Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Exciting new PPE kit for the Ladies

This from the Commander...

After the risk-averse culture requiring track visitors to wear all-over orange including trousers, necessitating the long-ago prophesied collection of useless data such as inside-leg measurement, we now have the same for our female colleagues.

I am agreeably surprised that the original specification of ‘safety’ footwear has been subject to a partial derogation in this instance, and that the prohibition on the wearing of short trousers on the track has also been allowed to lapse.

The below is from page 20 of the recently issued September edition of Railstaff.

From the report on the Liverpool Rail Plant Show, the caption reads:

“And finally, full marks to Sharesh from Universal. When she was told to wear full-orange for the day she quite naturally put on her orange miniskirt and high heels.”


First for walking by on the other side...

Oh dear!

This from the BBC...

Staff at a rail company gave no medical assistance to a commuter who collapsed, it has emerged.

The man collapsed three weeks ago at St Albans station on a line into London run by First Capital Connect.

But bystanders were forced to give medical help. The company later said even if staff were trained, they were only permitted to help other employees.

Eye wonders whether there is a chapter on rendering assistance to stricken fare payers in Sir Moir's lovely book?

"Moving people is what we do best" claims First.

Perhaps not.

UPDATE: This from the First Capital Connect press office...

I think the piece above about FCC may need a bit of first aid of its own.

It was an FCC staff member who initially was so concerned about the customer's state of health that he encouraged him to leave a train early at St Albans so he could get assistance. He should be commended not derided.

When the customer subsequently collapsed, staff and other passengers made sure the individual was as comfortable as possible while we called an ambulance and made an announcement for any doctor that may have been on the station at the time.

Staff trained in first aid can give assistance to customers, but there was not one available at the time so the guys on the ground did exactly what they're trained to do - they called the paramedics who arrived within 7 minutes.

Having said that, we know we're not perfect so our MD has met the lady who made the complaint to see how we can do things better.

RMT flies the flag for Britain!

Good to see the RMT standing up for the Brits!

A RMT spokesman has demanded an apology from Stena lines after a director of the Dutch company, which now operates the former
Sealink Harwich - Hook route, called British workers "fat and covered in tattoos".

Eye wonders if he had anyone particular in mind?

UPDATE: This from the Velopodist...

I was fascinated to learn of a new entrant to the ferry market, a Dutch company called Stena Lines.

Are they in any way connected to Stena Line, the Gothenburg-based Swedish company?

The Fact Compiler responds - Fair, ferry fair.

Lookalike - lowering the standard?

Exciting news for Eye's readers at Innotrans in Berlin!

The new ERTMS Logo is going to be officially launched on Tuesday 16h30 at the InnoTrans, Hall 4.2, (UNIFE) Stand 120 - you are cordially invited to participate!

For those unable to attend here it is...

At least someone has a sense of irony.

UPDATE: This, unbelievably, from Prof Stephen Hawkins...

Am I alone in seeing a strong similarity between the new ERTMS logo and a diagrammatic representation of an object falling into a black hole?

A sense of irony indeed!!

UPDATE: This from Inspector Blakey...

I don't think it was the famous theoretical physicist and cosmologist who contacted you.

He spells his surname Hawking.

Must be another expert on black holes out there with a confusingly similar name...

UPDATE: This from Chionanthus virginicus...

Clearly The Fact Compiler has spent too long on the cushions.

Had he spent anytime up-front he would know exactly what the new ERTMS logo looks like...

Been there, seen that, nothing new under the Sunflower!

Villiers vignettes... there may be troubles ahead...

Has the Saviour of the Jammy Dodger turned against Rail Barbie?

This from a House of Commons debate on the 15th September 2010:

Theresa Villiers (Minister of State (Rail and Aviation), Transport; Chipping Barnet, Conservative): That franchise experienced significant disruption between October 2009 and January of this year. That was largely caused by industrial action, and Thameslink services were the worst affected. However, there were also problems on the Great Northern line, which serves Enfield.

It was particularly regrettable that action by drivers meant that no trains ran on Remembrance Sunday last year on the suburban Great Northern line services.

I am relieved that the problems that led to that disruption have gone away for the moment, and that First Capital Connect's overall public performance measure has recovered to reach the levels prevailing prior to that episode.

Eye thinks we should be told.

PMs IEP phone call - Exclusive transcript!

As Eye readers are no doubt aware Hitachi has been carrying out a vigorous lobbying campaign to rescue the doomed IEP.

Even the Japanese prime-minister, Naoto Kan, has been pressed into service, phoning David Cameron to try and save the order

According to Saturday's FT:

Phil Wilson Labour MP for Sedgefield, said "Talks have taken place between our prime minister and the prime minister of Japan because the issue is so important for bilateral relations."

Fortunately Railway Eye's man in Whitehall, retired top Mandarin Sir Humphrey Beeching, has obtained a copy of the resulting Cabinet Office note.

Verbatim Minute of telephone conversation between:

Naoto Kan (PM-J)
PH (SoS-T) in attendance

PM-J said he had noted with approval the decision by the UK Government to endorse the superiority of Japanese railway technology by placing the order for the Intercity Express Programme with Hitachi.

However he was concerned to learn that the order was under threat.

PM-UK explained that in the current economic crisis affordability was paramount and the report by Andrew Foster focused on this issue. Hence the government's study of lower cost credible alternatives.

PM-J said it would be regrettable if short term financial decisions meant that the opportunity for the UK to return to the train building market was lost. The new factory would open up the European market to the Japan/UK joint venture.

SoS-T suggested that there might be resistance to sales of Japanese trains in Europe because the Japanese rolling stock market was closed to European manufacturers.

PM-J commented that this was was only to be expected given the inferiority of European rolling stock.

SoS-T said that this was not the UK's experience to-date.

PM-J offered to send the President of Hitachi to UK so that he could join the President (sic) of Network Rail in making humble formal apologies to travellers at Ashford and London for the inferior track which had prevent Japanese rolling stock from demonstrating customary flawless operation. He was prepared to make this gesture because the IEP contract was so important to bi-lateral relations.

PM-UK said that he understood bi-lateral to mean two-way and wondered whether there was scope for reciprocity in other aspects of railway technology. He noted that Invensys had recently signed a deal with China to supply advanced signalling technology.

PM-J regretted that this was unlikely because NR had already invited Hitachi to apply superior Japanse signalling technology to solve problems with European Standard Signalling System (ERTMS?). However, he understood that British expertise in branding through bodyside vinyls was unrivalled and suggested a suppliers' mission should visit Japan at his personal invitation.

PM-UK closed the telecon by thanking the PM-J for his interest and assuring him that his comments would be given serious consideration.

Conversation ended.

UPDATE: This from Billy Connections...

I'm not convinced that the Japanese PM would have been quite so confident of his country's superior technology judging by this picture which I found underneath the Alstom table at the end of the National Rail Awards.

On the back was written: "Here is a proper high speed train - no wobbles. Japanese engineers must strive harder to meet European levels of excellence and reliability!"

Fortunately though, it made no mention of the unique aroma surrounding the vestibule area outside the loos.

UPDATE: This from Kendo Nagasaki...

Smell of seaweed in Pendolino vestibules makes Japanese tourists feel at home so no wonder train gets the thumbs up.

I always assumed it was typical of the attention to detail by Branson San.