- Locate window hammer and strike cover with fist.
- Strike emergency window repeatedly in one area to form a small hole.
- Tear out a large hole in the inner window pane.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
This from Our Man at 222 Marylebone Road...
I understand that DfT has just appointed Price WaterhouseCoopers as financial advisers for IEP.
The announcement says that:
'DfT is looking to secure excellent value for money and the appointed firm will be required to provide proposals that offer cost reduction, efficiency and improvement opportunities throughout the contract term'.
Presumably it would be too much to expect PWC to say 'bin it'?
(Unlikely as PWC has form with the "biggest privately financed passenger rolling stock deal in history, anywhere in the world". Ed)
The leader of UKIP had better look to his laurels!
This from Mayoral candidate Christian Wolmar, reflecting on the impact of EU policy on Croatia's railways:
So the net result of EU interference is precisely the opposite to what it was supposed to be set up to do, improve international relations and cross border trade and passenger flow.
I have always been against the Euro but in favour of the European Union. However, this type of imposition of a neo-liberal agenda on the railways does make me hesitate about what we should do about the EU.
Clearly, the Eurocrats still have a naive federalist agenda that they are trying to impose and they need to be stopped.
There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents...
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
This from GetWokingham...
Theresa May disappointed with "ugly" Woodley railway bridge
Disappointment surrounding an ‘ugly’ new railway bridge has been forwarded to rail officials by Theresa May MP...
The Home Secretary met senior Network Rail officials to discuss improvements to the Great Western route when she raised people’s concerns that new bridges appearing in the ongoing work are “ugly”.
Eye wonders whether 'kitten heels' might improve the overall effect?
This from the Brothers...
RMT research and answers to parliamentary questions have revealed that in an effort to justify the government’s decision to privatise the successful publicly owned East Coast Mainline the Rail Minister Simon Burns has recently deliberately mislead Parliament about the performance of East Coast Mainline in the public sector.
The Minister wrongly told the Transport Select Committee on 24th April that the West Coast Mainline operated by Virgin pays more in premium payments than the publicly owned East Coast Mainline. The Minister then repeated the misinformation the following day at Transport Questions.
Yet Parliamentary answers and official figures recorded by the Office of Rail Regulation show that, Publicly owned East Coast Mainline through Directly Operated Railways has paid the taxpayer significantly higher premium payments than Richard Branson’s Virgin on the West Coast Mainline.
- Publicly owned East Coast paid the Treasury £411 million between 2009 and 2012 whilst Virgin’s West Coast paid £282 million during the same period. A difference of £129m.
- Publicly owned East Coast through Directly Operated railways also paid almost twice as more (£602m) than its predecessor National Express (£370m) over a four year period.
Eye awaits with interest to see whether Mr Toad is required to apologise for misleading the House...
UPDATE: This from the Editorial Team at Rail Business Intelligence
Simon Burns is also convinced that returning East Coast to “the private sector” will bring about improved punctuality.
According to the details of an interview on BBC Two's Daily Politics contained on the Minister's own website:
[Mr Burns] said there have been improvements on the East Coast Mainline since it was taken into public ownership into 2009, but said there had now been a "plateau".
He said now was the time to return it to the private sector "for a number of reasons".
"...Firstly, because the improvements have now plateaued and we believe that passengers should get even better service from it, better punctuality..."
"We now believe it is the right time to move forward so we can get a new franchise holder coming in, providing the service, using their innovative skills to improve the service for passengers."
Readers of tomorrow’s Rail Business Intelligence will no doubt find the following table of interest.
RBI readers will of course draw their own conclusions about how much better the private sector is at delivering a more punctual railway.
UPDATE: This from Alecto...
Here is some ORR Data which tells us a lot about the Department for Transport's commitment to 'transparency':
So when Mr Burns says that West Coast pays more in premium he is clearly right.
BUT under Cap & Collar Virgin gets revenue support because the fare revenue coming in is less than forecast.
So the Treasury got £209.7 million, but paid back £44 million, thus vindicating the RMT claim and showing that Mr Burns either can't do difficult sums or is a political weasel (Shurely: political colossus! Ed)
And here are the comparative net payment figures for the three years (premia shown positive)
Of course the real issue is not about the Minister, but whether the Permanent Secretary is party to this dissimulation.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
So. Today Boris Johnson launched the consultation for Crossrail 2.
According to the TfL blurb:
Crossrail 2 would create a new high-frequency, high-capacity rail line running between south west and north east London.
Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail (NR) are seeking the views of people in London and south east England on Crossrail 2.
Of course there is no guarantee that this new railway will follow the alignment as proposed or indeed ever be built.
At least not until Chris Stokes comes up with an 'improved' version, after that it's a dead cert...
