Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Tories outline policy, NR orders a glass or two

Theresa Villiers tonight confirmed that under a Tory Government franchises will be freed from Micromanagement!

And not a moment too soon.

As well as extending franchise life (to 15 or 20 years) Villiers even suggested that TOCs may be free to set their own timetables and lease (not 'buy' - the Times may care to note!) their own rolling stock.

Whoopy doop! Eye raises the bowler to Messrs Shooter and Long.

And as for giving ORR greater powers - yawn - if they exercised their current set (see Winsor passim) we wouldn't be in today's mess!

No matter.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Eye noticed that a certain NR lobbyist was seen deep in conversation with Villiers tonight, prior to moving on to dinner!

First for shifting the blame!

Good to see that FuCC takes responsibility for its recent piss-poor Thameslink performance.

These weasel words sent to Nadine Dorries MP:

Dear Nadine

I am pleased to confirm that the result of the ASLEF ballot was that around 70% of our drivers voted in favour of accepting the pay offer.

We intend to operate the full timetable on the Thameslink route from Monday 18 January. There are likely to be some short formations (four carriage trains instead of eight) and a few cancellations until 3 February, by when we plan that any Class 319 trains with faulty traction motors resulting from the recent severe weather will be repaired and back in service.

It is worth adding that, were it not for the late delivery from Bombardier of our 23 new Class 377 Electrostars, of which we still have only 21, 80% of the remedial modifications to the traction motors required following last February's snowfall would by now have been completed. As it was we had far less opportunity to take these trains out of service as they were needed to deliver the timetable effective from March 2009 which required us to provide trains to SouthEastern Trains destinations.

Kind regards’

Not a hint of an apology. Nice.

East Coast news - to lose one Director...

What is happening at East Coast?

Not content with losing both the Engineering and the Commercial Director within the space of a week, it now appears as if the nationalised TOC is short one Head of Safety.

Fortunately Eye understands that the capable Vye Parminter will reappear in a similar role at FuCC.

Ice to see you, to see you, ice!

This from 'Is 1A03 out of Chester yet, Bert?' with a bowler tip to the Irish Railway Safety Commision, who obviously have a broad remit!

Icicle in Blea Moor tunnel on the 10th January 2010.

DafT spunks £75m up the wall on franchising

This from the RMT...

Figures obtained by RMT parliamentary convenor John McDonnell revealed that the cost of designing and tendering rail franchises since 2003 is a staggering £75 million.

Eye wonders if DafT are designing and tendering these on rocking-horse droppings with unicorn-horn quills?

Great headlines of our time!

Does Railnews have it in for Passenger Focus?

Shome mishtake shurely?

Atocballs - "corporate-wide horizon scanning"

This from Mr 1.609344 kilometers...

So ATOC is advertising for a new Public Affairs Manager.

Of course there is no requirement for any knowledge of, or even interest in, the railways.

After all in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king!

Clearly much more highly specialised skills are required in this demanding role.

For instance the
ability to:

3. Work effectively on a team basis with colleagues across ATOC to help the organisation to become more public facing to achieve its corporate goals, including the development of campaigns and corporate-wide horizon scanning

Corporate-wide what?!?

I have some decent binoculars - would they be an asset horizon-scanning-wise?

Perth to Inverness restored!

This just in from Network Rail's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit...

Passengers in the far north of Scotland will be pleased that services between Perth and Inverness are running again after the freight derailment at Carrbridge.

The first picture shows the damage.

The second and third show Network Rail hard at work in lousy weather day...

... and night.

The final pic shows, ahem, the lighter side of rail recovery….

Good effort!