The chief operating officer at Govia Thameslink Railway is moving to HS1 after two and a half years. Dyan Crowther, who was previously LNW route director at Network Rail, moved to GTR during the months of mobilisation in mid-2014, and was one of the franchise’s original team of senior directors when it was launched. She will be replaced at GTR in November by Nick Brown, who until recently was managing director of two Transport for London divisions, London Underground and Rail.
RMT calls new autumn walkouts on Southern
Commuters on Southern face a new series of mostly three-day strikes this autumn, as the dispute between Govia Thameslink Railway and the RMT over driver-only operation continues. The RMT described the lack of progress in negotiations as 'disgraceful', while GTR responded that the union's action in calling new walkouts was 'shameful'. The decision to stage more strikes on Southern follows a provisional agreement this week with ScotRail over DOO proposals, which are now being put to union members north of the border in referendums.
Oxford line ready for December launch
The upgrading of the Oxford to Bicester line west of the new station at Oxford Parkway into the city itself has been completed by Network Rail, and the project is on schedule to open in December, when Chiltern Railways will start running services between Oxford and London Marylebone. The route, which includes a new chord at Bicester connecting the east west corridor with the Chiltern Main Line, will be the first ever to compete with GWR services between Oxford and London.
Conductors to stay on ScotRail routes
RMT and ASLEF are recommending that their members accept a staffing agreement on ScotRail trains in the central belt which keeps conductors in their traditional 'safety critical' role. The RMT said new Hitachi trains for the Edinburgh-Glasgow electrification are to be modified with the installation of conductors' door control panels. The ScotRail Alliance has described the settlement as a 'win-win' result for both sides, while the development is being seen by the unions as a possible step towards peace in the related dispute affecting Govia Thameslink Railway's Southern routes.
Consultation launched over new Govia Thameslink services
Govia Thameslink Railway has launched a major consultation about proposals for its timetables in two years from now, when the Thameslink Programme is completed. The draft outline of future service frequencies includes 16 trains an hour in the peaks on the London to Bedford section, with eight of those trains working through to Bedford. Some of the other changes include direct services from the Brighton direction between St Pancras and Great Northern stations, using a new connecting tunnel just north of St Pancras which will take trains on to the East Coast Main Line outside King's Cross.
Services on landslip line return to normal
Train services to London Euston have returned to normal today after a landslip which damaged two trains and blocked the slow lines just north of Watford Junction. A London Midland service bound for Euston ran into debris at the northern portal of Watford Tunnel early on Friday morning. It was partly derailed and gave an approaching train a glancing blow. Two people were reported to have been slightly injured and both trains were seriously damaged.
New chairman for Derby-based rail forum
Rail Forum East Midlands has announced that Porterbrook Leasing managing director Paul Francis has become its new chairman. Paul also sits on the executive of the Rail Supply Group. He has replaced Colin Walton, who was formerly in charge of Bombardier Transportation in Britain. He held the post of Forum chairman for more than a decade and has now been named as the organisation's first President.