Thursday, 17 March 2011

Hammond upstaged by Railway press - Shocker

Disturbing scenes at today's official launch of NXEA's new Stansted Express fleet at London's Liverpool Street!

Petrol-head did the honours, ensuring that the Railway Media were out in force.

But what's this?

Was RAIL's Phil Haigh, an officer in the TA, making a political point about how stretched our armed forces are?

Eye thinks we should be told!

Meanwhile, Captain Deltic insisted in appearing in every shot...

Eye fervently hopes that there are continued opportunities for similar Gricerati hilarity at future launches of British built trains...

UPDATE: This from Pike...

Diagramming 'Roger' was a nice touch from NXEA's Ops and Fleet teams.

Although unfortunate that he is looking quite so careworn these days.

Time for a visit to the paintshop methinks, or at very least the wash plant!

Channel 4 Dispatches has one foot in the grave

Good news for devotees of incisive reporting!

Channel 4 Dispatches is airing a programme on Monday night boldly entitled "Train journeys from hell."

Clearly balance will be at the very heart of this particular televisual feast.

Aside from walk on parts by the World's Greatest Living Transport Correspondent and Steven Norris of Jarvis fame, Channel 4 has evidently spared no expense to recruit a suitably qualified journalist and transport expert to host the prog.

So step forward then errr... uber-luvvie Richard Wilson!

Clearly oratorical declamation and hyperbole will be the order of the day.

Wilson of course was once famous in the 1990s and more recently became the voice of the Labour Party manifesto (the party, lest we forget, responsible for the structure of today's costly and over complicated railway). Sweet irony.

Somewhat bravely the DfT is rumoured to be putting Cruella into the firing line to respond to the Groucho's Greatest.

Meanwhile Eye has already put a wager on how quickly misenthrope Meldrew can utter his trademark line "I don't believe it!".

For what it's worth Richard, nor do we.

UPDATE: This from The Major...

Before anyone dismisses Richard Wilson as a luvvy who knows nothing about railways it's worth noting that he's a vice president of the Railway Benefit Fund.

UPDATE: This from Andrew E...

Do you really think Labour are responsible for the structure of today's railway?

Surely the [justified] complaint is that they did nothing to repair the disaster they inherited from the Tories!

Japan - Book of condolence at NRM

This from York's The Press...

A BOOK of condolence for victims of the Japanese earthquake will be opened tomorrow at the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York.

The book will remain open until the end of the museum’s forthcoming Japan Festival on April 28.

Tesco up to its old tricks

What is it with supermarket giant Tesco and structures across the railway?

Who can forget the debacle in 2005 when Chiltern services were suspended for seven weeks due to the collapse of a new tunnel at Gerrard's Cross, upon which would sit yet another of Sir Terry Leahy's finest.

Of course Leahy has moved on, but Tesco's unhappy relationship with the railway continues.

This from the Welwyn Hatfield Times 24...

Cllr Cowan said: “It’s frustrating to have got so far, persuading both Network Rail and Tesco to co-operate, and then see work stopped. I’ve had no explanation from Tesco for this change of mind. The work was not costing them anything – Network Rail, which owns the bridge but not all the land the bridge sits on – were paying.”

Every little helps? Eye thinks not.

NRESballs - Liverpool Street

This from the National Rail Enquiries website yesterday...

Mr Scales empire goes from strength to strength!