Inside Track is a new podcast from Chiltern Railways. Chiltern Railways runs services from London Marylebone to Birmingham, Oxford, Aylesbury and Stratford-upon-Avon. This programme discusses questions from customers and gives insights into the company.
Episode 1 - Operations - airs on 13th November
Episode 2 - Infrastructure - airs on 20th November
Episode 3 - Engineering - airs on 4 December
Episode 4 - Ticketing - airs on 18 December
Episode 5 - Improvements - airs on 10 January 2020
Episode 6 - Working in the railway - will air at the end of January
Episode 6 - Working for Chiltern Railways
The last episode of Inside Track explores what it is like to work at Chiltern Railways and answers questions such as: 'what happens to employees when a franchise changes?' and 'what's it like to be a Train Driver?'.
Episode 5 - Improvements
Inside Track is back for the first podcast of 2020! This episode features George Copeland, Digital Train Programme Manager at Arriva UK Trains and Alan Riley, Customer Service Director at Chiltern Railways. This podcast features customer questions from across the Chiltern Railways route around the theme of improvements and we also go behind the scenes with Jenny Brown from Icomera.
Episode 4 - Ticketing
This episode features Paul Beddow, Head of Revenue and Alan Riley, Customer Services Director. The show features customer questions from across the Chiltern Railways route around the theme of ticketing. We also go behind the scenes with Kevin Costello, Train Manager at Chiltern Railways.
Find out more about Railcards - https://www.railcard.co.uk/
Episode 3 - Engineering
This episode features Phil Andrews, Interim Engineering Director and Alan Riley, Customer Services Director. The show answers your questions around engineering such as what are hybrid trains? We also go behind the scenes with the Train Presentation Manager, Denis O'Sullivan.
[00:00 - 2:51] We are introduced to Phil Andrews, Interim Engineering Director and Alan Riley explains that he's looking forward to this episode.
[2:51] - A customer asks: “Why do you believe that hybrid trains will be more environmentally friendly?”
[3:00] Phil explains what a hybrid train is and why it is better for the environment.
[4:53] - Alan explains that hybrid trains will also benefit people who live near the line.
[5:21] - A customer asks "why is the air con sometimes really cold and sometimes really nice?"
[5:26] - Phil explains how the air con and heating works on a train.
[9:43] - Alan asks Phil why the heating and air con struggled on the hottest day of the year.
[9:46] - Phil explains how the thermostats work and why it can put the system under pressure during hotter days.
[12:00] - A customer asks "how do trains work?"
[12:05] - Phil explains how trains work.
[15:38] - We hear a behind the scenes view with Denis O’Sullivan, Train Presentation Manager to find out some of the elements that go into keeping the trains clean.
[20:53] - Alan and Phil give their comments on the pride of Denis and his team to keep the trains clean.
[21:41] - A customer asks: "Are there toilets on all the trains?"
[21:47] - Alan explains that there are toilets on all the trains and also talks about improvements coming up to toilets at stations.
[23:10] - Phil explains that recently work has taken place on the trains that run predominantly between Aylesbury and Marylebone to make all the train toilets accessible.
[24:00] - A customer asks “how are trains built?
[24:02] - Phil explains how you would go about procuring and building a train.
[27:19] - A customer asks “what is the obsession with train spotting?".
[27:22] -Phil explains what train spotting is and where the numbers are on trains.
[28:00] - Alan talks about how he is a station spotter!
[29:22]- Phil explains that he often spots continuity errors on tv programmes and Alan confesses to doing the same.
Episode 2 - Infrastructure
Alan Riley, Customer Service Director and Martin Talbot, Head of Health, Safety, Security and the Environment answer customer questions on infrastructure for example:
-Why can't a train can’t go through flood water?
- What is Chiltern Railways doing about the theft of copper on the railway?
- How do you stop wildlife getting on the tracks?
Plus, we'll also be getting the Inside Track on Lost Property with Rehanna and Emyl.
