Friday, 13 November 2009

Welcome East Coast Main Line

Just thought I'd be first to say it.

At King's Cross a solitary lament...

By the wonders of MMS this from Captain Deltic...

Or, indeed, ever!

NXEC emails goodbye...

Those on the NXEC database should have received the following email by now:

From: National Express Coaches []
Sent: 13 November 2009 22:07

Subject: The Fact, thank you for travelling with National Express East Coast

Marketing National Express Coaches to a franchise database should endear NatEx to Lord Adonis, DfT and the Treasury!

UPDATE: This from Carlton Browne of the FO...

I wonder if your readers noticed the “alternative” grammar in the first sentence of the round robin email below from Nat Ex.

I hope it is not indicative of what happens to standards when rail franchises get taken over by the public sector!

FCC Great Northern dispute - it's getting messy!

Fancy a job as a train driver?

Well Jobcentre plus is the place for you!.

Realise your dreams in six easy steps!

Step 1
Visit here - probably best to copy the link and post in a new browser:

Well done. You should now see this:

Step 2.
Now tick 'Transport/Vehicle' and press next.

Well done, you should now see this:

Step 3 - Now tick 'Driver' and press next.

Well done. You should now see this:

Step 4. Now tick 'Train Driver' and press next.

Well done, you should now see this:

Step 5. Just press next.

Step 6.
Just press next.

Well done!

Now select from any of the locations along FuCC's Great Northern route and bingo...

Here's your job! (click on the image in case its now been removed)

Someone's got to be having a larf - haven't they? (with a bowler tip to

UPDATE: This from Charles Yerkes...

I note that the recruitment agency does work for Birse Civils - perhaps they're recruiting?

FuCC dispute - Loss of MD puts Grant in firing line

This from the Noble Lord's statement in the Upper House yesterday....

I spoke this morning to Mary Grant, the group rail manager of First Capital Connect, who assured me that every effort was being made to run as full a service as possible. I made clear to her our expectation that that would happen.

It is important that First Capital Connect continues to use all reasonable endeavours to restore the service, but this situation could be ended immediately if the concerted action on the part of the staff was ended. That step should be taken immediately.

Is First Group's lustre beginning to tarnish in Marsham Street?

Unhappy talk

Evidently Captain Sensible is unaware that there are more snakes than ladders in the railway industry .

This from thequietus posted on Tuesday...

One of these independent companies, Cotswold Rail, the owner is a punk fan. He called one of his locos Joe Strummer, another one called John Peel, and then there's mine. They invited me along on the unveiling of the name plaque, and we did it on an excursion from Gloucester to Brighton, where I live.

Sadly the problem child was damned.

Battle of the Barriers - update

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!

This from the Daily Telegraph on the Nobel Lord's plans for state owned East Coast Main Line...

...Withdrawal of the planned gating of York station in order to maintain the existing through access for non-passengers, while accelerating the completion of gating at King's Cross to deter fare-dodgers.

A sort of glass half full moment.

UPDATE: This from Paul Scott...

Er... are you expecting the SofS to win some sort of international prize for all this - 'Nobel' Lord?

The Fact Compiler apologises. A case of posting in haste and repenting at leisure.

UPDATE: This from King Henry...

Does the noble Lord realise that by citing the pedestrian route across York Station as his reason for abandoning gating he has destroyed EMT's case at Sheffield ?

UPDATE: This from a Mr Mallins...

The Good Lord has indeed shafted EMT over Sheffield, where with over 1100 objections to their application for Listed Building Consent, the City must be poised to refuse it.

By citing through access as the reason (not something that planners can consider for Listed Building applications) it must now be accepted that barriers are not a good idea elsewhere too.

Perhaps EMT should be removing their nonsensical scheme at Derby which is an unnecessary obstacle to access across the station, in similar circumstances to York and Sheffield. The place is often full of students trying to get to and from the college on the old Loco Works site.

And as for King's Cross, they will be an ugly and dysfunctional feature of a "World Class" station, maximum inconvenience to boarding passengers and chaos when they alight - take a look at EMT's St Pancras scheme next door.

DafT profligacy knows no bounds

This shameless answer to a PQ from Moley

Written answers and statements, 10 November 2009

Chris Mole (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport; Ipswich, Labour)

There have been a very small number of instances during the last 12 months where tendering exercises have been cancelled prior to the award of the contract and thereby costs have been incurred with no contract awarded. For the Department for Transport, this would normally amount to the effort expended on the procurement exercise before its cancellation. The precise number and costs involved are not recorded.

The occasion where the Department has incurred nugatory costs was for the procurement of a fleet of new build diesel rolling stock which ceased in July, as it was superseded by the Government's announcement on rail electrification. The costs incurred for the use of external advisors was £1.6 million.

The Department has not reimbursed any supplier during the last 12 months for costs that they have incurred as a result of tendering for any contract advertised by the Department where the award process for that contract was subsequently cancelled.

Why for that amount you could have travelled with Arriva Cross Country from Newquay to Fort William almost 1,597 times!

UPDATE: This from Tom West...

So, the Department considers £1.6milllion to be 'nugatory' - a word which Google says means "of little or no importance; trifling, worthless".

Nice to see that it takes more than seven figures to be financially significant in the Department's eyes.