Thursday, 26 June 2008

All Change at HSBC

***Both Peter Aldridge and Robert Marrill, Head of Customer Services and Operations at HSBC Rail have been seen shopping for new lawn mowers***

ScotRail is keen to talk to anyone at HSBC about funding for their nemesis trains.

PM to wave magic wand!

The Big Grin used yesterday's Prime Minister's Questions to hint that he has something revolutionary and exciting up his sleeve for the railway industry!

Norman Baker
(Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Transport; Lewes, Liberal Democrat)
As a Scottish MP, the Prime Minister will have noticed the strong success of the recently reopened railway between Stirling and Alloa, where passenger numbers are currently three times greater than the projected figure for 2011, and the reopened line to Ebbw Vale in Wales is similarly a success story. If reopening lines in Scotland and Wales makes such good economic sense, why has the Department for Transport ruled out, despite the strong social and environmental case, reopening lines in England, such as the line from Lewes to Uckfield?

Gordon Brown (Prime Minister; Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, Labour)
Last year, we said that we want to double the capacity of the existing network, which includes the whole of the United Kingdom. We have invited Network Rail to examine options for supporting further growth, which might include new lines and electrification. The hon. Gentleman will find that Network Rail and the Government are looking at those issues. I also hope that he acknowledges that we have committed £10 billion to increasing capacity over the next five years, which will result in the single biggest increase in capacity for a generation, 1,300 new carriages and funding for major projects in all parts of the country. We are honouring our commitment to the railways of this country, which is why more people are using the railways than at any time since the 1940s.

So the Government is committed to doubling the capacity of the network and has instructed Network Rail to look at options for further growth which, in the PM's words might include new lines and electrification.

If it doesn't include new lines and electrification then what precisely does the PM have in mind? Perhaps one of our Westminster readers could seek clarification....

Rosco update

The current turbulence in the world's financial markets has not left the Rolling Stock Leasing Companies unscathed.

With the price of capital soaring little new business is being written.

Earlier this month RBS managed to flog Angel Trains to a consortium led by Babcock and Brown for £3.6bn. The deal did nothing to restore market confidence in BB whose share price continued in free fall and is now worth 30% of its start of year value.

Meanwhile over at Porterbrook the world's 'Oldest Active Data Room' has received yet another spring clean as Banco Santander plays host to the latest bidder undertaking due diligence on the Derby based firm.

Only at HSBC does all appear quiet.

Indeed, so much so that MD Peter Aldridge is reported to be looking "very relaxed".

Should anyone see Peter purchasing a new lawn mower at B&Q please could they let the Fact Compiler know.