Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Crow Bar Bob on AV - That's the way to do it

Exciting news from Crow Bar Bob!

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said

“With forecasters today showing that half a million more jobs are on the block, and yet more evidence that families will be up to a thousand pounds a year worse off under the ConDems, it is no surprise that Cameron and Clegg want to distract attention with their pathetic AV Punch and Judy show."

But what's this?

Apparently Consistency Crow can't walk past a Punch and Judy show without wanting to join in!

Crocodile Crow continues...

RMT, which supports proper proportional representation rather than this shoddy Clegg-inspired stitch up, is calling for a no vote in Thursday’s referendum and as far as we are concerned... (cont' p94)".

Just fancy that!

Network Rail appoints first two route MDs

This from Network Rail...


Network Rail's devolved route structure went live today in Scotland and Wessex. David Simpson (Scotland) and Richard O’Brien (Wessex) have been confirmed as the new route managing directors following the completion of the assessment process and safety validation.

Work continues to help the next three routes (Wales, Kent/HS1 and London North Western) get ready for go-live by October 2011.

Also today Network Rail outlined a timetable for further intended changes linked to changing its route structures:

  • A new function will be created in June 2011. Called network operations, it will be led by Robin Gisby – currently director of operations and customer services. This will completely replace operations and customer services; all teams from that function will work in network operations
  • A new position of freight director will be created in network operations
  • In October 2011, at the same time as the next routes go live, the director, infrastructure maintenance and the balance of his team, join network operations
The remaining routes will all go live no later than March 2012

Commenting on the planned changes to both operations and maintenance, Mr Gisby said: “We have to make sure that we support the changes and opportunities that will emerge in our devolved routes with a centre that is able to match the pace of delivery they will demand. With maintenance and operations working so closely in our new route structure to meet our customer needs, it makes a lot of sense to do the same centrally.”

Note to editors

A route is a geographical operational unit. At the moment the country has nine of these (with a tenth one to be created in Wales) with a route director managing the day to day operation of the railway there

Network Rail's Wessex route matches the lines operated by South West Trains out of Waterloo covering parts of south west London, Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and Dorset

These changes will devolve more power, responsibility and accountability onto the new business units which include transferring responsibility from the centre to the new role of route managing director, including:
  • safety
  • all customer service matters
  • asset management outputs and spend
  • operations
  • planning and delivering maintenance
  • delivery of some renewals and enhancements.
The devolved businesses will be empowered to innovate within a framework which maintains the company’s focus on making the most of network benefits, minimising whole-life costs, and providing a seamless service for all customers and rail users.

- ENDS -

UPDATE: Additional biographical details for David Simpson, Route Director (and designate MD) for Scotland:

David Simpson was originally from Blantyre, Lanarkshire, grew up in South Dorset and currently lives in South Ayrshire

He studied a Bachelor of Science in Transport Planning and Operation and Aston University in Birmingham

He was accepted into British Rail’s graduate scheme in 1986, which led to operational management roles in South-East England, including in performance and freight, where he helped to maintain a high quality of delivery to the customer during privatisation

That led to work in Railtrack restructuring signallers

He then left Railtrack to work with two freight companies: Mainline Freight then EWS

He returned to Railtrack East Anglia in 1998, moving to commercial roles, eg Route Business Manager for West Anglia, in which role he was part of the new focus on meeting customer needs on a route-by-route basis

Following Network Rail’s creation, he went to the Midlands in 2002 as General Manager of West Coast Main Line (South). In this role he was heavily involved in route modernisation work and the introduction of Pendolino “tilt trains” to the line

In October 2005 he was appointed route director of Scotland, in which capacity he has significantly improved performance in Scotland through much closer work with maintenance teams and First Scotrail

Eye is awaiting biographical details on the Wessex designate MD Richard O'Brien.

UPDATE: Additional biographical details for Richard O'Brien route director (and MD designate) for Wessex:

Richard O'Brien MIRO is currently Network Rail Route Director for Wessex and has been appointed Network Rail's route managing director for Wessex.

Richard is a qualified Civil Engineer and has worked both here in the UK and in Africa.

He joined the UK rail industry over a decade ago, with previous roles including General Manager and Head of Planning and Industry Performance.

Good to see that NR has appointed a Member of the Institution of Railway Operators to this important role.

UPDATE: This from NR's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit...

David Simpson would like to point out that he too is a member of the Institution of Railway Operators.

He puts the letters FIRO after his name.

Oooh. A Fellow of the IRO! Eye is impressed.

Posh graffito - Arundel

Time for an exciting new Eye feature!

Eye gives you Posh Graffito!

This from a Mr Marshy...

Taken yesterday between Chichester and Arundel.

Obviously a fan of Southern Railway!

Pointless sign - St Pancras South Eastern station

Pointless signs - Worcester Shrub Hill

This from the Rover...

This is the station departure poster at Worcester Shrub Hill.

The one train a day stopping at Combe and Finstock is duly listed, along with some others.

But of the nearby hamlets of Great Malvern (2-4 an hour), Hereford (one an hour), Birmingham (2 an hour), Cheltenham (every other hour) or even the through services to the other side of Birmingham (Solihull/Dorridge, one an hour) there is not a mention.

Now you might think this a First Great Western conspiracy that only destinations on the FGW route to London and connections are listed. But the poster is in London Midland colours.

UPDATE: This from

You can't always accuse posters of not being comprehensive enough.

The First Group Onward Travel poster at Looe helpfully provides details of bus services to a number of places, including Barcelona!

Ok it's not the Spanish one but a small village nearby - but it made me do a double take!

Pointless sign - London Midland cl 350/2

This from The Skip...

Not entirely pointless, but if I had a baby that size and shape, particularly relative to those adults, I would be most perturbed!!

The Fact Compiler wonders if this is what happens if you feed baby on bratwurst (geddit!!!).

UPDATE: This from the late Marie Stopes...

Such is the robustness of the baby-changing table in the latest Desiros for the UK that I am told Siemens workers have renamed them the 'baby-making tables'.

Pointless signs - Leighton Buzzard

This from Steve...

Eye readers be interested in this photo of the platform screens at Leighton Buzzard (taken on 9th Dec 2010, and apologies for having taken so long to submit it).

The reason for the delay to the 08.34 (normally a 8-car Desiro, and indeed it seemed to be on that particular morning too) makes me wonder if London Midland and Siemens have already jumped on the bi-mode bandwagon?