Friday, 2 January 2009

TOC graveyard

Good news for anyone brave enough to bid when the East Coast Mainline franchise is re-let.

As National Express East Coast builds on the success of GNER (shurely heads to the same graveyard. Ed), the Eye understands that DafT policy wonks are already working up a new, improved, specification.

Welcome to the first seven year franchise with a break point after just two years.

Ministry of truth 2

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
ATOC's mea culpa also sought to assuage the righteous wrath of its hard pressed passengers by referring to 2008 investment in:

"More frequent on major routes and improved facilities from free broadband to extra commuter parking".

Since this non sequitur appeared in both the original and corrected versions of the press release, we can only assume that 'frequent' has become a noun.

Suggestions for dictionary definitions welcomed.

UPDATE: A reader offers the following as a definition of "frequent" = delays

A child is born

The Standard reports that for only the second time in history a child has been born on the Underground.

The birth took place at Kingsbury station on the Jubilee line.

Had it been on the Vic' both conception and birth could have taken place whilst waiting for the line's upgrade.

Ministry of truth

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
In its press release seeking to justify its members' swingeing fares increases ATOC claimed:

"Investment is the key to better services and train companies are continuing to invest huge sums – like the £4.5 billion on new trains over ten years.

"In 2008 train companies invested in:

  • £190 million on new trains for London Midland.
  • £150 million on refurbishing train fleets across the network."
If ATOC Chief Michael Roberts were Pinocchio, Eye calculates that his nose would now stretch halfway to the moon.

As any fule kno it is the Rolling Stock companies and their owning banks which actually invest in the trains.

All the TOCs do is pay the lease rentals which, unless DafT has anything to do with it, pay a return on the investment over a very long period of time.

But no doubt ATOC is only obeying Dr Mike Stalin's instructions to airbrush the ROSCOs out of railway history.