Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Scribble in haste, repent at leisure

Here's a blast from the past!

This leader column appeared in the Grauniad way back in 2006...

"British trains may be slow and expensive, but there was welcome news this week that at least one part of the country's rail industry is pulling far ahead of its European rivals - even if it is, in every sense of the word, a very small part.

"Hornby, the model maker whose OO gauge miniature trains have rattled through countless spare bedrooms and attics over the years, this week announced a seventh year of profits...

"But Hornby's main glory is still its trains, even if regular travellers on the less-than-reliable real thing may sometimes scratch their heads in wonder at the fact that anyone would want to recreate the drab, maddening world of South West Trains and Virgin Cross-Country once they are safely home."

Quite so!

But who on earth could have had such negative views of the 'drab and maddening world' of the privatised railway?

We can only hope that they never end up in an important policy role, advising a Transport Secretary for instance...

UPDATE: This from Mini-Me...

In its latest move towards complete authenticity, Hornby plc made a Network Rail-style loss of £500k in 2012.

In fairness, it blames poor sales of its Olympic themed merchandise rather than its trains. But, it has had huge problems getting its models manufactured in China (its main competitor, Bachmann, now owns the factory it was using) and has suffered numerous issues with steep price increases and long delays (sound familiar?).

Perhaps the 'very small part' referred to by your poacher-turned-gamekeeper was more accurate than he originally envisaged?