Thursday, 15 January 2009

You lucky people!

Telegrammed by the Archer
Heathrow gets a third runway

The roads get another £6bn

The railway gets….

...a new company to help consider the case for HS2 and further work to consider the case for further electrification

Is there no end to the bounteousness of this government?

It's off, it's on, it's off, it's on...

***The Conservatives will cancel the expansion of Heathrow if they win the next General Election, Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers said today.***

Meanwhile, on the real railway...

Telegrammed by our Independent Expert
Transport Secretary Geoff "Doom" today announced grandiose plans for a new "HS2" from Heathrow to Birmingham in his Commons statement giving the OK to Heathrow's third runway – and global warming meltdown.

Back in the real world of travelling to the West Midlands, Beardie's lieutenants are counting their blessings, as trains to and from Euston this week have been merely "late" rather than running as "buses" or not running at all.

But as a precaution, Virgin's canny PR people are givng away Chiltern Railways' Birmingham timetables in prominent displays alongside the Euston booking office.

Always hedge your bets, as Bernie Madoff used to say!

Feint praise

Good news for SWT passengers

Whilst DfT has prevented the TOC closing many ticket offices there may be no one left to staff them.

This just in from SWT...

...a reduction of 480 roles... 200 to leave the company

Nice touch SWT, slip this out whilst the media are busy with the Heathrow announcement!

DafT surrenders!

Good news for the Roscos.

Following the embarrassment of the Competition Commission pointing out that it was DafT's own franchising policy that made rolling stock expensive rather than monopolistic Roscos, the Department appears to have retreated into its Marsham Street bunker.

This defeatist written answer on the 18 Dec last year

Adrian Sanders (Deputy Chief Whips, Torbay, Liberal Democrat) Hansard source
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the economic downturn on rolling stock operating companies; and if he will make a statement.

Paul Clark (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport; Gillingham, Labour)
This is a business issue for the rolling stock leasing companies and is not for the Department for Transport to determine.

Perhaps if DafT had adopted this approach in the first place it wouldn't have jizzed several million quid of our money up the wall in initiating a pointless Coco investigation.

UPDATE: Captain Deltic snorts...

Several million??

More like £25 million minimum!

Heathrow Terminal 3

The interesting bits from DafT's announcement:

  • The creation of a new company - High Speed 2 - to help consider the case for new high speed rail services between London and Scotland and tasked initially with developing a proposal for an entirely new line between London and the West Midlands which could link to Heathrow and Crossrail through a new international interchange station.
  • Further work to consider the case for electrifying two of Britain busiest railway lines - Great Western and Midland Mainline - with decisions to be announced later in the year.
More to follow...

Greater Reichs Bahn

Despite earlier denials Deutsche Bahn have now confirmed that they are interested in Eurostsar.

This from Reuters...

'LCR, whose principal stakeholder is Britain's Department for Transport, is open to selling Eurostar UK Ltd. "We are aware of Deutsche Bahn's interests and would be interested in hearing their proposal," said a government spokesman.'

DB it will be remembered is still owned by the German government

Meanwhile the Labour government continues to oppose state ownership of the railways... unless of course the state doing the owning is German, or French, or indeed anyone as long as it isn't British.

Better Housekeeping

As SWT evidently need to save money The Fact Compiler has a suggestion.

Why not fire your media agency?

After all there is not much point in placing an ad on the Hamilton Advertiser website offering £8 SWT tickets to London.

That's probably kept one booking office open an extra hour.

UPDATE: Telegrammed by a geek...

Was that screen shot sent in by someone in Hamilton, or from someone living/working in the SWT area?

A lot of advertising is triggered not by the site but by where the user is located.

Your IP can be used to determine your location, and then appropriate advertising served.

It might not be a phuk-up at all.

Clever chaps these IT johnnies!

Train formation changes

Good house keeping or signs of a deepening recession?

You decide.

This from the BBC...

Brings back happy memories of NSE in the 1980s...