Friday, 20 June 2008

Double Dutch

BASEL (Reuters) - Switzerland's national railway has told its workers to stop using their normal orange reflective vests after confused Dutch football fans started following them on to the tracks.

A railway spokesman said the changed strip had been prompted by an incident in the Swiss capital Berne when a group of Netherlands supporters followed a worker on to the lines after mistaking his uniform for their traditional orange dress.

"We have now given out yellow vests to all our staff who have to work on or cross the tracks in Basel, where the Dutch fans are now based," Oliver Tamas said on Friday.

Priced off the rails

Heritage Railways are suffering from rising fuel prices.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has threatened to reduce services as a growing number of its 400 volunteers cannot afford to travel long distances to help operate the 24-mile route between Pickering and Whitby.

Read the Yorkshire Post article here

Compass Rose

To paraphrase Holy Writ - "Can anything good come out of Porterbrook"?

Bucking the trend is Keith Rose, former Head of Safety at the ROSCO, who has become the new Chairman of the Railway Mission.

The Fact Compiler has a great fondness for the Railway Padres who have maintained a continuous pastoral presence, available to passengers and staff alike, on Britain's railways since 1881.

The mission's founding objective is to further “the moral and spiritual advancement of railway employees of all ages”. A role they continue today.

Keith is from the Evangelical tradition so, despite his elevation, those who meet him are advised not to try and kiss his ring.

Minister says sorry to bloody miserable Britons

Transport minister Tom Harris has apologised for asking why Britons are 'so bloody miserable'.

In his blog post titled 'Heaven knows we're miserable now', Mr Harris said:

"There are more two-car homes in Britain today than there are homes without a car at all. We live longer, eat healthier (if we choose), have better access to forms of entertainment never imagined a generation ago (satellite TV, DVD, computer games), the majority of us have fast access to the worldwide web, which we use to enable even more spending and for entertainment.

Crime is down.

" So why is everyone so bloody miserable?"

Mr Harris told BBC radio, " If you read the full article I hope you'll understand that what I'm trying to do is actually make a serious point.

" Even if I accept that phrase 'why is everyone so bloody miserable' - I wrote that in a humorous vein - I understand that if people want to take that as offensive, I apologise, that maybe it should have been phrased differently."

The Fact Compiler suspects the Rail Minister was thinking of rail passengers who continue to be bloody miserable ingrates despite the Government's investment of billions of pounds in the railways, 1,300 new vehicles, Crossrail, Thameslink, WCML upgrade, PPP... (cont p94...)

A victim of the WCRM?

Tom Harris provides an update on fans of his blog

"Today, as I was driving home up the M6, I received two calls from journalists. Apparently Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is a fan of my blog and has decided my comments about people being miserable are worthy of exploiting for party political reasons. So read the Mail tomorrow."

Driving Minister?