Monday, 15 September 2008


From our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Has the Fact Compiler gone native?

Rail Minister Tom Harris returned from his Centre Parcs holiday and posted the following on his blog.

"Yes, we enjoy holidays in Blighty, and have spent more holiday time here than in any other part of the world. But there were no altruistic or worthy motives behind our decision. As soon as the boys are old enough and Carolyn gets over her fear of flying (or allows me to sedate her for the journey), we’ll be long-hauling somewhere sunny."

So keen was The Fact Compiler to ingratiate himself with Harris' on his return, that he posted the first response to the above, without questioning why the allegedly 'modally agnostic' Minister needed to fly, long haul, to the sun.

What's wrong with travelling by rail to France, Italy or Spain - plenty of sun there and no need to sedate Mrs Harris!

(222 - The Chunnel was on fire at the time, but point taken. Ed)

Railway Garden Competition #10

The Fact Compiler has received the following entry from a Mr Rayner of Ambergate.

It shows a truly venerable railway garden.

As Mr Rayner explains: "The tree is probably 15+ years old", so it has probably survived because:

  • BR Civils were too busy being disaggregated
  • Railtrack was too busy wishing it was doing something else
  • and latterly NR is too busy with its face in the trough

Of particular interest are the two strengthening bars in the picture below. These must be a source of great comfort to users of the busy A6 which passes immediately beneath the bridge.

And see here the cooling dappled shade afforded to motorist and pedestrians alike traversing the Queen's highway.

Normally the The Fact Compiler would berate NR for having let this tree do significant damage to a mainline bridge that crosses a busy major road.

But perhaps NR has secret plans to construct their first totally carbon-neutral parkway station in the mighty boughs of this arboreal behemoth?

Perhaps not.

Number crunching #1

Nice work if you can get it

Go-Ahead increase in pre-tax profits - 19.1%

Increase in London Midland off peak fares - 15%

carries 30 per cent of the UK's rail passengers. Mostly on commuter routes - a captive market.