Tuesday, 19 July 2011

How the media works. No 94

Do the genii behind Viz read Modern Railways?

Eye thinks we should be told!

Brown backs Bombardier

This from M'Duck...

Thought Eye readers might be interested to see this which has been circulated around Litchurch Lane:

Good to see London backing Derby.

UPDATE: This from Howard Wade...

Will Mike Brown's overt support for Derby extend to putting in a good word with his TfL chums working on the Crossrail fleet procurement?

Bobby flags a warning

This from Messrs Saxby and Farmer...

With so much attention devoted to the job losses at Derby caused by the importation of railway rolling stock, it behoves us to point out that employment is at risk at our former partner Messrs Westinghouse at Chippenham, which we now understand is known as Invensys.

This is because of the decision by the Metropolitan Railway to resignal its sub-surface lines in London with a signalling system from Bombardier.

Given the eximious performance of Messrs Westinghouse in resignalling the Victoria line, and how gratifying to see the late Queen so honoured, it seems perverse to import yet another novel signalling system, untried in the UK.

As Mr Douglas Hames, the Honourable Member for Chippehnam has remarked, 'When we have such exceptional engineering talent in our country that wins contracts abroad, some of us may wonder why we are not more successful at winning contracts at home'.

We remain sir, your obedient servants...

Derbygate - The rally.

This from M'Duck...

Please could you alert Eye readers to a rally in support of UK manufacturing jobs that is taking place on Saturday?

Be there or be square!

UPDATE: This from the BBC...

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition urging the government to reverse a decision to give a £1.4bn contract to a German train maker.

Good effort.

Virgin overthrows NR - shocker

It took Virgin Trains just 8 minutes to respond from a tweet by Tom Harris MP criticising their coffee.

That makes NR's famed Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit seem slow in comparison !

The Stripping of the Altars

This, from a decidedly stroppy, Captain Deltic...

According to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, at the launch of the GWML modernisation programme on 14 July:

‘This is another fantastic step on the journey of renaissance which the railway is taking.

'Nobody would have believed 20 years ago that we would be building new railway lines, refurbishing our rail infrastructure, electrifying hundreds of miles of additional track, seeing passenger numbers double and passenger satisfaction improving dramatically.

'This is literally a new age of the train in Britain and a very exciting one too’.

Er, 20 years ago, that's 1991.

So presumably our expectations would have been more-of-the-same based on the previous decade:

  • With 900 route miles electrified by 1991 we would have been expecting more routes under the wires in future.
  • With passenger miles up by a quarter to the highest levels since 1949 we would have been expecting more growth.
  • With Network SouthEast starting total route modernisation we would have expected more refurbishment.
  • In 1991 new trains were rolling out of York, Derby and Washwood Heath. Whither those centres of excellence now? (Or should that be 'wither'.)
  • The Crossrail Bill had just been submitted so we were expecting new lines and overcrowding in the South East to be addressed.
What we didn't expect was a dire recession, as a consequence of economic mismanagement.

What we didn't expect was a botched privatisation which multiplied the railway's subsidy fivefold.

What we didn't expect was a stop start rolling stock procurement that saw a period of 1064 days without a new train order and the current hiatus at 838 days and counting...

What we didn't expect was the Civil Service specifying a replacement for the HST

And we most certainly didn't expect McNulty to have to remind a once integrated industry to work together for the good of the passenger.

I'm inured to politicians claiming daft self-serving things, but we can't let them airbrush out the past in their attempt to turn a pig's ear into a brushed polyester purse.

So renaissance? Well, yes, so long as we don't forget that it followed some very dark, dark ages.