Thursday, 4 October 2012

Railway Garden Competition - Liverpool Lime St

This from Lovely Rita...

I thought Eye readers might appreciate a picture of 'The Crumbling Edge of Quality'.

Perhaps our new LNW Route MD will address?

A word to the wise...

A number of colleagues at the Department for Transport have been suspended.

This is part of an on-going independent review into the lessons to be learned from the Department’s handling of the InterCity West Coast franchise competition.

This review is being overseen by Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw and former PricewaterhouseCoopers strategy chairman Ed Smith, both DfT non-executive directors.

According to the DfT the review aims to deliver an initial report by the end of October.

Whilst a number of names are circulating within the industry relating to recent events, as far as Eye is aware, nobody has been accused of anything and nobody has been found guilty of anything.

It is, therefore, entirely possible that those currently suspended may return to their duties with their reputations fully intact. 

With this in mind the Fact Compiler respectfully suggests to all industry colleagues that perhaps we should be hesitant before mentioning names in connection with recent events?

Excluding the Permanent Secretary and Ministers of course, who do carry the can...

That is all.

ICWC fiasco results in new Thameslink challenge

This from the Derby Telegraph...

Four Tory MPs have asked the Department for Transport to look again at its decision not to award Derby train-maker Bombardier a lucrative contract following yesterday's furore over its handling of the bidding process for the West Coast Main Line rail franchise.

One of the MPs, Mid Derbyshire's Pauline Latham, attacked the department as "not fit for purpose" following yesterday's announcement by the Tory-Lib Dem Government that it was scrapping the decision to award the franchise to FirstGroup.

Good to see Conservative MP's acting in the interests of their constituents and local industry.

Now who is going to take the lead in challenging the Incredibly Expensive Procurement - currently at £4.9bn and counting!

Pointless signs - Arriva XC Voyager at Reading

Railway Garden Competition - Derby

This from a Miss Edna Derby...

Some nicely manicured lawns at Derby... but the train behind exhibits some nice flora as well!

 DCR 31602 extracts some Mk 2s which had been vegetating in Chaddesden Yard.

NR restores Prize Length award!

This from the latest issue of Network Rail's internal magazine for maintenance teams...

Good effort!

Greening's accountancy skills explained

With the role of Justine Greening in the ICWC franchise scandal receiving increasing attention, Eye thought the following tale might be instructive.
It dates from the publication of the Command Paper in March this year and records an exchange between the then Secretary of State for Transport and the World's Greatest Living Transport Correspondent.

Christian Wolmar (for it is he) recorded it in RAIL as follows:

When I suggested that it was unclear where the savings were coming from, I was roundly slapped down by La Greening.  We were allowed one question each in the press briefing on the Command Paper and I had asked her where the £3.5 bn annual savings would come from in the rail industry as it seemed an incredibly high proportion of the overall costs and I had not found any details in the McNulty report on the industry’s finances published last year. ‘Well’ she said, staring hard at me, ‘I’m glad you didn’t write the paper as it is clear that these saving can be made’.

Quite so minister, quite so.

Perhaps similar words of comfort relating to the ICWC franchise award, and in written form, sit in Philip Rutnam's desk?

UPDATE: This from the Prophet Job...

According to Conservative Home...

"It seems that auditors from PriceWaterhouseCoopers were called in by Justine Greening one week before the reshuffle. Those auditors discovered that officials hadn't properly accounted for inflation in their decision to award the West Coast Mainline to FirstGroup rather than Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains."

With one bound she was free! 

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

Hold on!

According to Politics Home...

A Downing Street spokesman said she should not have been expected to know of the issues earlier, as they involved extremely complex minutiae that ministers would not be involved in.  

Nonsense. Greening is/was accountable for the process!