Scheidt & Bachmann Ticket XPress
The Scheidt & Bachmann Ticket XPress system is a passenger-operated self-service railway ticket issuing system developed and manufactured by the German systems development and production group Scheidt & Bachmann GmbH, based in the city of Mönchengladbach. Since the first trial installations in 2003, seven train operating companies in Great Britain have adopted the system as their main passenger-operated ticket vending method, while four others have installed machines at certain stations on their networks. More than 1,500 machines are in place across the country, more than 850 stations have one or more. Machines can accept cash and/or payment cards and can sell most National Rail tickets. Ticket XPress machines known by the codename FAA-2000/TS, were developed in the early 2000s and were based on similar technology, used elsewhere in the world since the 1990s. Since 2004, when the first large-scale contracts were signed by TOCs in Scotland and southeast England, new machines have been installed regularly.
Scheidt & Bachmann was founded in 1872 as a manufacturer of textile machinery and small steam-driven engines for industrial use. Its earliest diversification was into railway signal control systems, which became its main area of business until 1932. At that time, the company developed and began to manufacture a new type of hand-operated petrol pump. Further diversification occurred in the 1960s, when Scheidt & Bachmann developed control and management systems for public car parks and, public leisure facilities such as swimming pools and council-owned leisure centres; the company's first entry into the ticket issuing and fare collection systems market came in 1978. The technology was derived from car park control systems, was developed further and refined; the company is now organised into four autonomous divisions corresponding to the different business areas: Signal Technology, Petrol Stations, Car Parks and Leisure Centres, Fare Collection Systems. In the last years of British Rail, before privatisation, the main passenger-operated ticket issuing system on the network was the Ascom B8050 Quickfare, developed in the late 1980s by Swiss company Ascom Autelca AG.
Quickfare machines were geared towards high-volume, low-value transactions: they only accepted cash, offered a small and unchanging range of destinations, were a minor evolution from similar earlier machines whose computer technology was based in the early 1980s. Quickfares were widespread in the erstwhile Network SouthEast area, but their limitations were increasing as technology became more sophisticated. Scheidt & Bachmann had gained experience in the design and manufacture of self-service ticket machines during the 1990s when the FAA-2000 system, popular on continental European railway networks, was developed. By the early 2000s a refined design, marketed as FAA-2000/TS, had been launched, its modern touch-screen technology and customisable interface and ability to accept cash or card payments made it a popular choice with transport operators in urban areas including Boston, New York City, Cologne and Dublin. A version of this newer design with the codename FAA-2000/TS was put on trial in August 2003 at Twickenham, a South West Trains station.
In conjunction with the redesign and rebuilding of the station forecourt area, two Ticket XPress machines—numbered 2000 and 2001—were built into a wall next to the main station entrance. At this stage, three companies were marketing their self-service ticket issuing systems: competing for trials and contracts from the privatised TOCs. Ascom and Shere were in the market; the start of the trial at Twickenham meant that all three systems could now be compared properly, taking note of passenger reactions and feedback. In 2002, a year before launching the system, Scheidt & Bachmann appointed British company The Needham Group as their local agent and distributor within Britain for all products and services in the Fare Collection Systems division, their first sale was to the Scotland-based TOC ScotRail, which bought a batch of 27 machines at the start of 2004. It undertook no trial of the machines; the Scottish installation programme started with the introduction of multiple machines at Glasgow Central and Queen Street stations and Edinburgh's Waverley and Haymarket stations between January and March 2004.
From April 2004 these were followed by further machines in central Scotland and at smaller stations on the North Berwick Line and Edinburgh to Bathgate Line. In February 2005, when installations at Dalgety Bay and Kirkcaldy were announced, ScotRail stated that more than one million tickets had been issued from Ticket XPress machines on its network since the installation programme began a year earlier. After ScotRail, the next large-scale adopters of Ticket XPress machines were South Eastern Trains, they submitted a request for tender in February 2004, six months the first four machines were installed on their network: two each at Beckenham Junction and Eltham. The programme was expected to be complete in March 2005.
