Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Grauniad wants questions for Petrol-head!

This spotted by The Archer...

Exciting news from Andrew Sparrow, the Grauniad's Political Blogger!

"What do you want to ask Philip Hammond, the transport secretary?

"I'm interviewing Hammond on Thursday. What would you like me to ask him?"

Eye readers may care to... ahem... fill their boots!

Villiers vignettes - On plucking figures out of thin air!

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
According to St Theresa, in a written answer.

"Introducing the bi-mode option for the Intercity Express Programme is estimated to save around £200 million (net present value) as compared to introducing a fleet of all-electric trains to be coupled to a diesel locomotive beyond the electrified sections of the railway."

Can it be that her advisors have failed to tell her that the original specification for an ultra-lightweight IEP has turned into a Voyager DEMU clone?

And that a five car EMU ought to have a capital and whole life maintenance cost a darn sight less than the same train with three diesel engines underneath?

Eye suspects that DfT civil servants are even now wondering how to tell their boss that she somehow transposed their NPV and omitted the sentence explaining that:

"Whilst a bi-mode would cost more, it provides valuable insurance against the UK nuclear power programme - and with it electritifcation - being delayed."

Perhaps we will never know. Unless one of Eye's Parliamentary readers feels like asking the question...

UPDATE: This from an Eye reader in the supply chain who wishes to remain anonymous...

Amazing that Villiers can have such an accurate NPV saving for bi-mode against EMU+Diesel when suppliers of modern diesel locos (Builders and Lessors) were not even consulted on relative costs both capital and whole-life.

Pointless signs - Bottesford

This from the Scavanger...

Discovered in Leicestershire, on the formation of the former GN & LNW line from Market Harborough to Bottesford.

This photo was taken looking north to the site of Bottesford South Junction.

Local sources suggest that the Permanent Way ceased to be 'permanent' in the late 1980s.

UPDATE: This from @Gav678, via Twitter...

Bottesford sign is for the access road which leads to the signalbox. So very valid and relevant.

Not pointless at all