Monday, 19 July 2010

Who should replace Coucher - one for the Ladies?

Network Rail has done much to encourage the role of ladies in the industry, despite suggestions to the contrary (see Private Eye passim).

As Iain Coucher spake but recently:

“We want the best to work for us – both men and women – and I hope that as we continue to show our modern business and the opportunities that we offer that we can attract exceptional women to apply for these roles and be part of something fantastic.”

A part of something fantastic indeed!

With Iain's words ringing in our ears Eye readers are invited to use their skill and judgement to decide which of these Wimmin of Power should be Network Rail's new CEO.

  • Margaret Thatcher - approved more electrified routes miles than any other Prime Minister and delivered a new railway to Abroad!
  • Imelda Marcos - expert on procurement.
  • Pollyanna Walker - already has a team second guessing NR's every move.
  • Jo Kaye - expert on delivering small improvement schemes (eg Workington North) that don't eat into Director's bonuses (Shurely 'cost a fortune'? Ed)
  • Boadicea - skilled at reducing headcount, usually by cutting off below the knees (That's enough powerful ladies. Ed).
You can vote on the right hand side menu bar (once the blogger poll gadget decides to work)...

UPDATE: Sadly Blogger's crappy poll gadget isn't working, so just pretend you are an NR Director, pull a number out of the air and then remind yourself that you are worth it.

Colonel Michael Cobb RIP

Sad news indeed.

This from the Daily Telegraph...

Colonel Michael Cobb, who has died aged 93, was a regular Army officer who in retirement produced the definitive historical atlas of the railways of Great Britain, becoming on the strength of it the oldest person ever to receive a PhD from Cambridge University, at the age of 91.

The Railways of Great Britain - Historical Atlas is a wonderful piece of work, useful to professionals and enthusiasts alike.

If you ain't got one - buy one now.

If you have one, then buy another!

Good effort Colonel Michael Cobb and requiescat in pace.

Train Police Warn on Shopping-trolleys

Eye salutes our brave Boys in Blue!

This piece of super sleuthing from the British Transport Police website:


British Transport Police (BTP) officers are appealing for information after a train struck an abandoned shopping trolley that had been left on the tracks near to Axminster.

Shocking news indeed!

Helpfully the BTP website also shows an image of exactly how disruptive the remains of a shopping trolley in the four foot can be!

But what's this?

Errr... chaps, exactly how many of these 'trolley' remains have you discovered?

Railway Garden Competition - Bletchley

Welcome to Bletchley - the winner of this week's "Can't be Arzed Award".

A veritable celebration of wilful neglect.

Now if TOCs like London Midland can't be trusted in the small things, like keeping platforms weed free, then what on earth makes ATOC think that they can be trusted to deliver on the really exacting demands of longer franchises?

Either way it's time for Captain Permatan, or his London Midland minions, to splash out on some Round-Up, and pretty damn quick!

The advert for the NR CEO job has appeared...

This from Jumbo...

In spite of his endorsement by Eye readers, General Stan McChrystal is unlikely to take the job when he reads the job application guff that appeared in the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph yesterday.

"An instinct for pushing the boundaries of pace, ambition and innovation to the edge of possibility" may appeal to recruitment consultants but is hardly likely to attract a real candidate of action.

So maybe, the Eye should put together an alternative job specification.

To start the process how about?

  • To reduce the cost of Network Rail to the taxpayer in a way that minimises the impact on passengers and freight customers
  • To stop the company kidding themselves that trains that arrive 10 minutes late are on time
  • To increase capacity on the network by reducing the padding in train schedules
  • To argue the case that capacity on the network should be increased by the use of longer trains that optimise the number of seats per train path.
Further suggestions on what the industry expects from NR's new CEO welcome.