Wednesday, 27 March 2013

New Franchising Policy - Just fancy that!

This joyous news via the Daily Telegraph...

Four of Britain’s major train operators have dropped a lawsuit against the Government to recover up to £40m of costs lost when the bidding competition for the Great Western rail franchise was scrapped earlier this year. 

Good news indeed!

Eye understands that a clearly emotional spokesman for Natarrivirstoach Group sobbed his thanks to tax and farepayers for their deep pockets (shurely... deep understanding? Ed).

Clutching what looked like a treble he continued "I luuurve thish indushtry, itsh great. But we couldn't, hic, have done it without our matesh in Marsham Schtreet."

"Don't worry boysh and girlsh theresh lotsh of non-execsh to go around" he concluded, as he relaxed horizontally at the back of his chauffeur driven motor.

The Treasury is said to be delighted.

Simon Godfrey RIP

Eye was deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Simon Godfrey, Customer Communications Manager at Northern Rail last Tuesday (19 March).

Simon was well known to friends and colleagues having worked in the industry for many years, firstly with Northern Spirit, then Arriva Trains Northern before joining Northern with the start of their franchise in 2004.

A true gentleman, with a kind heart, Simon had a genuine passion for understanding what customers want and need, turning railway jargon into something meaningful.  He was extremely creative and a sharpened wordsmith.  

Simon was also committed to engaging with young people.  In partnership with a local charity Simon developed ‘Transport Yourself’ a module for disadvantaged young people to learn about rail and rail travel, taking them out on trains, behind the scenes at stations and meeting the people that work in the industry. In Simon’s own words ‘…a hugely rewarding experience and a fantastic way to raise children’s aspirations and their awareness of the many and varied jobs available to them…after all, they are the workers of the future.

A member of the railway family, a membership of which he was very proud, Simon will be missed by many. He leaves a wife Jane and four children.

Colleagues at Northern have set up books of remembrance at their offices: Northern House, York; Aintree House, Leeds and Square One, Manchester.  Friends and colleagues of Simon past and present are welcome to pop in and share their happy memories and thoughts.  

For anyone who can’t get along but would like to pass a message onto Simon’s family, please email

Simon's funeral will take place at 14:30 on Thursday 4th April at St Olaves Church, Marygate, York. All are welcome.

A message to our friend South of the River...

Dot - dot - dot - dash!

"Blessent mon coeur d'une langueur monotone" 

Keep your pecker up mon brave!

Br Churchill 

New Franchising Policy - Advisory Panel

This from Claude Bottom... 

Is the Fact Compiler losing his touch?

Amongst yesterday's flurry of observations about the New Franchising Policy, not a word on the Rail Franchise Advisory Panel chaired by no less a figure than Richard Brown.

The same Richard Brown who is also chairman of Eurostar, which by happy coincidence is 60% state owned!

Good to see that the new Advisory Panel can offer first hand experience of integrated and nationalised railways, even if they are those of France and Belgium.

Beeching, a half century

A lot of stuff and nonsense across the nation's media about Beeching today.

Just remember InterCity, Freightliner and Merry-go-round.

Most of the rest can be laid at the door of the dreadful Ernest Marples and Barbara Castle.

However, for the dewy eyed amongst you...

Good tune!