Friday, 6 February 2009

Free the platform 0

Interesting mutterings from our man in the 4'.

Perhaps best to avoid the Cross tomorrow.

There are whispers of a protest, timed to coincide with the arrival of a certain kettle.

Apparently the cranktocracy are fearful about NR's platform '0' plans and the lack of a bridge.

Should you see a 'shambles of gentlemen' sporting kagouls, clutching cameras, sarnies and thermost's, remember, you have been warned!

"Why do we just roll over and give in?"

The Fact Compiler has received a missive from Nigel Harris over at Rail (and stalwart of the Great Central).

Nigel writes...

Take a look at my blog today and look at the link to Snowdrift at Bleath Gill.

Where did this spirit go?

These men would have sneered in contempt (and rightly so) at the pathetic way in which four inches of snow stops us today, while they battled 40mph winds to clear 14 feet drifts.

If you'd have told these men that we would one day close thousands of schools because of what they would have regarded as a light dusting of snow, they'd have been dumbfounded. How poorly we honour their memory.

Should your organ feel inclined to point your readers my blog's way, then do feel free.....some IEP gossip there too.

Happy to do so Nigel. And Railway Eye looks forward to a link or two back...

Meanwhile this from You Tube to show how we used to do it.

View it and weep!

A question of manners

Railway Eye has received a note via Twitter.

Apparently uber-New-Labour blogger, Derek Draper, is following The Fact Compiler on Twitter!

This is both gratifying and highly embarrassing.

The Fact Compiler has changed his handset and lost his Twitter text update number.

As a consequence he hasn't posted to Twitter for yonks.

Does anyone in the blogsphere know how this social faux pas should be handled?

UPDATE: Alas - all is now clear.

Bowler tip to Iain Dale for explaining Draper's carpet bombing tactics.

We are not worthy!

***A big tip of The Fact Compiler's bowler to dyspozytor over at Behind the Water Tower for this***

Day of the dead

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
The railway industry official haruspex reports that next week there will be an announcement on the Zombie/Frankenstein/Camel Train (please add Dinosaur train. Ed).

What a chance for Gordon to strike a blow against protectionism and proudly declare: 'I'm all for British jobs for Japanese workers' if it saves the world from depre...oops, recession'.

Or he could let Lord Adonis announce: 'Project Deferred until we need new trains for the GWML electrification to be announced later this year when we have put Mark Lambirth back in his cage'..

Or the Treasury could kick it into the long grass (shurely 'invest in an alternative to air travel'. Ed).

Importance of Standards

For goodness sake.

What better evidence do you need for the dysfunctional state of the industry?

As any fule kno Standards are central to the safe, economic and effcient operation of the railway.

But when it comes to rolling stock it seems that every Tom, Dick and Peter is suddenly an expert.

Take the IEP.

The Fact Compiler prefers the term Frankenstein Train, Captain Deltic favours the Zombie Train, whilst Nigel Harris plumps for the Camel Class.

Johnny come lately, Peter Fox, has now decided that the IEP should be called 'The dinosaur'.

Enough! Come on RSSB do your job!

UPDATE: A diabolical reader suggest the IEP should be known as the Class 666...

Jobs for the Choys?

Telegrammed by The RSM
Presumably the recent farago over Gordon's promise of 'British Jobs for British Workers' hasn't escaped the notice of Crossrail.

With the CLRL executive team nicknamed the 'Hong Kong mafia', one of the plans for building Crossrail is to subcontract the tunnelling to the Chinese.

One piece of good news, it wouldn't be long before London was hungry for Crossrail 2...

Talk is cheap

Does anyone actually believe this cobblers?

North may get two high speed railway links

Does Hoon really take us for idiots?

Oi Geoff! Here's a top tip.

Stop the spin and start the work.

Mystic Halcrow

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
In February 1998, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Railway Division held a conference on Rail 2020.

A paper by a consultant from Halcrow Transmark concluded:

  1. It is likely that Government can stop any subsidy payments between 2010 and 2015
  2. At the broadest level, taking the total financial viewpoint of money in and money out of the Industry, it becomes break even around the year 2005.
So where did it all go wrong?

UPDATE: A Mr Dixon writes...

It looks like Halcrow have revised their "optimism bias" in recent years.

Let's hope they're wrong on this one as well.

Heads I win, tails you loose!

Good news for those who like to be dry shafted.

This from the Yorkshire Post:

A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) hinted yesterday that rail companies could press for the current arrangements to be altered so they are not forced to reduce fares.

No shit sherlock

NRES ahead of the game

DOS from Rugby writes...

This from NRES at 09:30 today:

Nothing like a bit of advance warning.

Gricing simulator

***An old one but well worth a visit***

RPI for December 08

The Fact Compiler is very grateful to an 'anonymous' reader who advises...

The latest RPI figure published (12 months to December 2008) was 0.9%.

Any number crunchers care to hazard a guess as to the size of the June fares increases?