B618 - Railways (Operation) Bill 2013 (Second Reading)

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Jarred
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B618 - Railways (Operation) Bill 2013 (Second Reading), 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(3)), 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 on the basis of need and service congestion.
  3. Each timeslot for each route shall then be put up for auction.
  4. Railway operating companies shall submit a bid to British Railways, expressing their interest in operating services.
  5. British Railways shall then decide which railway operating company shall run which services.
  6. No single railway operating company may operate on the same route more than once per hour.
  7. Unfilled timeslots will be operated by 'Directly Operated Railways', a subsidiary of British Railways Ltd, and will run under the trading name 'British Rail'.
  8. 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.
  9. Timeslots will be auctioned by British Railways Ltd once every three years.
  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 Fines, Refunds and Enforcement of Regularity
  1. A service is 'late' if it arrives at a station stop or terminus more than ten minutes later than the advertised time, as fixed in the bid submitted as per Section 2(4).
  2. A service is 'very late' if it arrives at a station stop or terminus more than half an hour minutes later than the advertised time, as fixed in the bid submitted as per Section 2(4).
  3. A service is 'cancelled' if it never leaves its departure terminal.
  4. A service is 'partially cancelled' if it never arrives or stops at a station stop or terminus as specified by the service plan provided by British Railways as per Section 2(2).
  5. A service is 'delayed' if it is either late, very late, partially cancelled or cancelled.
  6. All passengers are entitled to an automatic full refund if a service is cancelled.
  7. All passengers are entitled to an automatic partial refund equal to a percentage of their paid fare, where the percentage is the percentage of the journey remaining, measured in terms of station stops, as well as free alternative transport to their final destination if their service is partially cancelled.
  8. All passengers are entitled to a refund which must be claimed on connecting services if they are missed due to a service being very late, partially cancelled or cancelled.
  9. All passengers must submit refund claims to British Railways, regardless of their railway operating company.
  10. All refunds, automatic or claimed, are to be dealt with and fulfilled by British Railways.
  11. Where a service is delayed due to maintenance on or malfunctions of tracks, signals, electrical cabling and other infrastructure owned by British Railways, there is no at fault third party.
  12. Where a service is delayed due to a different service being delayed, the railway operating company of the latter service is the at fault third party (it is 'at fault').
  13. In all other instances of services being delayed, the railway operating company for that service is the at fault third party (it is 'at fault').
  14. British Railways shall fine the at fault third party for the full cost of all compensation paid out to passengers in accordance with Sections 3(6) to 3(8).
  15. Railway operating companies will be fined 10% of their revenue for the tax year if more than 25% of their services for that tax year are delayed, excluding those where this railway operating company is not at fault.
  16. At the end of each tax year, railway operating companies will be fined 1% of their revenue for that tax year for each service which is very late, partially cancelled or cancelled, excluding those where this railway operating company is not at fault.
  17. Railway operating companies will be deemed unable to complete their contract if the number of incidents for which they are at fault exceeds 25% of the total services run by that railway operating company.
  18. When a railway operating company is deemed unable to complete their contract their services are replaced by Directly Operated Railways until the next auction.


4 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.



Changes for the Second Reading
Entire new Section 3 added.
Section 2(4) and (5) modified.


Notes 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.

Section 3 deals with fines and compensation.
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SciFiRory
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and still nay.
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That Bearded Man
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Surely if I bid for a contract with a 200mph line, but my train goes 10mph faster than the rest, and my tickets cost £5 per journey more, I'll win the bid?
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Qwertish
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(Original post by That Bearded Man)
Surely if I bid for a contract with a 200mph line, but my train goes 10mph faster than the rest, and my tickets cost £5 per journey more, I'll win the bid?
Well, it's up to the people deciding who gets the contracts to see if the greater speed is worth the extra cost. In this case it may well not be.

Also remember that there will be more than one company operating on the line. That gives the customer the ability to decide for themselves if the extra cost is worth it.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by That Bearded Man)
Surely if I bid for a contract with a 200mph line, but my train goes 10mph faster than the rest, and my tickets cost £5 per journey more, I'll win the bid?
There'd be multiple operators each hour be it the state or other private operators so it's unlikely your £5 would do you any favours.
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PhysicsKid
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So a train 9 minutes behind schedule is neither 'delayed' nor 'late'??? And, again, why are you setting out contracts for train routes when they are already nationalised on here: what good reason is there to go back?
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nikkoch
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as before we need nationalised railways
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Faland
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Still a 'no' from me. I'm not sure why the Government are adamant that the state cannot run train services; nor do I see it as beneficial to siphon money away from rail passengers and into the profit margins of private corporations. When the government is running things, they can provide just as good a service (nb. East Coast), with the addition of cheaper tickets and/or more investment in the service.
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barnetlad
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I apologise for the lateness of my contribution and for any inconvenience caused. No from me.
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Qwertish
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(Original post by Faland)
Still a 'no' from me. I'm not sure why the Government are adamant that the state cannot run train services; nor do I see it as beneficial to siphon money away from rail passengers and into the profit margins of private corporations. When the government is running things, they can provide just as good a service (nb. East Coast), with the addition of cheaper tickets and/or more investment in the service.
East Coast is hugely inferior to Hull Trains on the Hull-London route. These services are a prime example of the benefits competition can bring to the railway system.

