Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Trying Scotsman

Further to the piece earlier this week on the 'Crying Scotsman' a missive reaches The Fact Compiler from the editor of Model Rail magazine.

Ben Jones, a man knows his scale models, commends The Flying Scotsman cuckoo clock to Railway Eye readers.

As Ben sagely points out "It moves".

Not much like the real thing then.

Come back Ceri all is forgiven

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
When it comes to erasing inconvenient historical truths the ATOC press office makes the airbrush artists of the Soviet Union look like rank amateurs.

Here a spokesman, quoted in today's FT, responds to the Great Slow Trains scandal:

"Punctuality had improved significantly to 90% plus after languishing around 80% a decade ago".

In the real world a decade is equivalent to 10 years.

Therefore 2008 minus 10 years takes us back to errr...1998.

According to the former SRA's ineffable National Rail Trends publication PPM in 1998/99 was 87.9%.

Just one year earlier (1997/98) PPM was actually a stonking 89.7%!

And, of course, in those dim and distant days the railway needed half the cash it soaks up today.

So is it the policy of the new brooms at ATOC to be 'economique avec la veritie'?

On the rocks

Now that the dust is settling following BoJo's shock announcement last week that TranSys' Oyster Card contract is to be terminated, perhaps it is time to ask a question or two.

When the contract with TranSys was originally signed Bob "the rebuilder" Kiley was the man in charge at TfL.

Despite expanding vast amounts of energy (and public money) on unsuccessful attempts to stop the PPP, little attention appears to have been paid to those areas that TfL did have direct control over - eg the TranSys contract.

So why was there no breakpoint written into the original contract?

Perhaps something that vodka Bob overlooked between visits to the offy?

Rail Power 2008

Much excitement amongst the Barrow Hill fraternity.

Word on the grapevine has it that alien rock legend 'Zontar' will be making a special guest appearance at the Hill's 'Rail Power 2008' event (22nd - 25th August).

Devotees of the surreal will have the opportunity to be pictured alongside Zontar as he cranks the gas turbine, in return for donations to the DPS fighting fund.

It promises to be an event that's out of this world...