The Oyster card is a form of electronic ticket used on public transport in Greater London in the United Kingdom. It is promoted by Transport for London and is valid on travel modes across London including London Underground, London Buses, the Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, some river boat services, most National Rail services within the London fare zones. Since its introduction in June 2003, more than 86 million cards have been used. A standard Oyster card is a blue credit-card-sized stored-value contactless smartcard that can hold single tickets, period tickets and travel permits, which must be added to the card before travel. Passengers touch it on an electronic reader when entering and leaving the transport system in order to validate it or deduct funds. Cards may be "topped-up" by recurring payment authority, by online purchase, at credit card terminals or by cash, the last two methods at stations or ticket offices; the card is designed to reduce the number of transactions at ticket offices and the number of paper tickets.
Usage is encouraged by offering cheaper fares than with cash though the acceptance of cash is being phased out. On London buses, cash is no longer accepted; the card was first issued to the public on 30 June 2003, with a limited range of features and there continues to be a phased introduction of further functions. By June 2012, over 43 million Oyster cards had been issued and more than 80% of all journeys on public transport in London were made using the card. Since 2014, the use of Oyster cards has been supplemented by contactless credit and debit cards as part of TfL's "Future Ticketing Programme". TfL was the first public transport provider in the world to accept payment by contactless bank cards, the widespread adoption of contactless in London has been credited to this. TfL is now one of Europe's largest contactless merchants, with around 1 in 10 contactless transactions in the UK taking place on the TfL network; the Oyster card was set up under a Private Finance Initiative contract between Transport for London and TranSys, a consortium of suppliers that included EDS and Cubic Transportation Systems and Fujitsu and WS Atkins.
The £100 million contract was signed in 1998 for a term of 17 years until 2015 at a total cost of £1.1 billion. In August 2008, TfL decided to exercise a break option in the contract to terminate it in 2010, five years early; this followed a number of technical failures. TfL stated. In November 2008 a new contract was announced between TfL and Cubic and EDS for two of the original consortium shareholders to run the system from 2010 until 2013; the Oyster name was agreed on after a lengthy period of research managed by TranSys and agreed by TfL. Two other names were considered and "Oyster" was chosen as a fresh approach, not directly linked to transport, ticketing or London. Other proposed names were "Pulse" and "Gem". According to Andrew McCrum, now of Appella brand name consultants, brought in to find a name by Saatchi and Saatchi Design, "Oyster was conceived... because of the metaphorical implications of security and value in the hard bivalve shell and the concealed pearl. Its associations with London through Thames estuary oyster beds and the major relevance of the popular idiom "the world is your oyster" were significant factors in its selection" The intellectual property rights to the Oyster brand belonged to TranSys.
Following the renegotiation of the operating contract in 2008, TfL sought to retain the right to use the Oyster brand after the termination of its partnership with Transys acquiring the rights to the brand in 2010 at a cost of £1 million. The Oyster card has a claimed proximity range of about 80 mm; the card operates as a RFID system and is compatible with ISO/IEC 14443 types A and B. Oyster readers can read other types of cards including Cubic Transportation Systems' Go cards. From its inception until January 2010, Oyster cards were based on NXP/Philips' MIFARE Classic 1k chips provided by Giesecke & Devrient and SchlumbergerSema. All new Oyster cards have used MIFARE DESFire EV1 chips since December 2009. From February 2010, MIFARE Classic-based Oyster cards were no longer issued. MIFARE DESFire cards are now used as transport smartcards. MIFARE Classic chips, on which the original Oyster card was based, are hard-wired logic smartcards, meaning that they have limited computing power designed for a specific task.
The MIFARE DESFire chips used on the new Oyster card are CPUs with much more sophisticated security features and more complex computation power. They are activated only when they are in an electromagnetic field compatible with ISO/IEC 14443 type A, provided by Oyster readers; the readers read information from the cards, calculate whether to allow travel, assess any fare payable and write back information to the card. Some basic information about the MIFARE Classic or MIFARE DESFire chip can be read by any ISO/IEC 14443 type A compatible reader, but Oyster-specific information cannot be read without access to the encryption used for the Oyster system. While it has been suggested that a good reader could read personal details from a distance, there has been no evidence of anyone being able to decrypt Oyster information. By design the cards do not carry any personal information. Aluminium shielding has been suggested to prevent any personal data from being read. Oyster uses a distributed settlement framework.
