This from the Beeb...
Alstom loses Eurostar court case over German train deal
Friday, 29 October 2010
Telegrammed by International Correspondent
British Transport Police is taking control of 23 helicopters (plus three spares) to provide a new National Police Air Service.
This replaces the 33 machines presently owned by individual county forces and the Met.
Civil police wanting to deploy a helicopter will now have to ask nicely, instead of just splashing out £2000 an hour whenever they fancy.
G-NTWK, Network Rail's own very lovely Eurocopter AS355 is not included in the scheme, despite bearing a very Police like black and yellow livery.
The move puts an extra £51 million into the BTP annual budget – not to be sniffed at – but one hopes that BTP Public Affairs will be ready to assume ownership of the ever-rising number of complaints about helicopter noise, many of which are generated by police air operations. Between them, Plod and the air ambulance account for 60% of London helicopter traffic.
Previous BTP adventures in the air have not gone smoothly - a 2008 flirtation with miniature drone helicopters that "squirted" offenders with smart water was outlawed by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The chopper fleet gives the only national civil police force an interesting new line in Big Toys, sorry, an enhanced logistical capability.
Perhaps compensating for the loss of the erstwhile and much loved Cross Country Plod-Duff.
UPDATE: This from a Mr McAree...
Eye says: "The chopper fleet gives the only national civil police force an interesting new line in Big Toys, sorry, an enhanced logistical capability."
Sorry to be pedantic but there is another national civil police force out there. The Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
UPDATE: This from Our International Correspondent...
Civil Nuclear Constabulary – the Polonium Plod - may be every conspiracy theorist’s favourite spooky arm of the state, and there are 1000 of them costing £56 million a year, but even they do not claim, anywhere, to be a national civil force.
UPDATE: From a Mr Philip Sutton (former proprietor of Rail Express)
Forget the Cross Country 'Duff'...
Don't you remember this gem?
Good luck to my old press mates on Railway Magazine.
The Railway Magazine is a monthly title covering all aspects of the rail industry. It has been a resilient circulation performer in recent years, slightly growing its sale over the last decade to the current total of 34,715.
It has been bought by Lincolnshire-based Mortons Media Group – which publishes magazines such as Rail Express, Scootering, Heritage Railway and Towpath.
Altogether now: Robin Jones, Robin Jones riding through the glen. Robin Jones, Robin Jones with his band of men...
Finally it looks as if Network Rail has decided to act against the scourge of Railway Gardens!
This from the Shropshire Star...
A TEAM OF WI volunteers who have tended to a Shropshire railway garden for 20 years have been told to down tools – for health and safety reasons.
The 32 members of Bucknell WI have been told by Network Rail they must complete a risk assessment and obtain insurance before carrying out any more work on the garden at Bucknell Station, near Craven Arms.
Eye congratulates NR on its decisive action!
Disappointing though that the overused 'Elf'n'Safety was cited as a reason rather than Good Housekeeping.
This, unbelievably, from Simon Hoggart in the the Gruaniad!
Roberta (fetchingly played by Jenny Agutter in the film, and by Labour's junior transport spokesperson Maria Eagle in the modern version) would whip off her red pinny and go racing down the line to stop the 12.04 Newark to Lincoln flyer.
"Junior transport spokesperson"?
Maria is allegedly the Shadow Secretary of State.
She rose without trace.