every opportunity to provide a better customer service in a challenging environment".
Anglia Railways press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=283.


Anglia Railways completes station cycle parking facilities project
Anglia Railways has completed the installation of secure cycle parking and storage facilities at all its stations which was achieved through £75,000 of RPP funding from the SRA. Over 520 cycle parking spaces have been installed - four at each station.

Anglia have done much to encourage cycling to stations, with a leaflet detailing its cycling facilities with details about taking bikes onto the train, how to book and fares; and a guide "Around the Bittern Track" which details nine cycle routes around the Norwich to Sheringham Bittern Line using a variety of quiet roads and lanes. The guide costs £1.00 or is free when booking a bike onto an Anglia Railways train.
Anglia Railways press release: http://www.angliarailways.co.uk/latest-information/news-detail.asp?id=282.


Anglia Railways publishes integrated transport guide for all of its stations
In March, Anglia Railways published a new 112-page free "Guide to public transport from Anglia Railways stations". There are details of bus services, community transport schemes, taxi companies (taken from www.traintaxi.co.uk) and cycle/car parking facilities from every station at which Anglia stops its trains - not just the stations it manages.


Abbey Flyer Users Group AGM on 9th April
The Abbey Flyer Users Group, an action group to oppose cuts in services and to keep the Watford Junction to St. Albans Abbey branch line active and thriving,will be having its AGM on Tuesday 9th April at 19:45 in St.Stephen's Parish Centre, close to Bricket Wood Station. Non-members can join between 19:15 and 19:40, prior to the talk by Keith Tullett, group station manager at Watford Junction. For more details please call 01727-872736.


Cambridge to Sudbury Rail Renewal Association launch new web-site
The Cambridge to Sudbury Rail Renewal Association now have a much improved web-site at a new address [http://www.csrra.co.uk/] with plenty of information, including a membership form. Annual subscription currently costs £10.

Soham Station web-site updated
Soham Station's Campaign Steering Group have updated their page on the Soham Online web-site [http://www.soham.org.uk/features/trainstation.htm] with new information, including a comparison of rail against road schemes.

The Soham and Newmarket Standard recently published an article about the station, quoting the campaigners who reckon that the Fordham and Ely bypasses being planned will cost many times more than the station.
News article: http://www.soham.org.uk/news/march2002/a142bypasses.htm.



  Railfuture  is the campaigning name for
the Railway Development Society Ltd (RDS)


Snippets 89


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