All transactions are settled between the reader alone. Readers transmit the transactions to the back office in batches but there is no need for this to be done in real time. T
London Overground is a suburban rail network serving London and its environs. Established in 2007 to take over Silverlink Metro routes, it now serves a large part of the city as well as the home county of Hertfordshire, with 112 stations on nine different routes, it is complementary to the London Underground. The Overground forms part of the United Kingdom's National Rail network but it is under the concession control and branding of Transport for London. Operation has been contracted to Arriva Rail London since 2016. TfL assigned orange as a mode-specific colour for the Overground in branding and publicity including the roundel, on the Tube map and stations. Rail services in Great Britain are run under franchises operated by private train operating companies, marketed together as National Rail; the concept of developing a network of orbital services around London goes back to the independently produced Ringrail proposals in the early 1970s. Some of these were evaluated in the London Rail Study of 1974 and Barren suggested consideration of a North London Network of orbital services, based on a suggestion by the Ringrail Group, which involved using many existing rail routes, rather than new construction suggested in earlier drafts of the Ringrail Plan.
The proposal from Barren was for several overlapping services using the North London line at 20-minute intervals. The suggested routes followed the original North London line service from Broad Street to Richmond, new services from Barking to Clapham Junction, a third service from Ealing Broadway to North Woolwich. However, the continuing antipathy to the railways from the Wilson government, along with the lack of interest in minor local train services by British Rail's management, meant that few of these initiatives were carried forward. In 1979, the Greater London Council decided to sponsor an improved service from Camden Road, on the North London line, to North Woolwich, opening up a freight-only line between Dalston and Stratford and linking it to an improved Stratford – North Woolwich service; this was given the marketing name'Cross Town Link-Line', operated with basic 2-car diesel multiple units. The next initiative came from the GLC in 1984, when the government supported the Broadgate development that would entail the demolition of Broad Street station.
The closure process was convoluted because of problems in making alternative arrangements for the North London line, the remaining services operating from Watford Junction to the City. These ran to and from Liverpool Street via a new section of track, the Graham Road Curve; the new Richmond to North Woolwich service settled down, but British Rail made a serious management error in replacing the existing 3-car Class 501 electric trains with newer but shorter 2-car Class 416 electric trains, which became overcrowded. In 1988, by reorganising and reducing services on the Great Northern routes from Moorgate, about 18 modern Class 313 dual-voltage electric trains were transferred to operate the North London and Watford services, from both Euston and Liverpool Street. Several voluntary sector groups, the Railway Development Society Railfuture, Transport 2000's London groups, the Capital Transport Campaign, launched a series of leaflets and briefings promoting a concept called Outer Circle; this name had once been used for a semi-circular service from Broad Street to Mansion House, which ceased during World War I.
The pamphlets and briefings, first issued in 1997 suggested a route from Clapham Junction to the Greenwich Peninsula, intended to improve access from south London to the Millennium Dome. However, this was thwarted by architect Richard Rogers who considered that a railway route on a viaduct could cause "community severance", so the Victorian brick viaduct was demolished. Nothing further happened to develop this network until after the new Greater London Authority was launched in 2000, but the lobbying discreetly continued, with a series of short briefings published by one RDS member based in North London. Mayoral and GLA candidates were approached to discuss the viability of the Outer Circle concept; the principle was supported and was adopted into the first Mayor's Transport Plan, published in 2001. Meanwhile, a pilot scheme was launched in 2003 to bring several National Rail local services in South London operated by Connex South Eastern and South West Trains under the ON – Overground Network brand.
TfL introduced consistent information displays, station signage and maps on the selected routes in South London. Although this pilot was an exercise in branding, some service improvements were introduced, it was the first instance of the newly created TfL having a visible influence over National Rail services; the pilot scheme was dropped. In January 2004 the Department for Transport announced a review of the rail industry in Great Britain; as part of that review, TfL proposed a "London Regional Rail Authority" to give TfL regulatory powers over rail services in and around Greater London. A result of this consultation was agreement by the Secretary of State for Transport, Alistair Darling, to transfer the Silverlink Metro services from DfT to TfL control. Silverlink had two areas of operation: Silverlink County regional services from Euston to Northampton, St Albans Abbey and Bedford; when the franchise was split up in 2007, County services were taken over by the London Midland franchise, the Metro services came under TfL control.
