Thursday, 28 May 2009

Scamalot - a lyrical reflection

As Scamalot claims yet more scalps the Eye has received this plaintive cry from a reader:

Here's my offering on Youtube about the MP expenses scandal.

If you like it please promote it to your chums.

Many thanks. Mickeytwonames

Well Mickey.

I don't think we like this scandal at all.


Not one bit.

Therefore over to you:

Remember to use your vote wisely on the 4th June.

London Bridge or Waverley?

Good news for Michelle Jenkins whose son was safely born at London Bridge station on the Jubilee line.

Of course now comes the difficult bit.

What to name the child - the first boy to be born on the Underground.

Perhaps we should turn to Richard Bowker for guidance?

Richard, it will be remembered, shared with the nation that he thought about naming his child 'Waverley', to celebrate NatEx winning the East Coast Franchise.

Then again...

Left and right hand non-synchronous

Does anyone remember Soap?

The story of the Campbells and the Tates.

The theme tune always signed off with the line: "confused, you will be...".

So what are we to make of these two stories that both appeared on broadsheet websites today?

This from the Gruaniad...

The rail industry is urging the government to run shorter trains in order to meet Britain's climate change obligations. Removing carriages outside rush hour would conserve energy and reinforce rail's reputation as one of the greenest modes of transport, says an industry manifesto published today.

But what's this?

In the Independent they ran with...

The number of main line trains is only about 5 per cent greater than it was in 1994 yet they are carrying 60 per cent more passengers, a rail industry strategy report said today. Planned additional carriages are "desperately needed" on a system likely to have to accommodate a doubling in passengers over the next 30 years, the report added.

Is anybody actually managing the message?

UPDATE: Perhaps we should ask Pete...

PassengerFocus - on another planet

Is this for real?

This from TransportXtra...

Virgin’s Pendolinos have received the worst rating of any long distance train in a Passenger Focus survey... However, another modern train, the Meridian fared best.

You've got to be kidding.

Better than an HST?


Meridians have the worst seat alignment of any train on the network.

Even in first class the seats appear to have been designed to minimise the view of the outside world.

And has anybody ever succeeded in making a call or keeping an internet connection open in the dreadful things.

They may thump and rattle but at least you can connect to the outside world on a Bendydildo.

Hope over experience

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
And still more from 'Not the 2014 show'...

'Transport planning will be much more effective if bodies such as Passenger Transport Executives and local authorities have clarity over more than five years. Ultimately, it will enable the industry to deliver what its customers want, and to do so more efficiently'.

Which was the aim of the 10 Year Transport Plan , now in its final, sadly unfulfilled, year.

Industries get into trouble when the last person retires who remembers the last great cock-up. And 2000 does seem a very long time ago.

Perhaps the authors of the new cultural revolution should read the manifesto of John Prescott's cultural revolution.

Mission accomplished

Regular Eye readers may recall that NR's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit waxed lyrical last week about cheap advanced tickets.

This update from PJ (for it is he)....

Just to say that my four cities, via four TOCs, 500-mile, £69 trip yesterday (Lord Adonis eat your heart out) went absolutely flawlessly.

I was back in time to watch the football, too.

Lookalike XVIII - The Good, the bad and the ugly

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
So veteran railway gunslinger Graham Eccles has indeed answered the call one more time, strapped on his six shooters and mosied in to West Coast City to help his old pardner Keith Ludeman.

Sounds like the plot of countless westerns.

Casting suggestions welcomed.

A little bit previous!

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
Yet more from Beyond 2014:

'The largest ever rail enhancement plan will be implemented in CP4',

One of the main features will be:

'introduction of Super Express trains, offering more seats on busy long distance routes'.

Routes plural?

By 2014?

The deal has still to reach financial close. And smart money is already on this being a replay of the Intercity 250 programme which bit the dust in the last recession.

By their stats shall you know them

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
According to the Executive Summary of Planning Ahead - the industry's plan for 2014 and beyond:

The rail industry is a success. There are even more passengers than in 1946, on a network half the size, and these passengers are increasingly satisfied with their travel experience.

Rail freight has grown by more than 60 per cent since 1995.

But as Roger Ford points out in the May Informed Sources having grown back to the tonne kilometres generated in 1989, non-coal freight has been on a plateau since the turn of the century.

And if freight hasn't grown in seven years of unprecedented economic stability when will it?

The Grey Fox returns?

Extraordinary rumours from London Midland

Apparently uber-operator and railwayman's railwayman, Graham Eccles, is to join the TOC as Deputy Chairman.

It's always a good idea to keep expert Southern knowledge close to hand...

South Central franchise update

This just in from Sussex Driver...

It would appear that the announcement about who has won the new South Central franchise is being delayed.

This from our staff brief this week:

"The Department for Transport (DfT) was originally due to announce the winning bidder for the South Central Franchise on 2 June. The announcement has been rescheduled but is still due in early June."

The industry awaits with anticipation - alas, a sentiment unlikely to be shared by the NatEx and NedRail bid teams.