Wednesday, 12 November 2008

He shoots they score

Is the Virgin media machine losing it's legendary PR prowess?

Only yesterday Railway Eye reported that a couple had been caught in most unfortunate circumstances aboard a Pendolino.

Today's media is full of scare stories about a major national shortage.

Surely Beardie Rail won't look this gift horse in the mouth.

Entente cordiale

An RMT press release announces that the brothers are off to France tomorrow.

The union has organised a Eurostar train to Paris so that members can demonstrate against the privatisation of Europe's rail networks.

The Fact Compiler assumes that Privs won't be valid on RMT's Eurostar either.

Silly money

Oh dear. Network Rail is at it again.

The Borderlands line connects Bidston to Wrexham, a distance of 27 miles.

Merseytravel and local user groups are keen to see the line electrified to link up Deeside with Liverpool.

Merseytravel consultants have costed the job at £66m.

Alas, Network Rail has quoted a price of £207m, to predictable local fury.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Merseytravel is well aware that the methodology used in the first two reports on this project were flawed.

They did not take into account everything that needed to considered.

The Fact Compiler can only assume that Merseytravel omitted to consider NR 'Bonus Trough Weighting'?

UPDATE: An 'anonymous' reader has contacted The Fact Compiler.

He writes:

"Oh dear - more factual inaccuracy and misplaced vitriol from Railway Eye - what a suprise!

"The things that Merseytravel missed that caused the price to increase were small things like:
  • The new stations required
  • The platform lengthenings needed
  • Getting up from behind the desk and basing a quote on on-site surveys
  • Updating increases in raw materials costs since three years ago (when the desktop study was done)
"A few small things then!"

The Fact Compiler hopes Merseytravel and WAG understands.

Prince Sardines

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
How long before Lord Adonis, the Prince of Daftness, realises that the complacent reassurances he is being given to read out by his civil serpents are in fact total bollocks?
For example on the 4th November he stated that his Department has "a very keen interest in ensuring that the 1300 vehicles in the High Level Output Specification are procured as rapidly as we practically can".

Oh how we all laughed!

In the case of Northern Rail, discussions on the 125 new DMUs (well that's what Captain Deltic's table claims) will not be concluded until some time in 2010!

Of course, it's all the Franchise owners' fault.

If Lockjaw, Wee Brian and Ludo were to go to Marsham Street to give their old mucker Dr Mike and the Prince of Daftness the same hard time their TOC MDs receive, then the message might start to get through.

But Eye can't see them biting the hand that so generously subsidises them.

Meanwhile TOC MDs will continue to take the flak from long suffering and overcrowded passengers.

Caveat Emptor

The Fact Compiler has received an invitation to subscribe to a new weekly industry briefing note.

Called XBriefing it promises, for the princely sum of £745, to "remove noise and allow higher productivity".

But what's this?

The 'emaciated' edition attached to the email did not quite deliver on the promise.

For instance an article on First Group's results appeared to be heavily dependent on the PLC's press release for content.

Furthermore the publication's editorial team are unnamed and appear to inhabit an accommodation address in SW1.

Alas, the Xbriefing "team" were out when Railway Eye called to discover the editors name.

The Fact Compiler will keep an open mind but suspects that he will continue to rely on Rail Business Intelligence and Rail Management for his on-line industry news and analysis.

Fishy goings on

Much angst in North Wales over a shortage of rolling stock on Aberystwyth to Birmingham services.

According to the Daily Post "peak hour services have been dubbed the “sardine express”, prompting Tory Mark Pritchard to send a tin of the fish to Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon to highlight the problems".

This is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! The Fact Compiler sincerely hopes it doesn't catch on.