Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Andrew Haines to CAA

You can't beat a good railwayman.

This from the Department for Transport with a bowler tip to I work for First Great Western...

"The Secretary of State for Transport, Andrew Adonis, has appointed Andrew Haines as the Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority."

So now aviation depends on the railways!

Mike Brown (nee LUL) running Heathrow, Steve Peat (nee Tube Lines) at BAA's other aerodromes and now Andrew at the CAA.

You flyboys have no idea what's about to hit you...

Network Rail guilty of Water Boarding!

Drip, drip, drip - the sound of confidence draining away.

This from Nigel Hawkins over at

Efficiency levels within Network Rail remain unimpressive and its governance regime resembles that of the 1960s water boards.

Restoring confidence in NRs dire corporate governance will be the first job of
Rick Haythornthwaite, when he becomes Chairman in July.

Insiders expect board meetings to be stormy!

Level playing field?

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Now that Lord Adonis is responsible for all transport, and not just railways, can we expect him to embark on a seven day coach tour of the British Isles?

No double Richard Bowker would sell him a pass to the National Express Coach network?

Or is the charabanc just too declasse?

RMoL goes over the top

It's hot Carruthers, too damned hot.

Try to keep the men cool and away from Virgin PR events - you know how it unsettles them

Too late sir! I'm afraid Corporal Sim's gone over the top with the Bren...

"Formula 1 is a silly activity... there is no need whatever for any part of the railway industry to join their games."

Good show Carruthers, a mention in despatches for that man.

MR loses face?

Good to see that the grown-up railway media can also upset its readers.

The latest issue of Modern Railways contains a letter from a Taku Tamaki accusing the mag of jumping onto the 'protectionist bandwagon'.

So incencsed was he that he also cancelled his subscription.

At least Dr Tamaki practices what he preaches and lives in the UK.

Rather than, by way of example, somewhere like... Japan.

Which is of course one of the most protectionist domestic railway markets in the world.

Lipservice to level crossing safety?

Tomorrow is International Level Crossing Awareness Day.

No, nor did Eye.

Network Rail has started sending out press releases to remind people of the death toll from level crossing abuse:

European Country/Total number of persons killed by level-crossing accidents in 2008

Hungary 118
Germany 52
Czech Republic 43
Romania 42
Poland 40
France 38
Latvia 27
Austria 25
The Netherlands 18
Spain 17
Portugal 17
Slovakia 17
Great Britain 15

But still the national infrastructure operator and RSSB cannot be bothered to create a dedicated website promoting safe use of level crossings.

One that could command pan industry support, involving NR, RSSB, TOCs, Heritage Railways, DafT, the BTP, the Highways Agency, schools, community groups, etc...

Something along the lines of Operation Lifesaver in Canada and the US.

Is it stubbornness or a 'not invented here' syndrome that stops them doing this?

Fingers out chaps and get on with it.

Cooling the Tube

***Diamond Geezer on the myths of Cooling the Tube, with a bowler tip to Boriswatch***