Thursday, 4 September 2008


The Fact Compiler has been forwarded the following management communication to ticket office staff:

"For the benefit of Booking Hall staff and other helpful passers-by, if
the young lady returns, this envelope is in the Booking Hall in-tray
where it has been for the last week ready to be collected.

The in-tray is the one next to the white stick and the guide dog."

Who says the railway is not inclusive?

Gare de l'eau

There are still a number of fleets on the network without retention tanks.

As well as being a health risk to Pway workers and visually unpleasant in station environments there is a direct cost to Network Rail for cleaning up such effluent, estimated at £7.2m per year.

To address this Network Rail and ATOC jointly issued a consultation document today, proposing variable usage charges to recover these costs from TOCs.

The Fact Compiler wonders if this will come to be known as the Track Turd Tax?


Rumours of further changes to HSBC's rail division.

Having shot both the MD and Head of Customer Services the banking group is apparently looking to dispense with the Rosco's 'New Business Team'.

This is the team which only this July won £180m worth of business financing the new Siemens trains for Scotrail.

Looks like HSBC is supremely confident about DafT's promise of 1,300 new vehicles.

Clear as mud

Telegrammed by the Master
Virgin services out of Euston are just getting back to normal after being suspended (according to announcements) due to "a broken down freight train near Coventry"

- but I thought the Trent Valley had re-opened?

Yours, A confused punter...

Zontar at Barrow Hill

Railway Eye readers wishing to relive the golden moments of Zontar's visit to Barrow Hill's 'Rail Power 2008' event may find this of interest.

Those in a corporate environment may wish to turn the volume down and check the guv'nors not looking....


Oh dear. The ORR appears to be taking up where the old inflexible HSE left off.

Eight weeks ago in the Mountsorrell area of the Midland Main Line there was a pedestrian near miss on a crossing.

The crossing has been in continuous use for some 150 years.

The service pattern and line speed on this section remains the same as it was in the 1990s so the 'risk' today is as great as it was ten or twenty years ago.

This particular near miss involved a pedestrian who, in less politically correct times, might have been described as "doddery".

None the less the brave, risk averse, box fillers of the ORR decided that a prohibition notice must be slapped on the crossing with immediate effect.

Which leaves Network Rail with a problem as they are now obliged to find another right-of-way for those inconvenienced by ORR's knee jerk over-reaction.

In the normal course of events this would presumably involve the construction of a footbridge - at not inconsiderable expense.

Alas the crossing was no ordinary foot crossing it was in fact a Bridleway.

Leaving poor old NR to come up with an even more expensive design of footbridge capable of taking horse as well as foot traffic.

Meanwhile whilst one bit of ORR adds needlessly to the railway's costs another bit of the same organisation is demanding NR budget cuts of £3.3bn over the next five years.

As Asquith pointed out "Power without responsibility is the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages".

Time for Chris Bolt to rein in some of his more over zealous 'safety courtesans'?


Rail magazine claims it is best for news.

The Fact Compiler believes that Rail is selling itself short!

Judging by page 24 of the latest issue the mag can also help you save on your household budget.

A sharp eyed Railway Eye reader has pointed out that in the bottom left of the picture below (just beneath the sign saying "High visibility vests must be worn beyond this point") there is a gentleman having a quick 40 winks.

So now you know - short of a pillow, use your hi-vi.