Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Armistice day kettle

Steam Dreams 'Cathedrals Express' put up a good show today.

RAF and Union Flags flying up front and the wreath was made by the Royal British Legion (funds raised aboard the train also went towards this very worthwhile cause).

Best of all the train was timed to stop opposite Big Ben for the two minute silence.

And the engine is a Battle of Britain class too!

Good effort Steam Dreams and Network Rail.

'Nuff said!

UPDATE: Has anyone heard from ATOC, the organisation that supposedly represents those that set the fares?

NatEx at sea as "no steer" on Cross Default intentions

This from Bloomburg...

National Express Finance Director Jez Maiden said the government has given “no steer” as to whether it will rescind the company’s East Anglia and C2C commuter-train franchises.

As National Express today launched a 7 for 3 Rights Issue in an attempt to raise £360m this isn't exactly proving helpful to the struggling company.

Perhaps DafT and Lord Adonis should clarify their position?

UPDATE: Suggestions in the City that Spanish state operator RENFE is keen to enter the UK rail sector.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Saltaire...

That’s a good ruse to bump up the NatEx share price!

11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month

Even Coucher concedes fares too high

The Fact Compiler doesn't know whether to commend Coucher for thriftiness or bang my head against the wall in despair.

This from Her Majesty's Daily Telegraph...

'Trains are too expensive, use coaches instead', rail head tells staff

Yes but no but yes but no but yes but no

UPDATE: This from our man at 222 Marylebone Road...

Did not Mr Coucher consider chartering a train and waving the access charges?

Silly me - there's no spare rolling stock.

UPDATE: This from Albert Kettle...

Why not charter Tornado and a rake of Mk 2 stock?

UPDATE: This from Nigel Harris over at RAIL...


This is just what I’ve been warning about in my last couple of editorials!

UPDATE: This from NR's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit...

The full statement I gave to the press says:

"Network Rail makes no apologies for getting best value for the British people. Whilst we have no role in setting train fares, we use rail for the overwhelming number of business journeys. Occasionally, if there is a cheaper alternative we will use that.".

We don't get free travel, we pay our own way.

Those Network Rail employees who were there in BR days still obviously have protected travel - but this cannot be used for business trips.

It's not a PR disaster (well certainly not for Network Rail. Ed) to show we are making efficiencies and to point out the basic fact that sometimes rail is not always the most cost-effective option.

I wish it always was.

But rest assured I practice what I preach as regular Eye readers will recall.

UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic...

I can indeed confirm that there are no gold passes at Network Rail and that Iain Coucher is a thrifty traveller.

The last time we met his first class ticket had cost about the same as the return half of my Standard Class super duper saver!

DNA database

So our elected masters have decided to retain the DNA records of innocent citizens for six years.

Eye fervently hopes that Mr Plod will hasten round to the Palace of Westminster to swab all those crim's who cheated on their expenses?

Fat chance!

Just because you really are innocent doesn't mean you're not guilty in the eyes of the state.