As anyone looking to properly understand London’s transport needs and network knows, context, background and best-practice are important. As readers might imagine, behind the scenes here at LR Towers we thus spend a lot of time sharing links and reading around the subjects we cover here.

We also occasionally share links containing good information about transport topics that we know we just don’t have time to cover. We also all, as authors, occasionally write elsewhere on this or tangentially related subjects.

This week’s reading list is below. If you’ve got something you feel we should read or include in a future list, don’t forget to email us at [email protected].

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There are 17 comments on this article
  1. Briantist (Haisen-tetsu) says:

    Thanks for the reading list. “The 32 types of Japanese rail fans – RocketNews 24” is just brilliant.

  2. This Friday Reading List and Industry News we’ve started doing is a way of expanding out some further opportunities to discuss topics we aren’t covering directly – but even then LR won’t cover or entertain everything, such as Tube and rail strikes, because they’re too emotive and near-impossible to write about or discuss impartially.

  3. I’m really liking the Art Deco aesthetic of the 1937 GPO (and other exhibits), and what appears to be a flying boat in the backdrop of the Air Mail Display photo just past the half way point of the page.

  4. Southern Heights (Light Railway) says:

    Facebook doesn’t like the Japanese trainspotter link for some odd reason…

    The reason is about as clear as mud!

    [Perhaps try to access it directly, not from Facebook. LBM]

  5. Anonymous says:

    Crossrail had a similar design contest for secondary school engineering students about its trains, I must scan the document. Fairly certain that nothing actually ended up affecting the rolling stock design in the slightest.

  6. Balthazar says:

    In relation to the ticketing overhaul, I’ve got to say I’m puzzled by claims that the death knell of split ticketing has been sounded, when the actual text states that a “best value end-to-end ‘through fare’ will be offered for test journeys where customers change trains, by offering one price combining the cheapest fare for each leg of the journey”. The whole point of split ticketing as I understand – and practise – it concerns the use of multiple tickets without having to change trains!

  7. Malcolm says:

    Balthazar: I would have phrased your last sentence as “The point of split ticketing … concerns the use of multiple tickets whether or not you have to change trains.

    So some set-up where a split is tried at each point in the journey where a change of trains occurs WILL catch some journeys currently benefiting from split ticketing. But of course, as you rightly point out, it will not catch all such journeys, because ticket splitting is often beneficial at points where one does not change trains. (Although – to go off at a slight tangent – the rules do require the train to happen to be stopping there).

  8. Malcolm says:

    On ticket price simplification – I predict that this initiative will go nowhere much. For the usual reason, that it will have to be either total-revenue neutral, or total revenue beneficial (to the operators). Thus to enable a reasonable number of fares to go down, a similar number (or more) will have to rise. Passengers who have to pay more will shout – loudly, and their voices will quite drown out the small murmurs of satisfaction from the passenger gainers. Outcome – stasis.

  9. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Malcolm – I understand your comment about “losers” shouting loudly but people have been shouting about rail fare increases for over a decade and they still rise every year. I suspect the key thing here is that the “genie” has been let out of the lamp in terms of experimenting with ticket types, routes, restrictions, pricing, split ticketing etc. The current situation is ludicrously complex but I don’t expect the future to get simpler. There will be some nice headline bargains and some initially attractive features. However we will quickly get to the point where very long established principles in the system come under attack – break of journey is a simple enough one where restricting what people can do will push up revenue.

    The other concern here is that it confirms the DfT really have little idea about what it wants from ticketing / fares strategy. This then continues into things like smart / mobile technology and revenue protection. This is all being left to the “Rail Delivery Group” and individual TOCs to manage and their key concern will always be dividends to their shareholders and not passengers or tax payers. I think we may end up with changes that end up not being terribly popular and which will eventually turn into a problem on Ministers’ desks. That’s what happens when you abdicate a leadership role.

  10. Greg Tingey says:

    WW & Malcom

    1] Although – to go off at a slight tangent – the rules do require the train to happen to be stopping there
    So, how do I manage to get “Boundary zone 6 to $_Destination” single & return tickets, then? Did it at least a dozen times last year.

    2] Peripheral at the moment, but, I wonder:
    Rail Franchising not Fit for Purpose
    Well, we probably thought that anyway, but it’s nice to see that a Commons Select Committee thinks so too.
    Will there be developments, though?

  11. Malcolm says:

    Greg: Correct, “boundary of zone” tickets are (perhaps) an exception to this rule, although some boundaries are at stations anyway, and others are at a completely undefined point between a given pair of stations. But both kinds can probably be run through without stopping and the tickets remain valid. But it remains the case that an Ipswich to Colchester and a Colchester to Stratford ticket (for instance) may not be used on a train which does not stop at Colchester.

  12. Graham H says:

    @GregT – Like you, I shouldn’t think there’s anyone who has any knowledge of the UK rail franchising system (but – hey -knowledge would make us experts and therefore despicable) who would argue that it’s in any way fit for purpose. What’s disappointing is that the Committee’s analysis is inadequate – issues like risk and competition – are not addressed, and the proposed solutions – smaller and longer franchises – bear no relationship to the problems identified (and are also the tired old memes that are trotted out every time). Only merits C-, come and see me after the end of the lesson.

  13. John W says:

    GT @ 09.16 5/2/17 and Malcolm @ 10.04 5/2/17

    As from October 1st 2016 – section 14.2 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage reads:

    “If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that station for your combination to be valid.”

  14. 100andthirty says:

    Re the Commons Select Committee report into franchising, even though I haven’t read the whole thing yet, I was struck by their fondness for competition and open access. Open Access hasn’t so far been the “great success” that was trumpeted. I make it two successes and one failure, and the services offered represent an absolutely trivial number of trains per day. That said, is it Open Access that has kept Anytime fares lower on East Coast than for equivalent distances on West Coast?

    It was also fascinating (probably for the wrong reasons) to read the submissions from individuals.

  15. John B says:

    Even if ticketing changes were cost neutral, they’d stop the passenger wasting time trying out all the permutations. In many ways I’d rather have more uniformly priced tickets than the nagging doubt that if only I’d tried something else I’d have got a bargain.

  16. Balthazar says:

    Re: John B – that would still imply that the fare simplification had been so comprehensive that you’d have full confidence that there wasn’t a cheaper fare, which seems reasonably unlikely if advance fares continue in existence.

    (Happy enough with the Coventry-Euston first class advance I’ve secured for next Friday morning peak time at £38 though. Rather like the breakfast and it gives me extra time in bed by not eating before leaving…).

  17. John B says:

    Coincidentally my last purchase was Orpington to Coventry over Easter, with the uncertainty of when each of the 3 possible routes released their advance tickets, why Advances appeared from Euston, not Orpington, why did I have to book trains before probable engineering work was announced etc. I might be only paying £22 return, but I’ve paid a lot more in stress.

    I’d rather have the BR days when I could have reserved a seat in advance and bought an Off-Peak ticket on the day

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