Monday, 14 June 2010

Railway Garden Competition - Bournemouth

With a bowler tip to @swlines via @twitpic

Railway industry signs away destiny - again!

Bulldog Drummond gets to read Sir Roy McNulty's Scoping Study...

The DfT and ORR issued the McNulty Value for Money Report Scoping Study today without explaining why it had taken ten weeks to put the it into the public domain (it is dated 31 March).

Lots of good stuff and well worth a read but throughout a depressing response from the industry where the general tenor of comment is to acknowledge that there are problems but it is really for others to get a grip.

Statements that should have appeared in the report but, depressingly, did not (unless Sir Roy is playing his cards exceptionally close to his chest) include:

'Many senior members of the industry we met were just bursting with ideas how to create a better deal for customers but felt thwarted by current circumstances.'

'We were impressed by the overall strategic view that many of our respondents took and their acknowledgement of the need, if required, to reduce profits to make for a better railway.'

'We were highly impressed with the personal responsibility that many we met took for the current, largely undesirable, state of affairs and their desire to put things right as quickly as possible.'

'We were told of a number of carefully thought through ideas that could be implemented immediately and which would reduce cost, produce great efficiencies and demonstrate the commitment of senior management to the industry as a whole.'

If you're not part of the solution...

DfT Press Office - power-users one and all

Good to see that the DfT press office have mastered this worldweb-interwide thingy.

This courtesy of the Government's news website:

Operational Note – Transport Secretary Philip Hammond Visits Crossrail project at Canary Wharf


Venue: North Dock, off Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf

Presumably the injunction 'Not for Publication' only refers to Dead Tree Media?

Railway Garden Competition - Disqualified

This is all wrong!

Clearly Orpington is not imbued with the spirit of the age.

Where is the wilful neglect and can't be arsed attitude?

What a shocking departure from established Railway Garden practice!

Presumably the staff responsible for this outrageous display don't even qualify for gargantuan bonuses?

What on earth makes them get out of bed in the morning?

Railway Garden Competition - Lewisham

Lewisham, Thursday 10th June. North end of platform 2.

With a bowler tip to Portugoose Al.

The crumbling edge of quality - WCML

This from the 'Chartered Surveyor'...

Here is Moore south of Warrington.

Clearly maintaining the 'assets' has become a low priority. And this before the Spending Review.

Railway Garden Competition - Peterborough

Blowing the whistle again...

Telegrammed by our International Correspondent
Much excitement in yesterday's Mail on Sunday that the man overseeing MP's expenses is to leave the role early.

A shattered Mr Gooding told The Mail on Sunday yesterday: ‘I have left the job for the sake of my health and sanity.

Of course Nigel Gooding may be better known to Eye readers as the former Station Manager at Brighton, and the man who in the very early privatisation efforts blew his referees whistle at the then LTS management buy-out team for a very liberal interpretation of trading rules regarding season tickets and settlement for the Underground portion.

OPRAF (remember them?) said it was a serious breach whilst In the Commons Clare Short MP suggested that it was a deliberately organised fraud.

Not of course an accusation that could be levelled at Ms Short who the Telegraph revealed had "claimed the full cost of her mortgage for two and a half years, despite being entitled to charge only for the interest element."

Happily Clare has left the Mother of Parliaments.

Poetry Corner - Lines on First Group changes

This just in from Clarence Spad, Life President of the Young Railway Poets Society...


In the style of William McGonagall who was a great poet of Dundee and if he were alive today would be most welcome on Reading Station

T’was on the afternoon of eighth of June twenty ten
Most interesting and curious news came to Reading Station
That the gallant knight of Scotland called Sir Moir
Was reorganising First Group leaving blood on the floor

From First Group House in the granite city of Aberdeen
The word went out along the railways from Wick to Sheen
Great changes were afoot in the corridors of power
The dark and beetle browed knight was man of the hour

But then as always gangs on this sad earth some evil news
The queen of buses, Nicola Shaw, had gone, new job to choose
‘Tis said that she was most affronted
Not to get his job and was in a siding shunted

The bosses of First Group are paid very well
But that’s the purpose of privatisation I’ve heard tell
Our maisters tell us ne’er ever should we complain
T’is a privilege to pay handsomely to travel by Sir Moir’s train

Now welcome back to Britannia Tim O’Toole
A sharp and clever graduate from law school
On Britain’s railways that’s the skill that’s needed
To ensure the company’s demands are heeded
And the Government continues great sums to pay
First Group PLC until Judgement Day

We have now heard unofficially that the Son et Lumiere we noted on our last post has been cancelled.

Mark Hopwood is said to be very relieved.

His body stocking had split in a number of places following vigorous rehearsals and the textile re-fitting team at Swindon were finding restoring it to good condition an impossible challenge.