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Dec 2009 - We don’t have to wish them a merry franchise

01 June 2013

DO YOU know how I’d define a waste of breath? It would be wishing the owner of a rail franchise a ‘Merry Christmas’. The fact is – he’s going to have one. You can’t go wrong with a franchise. If it makes money, you keep it. If it doesn’t,...

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Nov 2009 - ASLEF is more than just a building

01 June 2013

WHEN I went to the Ladbroke Road memorial ceremony last month it brought home to me once again what a tight and close family the railways makes us.   Richard Westlake’s article in this edition talks about receiving 256 cards of support after his accident at Royal Oak. We...

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Oct 2009 - We must learn from, and not just lament, Ladbroke Grove

01 June 2013

It is ten years since the 5 October 1999 Ladbroke Grove train crash that injured some 400 people and took the lives of 31 others, including Drivers Michael Hodder and Brian Cooper. For months after this tragedy I sat through the traumas of the Cullen Enquiry. It was the...

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Sept 2009 - ASLEF's getting bigger

01 June 2013

Over the last couple of months the union has had applications to join us from over 189 train drivers on the main lines and operators on London Underground. That makes us one of the fastest growing unions in the country. I have to say that I’m delighted, not just...

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Aug 2009 - Bottling it up!

01 June 2013

British Rail used to come in for all kinds of criticism, some of it merited, some not. But whatever the occasional failings of the nationalised BR, there’s no doubt that the current privatisated, franchised system is a first-class model for ‘How Not to Run a Railway’. Its failures and follies...

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