Mr R. Griffiths 44 Tredwith Road Bournemouth Dorset BHI 4 AC
Dear Mr Griffiths
Your employment situation
I write further to our meeting on 1 September and now enclose a copy of the letter I have sent to Chem-Pro. I will contact you as soon as I receive a reply.
As previously discussed, my advice is that you have a valid claim for constructive dismissal in the light of Chem-Pro’s conduct. In the event that it is not possible to negotiate this matter to a successful conclusion with Chem-Pro - i.e. leading to your reinstatement in a position that reflects your skills and experience - it would be open to you to bring proceedings before the Employment Tribunal with a view to securing compensation. My advice is that you would have excellent prospects of success with such a claim.
While writing, I enclose this firm’s client care letter in duplicate. Please read this through carefully and then sign, date, and return the enclosed duplicate.
Brian Smallwood Partner
c.c. Ronald Griffiths Enc.
1 Copy of letter to Chem-Pro
2 Client care letter in duplicate
The Railways in France
The first railway in France was opened between Andrezieux and St. Etienne in 1828, though steam traction was not introduced until 1832 on a new line from St. Etienne to Lyons.
During the first postwar decade of the 20th century, when railway service in most countries of Western Europe rose very slowly from its wartime disaster, France began electrifying its first main line from Paris through Lyon to the Mediterranean. Work started in 1946 and electric service from Paris to Lyon was inaugurated in 1952. The Paris-Lyon route is one of the most important commercial arteries in France connecting two large areas of population and industry. Since Paris lies in the centre of the country, the passengers who spend a day in Paris can reach any town the same evening.
In 1955 two French electric locomotives separately established a world record of 205.7 m.p.h. (331 km/h) in the course of tests, though at that time the running speed was limited in France to 87 m.p.h. (140 km/h). But 21 years later two French test trains exceeded 186 m.p.h. (300 km/h) and construction of the new railway laid out for 300 km/h running commenced. French trains were considered to be the fastest in Europe. In 1955 France held the Europe’s speed record of 325 km/h.
Post-war electrification increased traffic still further, and by the 1960s congestion was severe. The need for additional line capacity was very strong and 1966 serious study of a possible new route began. This line would not only relieve the existing route, but by taking advantage of French research into higher speeds, it would win traffic from air and road. In May 1967 France introduced its first super-train between Paris and Toulouse. It was the first step toward higher speeds in Europe.
Since Paris occupies the unique geographic position, it is the hub of all the main European railway lines. International express trains connect Paris with all European capitals. The Paris-Lyon line is expected to have 100 trains daily in each direction.
A new era in European passenger railway transport was opened in September 1981 when the first new French TGV (a high-speed train) went into service on a part of new Paris-Lyon line. The train had a design speed of 300 km/h. There were 13 daily trains in each direction between Paris and Lyon with five extra trains in Paris-Lyon direction on Fridays.
France’s TGV high-speed train has become a bench-mark for fast rail travel, setting the highest standards for intercity journeys and providing real competition for airlines. TGV Duplex is an outstanding train providing high levels of comfort for 516 passengers. Two-set formations of the original TGVs were used in the train. Any further lengthening of trains was considered impractical because of station platform constraints. Double-deck trains were already in widespread use on commuter routes in France.
The first experimental gas turbine train ran up to 147 mph. It was the experimental high-speed gas turbine set.
TGV001 was the first French train specifically designed to run at 186 mph (300 km/h), and it made 175 runs with a maximum of 317 km/h.
The project for a new line (known as Paris-Sud-Est) to relieve traffic on the Paris-Lyons section was initially based on using gas turbine trains similar to TGV001. Before the project received state approval, the oil crisis of 1973 caused a radical change of the plan, and gas turbine propulsion was abandoned in favour of electrification. The Paris-Sud-Est was a remarkable achievement for which the detailed planning and construction required only 10 years. It immediately attracted much new business. It was the forerunner of the high-speed railways that now extend northwards from Paris to the Channel Tunnel and southwest towards Brittany and the Atlantic Coast and which will reach the Mediterranean early this century.
The inauguration of the Channel Tunnel by Queen Elizabeth II and President Mitterand on May 6, 1994 marked the end of nearly two centuries of planning a link between England and France. A new terminal was built as a part of Waterloo station because there was no sufficient room at the old Victoria station where the Continental Expresses usually begin and end their journeys. Ashford station was rebuilt to provide two Channel Tunnel platforms.
Nowadays three 31-mile tunnels connect the terminal sites at Folkstone and Calais. There are also two parallel rail tunnels, each 25 ft. in diameter and carrying a single rail track. Between them there is the smaller service tunnel, all three tunnels being linked at intervals by cross passages.
The fleet of 31 Eurostar trains jointly owned by the British, French, and Belgian railways operates daytime passenger services. These trains connect London with Brussels and Paris and will later be joined by another seven, slightly different, British train-sets running as far away as Glasgow. With 18 coaches between the two 8,000 hp power cars, Eurostars travel at 186 mph on the French track, which gives journey times of 3 hours between London and Paris. Overnight services connecting Glasgow, Manchester, Plymouth and London with destinations in France, the Netherlands, and Germany started in 1996.
Eurotunnel has its own services – “The Shuttle” – four departures per hour. To avoid delays on arrival, road vehicles pass through both countries’ customs and immigration formalities on entering the terminal. Each train is ½ mile long, powered by a 7,500 hp locomotive at each end, with the driver at the front. Private cars travel in double-deck wagons while coaches and caravans use the single-deck wagons. All coaches are fully enclosed and air-conditioned, enabling passengers to remain with their vehicles during the 35-minute journey. Heavy lorries use semi-open wagons, their drivers travelling in a club car where they are provided with a meal.
Trains to Paris are popular enough and there are good connections at Lill Europe station with two other parts of France, bringing Avignon for example to about 7 hours from London. In winter a through train to ski resorts in the French Alps is used too. But customs, immigration and safety regulations mean that “Eurostar” cannot be part of the national networks of the countries and it is not easy to book tickets to places off the “Eurostar” network. In 1999, after five years’ operation “Eurostar” carried 6.6 million passengers annually.
The French railroads today are capable of coping with all the requirements of their economy. They constantly look ahead, renew their techniques and equipment. The French track is good and their main lines operate very well.