UPDATE: This from Tunnelling Tim...
I thought all it took for a new railway to succeed was the opposition of Wolmar?
More wise words from Third Degree Burns.
This written answer given yesterday...
Chris Williamson (Derby North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons are for the time taken to agree the signing of the Thameslink contract; and if he will make a statement.
Simon Burns (Chelmsford, Conservative)
The Department intends to award the contract for Thameslink Rolling Stock shortly. Transactions of this size necessarily include a significant volume of both project and finance documentation. The Department is working with Siemens and Cross London Trains to finalise these arrangements.
Eye has temporarily lost the office copy of Dods Guide to Parliamentary Obfuscation, but from memory "shortly" is further away than "imminent" but perhaps not as close as "Later this month".
Good news for fans of 'British built' trains!
This from Hitachi...
Hitachi Rail Europe Signs Contract with Merchant Place Developments for Construction of New UK Train Factory
NEWTON AYCLIFFE, May 14, 2013 – Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. today announced that it has signed the contract with Merchant Place Developments for the construction and fit-out of a rolling stock manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, UK. Merchant Place Developments therefore have now gone from preferred bidder status to full contract award.
The contract paves the way for the construction of Hitachi’s first train factory in Europe, which represents an investment of £82 million to create its state-of-the-art manufacturing hub in the North East of England. Hitachi Rail Europe receives a £4 million grant by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to support the build of the factory...
The factory will initially be used to build the Super Express Trains for the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line, with the potential to be used for other orders such as building Crossrail rolling stock in the facility, should Hitachi Rail Europe be the successful bidder. Hitachi places great emphasis on employing locally where possible and the factory will create long-term employment for 730 people. This figure includes a Research & Development department. It is expected that 200 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the factory.
Good news indeed!
But what's this?
The release continues...
"The decision to build a manufacturing plant was taken after Hitachi Rail Europe won the contract with the Department for Transport (DfT) to replace the ageing fleet of diesel-powered Intercity trains currently running on the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line. The contract with the DfT was signed in July 2012."
What contract to replace 'ageing' diesels on the East Coast Main Line?
Perhaps DfT might care to share?
UPDATE: This from the East Coast High Panjandrum...
The DfT's contract with Hitachi does indeed see the replacement of the HSTs with IEPs.
Of course the issue under debate is what happens with Phase 2 - replacing the 225 fleet or not.
UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic...
There seems to be some confusion over IEP contracts.
This is not surprising, given the byzantine structure created by DfT to replace IC125.
Here is an extract from the Janet & John guide to Today's Railway:
- DfT has signed a total train service provision contract with Agility Trains to replace IC125 sets on Great Western and East Coast.
- Agility trains is led by Hitachi which will supply the Super Express Trains and depots and maintain the fleet for the next 27.5 years.
- Where the confusion arises is that the two fleets are being replaced separately through separate subsidiaries of Agility Trains, each of which will have contracts with a train operator.
- Agility Trains West is responsible for the Great Western fleet and has reached financial close.
- Agility Trains East will provide the East Coast replacement fleet and this deal has yet to reach financial close.
There is an option in this contract to replace the EC IC225 fleet with IEP. DfT was due to have appointed a financial advisor to monitor this deal last month.
Meanwhile, can I commend Nigel Harris' editorial in the latest RAIL on this very subject?
Monday, 13 May 2013
This from the Vice Marshall...
Not sure that this sign at Tile Hill station can be described as 'pointless' since it points to Trains to Coventry. It has recently become visible again as a result of the shrub against the fence being cut down.
Problem is that to follow that arrow one would have to climb over a 6ft security fence, cross two 100mph running lines and another 6ft security fence to reach the platform for Coventry.
Sadly the sign has not been amended by London Midland since the level crossing at Tile Hill was replaced by a £3m new road bridge some six years ago.
This was built as part of the original PUG2 plan for Virgin Pendolini running at 140mph - but, of course, that never happened, either!
Wildly off topic but absolutely brilliant!
Commander Hadfield offers his variant on 'Space Oddity' before departing the Space Station to return to Earth.
On a scale of 1 to 10 just how cool is this?
Pure 11 !
Friday, 10 May 2013
Much excitement across the airwaves!
The most recent edition of Radio 4's excellent programme 'The Reunion' brought together some of the key players involved in the Hutton Report.
Amongst the likes of Geoff 'Buff' Hoon, Andrew Gilligan and former BBC DG Greg Dyke was NR's very own media guru Tom Kelly - then the PM's official spokesman.
Fans of hard core verbal punch-ups can enjoy the prog courtesy of Listen Again.
Those with long memories may recall the questionable claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that could be "ready within 45 minutes".
