Friday, 31 May 2013

London Bridge to Aberystwyth? Sort of...

Good to see that all this modernisation malarkey doesn't necessarily mean that our history gets scrapped.

This from the Beeb... 

Part of London's oldest railway station is set to be rebuilt in Aberystwyth as part of a £10m plan for a narrow gauge railway museum.

Sections of London Bridge station's roof have been given to Vale of Rheidol Railway which operates small steam trains for tourists in mid Wales.

London Bridge station, which opened in 1836 and is used by 55 million people, is undergoing a £6bn redevelopment. 

Network Rail has saved 16 columns, 14 beams and other elements of the roof.

Good effort NR. And well done Vale of Rheidol Railway for offering a home.

Somnambulism aboard the Civil Service Express

This from Battersea Bertie...

The 87 bus that runs from Westminster to SW London is not called the "civil service express" for nothing. 

Last night I espied a young female "bureaucrat" falling asleep in front of her very own copy of the TSC "Lessons from the Intercity West Coast rail franchise competition" report!

At least this shows a degree of consistency.

Officials asleep both before and after the event.

NRMM - bypass Whitehall, head to Bruxelles!

This from Sue La Manche...

Ne pas jeter le bébé avec l'eau du bain!

As the rhetoric over our relationship with Europe grow ever louder, some of the more enlightened (!) ministers are seizing the opportunity to stand tough and demand greater concessions from Brussels in support of the UK economy and UK businesses.

They would have you believe this is something new, yet the UK has historically been rather successful at securing such amendments. 

Take, for example, Directive 2011/88/EU, the so called Flexibility package of the Non Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) Directive which allows UK businesses to order a limited number of new diesel locomotives, and to re-engine old locomotives at the previous IIIa emissions limit instead of the otherwise mandatory IIIb standard.  

After much negotiation, the Directive was passed into European law in November 2011, triggering a three year period for orders to be placed.

Yet, rather that shout about the great concession we have secured, UK Government has just sat on its hands.  

Halfway through the extension period, the Directive is still not transposed into UK law, to the intense frustration of those businesses looking to invest in new or modified equipment, yet who cannot, in the UK, gain the necessary clearance for their plans.

And, whilst they wait, what is the best advice that Government can offer to industry?

To get approval from the Belgian Safety Authority!