Wednesday, 22 September 2010

HS2 - Nimbyism alive and well in the 'nasty' party!

This from Channel 4 News...

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond faces protesters who are campaigning against the new London to Birmingham high speed rail line route.

Channel 4 News Political Correspondent Cathy Newman has learnt that at least two ministers may resign if the route is not changed.

Welcome to the New Politics or, in old money, Nimbyism.

Forget the LibDems tearing the coalition government apart - clearly the Tories are more than competent enough to do this on their own.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, probably best to wait till the 20th October when the whole HS2 thing will be declared unaffordable.

So all in all a non-story.

Poetry corner - Clarence Spad resurgans!

This just in from Clarence Spad, Life President of the Young Railway Poets Society...

I am just back from being the Young Railway Poet in residence at the summer-long Belarus Fraternal Festival of Vertically Integrated Railways held at the famous freight yards in Minsk where I was most honoured to be asked to write a poem by Premier of Belarus, Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, no less

Lines on the proposal by Anatoly Siva, head of Belarusian Railways suggesting that Kazakhstan switch to common rail freight tariffs with Belarus and Russia.

'Oh mighty railways of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russia Federation
Bonds of steel, sinews of trade, muscles of cultural solidarity, veins of history, bones of grandeur
Why do you not have the same rail freight tariffs?'

I am told it translates very well in to Russian and even rhymes in part.

I have to admit I was a bit lonely at Minsk because UK national railways are, rightly, banned from the festival.

There was someone from LUL but whenever he talked about Boris everyone asked whether a miracle had taken place and Mr Yeltsin had risen from the dead and become Mayor of London.
Any attempt to say this was not the case was met with utter disbelief.

Anyway, you can imagine my surprise on returning to Reading Station to see that someone has written a poem in my name about the esteemed Doctor Mike Mitchell no longer having a job.

I am told this is incorrect information as a friend of Mark Hopwood who also knows everyone at First Group says that the Doctor was at a top table at the National Rail Awards last Thursday.

Surely this must mean he still has a job?

Lines on Dr Mike Not Getting The Sack

'It is the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain
When we remember brave men who saved their country
There is a man today in Whitehall doing the same
For our railway industry
But he is not the same as those pilots of yesteryear
Because he occasionally wears a beard.'

PS My close circle of friends on Reading Station are most concerned that we have not been consulted about Reading station redevelopment. It all seems to be rushed through without the thought of the consequences.

All the new platforms will be most confusing and the daily miracles, and sometimes source of sardonic amusement, that are Platforms 4 and 5 will disappear.

Railway Garden Competition - Leamington caped

This from BB...

Following the sabotaging of
Wolverhampton's Railway Garden entry, perhaps you can find space for this particular effort to make my small corner of the railway kingdom look rather less shabby?

The Fact Compiler is impressed - good effort!

Is there any news on the buddleia that once used to straddle the bridge abutments at Leamington Spa?

Pointless signs - Bristol Temple Meads

This from the Wicked Weaver...

Bristol Temple Meads still has space for yet more signs.

My colleague pointed out this recent addition, adorning the subway, which specifically states "hold handrails" (plural).

Here he struggles to comply.