Thursday, 5 June 2008

UXB at Bromley by Bow (more...)

***District line suspended whilst final works take place to defuse 2,000lb wartime German bomb. If all goes well restart of traffic planned for 08:00 tomorrow. If not it may be some considerable time later...***

Unrest at the NRM

The boys and girls at York tasked with safeguarding Britain's railway heritage are a mild mannered lot. They are more likely to mutter about a wrong livery than man the barricades in a labour dispute.

But such is no longer the case! For the custodians of the railway's history and guardians of our collective memory have voted to go on strike!

The National Railway Museum is insistent that it has made every effort to resolve the dispute and has even shown "flexibility on pensions and performance related pay".

The Head of Museum, Martin Earwicker, believes that the NRM's pay awards compare "very favourably with levels in the wider public sector". "We benchmark our pay rates and we know that staff are paid competitively" the NRM claimed.

Staff are less convinced. Having asked for confirmation about which sector their pay had been benchmarked against they were told "retail".

Putting aside the fact that retail could not possibly be considered public sector work they demanded examples of firms against whom their pay and conditions had been benchmarked.

One of the examples offered by Earwig and his flexible management was, errr... Kwik Save which went bust in 2007!

Only yesterday Rail Minister Tom Harris
published a consultation document on how to protect historically "significant railway artefacts".

The Fact Compiler is now more than a little concerned that if NRM management gets its way these important artefects will soon be curated by spotty students and Third Lifers with a bit of time on their hands. Either that or they'll be in the hands of the Administrators.

O Tempora O More!

NR disappointment at draft funding settlement

The Office of Rail Regulation has told NR to reduce its costs by 21% in its draft conclusion on the funding settlement for the railway to cover the period 2009-2014

NR had said it needed £29.5bn over the next five year control period but the ORR draft award is for £26.5 billion.

Iain Coucher, Chief Executive, said: “On the face of it, the proposed funding settlement is insufficient. I am extremely concerned that the funding settlement outlined today will put our plans to meet rising demand at risk."

Network Rail has promised to launch a vigorous lobbying campaign in support of its claim.

ORR will make its final determinations at the end of October.