Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Aslef solves the need for a Rail Review

This from Keith Norman of Aslef...

‘There’s a simple solution to keeping down costs,’ Keith says. ‘Stop money pouring out of our industry into the hands of private speculators. Stop paying fortunes to lawyers, consultants and accountants to negotiate franchises. Keep rail profits in the industry rather than seeing them disappear into investors’ profits. Reinvest in rail and the problem’s solved - and the review’s not needed.’

Perhaps anyone who has not been a consultant to the industry in recent years might care to comment?

Sorry Iain, not you.

Thameslink 4000 news

Eye hears that technical specialists working on Thameslink are being temporarily stood down.

Although the possible remobilisation in Autumn is clearly dependent on the spending review.

One piece of good news.

NR's previous inability to give a clear date for London Bridge's re-opening now looks positively prescient.

UPDATE: This via the BBC...

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has committed the Government to delivering the full £16bn Crossrail scheme.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Exciting DfT announcement tomorrow

Eye understands that there is an "item" on the grid tomorrow for the Department for Transport.

What could this exciting announcement be?

Perhaps it's the unveiling of the new Eurek timetable?

Although it may already have become the Eure timetable.

Or possibly as little as the Eur timetable.

Either way anticipate some spin tomorrow and if it does involve SLC2 don't expect the East of England to be convinced.

UPDATE: This from Billy Connections...

You are a touch "previous" - announcement is Thursday.

APPRG elects new officers for a new Parliament

Last night the All Party Parliamentary Rail Group (APPRG) held its annual general meeting.

It being a new Parliament there was an election of officers.

The following were duly elected:

Joint Chairmen: Tom Harris MP and Stephen Hammond MP
Joint Vice Chairmen: Lord Peter Snape and Kelvin Hopkins MP.
Secretary: Lord Tony Berkeley.
Treasurer: Lord Richard Faulkner.

Eye would just like to point out that those chairing the APPRG have more railway knowledge and understanding than both the front bench transport teams put together.

This must be The New Politics that Tom Harris keeps blogging about.

Exciting aviation committee formed to drink tea

Exciting news from Petrol-head Hammond!

A drive to reduce long queues and the number of delayed flights was announced today as Transport Secretary Philip Hammond unveiled a new group tasked with improving operations at the major South East airports. It will be made up of key players from the aviation world and chaired by Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers, with the initial focus on Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

Bloody marvelous - an aviation talking shop - whoopy-doop!

Is this the best that they can come up with?

God help us when Hammond begins to focus on the railway's chronic shortage of rolling stock and passengers in excess of capacity.

Eye predicts that this august body will only deliver shorter airport queues by demanding that passengers stand closer together.

Foster report on IEP set to music - Shocker

Telegrammed by our Cultural Correspondent
Cultural icons abounded in Marsham Street last evening as Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber's Really Useful Company sought to gain publicity from the delivery of Sir Andrew Foster's report on the value for money of the Intercity Express Programme.

As he arrived Sir Andrew (Foster that is) was swept up in a parade of Dorothys and Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz singing 'Ding dong, the train is dead, which old train, the Zombie train, Ding dong the Zombie train is dead'.

They were followed by the cast of Starlight Express with Speedy the revitalised diesel train pushing Origami the incredible paper train into a symbolic shredder.

Finally the cast of Joseph serenaded Sir Andrew into DfT's Marsham Street Offices with a chorus of 'Any dream will do (so long as it's value for money and credible)'.

Then, like some insubstantial pageant faded. Left not a jot behind.

UPDATE: This, implausibly, from motoring guru Jezza Clarkson...

'Oi! Compiler, get your facts straight. Weber make carburettors, including the twin-choke downdraught 38 DGAs fitted to the iconic Essex engine.

The music bloke is Webber.

UPDATE: This, remarkably, from Herr Carl Maria von Weber...

I think you must have your composers confused.

But if you would like a comic opera on the subject of the IEP I would be happy to oblige.

UPDATE: This, even more remarkably, from Sir W.S Gilbert...

I say, what a cracking idea for the next Savoy Opera.

We could have a magic potion which drives civil servants into increasingly bizarre specifications for new trains.

UPDATE: This, from a somewhat tetchy, Sir Arthur Sullivan...

I've told you again and again, Gilbert NO MORE MAGIC POTIONS'

Right. Enough. No more dead composers please. Ed

Overground aural overload

This with a bowler tip to the Going Underground Blog...

Perhaps the Camclegg twins can add over use of on-train announcements to the Great Repeal Act?

UPDATE: This from @StephenRees, via Twitter...

That London Overground video certainly takes the PIS!

'I Spy' - lifting the lid on railways

This from Sheepbridge...

'I-Spy' books have apparently returned to our bookshelves (now sponsored by Michelin) and seem to be offering a wealth of additional extra dimensions to the avid 'spotter'.

In my day, my ABC consisted of locomotives and the like.

Has the hobby really degenerated to spotting railway carriage lavatories ?

UPDATE: This from Sussex Driver....

Is there a category for working toilets?

Surely this would be worth bonus points!