No news is good news: Christmas engineering works

16 January 2017

Before Christmas and New Year become a too distant a memory lets acknowledge some good news. Network Rail and train companies ‘dug in’ about £100 million worth of investment into the railway network. More reliable train services should be the result as well as the Elizabeth Line coming closer reality.

24,000 staff got on with it and there was no repeat of the dreadful Finsbury Park fiasco two years ago when passengers were stranded in the drizzle for hours. The vast majority of the work sites were back in use on time, so no inconvenience to the New Year rush back to work.

Yes, you could say they are only doing what they are paid to do, but this hidden, heavy work is done in the cold, dark and rain with very few workforce injuries. When you add to this the fact the industry is getting much better at communicating what is happening before and during engineering work you can see that this side of the railways work has really improved. If you look back at the passenger communications around the August engineering works at London Bridge there was some really notable progress.

Long may it last! Building on the work we have already done with Great Western Railway and Network Rail, we are now working with the industry on passenger communications around the Waterloo station work this year as well as the Wirral tunnel closure in Liverpool. We hope to get passengers’ views at Euston when the HS2 work starts and Derby when major improvements start there this summer.

This shows there really is no substitute for telling passengers again and again what is happening.

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