Friday, 10 September 2010

East Coast celebrates record breaking turnover

Is state owned East Coast becoming the rail equivalent of the Marie Celeste?

The company has only been nationalised for ten months and in that time there have been a flurry of departures through East Coast's revolving doors.

First there was the Engineering Director, gone!

Then the Commercial Director, gone!

Then the Head of Safety, gone!

Then the Director of Communications, gone!

And latest to join the exulted list is the Customer Services Director, now gone!

An impressive turnover of senior staff in such a short time to be sure.

What's more it would appear that the Operations Director is now "not returning calls"

Can it be long before the Captain is obliged to go down with the ship?

UPDATE: This from our international correspondent...

Is the East Coast's slimmed down management due to natural wastage, or was it the prospect of the 'Barbie-lino' that caused the rush to the lifeboats?

The Engineering Director would have had to maintain a train for which all the spares and manuals are held by Virgin West Coast.

The Commercial Director would have had to explain why the train was financially underperforming every other service on the route, because the high speed dash to Scotland is deprived of intermediate revenue and would have to compete head to head with Easyjet, which effectively caps the fare at low cost airline levels.

Head of Safety would have had to sign the Get our of Jail Card for introducing a one off into an otherwise simple cohesive fleet (no doubt with memories of how unstraightforward the hired-in NoL Eurostar sets were).

The Director of Communications would find himself justifying an East Coast Pendolino to Captain Deltic, whose derision for the whole thing shines out of his latest column like a lump of Polonium. Just dishing out the usual mix of free tickets and platitudes may not be enough.

The Customer Services Director would have had to deal with all the public correspondence (why do you make us travel in such a rattly train? What is that terrible pong coming from the loo? etc...).

And it cannot be a surprise that the Operations Director is, ahem, unavailable...since he would have to actually run the bloody thing...

UPDATE: This from Mallard...

You may be amused to know that East Coast have now banned access to Railway Eye from its IT network for being 'inappropriate'!

The railway equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "La la la la la - I can't hear you!"