Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Adonis leaves Marsham Street standing

Poor old DafT really haven't got their heads round Social Media yet.

The following two twitter posts have just emerged from slumbering Marsham Street.

Almost 12 hours after Lord Adonis started blogging his Pilgrimage of Grice.

Hacks set agenda on Pilgrimage of Grice - Official

The Noble Lord reveals the following on his blog...

I've just been speaking on the train to rail journalists Roger Ford and Phil Haig - who know the rail industry backwards.

Can it be long before Captain Deltic's 'InterCity Manifesto' receives the Adonis Imprimatur?

First class travel for third class education?

Lord Adonis must be rejoicing that he is no longer in the Department for Education and Skills.

The LibDems are claiming that civil servants in the education sector have spent £10 million on first class rail fares over the last three years.

According to the website of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, shameless Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Diana Johnson MP claimed that education officials needed to travel first class to ensure they have enough peace and quiet to work during their journey.


Eye is uncertain if the peace and quiet is achieved by travelling first class or by not having to teach in the four schools that the £10m would have built.

Clear the line! - Priority given to the Noble Lord

Has Lord Adonis his own headcode?

Eye revealed yesterday that a spare train shadowed Adonis when he travelled to York on Saturday.

Now we hear that the Pendolino on which he is currently travelling to Stockport was routed past two local trains after a track circuit failure outside Crewe.

On the privatised railway all trains are equal but evidently some passengers are more equal than others!

UPDATE: This from Lobby Fodder...

Looks like Adonis will soon be doomed to having his oflactory system bombarded by the smell of fresh paint wherever on the network he goes.

Adonis blogs on latest Pilgrimage of Grice

Lord Adonis is blogging as he inspects shabby stations.

Updates are being posted here.

Whilst not quite up to the standard of Tom Harris MP or the twitterings of Sadiq Khan it's a noble effort (geddit!).

Number crunching - Ministerial cars and station investment

Amount to be spent by the Government "in the near future"on the 10 worst stations identified by the Stationers to Lord DafT Vader - £50 million.

Amount spent by Ministers in the last four years on ministerial cars and chauffeurs: £24 million.

Oyster to be valid on National Rail someday soon - Official

This from the BBC...

London commuters will be able to use pay-as-you-go Oyster cards on the city's suburban overland rail network by early next year, officials said.

The devil's in the detail - still no start date.

UPDATE: This from John Bull over at London Reconnections...

Official announcement is likely to happen next week - which is conveniently AFTER Mayor's Question time (tomorrow).

Means Boris doesn't have to answer awkward questions from his betters (Shawcross, Pidgeon etc.) on why he completely bottled it in the negotiations and allowed the TOCs to force Oyster Extension Permits on him.

Anyone lost a shunter?

This strange tale from Kris Ward over at the Middleton Railway...

Volunteers turning up at the Middleton Railway on Saturday morning were surprised to find an English Electric shunter in the car park.

We're not sure where it should have been delivered (possibly Hunslet Engine Co in the Midlands) but the shunter certainly had nothing to do with us (I gather putting your headboard on it isn't a legally binding claim).

It has been mentioned on various websites now and we are hoping someone will collect it before Wednesday otherwise it will really get in the way of a big shunt of workshop projects.

Have you misplaced a shunter. Alternatively can you give one a good home? If so contact the Middleton Railway...

UPDATE: This from Kris Ward...

The shunter was on its way to Hunslet Engine Co as we had guessed.

We have our shed in Hunslet, where as theirs is near Tamworth, hence the mistak

I am sure we would gladly take in strays again, though ideally working ones on gala weekends :-)

Lord Adonis embarks on mini Pilgrimage of Grice

Lord Adonis is indeed a wag.

The Secretary of State is racing round the country, escorted by Captain Deltic no less, to highlight the 10 worst stations on the network - as identified by Messrs Hall & Green, official Stationers to Lord DafT Vader.

To celebrate this mini Pilgrimage of Grice the DafT website has some words, apparently crafted by the Noble Lord himself:

And yes, I am travelling around on another national Rover ticket to minimise the cost. I confess that this time it is First Class – at a cost of £650 for seven days – because it also had to get me to and from York on Saturday for the first day of the new nationalised East Coast service and it also needs to get me to and from the regional Cabinet meeting in Nottingham on Friday (with official papers intact.)

So not as good value as my last Standard Class Rover (then £375) – but not bad for a week of unlimited First Class travel across the rail network.

Last time I publicised these Rover tickets, the train companies put up the price immediately, so buy yours now to avoid disappointment.

Nice, with an appropriate dig at ATOC.

Speaking of which do we know whether ATOC's "1.1% average increase in rail fares" includes a further hike in the price of the All Line Rover?

UPDATE: This from Scotch Corner...

Interesting the number of Virgin West Coast stations in the top ten worst list (Crewe, Stockport, Preston, Wigan North Western & Warrington Bank Quay).

Especially as we could all mention worse ones.

But who authored the report?

Step forward Chris Green, former Chief Executive of errr... Virgin Trains!

UPDATE: The report by the Stationers to Lord DafT Vader can be downloaded here.

And the Government's response here.

UPDATE: This from Globetrotter..

I note that media reports about the worst stations emphasise the fact that none are in Scotland, where steps had apparently been taken to invest in station modernisation over many years.

Those of us with long memories may remember who started the ball rolling by installing Terazzo flooring at Inverness some 25 years ago ... a certain C**** G**** if I recall correctly...

Eye suspects that the silence on the state of Jockanese stations has more to do with transport North of the border being devolved to the Scottish Executive.

UPDATE: This from @swlines via Twitter...

RE: Price increases to the All Line Rover:

ATOC supposedly not releasing NFM 05 data until 30th Nov on FRPP/The Manual so we'll find out then!