Sunday, 30 November 2008

Christmas is a time for giving

Should Wolmar stick to the day job?

Friday night saw the Railway Children Annual Ball at which the great man acted as celebrity auctioneer.

Despite valiant efforts Wolmar was faced with an industry that mostly sat on its hands whilst the bids were called.

Fortunately NRM nemesis, Richard Bowker, manfully stepped up to the crease and shelled out a whopping £18k for a signed Banksy print (pictured).

The well known 'graffiti artist' (don't you mean 'vandal'? Ed) had donated the print especially and specified all monies raised should go directly into Railway Children funds.

Even so the catalogue had to describe the lot as a "blue tank engine with a face" - for copyright reasons. A situation not unknown to our Heritage Railway friends, despite their doing so much to promote and develop the Thomas the Tanks Engine brand.

Perhaps Railway Eye shouldn't be too hard on Wolmar, as he gave his time for free.

Unlike many of those at the bash, who seemed freer with expense accounts at the bar than their own cash at the auction.


Courtesy of Guido

Sauce for the goose and all that...

The wrong trousers

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Railway Eye was delighted to receive the following in a press release from The Stonewood Group:

"Data Breeches A Thing Of The Past - Guaranteed
Stonewood Group, the World’s leading designer and manufacturer of accredited encrypted hard drives, has announced the launch of the first ever fully encrypted, fully portable family of products for today’s mobile workforce".

The Stonewood Group are to be congratulated for abolishing ITSO compliant keks before they've been invented.

Chapter of faults

The battle to be Terry Morgan's successor at Tube Lines has begun.

The Independent on Sunday is touting internal candidates Andrew Cleaves (commercial director ) and Steve Hurrell (finance chief).

Mind you the Sindie also touted Rob Holden for the Crossrail top job.

And yes, The Fact Compiler got it half wrong as well.

Long dark night of the soul

Are civil servants in other departments losing faith in DfT's oft disputed claim that there will be 1,300 new rail vehicles?

This parliamentary exchange from the 25th November:

Theresa Villiers (Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Transport; Chipping Barnet, Conservative) Hansard source
"To ask the Secretary of State for Transport of the 1,300 new carriages referred to in the 2007 Rail White Paper, how many will be allocated (a) to First Transpennine and (b) to First Capital Connect; and whether they will be in addition to the new Thameslink carriages."

Paul Clark
(PPS (Rt Hon Ed Balls, Secretary of State), Department for Children, Schools and Families; Gillingham, Labour)
"The HLOS Rolling Stock Plan published on 30 July 2008 shows 42 additional vehicles allocated to the First Transpennine Express franchise and 85 additional vehicles allocated to the First Capital Connect franchise. These carriages are not part of those being procured for the Thameslink upgrade."

Hmmm... "shows" doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement. How long before DafT explains the number away as a "rounding error"?