B618 - Railways (Operation) Bill 2013

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Jarred
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B618 - Railways (Operation) Bill 2013, TSR Government


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Railways (Operation) Act 2013

An Act to provide the United Kingdom with a competitive, cutting edge railway network.

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Network Rail
  1. Network Rail Ltd is renamed as 'British Railways Ltd'.
  2. In the names of all subsidiaries of British Railways Ltd, the words 'Network Rail' are replaced with 'British Railways'.
  3. The Secretary of State will take over control of British Railways Ltd from the current guarantors.
  4. The Secretary of State will appoint a:
    1. Managing Director, and a
    2. Financial Director, and an
    3. Infrastructure Director, and a
    4. Maintenance Director, and a
    5. Services Director;
    who will form a new Board of Directors.
  5. British Railways Ltd will set, prior to each contract auction (see Section 2(7)), a price to charge railway companies per mile of track for usage for the next contract period. Prices should be chosen such that the profit of British Railways Ltd is equal to or greater than, but as close to, £0.00 as possible.


2 Railway Operator Contracting
  1. All current contracts to railway operators will continue as normal from enactment of this Act to the end of their franchise as per the provision laid out in Part 1, Section 1 of B540 at which point the replacement of their services will be laid out under the provisions of this section.
  2. British Railways Ltd shall determine the timetable for every railway route in the United Kingdom.
  3. Each timeslot for each route shall then be put up for auction.
  4. Railway operating companies shall submit bids for timeslots.
  5. No single railway operating company may operate on the same route more than once per hour.
  6. Unfilled timeslots will be operated by 'Directly Operated Railways', a subsidiary of British Railways Ltd, and will run under the trading name 'British Rail'.
  7. The criteria for choosing successful bids are, in order from most important to least, as follows:
    1. Trains operating on future ultra high speed lines must be capable of a top cruising speed of at least 200mph; greater speeds are better.
    2. Trains operating on the old high speed lines must be capable of a top speed of at least 125mph; greater speeds are better.
    3. Projected ticket prices; low prices are better.
    4. Quality of the service; higher quality is better.
    5. For all other lines, greater speeds are better.
  8. Timeslots will be auctioned by British Railways Ltd once every year.
  9. Railway operating companies unable to complete their contract will not receive any refund and their services will be re-contracted to Directly Operated Railways.
  10. Rail operating companies must purchase or lease their own rail assets; such as, but not limited to, rolling stock, subject to compliance of current and future technical regulations.
  11. Operation of railway stations owned by British Railways Ltd (formerly Network Rail) will be either though Directly Operated Railways, under the trading name 'British Rail', or can be contracted to private third party operators.


3 Short title, Extent, Enactment, etc.
  1. This Act may be referred to as the Railways (Operation) Act 2013.
  2. This Act extends to the entire United Kingdom.
  3. This Act will come into force immediately, following Royal Assent.



Note for the Railways (Operation) Bill 2013
This Bill is an attempt to reorganise some of the UK's railway infrastructure into a system that makes it more friendly for future investment and modernisation.

Section 1 effectively nationalises Network Rail. There are no costs associated with this as it isn't owned by anyone.

Section 2 reorganises the way in which contracts are handed out to operating companies. In order to increase competition, multiple operators ought to be running on each route - no company is allowed to monopolise, for example, the London-Edinburgh route. It also outlines the criteria upon which British Railways should decided who gets the contracts.
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barnetlad
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First Capital Connect only allowed to run more than once an hour? So there will be an increase in frequency?

Network Rail should be called Network Fail.
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HJ M
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In terms of 8 (section 2), I am a bit worried about that as it can be a long process to set-up and run a bidding of this nature given past examples and this proposal makes it every year when even bus services which are far less complex and less lengthy contract bidding process aren't renewed so frequently.

Number 5 (section 2) seems ludicrous, what even is the point of this? This will make it harder for routes to be cost effective for companies (I'm referring to economies of scale) and drive up prices whereas if their is a fair bidding process for each route rather than time slot (which seems as if it would add so much more bureaucracy to the contracting processes on top of them being annually) companies will be able to benefit from economies of scale. I think contracts should be awarded on a case by case basis to ensure best value for the customer rather then setting up these sort of stringent rules.

