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Old August 4th 20, 11:04 AM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

Grenfell Tower is close to the elevated H&C LU line, from which the tower
is clearly visible. The enquiry into the fire three years ago has been
grinding along, painfully slowly for the survivors.

I think it was obvious very early that shoddy building practices played a
big part in the tragedy, but only now are some of the details emerging. I
wonder if the culture of layers of increasingly disengaged, cheap
subcontractors has echoes in the railway industry?

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grenfell-tower-fire-exposes-culture-of-bad-building-vjhtmrbn3?shareToken=15ec46434797d576c6405d3e8f371 c5e


In 2015 Rydon’s contract manager at Grenfell emailed his boss to say: “At
the moment we have a poorly performing site which is mainly (but not
totally) caused by poor surveying and cheap, incompetent subcontractors.”

The extensive subcontracting appears to have led to a culture of avoiding
responsibility for quality and safety. In one case a Rydon site manager
admitted to the inquiry that he assumed that the combustible insulation
being installed on the windows was a fire-resistant seal. He did not check
and the material was a key factor in how the fire spread from inside the
building.

The same manager claimed that he had no idea that the people installing the
windows were not staff of the company subcontracted for the job but workers
from a third firm brought in by the subcontractor.

Such practices are normal in the industry. Building firms focus on winning
and managing contracts before outsourcing the rest of the work to smaller
firms that often subcontract to other companies or tradesmen.



Mr Farmer, who runs Cast Consultancy, said: “The industry is dominated by
cheapest tendering, which creates a race to the bottom. Problems such as
structural issues will only emerge over time. We need to urgently change
how we deliver new buildings or we’re just piling up problems for the
future.”

The Institution of Civil Engineers says that layers of contracts requiring
lawyers and consultants is one reason why building costs are so high.

It says that it knows of two large projects in London where half the
development costs were spent on commercial management, overheads and profit
within the supply chain.


The same model is used by big housebuilders, which means that only about 15
per cent of staff on any construction site are employed by the named
contractor.

Mark Farmer, a government adviser on housebuilding, says that layers of
competitive tendering in the supply chain apply cost pressures on smaller
firms, which respond by cutting corners. He says that this model also
creates a culture of “passing the buck”.

“A lot of this is playing out with Grenfell in the finger-pointing and lack
of ownership and accountability,” he said. “Building firms used to employ
their own tradesmen but no longer. Of course there are a lot of good
builders out there but the people operating the final install are often so
far removed from those paying for the work that they don’t feel responsible
for the outcome.”

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Old August 4th 20, 01:13 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

On Tue, 4 Aug 2020 10:04:45 -0000 (UTC)
Recliner wrote:
Grenfell Tower is close to the elevated H&C LU line, from which the tower
is clearly visible. The enquiry into the fire three years ago has been
grinding along, painfully slowly for the survivors.


I thought the enquiry was pretty much done and dusted. The LFB were partly
to blame thanks to the idiotic decisions made by Dany Cotton, like Cressida
Dick just another useless box ticking political appointment out of her depth.


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Old August 4th 20, 01:41 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

wrote:
On Tue, 4 Aug 2020 10:04:45 -0000 (UTC)
Recliner wrote:
Grenfell Tower is close to the elevated H&C LU line, from which the tower
is clearly visible. The enquiry into the fire three years ago has been
grinding along, painfully slowly for the survivors.


I thought the enquiry was pretty much done and dusted. The LFB were partly
to blame thanks to the idiotic decisions made by Dany Cotton, like Cressida
Dick just another useless box ticking political appointment out of her depth.


That was Part 1 of the inquiry, about the events of the night, response to
the incident etc.

This is Part 2 of the inquiry, about the background, how the situation came
to exist in the first place, etc.


Anna Noyd-Dryver

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Old August 6th 20, 01:07 PM
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The thread title asks if there are lessons for the rail industry.

A few years ago the answer would have been an emphatic yes
because Railtrack and Network Rail both had a firm policy of
sub-contracting out all their maintenance and renewal work.
Now headed by Andrew Haines, an ex-professional railwayman,
Network Rail at last recognises the need to bring together
"track and trains" and it's possible that this might eventually
lead to a reduction in sub-contracting.

I'm enormously encouraged by Mr. Haines arguing on several
occasions that the main requirement on the railway is for people
who who really know the job and for a culture that respects
competence and experience.
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Old August 26th 20, 12:00 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

On Thu, 6 Aug 2020 13:07:26 +0100, Robin9
wrote:


The thread title asks if there are lessons for the rail industry.

A few years ago the answer would have been an emphatic yes
because Railtrack and Network Rail both had a firm policy of
sub-contracting out all their maintenance and renewal work.
Now headed by Andrew Haines, an ex-professional railwayman,
Network Rail at last recognises the need to bring together
"track and trains" and it's possible that this might eventually
lead to a reduction in sub-contracting.

