Friday, 17 April 2009

Spot the difference with My Lord Adonis

An exciting new competition from the Eye!

Using your skill and judgement can you tell the biggest single difference between the following stations?

This from the Pilgrimage of Grice blog:

"Sheffield station is a real delight. It has been beautifully restored in recent years and has excellent retail and waiting facilities for passengers – open to a reasonable hour in the evening, unlike my recent experience at Southampton Central station."

Clue: One has barriers...

Two's company

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
So who are the lucky two?

Sources indicate that DafT has finished its deliberations and that just two now remain in the running for the South Central franchise.

Suppose we'll have to wait till the markets are informed on Monday... or buy the Sunday papers!

You and whose money?

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
According to a London Midland press release:

Train operator London Midland is investing £190m in a fleet of 37 Siemens Desiro Class 350/2 trains.

Funny, I thought some firm called Porterhouse or something owned those trains. Talk about biting the hand that funds you

And isn't that price a real blast from the past?

I can remember when you could buy a new Siemens EMU vehicle, give all the depot staff at Northampton a fish and chip supper and a taxi home and still have change from £1.3 million.

Aye, those were the days.

NX merger rumours

This from Transit...

NEG makes an impressive 70% gain as City rumours indicate a merger with Stagecoach is on the cards.

Expect the Competition Commission to be all over it like a rash.

Pilgrimage of Grice to end on Tory frontbench?

Telegrammed by Libby Fodder
Matthew Parris' piece in The Times yesterday on the Pilgrimage of Grice may be more telling than you realise.

It is rare for any transport minister to receive public plaudits and particularly unusual from these to come from someone as well plugged into the Westminster village as Parris.

As Parris pointed out, Adonis has a real passion for transport and genuinely loves the job. Who else would spend a week of their own time "on the cushions" actually meeting the great British public.

Adonis has impressed to date (apart of course from his peddling of the usual DafT deceits. Ed). And he numbers amongst his friends several key players on the opposition benches.

Indeed, in his previous role no less a figure than Tory Education spokesman Michael Gove said he'd happily keep him on under a Tory government!

Adonis has also been clever enough to avoid being drawn into the usual Westminster Punch and Judy show.

Of course he makes ritual attacks about how the Tories privatised the railways but even they now accept (the deranged Vulcan excepted) that Major's method of privatising BR was a disaster.

Clearly Adonis loves the job but could he survive a change of administration?

He already has form for crossing the House.

He started off as a LibDem before taking the new Labour shilling and once done it becomes habit forming - even Churchill managed to make a virtue of it.

Adonis is discreet about his aspirations but at the recent C4 Politics Awards he made it quite clear that he hoped his legacy would be bipartisan (or even tripartisan) support for high speed rail.

Were he to make the transition between administrations the benefits to the industry and transport as whole could be enormous. Allowing him to really develop a long term strategy.

It was Gordon Brown who made great play about producing a government of all the talents.

For Cameron it will be a necessity as we face the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

He could do worse than calling on Adonis.

A lone voice crying in the wilderness...

***Happy passenger on FGW train***

UPDATE: This from James D...

FGW do have their good side.

Their breakfasts are excellent.

You can never stay angry with someone who makes you Eggs Benedict.