OCT 00] CWN COMMENT
Getting The Railways Back On Track
huge chunks of the rail network to try and tackle the backlog of
maintenance work is a bold idea, but it belies Railtrack’s
approach to the public.
after time the company has been criticised in Coventry and
Warwickshire for failing to keep passengers and local authorities
informed of their plans.
public consultation bodies rarely see a Railtrack representative.
Plans to close three level crossings in the area were condemned for
their lack of detail.
this light, the sudden closure of the line to fast services between Milton Keynes and
Rugby with virtually no notice, is hardly a surprise, and yet
another public relations failure on Railtrack’s part.
the approach is a bold one. There has been a backlog of maintenance
since the mid 1990s, when hundreds of millions of pounds were spent
on consultants’ fees in preparation for privatisation, while
British Rail was paralysed from investment.
the Hatfield crash it is becoming obvious that the situation is
worse than most people thought. Inter city trains shuddering to a
halt because of track speed restrictions is hardly a new phenomenon,
but Railtrack now seem to be taking the cautious line on safety.
a lot of inconvenience for commuters and parents taking their
children out for a half term treat, but it may enable the rail
network to catch up a little. And if people are to be persuaded out
of their cars then that is important in the long run.
off then, to Chiltern, for forging the way ahead with a new type of
railway station. It remains to be seen if the park and ride idea
will lead to more train use, or if it will just cause extra
congestion in the area around the new Warwick Parkway station, but
at least it is an attempt at something new.
[25 OCT 00] RAIL
CHAOS AS TRACK CLOSED AT RUGBY
SEE: [25 OCT 00] FULL
STEAM AHEAD AT WARWICK PARKWAY