I'm enormously encouraged by Mr. Haines arguing on several
occasions that the main requirement on the railway is for people
who who really know the job and for a culture that respects
competence and experience.


That is true but since Crossrail is a product of the subcontracting
ear (if I can call it that) you might wonder how much of the cost
overrun and delay is caused by subcontracting.


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Old August 26th 20, 03:02 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

On 26/08/2020 00:00, Graham Harrison wrote:
On Thu, 6 Aug 2020 13:07:26 +0100, Robin9
wrote:


The thread title asks if there are lessons for the rail industry.

A few years ago the answer would have been an emphatic yes
because Railtrack and Network Rail both had a firm policy of
sub-contracting out all their maintenance and renewal work.
Now headed by Andrew Haines, an ex-professional railwayman,
Network Rail at last recognises the need to bring together
"track and trains" and it's possible that this might eventually
lead to a reduction in sub-contracting.

I'm enormously encouraged by Mr. Haines arguing on several
occasions that the main requirement on the railway is for people
who who really know the job and for a culture that respects
competence and experience.


That is true but since Crossrail is a product of the subcontracting
ear (if I can call it that) you might wonder how much of the cost
overrun and delay is caused by subcontracting.

In that case you might also wonder how any of the railways of Britain
ever got built given that virtually all of them used contractors and
subcontractors.
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Old August 26th 20, 04:34 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

On Wed, 26 Aug 2020 15:02:54 +0100, MikeS wrote:

On 26/08/2020 00:00, Graham Harrison wrote:
On Thu, 6 Aug 2020 13:07:26 +0100, Robin9
wrote:


The thread title asks if there are lessons for the rail industry.

A few years ago the answer would have been an emphatic yes
because Railtrack and Network Rail both had a firm policy of
sub-contracting out all their maintenance and renewal work.
Now headed by Andrew Haines, an ex-professional railwayman,
Network Rail at last recognises the need to bring together
"track and trains" and it's possible that this might eventually
lead to a reduction in sub-contracting.

I'm enormously encouraged by Mr. Haines arguing on several
occasions that the main requirement on the railway is for people
who who really know the job and for a culture that respects
competence and experience.


That is true but since Crossrail is a product of the subcontracting
ear (if I can call it that) you might wonder how much of the cost
overrun and delay is caused by subcontracting.

In that case you might also wonder how any of the railways of Britain
ever got built given that virtually all of them used contractors and
subcontractors.


True but there does seem to be a particular problem in this "modern"
era.
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Old August 26th 20, 06:35 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 04:34:55PM +0100, Graham Harrison wrote:
On Wed, 26 Aug 2020 15:02:54 +0100, MikeS wrote:
On 26/08/2020 00:00, Graham Harrison wrote:
That is true but since Crossrail is a product of the subcontracting
ear (if I can call it that) you might wonder how much of the cost
overrun and delay is caused by subcontracting.

In that case you might also wonder how any of the railways of Britain
ever got built given that virtually all of them used contractors and
subcontractors.

True but there does seem to be a particular problem in this "modern"
era.


From which the conclusion has to be that sub-contracting per se is *not*
the main cause of the problem.

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Old August 26th 20, 09:41 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

MikeS wrote:
On 26/08/2020 00:00, Graham Harrison wrote:
That is true but since Crossrail is a product of the subcontracting
ear (if I can call it that) you might wonder how much of the cost
overrun and delay is caused by subcontracting.

In that case you might also wonder how any of the railways of Britain
ever got built given that virtually all of them used contractors and
subcontractors.


Victorian railways were not unfamiliar with cost overruns and bankruptcies,
of course. I do wonder if any of them actually made a profit in the long
run.

Theo
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Old August 26th 20, 09:59 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Rail lessons from Grenfell?

Theo wrote:
MikeS wrote:
On 26/08/2020 00:00, Graham Harrison wrote:
That is true but since Crossrail is a product of the subcontracting
ear (if I can call it that) you might wonder how much of the cost
overrun and delay is caused by subcontracting.

In that case you might also wonder how any of the railways of Britain
ever got built given that virtually all of them used contractors and
subcontractors.


Victorian railways were not unfamiliar with cost overruns and bankruptcies,
of course. I do wonder if any of them actually made a profit in the long
run.


I think the early ones, running along the routes of obvious high demand,
did very well and form the basis for the 125mph main lines of today. But
that initial success encouraged many other later railways that either
duplicated the early routes or had too little potential demand (freight or
passenger). That later railway mania led to railways that were generally
less or not profitable at all. Most got absorbed by larger neighbours, and
were the early casualties in the 20th century rail closures.





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