Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Holding to account

This for Railway Eye's enthusiast friends, who appear to be bearing the brunt of our headlong rush into tyranny.

Wishing all Railway Eye readers a happy commemoration of the 5th of November!

Clue's in the name

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
The whole point about the High Level Output Specification was that the civil serpents who drafted the 2005 Railways Act were determined to nail ministers down.

That is why it's called a SPECIFICATION.

So who drafted Paul Clark's 3rd November Written Answer?

Paul Clark (PPS (Rt Hon Ed Balls, Secretary of State), Department for Children, Schools and Families; Gillingham, Labour) | Hansard source

"The Department for Transport is in the early stages of discussions with First Great Western on plans to implement capacity increases to which the Government committed in their High Level Output Statement of July 2007"

Is it possible for DafT to get any more sloppy?

Wright track?

Telegrammed by an 'anonymous' reader
"Railway Eye's man at 222 Marylebone Road makes the schoolboy error of many commentators.

"It is not pro free-market (see previous post) to think that unsustainable, flawed private-sector businesses should be given free government money to stay in existence - quite the opposite.

"The point about capitalism is that companies - whether Metronet or Railtrack - should be allowed to fail when they make mistakes.

"They should then be replaced with other companies.

"They should preferably be private-sector ones, but the world's a messy place and sometimes strange hybrids such as Network Rail are the only answer.

"It's certainly hard to argue they've done a worse job than Railtrack, isn't it?"

This is splendid. Railway Eye is now being 'sockpuppeted' - just like a real blog!


Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Is Mr Wright dazed and confused?

How can Chris Randle's successor be pro-free market while supporting the creation of Railtrack's successor as a Company Limited by Guaranteed State Subsidy?

Has the 'Insider' won another comment franchise?

Penny counting

Today's early morning press call at Paddington saw Lord Adonis announce a £240m commitment to Crossrail from BAA.

In return, according to the press release, there will be 'four fast-train services an hour' to Heathrow.

These will apparently run direct from Heathrow airport to the City and Canary Wharf and out to Shenfield and Abbey Wood (stations omitted by these fast trains were not mentioned in the release).

So with the government offering £5.6bn to the project and BAA £240m that leaves only another £9bn to find!

Finnished off?

Finnish company M-real may start to regret taking on the kettle community.

Railway Eye readers will recollect that M-real has threatened the Sittingbourne Railway with closure.

Undaunted the steam men of Kent have mounted a stout defence of their line.

First up to the barricades was MP Derek Wyatt who took up the cudgels on their behalf.

And now the board of the Heritage Railway Association has donated £1,000 to the SKLR’s fighting fund.

Of course it's not the money that should worry M-real.

Formed of senior lawyers, business people and parliamentarians the HRA Board is extremely well connected.

They could make Gordon's treatment of the Icelandic banks look like a Manse picnic.