Monday, 16 March 2009

Lookalike X

Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel

The Parry People Mover goes from strength to shambles.

Regular Eye readers may recollect that the class 153 linking Stourbridge Jct and Town ceased operating last December to allow the introduction of the Pans People Mover.

Owing to technical difficulties (Dee-dee feeling unwell) the rail service had to be bustituted.


Despite further Peter Pan Mover trials last week it appears that class 153s are to return to the branch!

The following words of wisdom have been issued jointly by London Midland and subcontractor PPM operator Pre Metro Operations Ltd.

London Midland is re-introducing a train service to the Stourbridge Junction to Stourbridge Town branch from Sunday (March 15) in response to our passengers’ wishes. We have responded by bringing back the Class 153 diesel service whilst assisting the phasing-in of a new type of lightweight railcar in the coming weeks.

Lightweight sounds generous, try flyweight.

Undeterred the Purple People Eaters continue, at some length:

The Class 139 lightweight railcar type is highly innovative and as such its introduction is the first of its kind on the UK railway network, and innovations can take time to develop and implement. The first of the two new vehicles is at the depot at StourbridgeTown branch and is awaiting approval for passenger operation. However, London Midland is keen to offer an improved level of service to passengers as soon as possible and the bus replacements were only ever designed to be a short term measure.

We believe it is time to stop them and bring train operations back because of strong public feedback in favour of the rail service. In full agreement with all concerned, we have decided to run the diesel Class 153s as previously, and to phase in the lightweight Class 139s as soon as possible.

In short it looks like Network Rail is still unwilling to grant the Parry People Mover permission to operate.

Can it be long before Pinky and Perky Machines paraphrase the great Groucho and admit they "would not join any club that would accept them as a member"?

Angel for sale - again?

As Gordon seems happy to throw cash at bust banks perhaps its time to invest in something that actually retains residual value.

Perhaps a Rosco?

Not HSBC Rail of course, which has been on sale since God was a boy.

But Angel, whose owners Babcock and Brown are fast approaching the financial equivalent of the U bend.

If 'Angle' were to be taken "state-side" then at least Marsham Street would get some professional help setting up 'Diesels 'r' Us'.

Unlikely of course, as DafT is already packed with experts.

The same ones who presided over the glorious victory at the Competition Commission.

PS With thanks to Tree Bridge Watcher and The Master who spotted the previous deliberate mishtake...

Railway Eye quiz

Two industry titles are offering new subscribers a Free Mystery Gift Worth up to £30!

Eye readers are invited to guess the following:

Subscribing to which Rail title earns you a bottle of Hugo Boss aftershave?

And which Steam Railway magazine rewards new subscribers with an album from The Pussycat Dolls?

Answers on a postcard please to Brauer Media.

Eye readers of course get their vitriol for free.

It was the Sun that lost it

More good news from ATOC's thrusting new team.

Murdoch's Sun has usually proven a good friend to the railway.

Previous promotions with the Currant Bun have generated conversion rates of 150,000 to 200,000 transactions.


According to exasperated sources ATOC's latest 2FOR1 offer resulted in a mere 10,000 punters taking up the offer.

As this is much less than 10% of what was achieved in the past how have Roberts' Bright Eyed Boys justified the debacle?

Severe weather conditions affected rail services and dominated the news.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, cash strapped owner groups are looking to renegotiate their annual membership fees.

Barbarian at the Gates?

Whilst ATOC self immolates finally some good news from the Brothers!

Regular readers of the Eye will be aware that ATOC has been unable to update their enthusiast guidelines owing to anyone who knows anything about the railway industry being defenestrated by Michael Roberts' new team.

However, in an unlikely turn of events, it falls to the Transport Salaried Staff Association to come to the rescue of hard pressed gricers!

Rail union TSSA are to challenge the ruling by National Express to ban train-spotters from their stations on the East Coast line.

Union general secretary Gerry Doherty, said, "Sir John Betjeman will be turning in his grave at this news. It means that the barbarians have finally taken over the industry. Only people with no sense of history would commit such an act of mindless vandalism."

The Fact Compiler feels that the term "barbarians" may be a little harsh.

Better Bowker's own words - "A villain forever more".

Virgin screwed

***Beardie Rail confirms falling passenger revenue***

UPDATE: This from Pendolino Warrior...

They may be screwed but they have finally got Internet Access working...

So now I can read how they are screwed!

Falling passenger numbers?

Tell me about it - under 10 in a 1st class quiet coach on the 07:30 from New Street to Euston last Friday.

Sshhh! It's a quiet coach - for a reason!

Vote Liberal...

***This isn't quite the way Grayfriar's Bobby ended.***