How is 7.4 (section 2) to be decided? Which brings up the need of the provisions in this bill being more specific.

10. (section 2) Occurs anyway. (I may be mistaken, but I am sure from the information I know)

For 4 (section 2) it implies that separate bids need to be made for each time slot which just seems ridiculous.

Section 1, 5 doesn't contain enough detail. I also think that instead of charging per mile, it would be more efficient to charge a percentage of operating profits from a route. So for rural routes which are usually operated by small companies which more expensive to run (due to economies of scale) the total paid to British Rail would be less, and for more heavily used and lucrative tracks would incur a greater percentage to maintain the track.

I think you also need to check whether or not this parliament has the authority to implement this across the whole of the United Kingdom as transport is a devolved area in Wales and Scotland.

I also think with a restructuring, naming and organisation of an organisation you need to note it's main objectives otherwise it just seems like the same organisation with a different name.
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PhysicsKid
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So companies are to bid for contracts- if rail is nationalised on here, why go and essentially privatise them? Ring-fence funding for the railways at the current level to rise with inflation, which would see better improvements than companies as there are no dividends to pay out of that, and leave it at that. Please call me out if I'm misunderstanding here.
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LETSJaM
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"No single railway operating company may operate on the same route more than once per hour." This seems crazy...

Will only be in favour if trains can be consistently on time and well-priced.

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Qwertish
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(Original post by HJ M)
In terms of 8 (section 2), I am a bit worried about that as it can be a long process to set-up and run a bidding of this nature given past examples and this proposal makes it every year when even bus services which are far less complex and less lengthy contract bidding process aren't renewed so frequently.
Hm, fair point. Perhaps once every three years?

(Original post by HJ M)
Number 5 (section 2) seems ludicrous, what even is the point of this? This will make it harder for routes to be cost effective for companies (I'm referring to economies of scale) and drive up prices whereas if their is a fair bidding process for each route rather than time slot (which seems as if it would add so much more bureaucracy to the contracting processes on top of them being annually) companies will be able to benefit from economies of scale. I think contracts should be awarded on a case by case basis to ensure best value for the customer rather then setting up these sort of stringent rules.
It is to ensure competition on each route. This will almost always drives down prices and improves service – it can be seen from the Hull to London line on which there is competition between First Hull Trains and East Coast.


(Original post by HJ M)
How is 7.4 (section 2) to be decided? Which brings up the need of the provisions in this bill being more specific.
British Railways will decide on the best railway operating company (ROC) for each route based on those criteria. It's hard to specify in legislation what needs to be done in particular, because legislation isn't very flexible to individual circumstances. I could, for example, say that quality should be measured based on surveys of previous customers, but this would exclude new companies from bidding for timeslots since they don't have any previous customers to survey.


(Original post by HJ M)
10. (section 2) Occurs anyway. (I may be mistaken, but I am sure from the information I know).
Yes, just a reiteration.


(Original post by HJ M)
For 4 (section 2) it implies that separate bids need to be made for each time slot which just seems ridiculous.
Not necessarily. There's nothing stopping an ROC from sending in one portfolio with a list of all the timeslots it's bidding for. Perhaps it could be reworded:
3) Railway operating companies shall submit a bid to British Railways, expressing their interest in operating services.
4) British Railways shall then decide which railway operating company shall run which services.


(Original post by HJ M)
Section 1, 5 doesn't contain enough detail. I also think that instead of charging per mile, it would be more efficient to charge a percentage of operating profits from a route. So for rural routes which are usually operated by small companies which more expensive to run (due to economies of scale) the total paid to British Rail would be less, and for more heavily used and lucrative tracks would incur a greater percentage to maintain the track.
There isn't much more detail to be put here. It's up to the Board to determine the price – it's not something that can be prescribed in legislation. The idea here is to make British Railways as close to a non-profit as possible. I did some quick maths:

The costs of Network Rail are around £4bn per year. There is a total of ~10,000mi of railway track in Britain. Therefore, under Section 1(5) BR will have to charge £400,000 per mile of track per year to operating companies.

