Monday, 29 March 2010

Open Access without ORR approval - way to go!

This just in from the Commuter...

At the end of last year Eye reported on the launch of Britain's first co-operative train company.

Like many open access plans in the past (Trotter Rail and Rutles Rail) I thought this was dead in the water.

That was until this plonked itself in my inbox a few hours ago:

Dear all,

Go! Co-operative - the UK's first co-operative train operating company - is launching its first route from Yeovil Junction to the Midlands via Oxford on 20th and 21st April.

See for venue details and more information.


According to the launch invite they are planning on running a service from that well-known hub of industry and commerce Yeovil to Banbury (that's almost the Midlands isn't it?) via Melksham (where?) with future extensions to Birmingham and Weymouth.

How's that track access application to the ORR coming along?

UPDATE: The Fact Compiler observes...

Go! is not alone amongst proposed Open Access Operators in bigging up their plans.

Only today the BBC ran a puff piece from Devon & Cornwall Railway on their plans to run daily services between Okehampton and Exeter St David's from "late May 2010".

No doubt this to the delight of franchised operators First Great Western and Arriva Cross County with whom they will need to share track from Cowley Bridge Junction.

When the Eye visited the ORR website to see the status of their track access agreement, alas, the cupboard was bare...

UPDATE: The Fact Compiler offers a bowler tip to both WNXX and
@swlines (a wise head on young shoulders)...

What have we here?



Application to the Office of Rail Regulation for a passenger track access
contract under section 17 of the Railways Act 1993

The Fact Compiler offers his unreserved apologies for doubting Devon & Cornwall's commitment...

DafT says...

Via Twitter...

Better access for disabled passengers due at 42 stations thanks to Government funding.

A grateful people indeed give thanks for the beneficence of our elected masters (shurely shome mishtake? Ed).

And good to see that the Civil Service retains its hard earned reputation for political impartiality.

Why one might almost think that an election is around the corner...

New competition to select IEP successor - Shocker

This just in, unbelievably, from the late Louella Parsons...

Darlings, I've been schmoozing with the dishy Lord Andrew.

No, not Lloyd Webber!

The dishy one with such an angsty face who's in every quality broadsheet. Yes! Lord Andrew Adonis.

And he told me, as we 'supped an ale' at the Betjeman Arms at St Pancras, that he is to feature in a new reality show called 'Over the Trainbow'.

Every week Lord Andrew and a team of experts (Stuart Baker) will try out the alternatives to what he calls 'IEP' and by the end of the show we'll know what the future will be for luxury long distance rail travel on your pretty little island.

It all sounds such a gas!

'Do you have a favorite' I whispered into his ear?

"A big chunky loco sounds good", he replied

Dunno what that means, but Andy sure is fun.

He even asked me if I wanted to know how his bi-mode worked?
Fresh or what?

'Sorry, I'm just not that kinda girl' I had to tell him.

UPDATE: This from Muttley...

Rumour has it that the BBC were very interested in showing 'Over the Trainbow'.

Unfortunately they couldn't find a studio big enough to fit the judging panel (Dft, DfT Consultants, DfT Lawyers, DfT Lawyers-consultants, Treasury, ORR, ATOC, Network Rail, Network Rail's consultants, affected TOC's etc...)

Pointless signs - Bishop Auckland taxi rank

Perhaps the instruction 'Press Here' will summon one?

Lookalike - Holiday edition

The Great Detractor?

Telegrammed by Bulldog Drummond
Tom 'pile of bile' Winsor ranted away in The Times on Friday that Buy-us is responsible for the threatened railway strike.

Not sure that, however alluring the honey trap, even Stephen would claim this.

Most of the article is the predictable Groundhog Day stuff about Railtrack going into administration and the 2003 settlement and it not being Tom's fault etc... etc... etc...

But in a new development Buy-Us, Ali D and The Thin Controller are described as the Marx Brothers of national rail policy.

If this is the case step forward Tom as Charlie Chaplin.

Not because of looks, Harry Potter is still our favourite, but because in every Chaplin movie the hero causes absolute chaos and he doesn't notice.

But is there another motive in all this Labour bashing?

Is the one-time LP card holding member turning into... Tory Boy?

Jarvis old joke corner

Telegrammed by Bulldog Drummond
So farewell then Paris Moayedi.

A very exotic specimen in the dull as ditchwater-alongside-the-cess world of senior railway maintenance bosses.

Even during the dazzling smoke and mirrors rise of Jarvis in the nineties he was always short of the readies.

One outcome was to regularly visit Railtrack House shortly before the end of the Jarvis company year in April with imaginative bills to drum up extra cash fast.

Railtrack staffers used to call these visits 'Paris in the Springtime'

Boom boom! (shouldn't that be bust bust? Ed)