Friday, 8 August 2008

Negligent discharge

Regular readers of Railway Eye will be aware that Captain Deltic has offered his services to Network Rail, as a Public Member, on more than one occasion.

They will also be aware that for the third time this selfless and gracious offer has been declined.

Those who know the good Captain had assumed he had taken this set-back with his customary sang-froid and that even now he is steeling himself to respond once more to the nations call, should Network Rail allow.

Alas! Great sadness and shocking news!

It would appear that Saturday's rejection has had more than a passing effect upon that English Electric heart of gold, if a recent thread on Tom Harris' blog is to be believed.

As a service to the industry the Fact Compiler reproduces the disturbing exchange below:

His spin doctor should have pointed out that if you really want to look credible with an AK47 you should have a spare magazine gaffa taped to the one in use. and the version with the folding tubular stock is even more warry.

So not impressed. What’s your weapon of choice?

  • You’re a strange and disturbing man, Captain

  • The Fact Compiler fears that the good Captain may be preparing his very own unique route-and-branch reformation of NR's corporate governance!

    Gap analysis

    Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
    The Competition Commission report into the ROSCOs makes more and more interesting reading.

    Providing of course that you can read between the commercially confidential lines:

    a) Fifty-five of Angel’s 70-vehicle fleet of seven-year-old Class 180 Adelantes were returned by First Great Western following replacement by HSTs - [REMOVED] of these vehicles have been subsequently placed with [REMOVED], leaving [REMOVED] off-lease at the end of April 2008.


    It's now August and H*ll Tr**ns has got f**r on a t*n year lease. and V*rg*n Tr**ns signed a lease for two on J*l* 18th.

    That leaves **ght still up for grabs. So Gr*nd C*nt*al is still in with a chance then?

    Read all about it

    Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
    Today the ORR published the report it commissioned into aspects of Network Rail’s governance.

    Entitled "Network Rail: Membership aspects of governance", the KPMG report drew attention to a number of serious structural weaknesses in the role of Public Members including:

    • a lack of clarity about the role of members and the way members are selected
    • issues around members having access to appropriate information and analysis in order to take an informed view of Network Rail's performance, including future prospects, so that they can hold Network Rail to account efficiently.
    Perhaps the simplest solution would to be to give all Public Members a wi-fi enabled laptop set to the Daft endorsed uber-rail web-site Railway Eye!.

    That really would challenge Ian McAllister's legendary schmoozing powers.

    Mr Norris to you

    Rob Holden has been lobbying hard in the dead tree media over recent months to secure the top job at Crossrail.

    Only last weekend the Independent on Sunday ran yet another puff piece saying the "Crossrail chairmanship interested Holden".

    Alas it is not to be.

    As predicted in Railway Eye last month BoJo will pay his electoral debt of gratitude to Steve Norris by making him Chairman of Cross London Rail Links; the TfL subsidiary tasked with taking the project forward.

    With the top job sorted the next big question is who Shagger will bring with him to beef up the current Crossrail team. The Fact Compiler has a premonition that the supply chain may be in for a surprise!

    Mouth activated, brain in neutral

    Pre-recorded announcement on an SWT Juniper at Richmond station this morning.

    "The door buttons are now activated"

    Our correspondent wonders what particular problem this is a solution to?

    Meanwhile no mention that the train is 12 late.

    More fatuous on train announcements please