TfL decided to let this franchise as a management contract, with TfL taking the re
2010 United Kingdom general election
The 2010 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 6 May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters entitled to vote to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority; the Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, won the largest number of votes and seats, but still fell 20 seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons; this was only the second general election since the Second World War to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 1974 election. Unlike in 1974, the potential for a hung parliament had this time been considered and predicted, both the country and politicians were better prepared for the constitutional process that would follow such a result; the coalition government, subsequently formed was the first coalition in British history to eventuate directly from an election outcome.
The hung parliament came about in spite of the Conservatives managing both a higher vote total and higher share of the vote than the previous Labour government had done in 2005, when it secured a comfortable majority. Coalition talks began between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, lasted for five days. There was an aborted attempt to put together a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition. To facilitate this, Gordon Brown announced on the evening of Monday 10 May that he would resign as Leader of the Labour Party. Realising that a deal with the Conservatives was within reach, the next day on Tuesday 11 May, Brown announced his resignation as Prime Minister, marking the end of 13 years of Labour government; this was accepted by Queen Elizabeth II, who invited David Cameron to form a government in her name and become Prime Minister. Just after midnight on 12 May, the Liberal Democrats emerged from a meeting of their Parliamentary party and Federal Executive to announce that the coalition deal had been "approved overwhelmingly", sealing a coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
None of the three main party leaders had led a general election campaign, a situation which had not occurred since the 1979 election. During the campaign, the three main party leaders engaged in a series of televised debates, the first such debates in a UK general election campaign; the Liberal Democrats achieved a breakthrough in opinion polls after the first debate, in which their leader Nick Clegg was seen as the strongest performer. Nonetheless, on polling day their share of the vote increased by only 1% over the previous general election, they suffered a net loss of five seats; this was still the Liberal Democrats' largest popular vote since the party's creation in 1988, they found themselves in a pivotal role in the formation of the new government. The share of votes for parties other than Labour or the Conservatives was 35%, the largest since the 1918 general election. In terms of votes it was the most "three-cornered" election since 1923, in terms of seats since 1929; the Green Party of England and Wales won its first seat in the House of Commons, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland gained its first elected member.
The general election saw a 5.1% national swing from Labour to the Conservatives, the third-largest since 1945. The result in one constituency, Oldham East and Saddleworth, was subsequently declared void on petition because of illegal practices during the campaign, the first such instance since 1910; the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, went to Buckingham Palace on 6 April and asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 12 April, confirming in a live press conference in Downing Street, as had long been speculated, that the election would be held on 6 May, five years since the previous election on 5 May 2005. The election took place on 6 May in 649 constituencies across the United Kingdom, under the first-past-the-post system, for seats in the House of Commons. Voting in the Thirsk and Malton constituency was postponed for three weeks because of the death of a candidate; the governing Labour Party had campaigned to secure a fourth consecutive term in office and to restore support lost since 2001. The Conservative Party sought to gain a dominant position in British politics after losses in the 1990s, to replace Labour as the governing party.
The Liberal Democrats hoped to make gains from both sides and hoped to hold the balance of power in a hung parliament. Since the televised debates between the three leaders, their poll ratings had risen to the point where many considered the possibility of a Liberal Democrat role in Government. Polls just before election day saw a slight swing from the Liberal Democrats back to Labour and Conservatives, with the majority of final polls falling within one point of Conservatives 36%, Labour 29%, Liberal Democrats 23%. However, record numbers of undecided voters raised uncertainty about the outcome; the Scottish National Party, encouraged by their victory in the 2007 Scottish parliament elections, set itself a target of 20 MPs and was hoping to find itself holding a balance of power. Plaid Cymru sought gains in Wales. Smaller parties which had had successes at local elections and the 2009 European elections looked to extend their representation to seats in the House of Commons; the Democratic Unionist Party looked to maintain, if not extend, its number of seats, having been the fourth largest party in the House of Commons.
