Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/520/3776

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2008

Off the rails

Cuts and backlogs cause delays

OVER-RUN OF engineering work is a common reason for delays on the rail system. The four-day over-run at the New Year around Rugby got plenty of attention but there were serious problems elsewhere at the same time. A BBC Radio Four programme looked at this issue.

Network Rail has of course 'apologised' for the delays. But travellers might not be too re-assured that Network Rail boss Iain Coucher wants more trains to run on Christmas day which would definitely interrupt scheduled en-gineering work normally done over the Christmas period.

What is the real situation? There is clearly a massive backlog of signalling work, engineering upgrades along with routine maintenance work. Part of the explanation for the problems over New Year is that Network Rail discovered too late that there are only a 'finite' number of experienced overhead line engineers.

The derailment last year at Grayrigg in Cumbria occurred because of failure to carry out basic routine patrolling and inspection. Network Rail has since claimed that these problems were local, but reports from the Railway Inspectorate and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch cast doubt on this.

There are examples elsewhere of similar failings. The suggestion is that maintenance workers are expected to cover bigger areas more quickly, that there are examples of "unremitting workload, lack of manpower".

Likewise the public will not be impressed that there is according to Iain Coucher "a proper process for deferring work." One item of work has been deferred for four years. Network Rail has a budget for maintenance work which has fallen for each of the last three years. Talks are now being held to sort out the future budget.

All this takes place behind the backs of the travellers and even of the workforce who have no involvement at all. Everyone wants faster, more frequent, more reliable trains running on safe, properly maintained tracks. The current system fails to provide a basis for this aspiration to be realised.

Unless the skills and knowledge of the workforce can be used to plan and implement the work needed, the railways will continue to perform poorly.

An Aslef member

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 13 February 2008:

Stop NHS privatisation now!


Local Government workers

Birmingham council workers' biggest strike for decades

'Single status' in the West Midlands

Bosses prepare to force through more cuts

Newham workers angry at councillors


Socialist Students

Uni Fees must be fought!

Feature: The great university swindle


War and terrorism

War and occupation in Iraq


Socialist Party news and analysis

Defend abortion rights

Millionaire welcomes economic recession!

Northern Rock

Liverpool's tale of two cities

Cardiff marches to save schools

100 people pack London world economy meeting


Transport

Cuts and backlogs cause delays

Tangled web at Metronet


International socialist news and analysis

Polish miners gain strike victory due to iron determination

Chad conflict - part of a wider power struggle


Interview

Prison officers: Fighting for trade union rights

Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Comment

Comment: Opportunist blunder further splits Church of England


Workplace news and analysis

Land Registry staff vote for action

London Underground: Strike ballot in safety row

Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

Organise and fight back!

Shelter staff ballot for action


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 February 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Rail:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleThe Red Line - Bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

triangleSocialist Inbox

triangleCancel the franchise, not our trains

BBC:

triangleDefend free TV licences for pensioners!

triangleTears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

triangleTV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?

triangleFight back against the corona propaganda war

Aslef:

triangleTube strike solid against victimisation

triangleWho wants driver-only operation?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/8/20

Young Socialists

After Scottish government U-turn, Young Socialists fight for a future on A-Level results day

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999