[1:16] Martin explains more about his journey working in the railway and that why he loves it so much. [1:37] Emma asks Martin what he likes doing when he’s not working. [1:41] Martin explains that he has a passion for music, travelling and photography. [2:11] The first customer question is asked around why a train can’t go through flood water. [2:26] Martin explains the operational challenges this can present for a train and the signalling equipment. [4:36] The next customer question is asked about what Chiltern Railways is doing about the theft of copper on the railway. [4:49] Martin explains more about this issue and what has been done by Network Rail to help prevent this type of activity. [6:47] Alan explains what customers can do if they see anything suspicious. [7:29] The next customer question is asked about what is being done around global warning and the impact this has on the railway. [7.58] Martin explains about what is being done by Network Rail and also touches on what Chiltern is doing to improve the impact is has on the environment. [10:15] There is a behind the scenes look at lost property. [13:59] Alan explains that the team go above and beyond to reunite people with their lost property. [14:51] The next customer question is played asking how we prevent wildlife from coming on the track. [14:59] Martin explains that this is difficult and recalls some wildlife previously reported on the line. He speaks about how Network Rail work with farmers to keep animals like cows off the railway. [17:07] Martin emphasises that human trespass is a big problem. [18:07] Alan emphases that listeners can help by sharing with families etc the dangers of trespassing. [18:48] A question is asked about whether our railway infrastructure is out of date. [19:35] Martin talks about the investment that Chiltern has made over the years. [20:47] Alan explains about the improvements that Chiltern has made responding to needs. [22:56] The final question is asked about how a train stays on a track. [23:21] Martin explains that this is not magic and how a train actually stays on the track.
Episode 1 -Operations
Welcome to the first episode of Inside Track.
This week, Emma is joined by Dave Penney, MD of Chiltern Railways and Alan Riley, Customer Service Director of Chiltern Railways to answer your questions about Operations.
[1:04] - Emma asks Dave Penney why Chiltern Railways is doing a podcast. [1:32] - Dave explains what his proudest achievement has been since he has been MD. [1.59] - Dave explains why Chiltern Railways is not your usual train operator because of the investment it has put in over the years. [3:47] - Emma asks Dave Penney what made him decide to work in the railway and he explains that he has always wanted to work in the railway and loves the industry. [4.34] - Alan Riley explains that he is looking forward to taking part in all six podcasts. [5.35] - Dave Penney answers a customer question about why trains have different carriages and if it is reflective of the route or if it is random. [7.02] - Dave Penney apologises for recent problems with trains needing additional maintenance. [9:19] - Dave Penney answers a customer question about how trains are shuffled around the Network if there’s delays on the network. [11:10] - Alan Riley is asked about what his team do to plan for disruption. [12:15] - Dave Penney answers a customer question about how you construct a timetable. [14:49] - Alan Riley explains what impact events have on the timetable. [16:12] - Dave Penney answers a customer question about where train crew go if a train is cancelled due to a lack of train crew. [19:10] - An interview is played with Karen Hornby at Network Rail who explains more about how the organisation works with Train Operating Companies and the challenges they face. [23:00] - Dave Penney and Alan Riley comment on this interview particularly picking up on the importance of working in partnership with Network Rail. [25:00] - Dave Penney answers a customer question about the long term impact on fatalities and reinforces how difficult this is. [26:24] - Alan Riley talks about Samaritans Training and also about opening conversations with people. [27:42] - A customer asks why are the trains late and compares to space travel. Dave Penney discusses this question and also talks about performance of Chiltern services. [29:00] - A child from High Wycombe asks how you can stop a train with a Watermelon like on Thomas the Tank Engine. This is discussed by Dave Penney and Alan Riley and talk about how much children love the railway. [30:20] - Alan Riley explains that Chiltern Railways has run several services for children including a Christmas special and a Kids Coach.
Interesting and informative show into how a modern (UK) railway company is run. Honest reflection of the complexity, challenges and effort required a franchise requires. Sound production is excellent, subjects are interesting and I look forward to the show developing. Chiltern railway have taken a brave step to create a pod cast like this. Worth a dip.
An eye-opener on our railways!
Or maybe more accurately an ear opener... Trains are fundamental to my life, so I'm eager to find out exactly what actually goes on behind the scenes. Thanks Chiltern :)