Thursday, 18 June 2009

A calm oasis?

This sneaky image has come the Eye's way.

Presumably taken by someone at today's Javelin launch who snuck away to see Network Rail's restoration work at King's Cross.

This, apparently, is part of the eastern range, above what will be the first class lounge.

But what on earth are Gallagher brothers doing there?

Searching for a reason

Cross Country's new ad is on YouTube...


UPDATE: Captain Deltic asks on behalf of CaRT*:

Why no shot of an IC125 in the new Cross Country commercial?

*Campaign for Real Trains

Ford assaults Javelin - cleared for service

Congratulations to South Eastern for starting Javelin services six months early.

Whilst the official taster services won't commence until the 29th June, today saw a special run for hacks and others of the great and good.

The inaugural run from St Pancras to Ashford also saw the new class 395 fleet formally christened when the Chief Thumper, Roger Ford, undertook the traditional ceremony of "Assaulting the Interior Trim".

He pronounced himself satisfied.

Pity there are no power sockets though.

CORRECTION: This from the Major...

If The Fact Compiler hadn't been so busy elsewhere he might have noticed that the power sockets are between the seat by your knees.

Just check it's okay with the nice lady in the adjacent seat before plugging it in...

Irish News: The spirit of Dr B lives on in the Emerald Isle

Telegrammed by our man at Buggleskelly
Rail chiefs in the Emerald Isle have come up with a master plan to revive the flagging fortunes of their lightly used lines, including the famed Limerick Junction to Waterford route.

Iarnród Éireann seem determined to copy the worst ideas from Britain's Department for Transport and have proposed acquiring a hybrid railbus from Japan, or even a Parry People Mover, to cut the operating costs of the 54 mile line.

Wags are already scouring the land for an elastic band of suitable size.

According to Irish Rail's Spin O'Meister, Barry Kenny, the vehicle is one of a number of cost-cutting options on the route which sees only 54,000 passengers a year.

Seasoned observers of the Irish rail scene have better ideas.

Perhaps IE might actually promote the route or even provide a timetable that gives useful connections out of Limerick Junction. A Sunday service might also help.

To be fair Kenny appears to be doing his bit.

In May highly respected Irish Times hack Brian O'Connell travelled the line. Sadly he had to suffer a 61 minute wait for a connection at Limerick Junction.

With the best will in the world this sort of journey won't make for a compelling travel piece.

Of course this may be exactly what Irish Rail chiefs want.

Any increase in passenger numbers would scupper plans to close the line.

Which is why the case for a hybrid railcar appears so compelling.

With the option to run the railcar in road mode the line between Limerick Junction and Waterford could then be closed for 'essential maintenance' - permanently!

Irish News: IE backing Ahmadinejad

This from the Irish Independent last week...

Controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is campaigning to be re-elected on the plank that his country is advancing as rapidly as a train, only the train in question is Irish, almost as old as he is and until 2007 was delivering freight around the country.

There's a pun here somewhere about Gerrymandering but in the current climate probably best not to make it.

UPDATE: This from Andrew Grantham over at the Railway Gazette...

An Irish diesel?

That's nothing - look at the train on the top of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways website!

Beats an exported Pacer.

Ablo Espanol?

The Eye has received an email from a confused reader.

Dear Fact Compiler, he writes.

I live in Chester and access the internet via BT Broadband.

For the past couple of days the National Rail Enquiries website has been running adverts in Spanish.

And this one, today, is from US Government...

Can you tell me what's going on?

Well I'm afraid we can't but perhaps one of our more technically savvy readers can?