Tuesday, 31 March 2009

All change at Crossrail

This from NCE...

Doug Oakervee will step down from his role as Crossrail executive chairman today, but will not be in the office as he is fulfilling jury service commitments. London and Continental boss Rob Holden takes over tomorrow.

From Wednesday, Oakervee will take up his new post of Non-Executive Chairman.

And the Project Delivery Partner is...

Don't forget your Tiffin Box

It gets worse!

First on train catering hits the wall.

Now the station caterer of choice is accused of being over leveraged!

One piece of good news.

At least carriage seats won't need to get any bigger.

Parting gift

This from Thameslink Tommy...

"The surprise departure of Elaine Holt, our highly regarded MD, quickly circulated around the industry. Judging from the response, you were as shocked as we were.

"Of course First has form; Long, Haines, Forster... But it also looks after it's own. So despite yesterday's announcement Elaine remains in place till Friday.

"One of her final duties this week was to oversee the transfer of maintenance at Hornsey Depot from Bombardier to FCC's own in-house team.

"So even on her way out she leaves the TOC a better place. We shall miss her!"

The Fact Compiler is intrigued.

Fleet owner HSBC Rail would have needed to agree this change in the 365s' maintenance regime.

Is all not well between Montréal and Shanghai?


Using your skill and judgement spot the difference between these two quotes:

Iain Coucher: "Network Rail is ready to unleash the biggest expansion since the age of Brunel."

Andrew Lezala: "Brunel left his mark imprinted on our lives in numerous ways... the Herculean task that we are undertaking at Metronet might even be comparable."

Then in no more than 500 words explain why they received completely different treatment by the Evening Standard.

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

Actually Brunel didn't build a lot of railway when compared with the Stephensons and Locke. And five years before his death the total railway network amounted to only 6,000 miles - half today's route mileage.

Perhaps Iain Coucher should take George Hudson as his exemplar if he and his spinmeisters are trying to revive railway mania in the 21st Century ?

Jarvis news

Jarvis Pre Close Trading Statement

Operating costs in the 2009/2010 financial year will be reduced to reflect the lower demand for Rail and Plant services. It is expected that the associated restructuring will result in approximately 450 redundancies across various depots and locations.

Where did it all go wrong?

Too clever by half

Good news for the Department for Transport

This celebratory press release reaches The Fact Compiler from National Express East Coast:

TWELVE railway stations on the East Coast Main Line have been awarded a national security rating

The Secure Stations scheme is a Government-backed initiative aimed at improving personal security at railway stations.

National Express East Coast’s head of stations Anna Heathcote said: “Our customers should feel safe and secure at all times. This important accreditation is the result of a lot of hard work by our employees, in partnership with the transport police.

Good news indeed.

Especially for York and Darlington both winners of the award.

So with such high standards of security in evidence presumably My Lord Adonis and Dicky Bowker will now backtrack on their expensive, unnecessary and unpopular gating proposals?

Move over Ali Campbell

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Kevin Groves is little less than a God!!

Anyone who can persuade feared Standard Transport Corr Dick Murray that a miserly regulatory settlement which Network Rail nearly rejected is really a:

£35billion rail revolution

And splash it as a front page lead has to be in the running for PR Manager of the Year if not the Decade.

But what is this master persuader, who puts Ali Campbell in the shade, still doing at NR?

Any day now we expect an announcement that he has been called in by DafT to re-spin the 1300 vehicles disaster.

That will be a real challenge!

We are not amused

Telegrammed by our Independent Expert
Vanished Victoriana - The mystery deepens.

Regular Eye readers may recall how, just before Christmas, Network Rail bulldozers mysteriously blitzed the splendid Victorian buildings of north London's Primrose Hill station on the eve of a campaign by local residents to get it reopened.

What happened to the splendid Victorian ironwork, worth thousands in the railwayana or architectural salvage markets?

Was it flogged down the pub?

Is it adorning someone's back garden?

Now the current issue of the local paper, the Camden New Journal, reports that local MP "Big Frank" Dobson is getting involved.

Dobbo is seeking more information about the debacle. Who authorised the demolition? Who in Transport for London was consulted? Why were local people, ignored? Where has all the heritage gone?

It's not just Dobbo and the locals who are seeking answers.

The incoming Tory government have got NR and its unaccountable ways in their gunsights.

If someone doesn't fess up, this could be more a case for Inspector Knacker than Miss Marple.