Monday, 27 October 2008

Whither ED?

So Metronet staff are finally to transfer over to London Underground in December.

And not before time.

The amount of duplication and man marking that has taken place within London Underground, as it sought to rein in the errant contractor, grew to epic proportions before Metronet collapsed.

And still the swollen headcount remains.

First in Tim O'Toole's sights must be LU's bloated Engineering Directorate.

In the heady days of Shadow Running it numbered a mere 16 people, now over 400 are on it's books; most of whom are too busy peering over the shoulders of their now in-house infraco colleagues to add a shred of value to the business.

Whilst the omens aren't looking good for the massed ranks of paper pushers in ED, the future of LU's Engineering Director, David Waboso, looks much more rosy.

Waboso, a former SRA man, has been lobbying hard to take on the Metronet top job since the infraco was nationalised in May this year.

With current MD Andie Harper, and most of his team, coming to the end of their interim contracts can it be long before Waboso and his trusted lieutenants fulfill their dreams and Metronet posts?

I'm on the train

C2C is planning to invest in mobile phone busting technology.

Read the London Paper story here.

Not a future expense that needs worry EMT, whose Meridians render the term 'mobile communications' meaningless.

Gare de l'eau

TGV service delayed for two hours!

BBC report here.

The gentleman involved is reported to be unharmed, although looking a little flushed.

Porterbrook flogged

***Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited has announced that a consortium of investors including Antin Infrastructure Partners (the BNP Paribas sponsored infrastructure fund), Deutsche Bank and Lloyds TSB has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the Company from Abbey National.

Completion of the purchase is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to take place before the end of 2008.***

Sources at the Rosco deny that Deutsche Bank's interest has anything to do with Porterbrook's 'DE1' postcode.

UPDATE: The Deutsche Bank led consortium will pay £1.4bn for the Rosco - the same price Abbey paid to Stagecoach when it acquired Porterbrook in 2000

Shoots foot

Oh dear - the Tories grand plan to replace additional runways at Heathrow with a new High Speed line is already coming off the rails.

According to today's Financial Times several speakers at last week's Integrating High-Speed Rail conference poured scorn on the plans.

Not least because BAA revealed that only 'three per cent of the 480,000 annual take-offs and landings at Heathrow were for flights to, or from, Leeds or Manchester', with none at all for Birmingham.

Who on earth is advising Teresa Villiers? (Answer here)


Telegrammed by The Master
No doubt people waiting further up the line will be tut-tutting the late running of this morning's 10:21 FGW Paddington to Oxford service.

However passengers aboard were treated to the full story of why it ground to a halt on leaving Reading.

A weary Train Manager came on the PA to explain that the delay was due to a passenger trying to access the train whilst it was moving.

Staff then had to secure the door only to have their efforts undone when the self same passenger tried to exit the train on realising it was going in the wrong direction!

Railway Eye tip for ministers: Keep increasing fares, drive away passengers and we'll have a near perfect PPM.