|Open Access case strengthened
A big thank you to a contributor to our forum for playing "Devil's Advocate" with the plans we published late last week to invite another TOC (Train Operating Company) to have a look at providing a Swindon - Westbury (and possibly beyond) every 2 hours from this December.
Most of our proposal stood up well - bl**dy well - and it seems that all the hard work that's been done in the last six months really is remarkably accurate.
I have made one change, though. My pricings were previously based on what it would have cost First to provide the service, with a train taken from a fleet of similar units based at the same depot ... in other words with a single train to provide the service. That was a "best case" scenario. A "worst case" scenario - for an out-of-area TOC to be basing a unit specifically to work the service, a second unit would be required as backup and to cover maintainance periods. This adds around 150k per annum and my pricing now reflects the worst case. Even with the service run in this more expensive manner, it's into profit in the second year
My "devil's advocate" feels that freight paths are a red herring .... maybe (or maybe not) but it really doen't matter as my proposal goes into some details as to how the line's capacity can be increased if need be without the need to lay extra tracks. His bottom line price seems high, but he hasn't given me a breadown of how he reached the figure (even when askied by email), and I suspect that he's just quoting a figure he's been fed, or he's taken an average statitic from somewhere rather than studying the service as I, and others, have done.
Many thanks to the folks who have helped further with the case ... my role here is both to corrolate it and re-assure myself that it's sane, Done that.
Onward, Stronger! The case is now looking even stronger.
See - the updated case
Written 2006-07-30 18:18:49
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