Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Network Rail plays with political fire

We know that Number 10 is annoyed.

We know that tomorrow morning the Chief Executive of Network Rail is to give a presentation entitled:

"Meeting the rail capacity challenge - the case for new high speed lines."

Do we know what's in it? Possibly.

Have all the right people been invited? Maybe.

Has anyone a serious clue as to what's going on? Nobody!


What with it being the Silly Season and all, industry hacks have been inundated with calls from the 'mejia' desperate to know what tomorrow is all about.

Yet more woe!

Nobody seems to have been briefed yet.

Although those with a wireless may benefit by tuning into 97.2 on the FM dial tomorrow morning...

No matter.

What are we to make of this?

Eye offers the following back-of-a-fag-packet offering (takes deep breath)

NR have done lots of Route Utilisation Strategies (a good thing).

So they should know where the future capacity issues are (another good thing).

Logically they should plan (as both track supplier and Infrastructure Controller) to address these capacity issues (a very good thing) by suggesting new High Speed railways (even Adonis can't fault this).

Of course these new High Speed lines need to connect with the "classic railway" otherwise it will be a complete disaster.

Also NR has been working on this before Lord Adonis was invented and HS2 conceived (both also very good things).

So in the current economic climate it would be a great wickedness to throw all that work and knowledge away.

So Eye hopes that tomorrow will reveal a well though out RUS for future High Speed lines.

Something that David Rowlands of HS2 and Lord Adonis will be able to welcome.

And even something that our taciturn but cricket loving Prime Minister will be prepared to embrace.

Meanwhile, enter Eye's latest exciting new survey on who should give future direction on High Speed rail (eyes right!)

The way of the transgressor...

This from the Daily Record...

Teenager wrote graffiti on bridge moments before deadly fall onto railway track

'Nuff said.

PPP woes bode well for Crossrail

Yet more good news for Londoners!

According to Tube boss Richard Parry, quoted in today's Gruaniad...

"Regrettably, we now harbour grave doubts over Tube Lines and Bechtel's ability to deliver the upgrade of the Jubilee line by the end of December, which they are contracted to do."


Surely Transport for London is not calling into question Bechtel's project management skills?

Surely not.

Why only four months ago the TfL Board rubber stamped Crossrail's decision to award the £400m Project Delivery Partner concession to err... Bechtel - based on the US company's supposed ability to deliver complex projects on time and to budget.

Of course every cloud has a silver lining.

With Crossrail looking set to be caped after the next General Election there'
ll be no risk of the project overrunning.

May: "We was robbed!"

It seems even the illustrious James May of Top Gear fame is not immune from the perils of railway trespass and vandalism.

This sorry tale from This is Devon...

A TV celebrity's world record attempt to build the longest model railway was repeatedly thwarted yesterday – by spoilsport thieves who stole parts of the track.

If only Mr May had consulted Driver Potter.

Juicing it with 750dc would have seen the thieving 'Erberts dance!