Saturday, 24 April 2010

Pointless signs - Capt Deltic's name card

With a Bowler tip to @Captain_Deltic...

For the non grease monkeys amongst you the large metal thing on the table is a Deltic piston.

Eye's new election correspondent

Mr Khan reports on Nick Clegg...


Arriva internal briefing on DB offer

Thursday 22 April 2010

Dear Colleague

Today it has been announced that Deutsche Bahn, the largest German public transport operator, has made an offer to buy Arriva at 775p per share. Over a period of weeks we have negotiated hard with Deutsche Bahn, and the Board is unanimous in recommending the offer to shareholders. The full announcement can be read at

In the mid 1990s Arriva took the decision to develop a pan-European business which would position the company well to benefit from the liberalisation of passenger transport markets. We are now in 12 countries and one of the leading private operators in most of those territories, helping passengers to make over 2.5 million journeys a day. Even though we are one of the leading private operators we still only have a tiny proportion of the market and therefore the potential for growth is significant.

The chief executive of Deutsche Bahn, Dr Ruediger Grube, also sees this opportunity, and the potential to build a strong international business. He and I both recognise the value of Arriva's senior management team and employees.

The plan is for Deutsche Bahn to build on Arriva's international platform and for Arriva's current management team to lead the enlarged group's regional and urban transportation business outside Germany.

Deutsche Bahn intends to ensure Arriva's continuity of top management, and high employee motivation. Its plans include maintaining our head office in Sunderland, under the existing management team, and keeping the Arriva brand.

For our shareholders who have invested in us and supported us over the years, this is an opportunity to receive a cash offer which fully recognises the current and future benefits of our strategy, and of the business we have built up.

For Arriva this is a great opportunity for our employees and management team to work with Deutsche Bahn and accelerate expansion in Europe, building on our leading position.

For our customers and passengers, it is business as usual and we look forward to continuing to serve them.

There are several stages to go through and conditions to be met before the offer can be implemented and the process is expected to take a period of some months. Our management team across all our divisions will be briefed over the next few days and will be in position to hold further briefings and start answering questions shortly. We will do our best to answer questions as they come up, though it may not be possible to provide an immediate and definitive answer for every question.

If you are asked questions by the media or other external stakeholders, please continue to refer them to Corporate Communications where they will be channelled to the most appropriate point.

David Martin, Chief Executive

NR's Great Western is no Great Western!

This just in from D1048...

Into the inbox thunders a missive from Network Rail, with the announcement of a thorough refurbishment for Isambard Kingdom Brunel's iconic Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash.

Welcome news.

But what's this comment from Route Director Chris Rayner?

It will be the most complex refurbishment work since the bridge was built”.


Given that NR is expecting to spend around £10m to 'strengthen, restore and repaint' the bridge over the next three years, it may certainly be the most expensive refurbishment in the bridge's 150-year history, but the most complex?

Just for the record, the Great Western Railway undertook a major refurbishment of the Royal Albert Bridge back in 1928, when the main girders supporting the 15 approach spans on both banks were completely replaced.

In an eerie foretaste of NR's proposed high-output 'factory train' model, the innovative GWR developed a special wagon to undertake the renewal work. This carried the new girders to site, supported the deck whilst swinging the old girders out and lifting new ones into place, before retreating again with the old girders for removal. A very good explanation of how it was done - with pictures - can be found here.

And what is more the whole process could be carried out - with manual labour - in just 3 1/2 hours, allowing an entire span to be replaced in a 5-hour Sunday morning possession. Certainly not three years!

Is this another case of today's railway having no corporate memory before 1993?

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

Or 2002 in the case of Network Rail.

Readers letters - First for Football

Dear Fact Compiler

I may be the youngest reader of Railway Eye!

This is Harry Cartwright (aged 13) of Wolverhampton and I have started a Facebook campaign to get the next member of the "Football Class" of First GBRf Class 66s named "Wolverhampton Wanderers".

I would be very grateful if you would encourage all readers of Railway Eye who have a Facebook account to join my group and encourage footy fan Director John Smith of First GBRf to name his next "Football Class" loco "Wolverhampton Wanderers".

I would like to get 100 members of my group by the final whistle after the Blackburn game tomorrow (Sat 24-Apr-10 16:50).

Thanks for your help.

Cheers Harry

Go on then - link here.