Good luck Alex - you’ll have your work cut out!
Alex Hynes, the new ScotRail Alliance Managing Director, enthuses about his post ( RAIL 833).
I wish him well, and trust he can toughen out the carping criticism that will doubtless make itself known before long, although hopefully it will not reach the levels of a year or so ago - that reached a crescendo that was totally unwarranted in many respects.
He will have to be aware of a coterie of correspondents who assail the Scottish press with their railway points of view on a regular basis.
For my own self, as a former BR/ ScotRail employee within the Glasgow HQ office, I was involved in operating matters. Together with colleagues at meetings, I dealt with holiday peaks throughout any given year, special events such as the Papal visit to Scotland in 1982, engineering works necessitating diversions, and disasters/accidents such as Penmanshiel Tunnel (1979) and Polmont (1984). All involved came together, and I might add that the majority of us were of clerical grades and relatively junior management.
Alex Hynes mentions that his TOC planning team talk to Network Rail in the same room, to co-ordinate present day events. How do you think we did it?
I can also mention that the planning and execution of the Glasgow North electrification of 1959/60 was also a combined operation in the one place of all concerned, and the debacle that followed its introduction and the resultant restoration of services is now legendary.
Scotland is problematic as regards what could be termed its physical layout. There are ‘pinch points’ such as the archaic track geometry and layout of Perth that does nothing for Glasgow-Aberdeen services, and nor does the single-track South Esk Viaduct at Montrose help matters on the overall East Coast route. Coupled to long-overdue replacement of semaphore signalling and associated signal boxes on this and other routes, this should be a priority.
And not forgetting all the other infrastructure, nearing an average age of 150 years, which warrants close attention. Weed and vegetation clearance (not just for OLE) should also be the order of the day. John Macnab, Falkirk