Rail roundup

More bad news for Network Rail. Results of the latest National National Rail Passenger Survey revealed overall satisfaction with trains services has dropped. The latest results show poor performance, particularly in south east England which has led to another drop in overall satisfaction at 80%: down from 82% for the same period last year. Other key results include: satisfaction with punctuality down to 75% (from 77% in 2014) – this figure dropped to 65% for commuters; and value for money ratings remained below the half-way mark, at 45%.

A preliminary deal to remove the 26 different EU national standards currently faced by rail operators and manufacturers in Europe was reached by MEPs and the Latvian Presidency of the Council of Ministers last week. The agreement brings the prospect of a European Railway Area a step closer to becoming a reality. This deal, on the “technical pillar” of the 4th railway package will cut the time and cost involved in certifying that operators, locomotives and carriages meet safety and technical standards.

Network Rail Consulting, the international consultancy arm of Network Rail, has been selected as part of a consultant team led by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to provide integration, program delivery and program management services to the California High-Speed Rail Authority in the United States. The authority is developing California’s high-speed rail network – the first in the U.S. – which will connect the state’s mega-regions and contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment. Phase 1 will connect the San Francisco Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin in less than three hours at speeds of over 300kph. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totalling some 1200km in network length with up to 24 stations.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has set up a new Crossrail 2 Growth Commission to promote and progress the £20bn scheme between Chelsea and Hackney. It will be headed by former local leader of London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Sir Merrick Cockell. The move came as business leaders also pushed to get the scheme moving, signing an open letter to national newspapers with signatories being the chief executives of Mace, Turner & Townsend and Morgan Sindall. 

Transport for London  is to look at extending the Bakerloo Line to Croydon instead of Bromley in Kent, the Croydon Guardian reported. TfL launched a public consultation last year on plans to extend to line, which currently terminates at Elephant and Castle, to Lewisham and Bromley.  Matt Yates, TfL’s Head of Planning Projects, said: "We are currently reviewing the results of the public consultation and the many route options suggested in the responses.  The suggestion to extend the line to Croydon will be considered as part of this review."