There are around 1.5bn individual journeys per year. So out of the total ticket price, on average, only £2.67 will go to British Railways (4bn/1.5bn).

Sources:
http://www.networkrail.co.uk/publica...ome-statement/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_tr...senger_Numbers

The alternative to this would be for BR to set a price on each mile of track (perhaps by weighting it by its maintenance costs or something) and then dividing this between all the ROCs which use this stretch of track (weighted by no of timeslots or something).


(Original post by HJ M)
I think you also need to check whether or not this parliament has the authority to implement this across the whole of the United Kingdom as transport is a devolved area in Wales and Scotland.
I'll look into it...


(Original post by HJ M)
I also think with a restructuring, naming and organisation of an organisation you need to note it's main objectives otherwise it just seems like the same organisation with a different name.
Fair enough, we'll write something up for the Second Reading.
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username851717
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Nay we worked bloody hard to get those railways into publics hands. I'm not about to let them be auctioned off to capitalist pirates once again.
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(Original post by PhysicsKid)
So companies are to bid for contracts- if rail is nationalised on here, why go and essentially privatise them? Ring-fence funding for the railways at the current level to rise with inflation, which would see better improvements than companies as there are no dividends to pay out of that, and leave it at that. Please call me out if I'm misunderstanding here.
Well, the Bill makes rail infrastructure nationalised – meaning tracks, signals etc and the land they are on is owned by the Government (via British Railways). This makes it a whole lot easier for us (the Government) to direct top-down modernisation projects. It also means that we can force the infrastructure to be run at-cost (Section 1.5), rather than a massive loss or profit.

However, the actual services are better run by private companies who can compete with each other to provide the best service for passengers. This striving for competition is also the logic behind 2.5 – I specifically want to avoid a situation like we have now, where we have privatisation but not competition. It's the worst of both worlds.
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Qwertish
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(Original post by LETSJaM)
"No single railway operating company may operate on the same route more than once per hour." This seems crazy...

Will only be in favour if trains can be consistently on time and well-priced.

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Well, except on lines where speed is the most important thing, price is the most important criteria which BR must consider when choosing ROCs (Section 2.7.3).

Perhaps a fine if more than 25% of trains are late (with lateness being 10 minutes beyond the advertised)?
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rmhumphries
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Currently, if there are delays, passengers are entitled to a (partial) refund from the TOC they buy from. If the problem is due to a track fault (e.g. signal failure), then the TOC is given compensation from network rail.

What will happen if a train of a TOC is delayed due to a problem which is the fault of the TOC, and then subsequent trains are delayed? This will hugely complicate the compensation system.

One of the advantages of the current system is that each train company can rent the rolling stock they need for a certain line. If they are limited to one train per hour on that line, won't this push up costs for renting rolling stock, as they are not renting as much? Won't this then push up train tickets prices for the customer?

As has already been bought up, running trains on some 'miles' of track is much more profitable than running trains on other 'miles' of track. The 'main lines' are going to generate more money (and need higher repair costs) than less-used local lines.

(P.s. Sorry if anything above is not correct in TSR-land compared to real-life).
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SciFiRory
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Nay, I think the railways should be fully nationalized and run in a way that works best for the public, which means well regulated fares, greener trains, more routes and if anything more regular rather than less regular trains on many routes.
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MacDaddi
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Nay

Besides, rebranding won't do anything and regulating how much profit the company can make is ridiculous - if they run a profit then that can be reinvested back into the system
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barnetlad
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What will the charges be on disused railways- a charge per hiker? Will the proposal for speakers and train noises I made some time back be considered?
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Mechie
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No. And if you want to do this you'd actually have to repeal B540.
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Republic1
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Nay absolutely not, railways in TSR land are nationalised and should remain that way.

On that point, large sections of this bill make no sense - Network Rail doesn't exist in TSR land. IIRC it is publicly owned and called "British Rail Infrastructure Services" and branded as British Rail.

