Friday, 15 May 2009

Metro Max

Following today's gala launch it would appear that Crossrail is to have a maximum operating speed of almost 187mph (300kph).

This from the RMT...

RMT said the project should be a public one in every sense, and should be the first step in the creation of a new-generation high-speed network that should also include a new spinal mainline linking London and Scotland.

At least overcrowding won't be a problem.

Passengers in the tunnelled section could just be sucked to their destinations.

Sparks RUS shows what we've lost

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Congratulations Network Rail on a truly excellent electrification RUS.

Perhaps one small quibble:

"Work is underway to improve knowledge of the dynamic interface between the pantograph and the contact wire. Simulation models will be used to better predict the pantograph to catenary dynamics in normal and perturbed states. The understanding can then be applied during the design stage to design out failure modes and also subsequently once OLE systems are in use to understand any performance issues. It will aid understanding about the use of multiple pantographs on a train which enable more flexibility in the use of the system. The developments will continue to be benchmarked against emerging evidence from elsewhere."

Question: What's the difference between Railway Privatisation and the Dark Ages?

Answer: Knowledge was retained during the Dark Ages.

Sadly this is basic stuff which British Rail Research had bottomed by the 1980s.

Now, thanks to John Major and Railtrack we are having to reinvent the wheel - or, at least, pantograph/OHLE dynamics.

What else has been lost? We don't know because we can't find it.

Dyspozytor over at Behind the Water Tower takes up the theme...

One little known Derby project that was killed in its infancy was the remote controlled self-propelled freight car. The idea was to make freight trains more truck-like, i.e. replacing ‘dumb’ goods wagons by motorised intelligent units.

Are there any pictures or footage of this is operation?

First Great Boo-Boo

Telegrammed by our Independent Expert
Radio4's 'You and Yours' consumer show ran an item today about FGW cutting back on restaurant cars.

Breathless reporter comes on 'live from the train'. (starts about 11:30 in)

But the station announcement, presumably dubbed in by an over excited editor, proclaims "Reading-Bramley-Basingstoke".

A travelling chef sausage-burger to the first Eyer who can recall the last time a restaurant car stopped at Bramley (pop. 3393).

UPDATE: This just in from an 'Anonymous' reader...

Travelling yesterday on one of our (formerly) great main lines I was told the only food left available to standard was ham or bacon.

Vegetarians are not protected by law but surely Jewish and Muslim passengers also have a right to eat on the move?

Duck Soup

A question for My Lord Adonis.

Why is catering on trains a 'commercial decision for train operators' when, following the Pilgrimage of Grice, catering provision at stations is now to be determined by a government minister?

Particularly as station catering is nothing to do with the franchised operators, being mostly in the hands of Select Service Partners.

Would the minister care to clarify?

UPDATE: This from Sir Humphrey Beeching...

The Treasury is particularly pleased with this unfunded commitment.

Pound Force

And in the interests of political balance...

A bowler tip to Don't Panic for this, via Guido...

Disgraceful obviously, but not nearly as disgraceful as hoovering up all that cash.

Justice Minister steps down

***Shahid Malik, hoon and justice minister, has resigned his ministerial position***