Monday, 15 November 2010

Thursday is cancelled

Clearly Petrol-head and his minions are getting the hang of this railway malarkey.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody last Thursday's big interdependency announcement (HLOS, New Trains, Thameslink, IEP, Electrification, etc...) was errr... postponed.

Eye understands that it is also likely to suffer further delays this Thursday.

Whitehall watchers now claim that all will become clear next Thursday, although that too might be caped.

Therefore probably best not to hold your breath, unless of course you are rammed solid on an overcrowded train, owing to a shortage of much needed new rolling stock.

UPDATE: This from the Great Shunter Who Oversees All...

Surely you mean PINE?

Has DfT Rail policy actually left the station yet?

What with so many NOGO'ed vehicles (IEP, Thameslink, the 1,300 etc...) in the consist.

UPDATE: This from the Major...

If we're to dig out the BR code book, might I suggest that passenger managers telegram Marsham Street with:


which, in case you've mislaid your copy, means:

'The undermentioned train is booked up. Can you increase our allocation to...........'

Do not, however, be surprised if the answer is a short NO.

New services on the WCML

This from Billy Connections...

So Grand Central proposes using DB Class 67s for its Open Access service from Euston to Blackpool.

Meanwhile DB backed Alliance Rail plan to introduce brand new Chinese trains.

With DB backing both sides could this be one battle that the Germans actually win?

Pointless signs - Didcot Parkway platform 4

UPDATE: This from a Mr Sterratt...

This is particularly poignant for me, as two years ago my mother's life was saved in part by the incredibly prompt action of staff on platform 9D at Leeds station, who used a defibrillator (I believe like the one that should be in the box in Didcot) to resuscitate her.

Sadly, my mother did eventually pass away last year, but I am very glad the defibrillator was there and I am very grateful to the staff at Leeds for the extra eight months of my mother's life they helped to give.

Hopefully the defibrillator in Didcot is returned to its box soon.

Pointless signs - Warren Street

NRM celebrates World Toilet Day!

This unmissable event is taking place at the NRM...

The Fact Compiler's bladder is well and truly gasted!

Youth Plants Story - Good effort!

This from Harry (aged 14)...

Earlier in the year Eye carried a story about my campaign to get a locomotive named after Wolverhampton Wanderers.

I thought I would give you an update.

I now have over 1,000 supporters for my campaign and GBRf have challenged me to get Robert Plant to commit to attend the naming.

On Thursday 11th November, Led Zep's Robert Plant drove up from London for the home match against Arsenal.

When I met him before the game he posed with my replica nameplate and confirmed his support - if a naming is to take place and doesn't clash with his tour then he is up for attending it!

If any of your readers would like to support my campaign then please click here:

Good effort! Keep an eye on young Harry, he will go far!

East Coast solves PPM problems

Good news from state owned East Coast!

Usually languishing at the bottom of the PPM table the nationalised operator has leapt straight to the top!

And this despite the leaf-fall season.

Here for example are the figures for the period covering Friday 12th November...

Surely other operators can do just as well?

Perhaps by also monitoring just eight trains...

UPDATE: This, surprisingly, from Barbara Dixon...

Personally, I am quite impressed at East Coasts performance on Friday 12th November.

As one of the patrons on a late afternoon service from Peterborough to Leeds on said date where the guard or train manager or whatever they call themselves nowadays was advertising delay repay at all stops.

Are we talking some dodgy wires or a Network Rail signaller spilling his coffee?

No, it was a brake pipe failure on the said train at Biggleswade.

IEP to be swung by soft loan?

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
Subscribers to RailHub were tantalised with the following this morning...

Philip Hammond is understood to be visiting the site of a potential Intercity Express Programme rolling stock assembly plant at Newton Aycliffe in Co. Durham on Thursday 18 November. There is speculation that a rail-related announcement may be made then.

Meanwhile this from Reuters...

Nov 13 (Reuters) - The Japanese government is considering giving financial support for Hitachi Ltd's (6501.T) bid to win a high-speed railway project order in the UK, the Nikkei reported.

The Japanese government would provide a loan through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to a railcar-leasing company that Hitachi plans to establish with a leading British general contractor, the daily said.

To be absolutely clear.

A less expensive wrong train is still the wrong train, plus 20 years to rue the wrong decision.

Calling all Picture Desks - fill your boots!

Not content with presiding over a railway that treats photographers as a terrorist threat it would appear that Petrol-head has now banished them from Marsham Street.

This from Her Majesty's Daily Telegraph...

Norman Baker, a Transport minister, said Philip Hammond, the Transport secretary, had "directed that future ministerial photographs will be taken by staff of the department".

This was after his department had spent £550 on official photographs since May 6.

As we are currently picking up the tab for Cameroon's vanity snapper Eye applauds Petrol-head's gesture, but wonders if he may be being penny wise and pound foolish?

This photograph of the Secretary of State was taken by Tom Harris MP at the National Rail Awards earlier this year.

Eye is sure that Tom won't mind Fleet Street picture desks reproducing it at every conceivable opportunity?