The key dates were: This election had an unusually high number of MPs choosing not to seek re-election with
Eastern Counties Railway
The Eastern Counties Railway was an English railway company incorporated in 1836 intended to link London with Ipswich via Colchester, extend to Norwich and Yarmouth. Construction began in 1837 on the first nine miles at the London end. Construction was beset by engineering and other problems; as a result, the project was truncated at Colchester in 1843 but through a series of acquisitions and opening of other lines, the ECR became the largest of the East Anglian railways. In 1862 ECR was merged with a number of other companies to form the Great Eastern Railway. In 1835 a surveyor called Henry Sayer presented a plan for a new railway from London to York via Cambridge to London solicitors Dimes & Boyman. Together with John Clinton Robertson, to become the first secretary of the ECR and engineers John Braithwaite it was concluded that this scheme was too optimistic and a scheme from London to Norwich via Colchester and Ipswich would be more viable. A tour of the key towns on the route followed where considerable opposition from landowners, from sections of the press and members of the public was encountered.
Despite this the prospectus of the Grand Eastern Counties Railway was first prepared in 1834 by John Braithwaite. The bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 19 February 1836, after a stormy passage, it was authorised by an Act of Parliament on 4 July 1836. Construction of the line began in late March 1837 and progress east of Stratford was easy as the land was arable. Indeed, a good number of windmills had to be demolished in order to get the railway built. West of Stratford the line had to cross the unstable Bow Marshes and after that, the built-up nature of the area meant that the railway had to be built on expensive viaducts; the two-track railway opened on 20 June 1839 from a temporary terminus at Devonshire Street in Mile End, Middlesex, as far as Romford in Essex. On opening day, two trains topped and tailed by locomotives proceeded along the line watched by crowds of people. Guests of the company enjoyed a sumptuous banquet at Romford enlivened by the sound of cannon and the band of the Coldstream Guards.
The strain of building the initial line and continuing disputes with landowners continued to take its toll on the company's finances. ECR backers in Norfolk and Suffolk were demanding work start in their area and the company was forced to go to Parliament to increase its capital, although this move was rejected. In 1839 shareholders made a call for £3 per share should be made although this was reduced to £2 per share in January 1840 which released enough money for the ECR to continue construction. On 1 July 1840 the ECR opened an extension at the London end to its permanent terminus at Shoreditch and at the country end to Brentwood; the line between Stratford and Shoreditch was, from 15 September 1840, used by trains of the Northern and Eastern Railway whose line to Broxbourne opened although at first the N&ER trains were not permitted to call at Stratford. By 1840 it was clear; this stretch included 64 bridges or viaducts in addition to numerous culverts and cuttings. A successful application for more capital was made to parliament and work continued.
The winter of 1841 proved wet and delayed work further. On 25 February 1843, a special inspection train left Shoreditch for Colchester. However, the train was stopped at Brentwood as a timber viaduct at Mountnessing had subsided and it was unsafe to continue. On 7 March 1843 goods trains started operation followed by the commencement of passenger services on 29 March; the costs were as follows: The line ran to Colchester, a distance of 51 miles to Shoreditch station. In 1843 the ECR directors were approached with a proposal to build a line from Stratford to the River Thames with the intention of sending out agricultural produce by rail with coal forming the bulk of the traffic the other way. A bill became before Parliament sponsored by the Eastern Counties, Stratford & Thames Junction Railway Company and it was the ECR that built the line through to North Woolwich opening on 14 June 1847; as mentioned above the N&ER had built a line from Stratford – Broxbourne and shared the ECR Shoreditch terminus.
This railway had extended to Bishops Stortford in 1842 and Hertford East in 1843 and was in the process of extending its line towards Cambridge. Following on from negotiations in 1843, the ECR took over operation of the N&ER from 1 January 1844 paying rent and dividing the profits until this railway was acquired by the Great Eastern Railway in 1902. Following the acquisition of the N&ER the ECR concentrated on building the line towards Newport and on 4 June 1844, Parliament passed an act authorising the ECR to extend to Cambridge and Brandon in Norfolk where an end on connection with the Norfolk Railway would offer a through route to Norwich; this route opened on 29 July 1845. In 1845 the ECR was surveying towards Ardleigh with the intention of extending to Harwich although this scheme failed to get parliamentary backing. Late in 1845 George Hudson was invited by the ECR shareholders to become chairman and an upswing in the lines finances resulted. Hudson proposed various schemes designed to take the ECR towards York and Lincoln joining up with his North Midland Railway at South Milford.
One scheme that came to fruition was the line from Peterborough via March to Ely which opened on 14 January 184