Its not the the State can't run train services, it's just that private companies have a much greater incentive to provide better services (namely getting more money).
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Qwertish
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(Original post by PhysicsKid)
So a train 9 minutes behind schedule is neither 'delayed' nor 'late'??? And, again, why are you setting out contracts for train routes when they are already nationalised on here: what good reason is there to go back?
Clearly it's unreasonable to expect trains to arrive exactly on the dot on time. Even in Germany there is a +/- 10 minute variation (from personal experience).

This is not going back to the old system (or, equally, the current one IRL). It's a new system with encourages competition and utilises the profit motive to provide better services for passengers.
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Faland
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(Original post by Qwertish)
East Coast is hugely inferior to Hull Trains on the Hull-London route. These services are a prime example of the benefits competition can bring to the railway system.

Its not the the State can't run train services, it's just that private companies have a much greater incentive to provide better services (namely getting more money).
Well, customer satisfaction has risen greatly since state-management was established. If we're going off anecdotes, then I can say that, of the three train companies that run the services I use, East Coast is by far the better. They're the one company that doesn't sell more tickets than there are places on the train, and the trains I've used have never been in poor condition, or understaffed. Quite an achievement given the strain on the East Coast Line.

The same incentive also motivates them to bring down the quality of service to the lowest level they can get away with, which'll be especially easy for them to do on the railways given the economic framework will always dispose the system towards the formation of oligopolies. And I've not even touched on the potential this has for corruption: permitting the bureaucrats at British Rail to be the exclusive arbiters of which companies gets which services is just asking for trouble, especially when there's no mandated arbitration procedure.
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Mechie
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I did not realise that East Coast was publicly owned. When I took an East Coast train it was quite good, probably a bit better than the First trains that we have running most lines.
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Qwertish
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(Original post by Faland)
The same incentive also motivates them to bring down the quality of service to the lowest level they can get away with, which'll be especially easy for them to do on the railways given the economic framework will always dispose the system towards the formation of oligopolies. And I've not even touched on the potential this has for corruption: permitting the bureaucrats at British Rail to be the exclusive arbiters of which companies gets which services is just asking for trouble, especially when there's no mandated arbitration procedure.
The entire bill is directed towards the prevention of monopolies. Even an oligopoly of two is much much better than one organisation running everything - whether that's the Government of a private company.

Of course, these corrupt 'bureaucrats at British Rail' you refer to will be the ones running the services as well as the auction if the railways are nationalised... :rolleyes:

There is a mandated arbitration procedure in Section 2, and now fairly hefty punishments for companies if they fail to provide.


(Original post by Faland)
Well, customer satisfaction has risen greatly since state-management was established. If we're going off anecdotes, then I can say that, of the three train companies that run the services I use, East Coast is by far the better. They're the one company that doesn't sell more tickets than there are places on the train, and the trains I've used have never been in poor condition, or understaffed. Quite an achievement given the strain on the East Coast Line.
(Original post by Mechie)
I did not realise that East Coast was publicly owned. When I took an East Coast train it was quite good, probably a bit better than the First trains that we have running most lines.
First Huill Trains is infinitely better. As someone who's used East Cost in it's many incarnations since GNER, I can say it hasn't really changed at all once if moved to Government ownership. It did improve slightly after the National Express takeover, but First Hull has always been consistently better on price, service and consistency.

The ECML has always been better than Grand Central or GWR, in my experience. Not entirely sure why.
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Mechie
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(Original post by Qwertish)
First Huill Trains is infinitely better. As someone who's used East Cost in it's many incarnations since GNER, I can say it hasn't really changed at all once if moved to Government ownership. It did improve slightly after the National Express takeover, but First Hull has always been consistently better on price, service and consistency.

The ECML has always been better than Grand Central or GWR, in my experience. Not entirely sure why.
First Scotrail is pretty terrible to be honest. I think there's a spoof twitter account called Scotfail, which kinda sums it up. I don't use it regularly, but I know people that use it everyday, and they're not exactly impressed. The times I use it they don't seem the best either. Quite often they're late, and almost every time they'll only put 3 carriages on the train, which is just ridiculous in busy times such as when the festival is on, or in the run up to Christmas. Honestly, sardines have more personal space. It makes for a very uncomfortable train ride.
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Faland
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(Original post by Qwertish)
The entire bill is directed towards the prevention of monopolies. Even an oligopoly of two is much much better than one organisation running everything - whether that's the Government of a private company.

Of course, these corrupt 'bureaucrats at British Rail' you refer to will be the ones running the services as well as the auction if the railways are nationalised... :rolleyes:

There is a mandated arbitration procedure in Section 2, and now fairly hefty punishments for companies if they fail to provide.
Why is complete public control over the running of the railways a bad thing? Obviously it isn't comparable to a private monopoly - one works against the people to extract as much profit as possible, the other works under the direction of the people to run services in a way that suits as much of us as possible.

Under my preferred system, there would be no mandarins in a position to hand over multimillion pound contracts to the private sector without any form of scrutiny being applied to how they reach their judgements.

§2.5 certainly isn't, and that's the only relevant clause I can see.
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LETSJaM
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In rural areas, there will always only be one company bidding for the contract, as there is less use of the lines. Therefore no competition what ever you throw at the problem.

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Rakas21
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(Original post by LETSJaM)
In rural areas, there will always only be one company bidding for the contract, as there is less use of the lines. Therefore no competition what ever you throw at the problem.

<3 x
On lines where there is only one service per hour it may be possible to insert that these by default would be operated by the state.
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Jarred
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This is in cessation.
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Jarred
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Division! Clear the lobbies!
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