Edit: Operators are nationalised, not network rail, my mistake I was thinking pre 12th parliament.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by rmhumphries)
Currently, if there are delays, passengers are entitled to a (partial) refund from the TOC they buy from. If the problem is due to a track fault (e.g. signal failure), then the TOC is given compensation from network rail.

What will happen if a train of a TOC is delayed due to a problem which is the fault of the TOC, and then subsequent trains are delayed? This will hugely complicate the compensation system.

One of the advantages of the current system is that each train company can rent the rolling stock they need for a certain line. If they are limited to one train per hour on that line, won't this push up costs for renting rolling stock, as they are not renting as much? Won't this then push up train tickets prices for the customer?

As has already been bought up, running trains on some 'miles' of track is much more profitable than running trains on other 'miles' of track. The 'main lines' are going to generate more money (and need higher repair costs) than less-used local lines.

(P.s. Sorry if anything above is not correct in TSR-land compared to real-life).
A good point and one which will addressed at second reading.

What tends to happen currently is that operators just inherit rolling stock with the franchises, this bill to some degree gives them greater flexibility in that they could purchase their own stock or take on other rolling stock. In addition your point regarding cost is based on thinking of one route. It may well be that First manages to run services on 5 different routes each hour now because there is no longer a single franchise owner.

(Original post by Mechie)
No. And if you want to do this you'd actually have to repeal B540.
I don't think so.

Because it awards no further franchises and has the state operate on unfilled timeslots this bill builds on/augments B540 rather than overrides it.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2271717

Because B540 was fairly basic we only need amend 1.2.

(Original post by Republic1)
Nay absolutely not, railways in TSR land are nationalised and should remain that way.

On that point, large sections of this bill make no sense - Network Rail doesn't exist in TSR land. IIRC it is publicly owned and called "British Rail Infrastructure Services" and branded as British Rail.
Your bill only dealt with operators, your going to have to show us the bill your thinking of.

This was the last rail bill..

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2271717
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Qwertish
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(Original post by MacDaddi)
Nay

Besides, rebranding won't do anything and regulating how much profit the company can make is ridiculous - if they run a profit then that can be reinvested back into the system
The whole point is to give the Government more control over the railway infrastructure. The provision in the Bill does not prevent either them investing in the system and then increasing the price per mile in order to generate the money, or the Government giving them money separately for reinvesting into the system.
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(Original post by SciFiRory)
Nay, I think the railways should be fully nationalized and run in a way that works best for the public, which means well regulated fares, greener trains, more routes and if anything more regular rather than less regular trains on many routes.
With a system like this the Governement can exert full control over who gets the franchises. If a company is charging too much, get rid of them at the next auction. If you want greener trains, add it in as an important criterion.

Private companies are much better placed than the Government to actually carry out these services because that is essentially the whole point of their existence. With this Bill the Government can easily say what it wants, and then choose the company that best fits the role.
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(Original post by Qwertish)
With a system like this the Governement can exert full control over who gets the franchises. If a company is charging too much, get rid of them at the next auction. If you want greener trains, add it in as an important criterion.

Private companies are much better placed than the Government to actually carry out these services because that is essentially the whole point of their existence. With this Bill the Government can easily say what it wants, and then choose the company that best fits the role.
I'm sorry, that does not amount to exerting full control at all. The government is presented with 'plans' from a narrow selection of companies - sometimes as low as a mere one; when it awards the franchise to one of the companies, the plan goes completely out the window, as does any influence over the management of the service. Now, you may argue that the renewal process means that the state can punish those companies that break from their plans (after 15-20 years of horrific service) - the problem with this is that all companies, being equally driven by a need to expand their rate of profit, will provide a similar level of **** service and make similarly false claims about their intentions. Instead of a competition to improve service quality, we end up with a competition to put forward the most believable lies.
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LETSJaM
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(Original post by Qwertish)
Well, except on lines where speed is the most important thing, price is the most important criteria which BR must consider when choosing ROCs (Section 2.7.3).

Perhaps a fine if more than 25% of trains are late (with lateness being 10 minutes beyond the advertised)?
So you're saying that in places where only one company runs trains on the lines, there has to be a reduction to 1 train an hour. How will that help; especially on overcrowded southern routes.

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