Unlike Gilligoon, whose eventual arrival at the studio exceeded even that generous time frame.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
This from Oratorian Brother Cletts...
Regularly seen nipping between Waterloo and Friarsgate House your snapping sleuths might try to catch Phil Dominey of SWT on an SWT branded Brompton folding bike.
Less certain is whether you'll see Andy Saunders FGW Integration & Partnership manager on an FGW version, or whether Arthur Leathley can be persuaded to swap his own machine for a Virgin branded Easy Rider type.
Charles Horton also has his own Brompton, but they are scheduled to go live with hire points at Ashford, Canterbury W, Maidstone E and Tonbridge by the end of May, so whether he gets snapped on a SouthEastern branded bike is up for grabs.
East Coast has also partly supported the bikes at Peterborough (but no jokes about on your bike and the refranchising). I did try to suggest that RAIL's brightest and best might find the 5-6 miles from PBO to their offices a suitably invigorating and time saving way to connect with the local rail service but no joy yet.
Other cyclists of the folding fraternity include Alistair Dormer MD of Hitachi Europe and Tony Berkeley chair of the Rail Freight Group (who used to have a most venerable machine, often seen outside the House of Lords).
Yet to convert Anthony Smith of Passenger Focus to the glories of folding, but he regularly rides in to the Passenger Focus offices from S London.
Surely Eye readers can supply photos of some the above great and good aboard their noble collapsible steeds?
UPDATE: This from a Mr Philip Haigh...
I rather enjoy my Brompton ride from PBO to RAIL Towers.
Although I must be honest and say the novelty of winter was beginning to wear off by April.
Do I win a 'Brand Pride' award?
UPDATE: This from SouthEastern's Sarah Boundy...
Here is a picture of Charles Horton beside Friar's Bridge Court.
UPDATE: This from Iolanthe...
One of My Lord Berkeley upon a Brompton for Eye's collection.
Interesting news from the 'heart of the railway industry'.
According to the Derby & Derbyshire Rail Forum the new DG Rail, Clare Moriarty, has been out and about visiting rail businesses in the East Midlands:
Ms Moriarty met with the forum’s Chairman Colin Walton and Vice-Chair Michelle Craven-Faulkner together with the Managing Directors of forum member organisations Datum, ESG and Garrandale.
Ms Moriarty also spent time with DDRF member companies Porterbrook Leasing and Railway Vehicle Engineering Limited (RVEL), concluding her visit by touring RVEL’s extensive workshops on London Road...
Ms Moriarty said that she was keen to work with partners from across the rail industry to advance a shared agenda and promote the success of rail in the UK.
Could it be that Whitehall is finally waking up to the fact that the railway industry also consists of a massive supply chain, as well as Network Rail and the TOCs?
Hopefully next in-line to experience such a Damascene conversion will be the Rail Delivery Group! (In your dreams! Ed)
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
This, allegedly, from a Mr Tudor Arrow...
Unbelievably some people in the railway industry still believe that we Roscos are populated by rather dry and humourless people.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The image below had my colleagues in Accounts Payable rolling in the isles so hard that we had to move their comptometers out of reach for precisely 2.75 seconds! Can you imagine what that did for productivity!
How we laughed! Until the boss returned from lunch, obviously.
Just in case the office's new Oyster 25 million megapixel camera doesn't make the picture Cristal clear I should explain that my Jermyn Street shirt cleverly juxtaposes both the old and the new Porterbrook pantones, offset to very best effect by a solid Platignum set of cuff... (cont' p94).
Please tell me there are other entries to this. Ed.
This from Northern Spirit...
On Saturday 27th April locomotive 26038 was named "Tom Clift 1954 - 2012" at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Tom had close links with the KWVR, having held a party in March 2012 aboard a steam charter on the railway to celebrate his retirement from Open Access Operator Grand Central.
26038 was Tom's pride and joy and the loco is now owned by his family.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
The Fact Compiler's latest column in Passenger Transport published on the 26th April...
UPDATE: This from a Mr Tony Miles...
This from the Daily Mirror...
Sir Richard Branson has been forced to buy his train staff new bras – because their latest uniforms are too skimpy.
Virgin Trains workers say their blouses are too short and so flimsy that passengers will see if they are wearing dark bras.
Virgin’s business support department is now offering them a £20 voucher for new underwear after delaying the uniform by three weeks.
Unlike Beardie Rail to get into a pickle over ladies' embonpoints, as this picture from 2009 shows...
Saturday, 4 May 2013
Or should that read South Western Railway?
This is the bespoke case that SWT's twitter supremo has had created for her iPhone.
Anyone else done something similar?
Additional points in this game if it annoys the brand police!