Saturday, 7 February 2009

Tornado flash mobbed!

This just in from our Kettle Watcher...

Turn up on your own with a camera at King's Cross on a 'normal' day and you are told to sign-in at the DSMs office if you want to take photos.

So a flash mob of 2,000 (NX estimate) turn up to see the A1 make its debut in the Capital, and nobody gives a toss about signing in.

Just show what an absolute load of bllx is perpetrated by Network Rail. And I bet many used flash too, which is a total no no, when I have been on stations !

Maybe that's how to deal with the "no photography" jobsworth - bring in Rent-a-Crowd.

Just a shame about the gormless members of the public who thought it OK to wander on the track at Holme, forcing trains to be cautioned and journeys delayed.

UPDATE: We are Dave writes...

Well, no, actually. The best way to put a stop to this bllx forever would have been for all 2,000 people to go to the DSM's office and *demand* to sign in...

UPDATE: This from our very own Eboracum (50A)...

The delay's weren't due to trespass - there was an OLE fault North of Peterborough.

That and the fact that every line side crossing was thick with gricers hoping to phot' the beast.

Which led TOC's crews to approaching said areas with caution.

Pretty sensible really.

London Midland News

This just in from our man at the back...

As this franchise lurches from one crisis to another, the RMT is calling for strike action at the ex Silverlink depots as the management finally get to grips with the various Spanish Practices that have been taking place.

However, now they have done that, the management have introduced some ridiculous payment structures to tempt traincrew into working overtime and rest days to keep them out of the do-do as they failed to recruit enough staff to service the new timetable.

Drivers now have a guaranteed minimum of 11hours payment for working a no duty day and guards have 10 hours. Both supposedly temporary arrangements but wait for the unions to call the 'custom and practice' argument to make it permanent.

In the meantime the station staff who aren't treated with the same kid gloves are left to get on with it, i.e. lump it.

Sundays remain voluntary for the time being.

UPDATE: An 'anonymous' reader mails the following implausible tale...

Rumours around Euston that Richard Branson has been offered a blank cheque if he takes over the Midland franchise.

But he wants a name change to Virgin Suburban, and wants to see the Overground banished from Euston.

I can't say if that's true, but it's hardly unexpected.

Though I'm not sure what TfL will make of Beardie's demands regarding the Overground.

Make of this what you will.

UPDATE: Sim Harris writes:

Interesting that the notion of no Overground at Euston has been revived, even in the context of Beardie taking over LM.

Actually, it was on the TfL "maybe" list as recently as late 2007.

The argument is that Overground (i.e. Watford DC) delivers people to a terminus where the Underground is already woefully overcrowded in the morning peak.

Serious consideration has been given to diverting the Watfords via Primrose Hill (Opportunity missed! Ed) and then taking them along the North London Railway to feed people down into the City - perhaps at Dalston Junction when the ELR is opened?

I don't believe the idea is dead, either.

Snowball fight

This just in from Sim Harris over at Rail Management...

Oh, dear. Yet another yearning for the old days.

Let's not fall for the spell of a concocted British Transport Film: a lot of it was staged/recreated, you know -- it was a STORY purporting to be fact (which some of it was, of course -- the snow was real).

However, there is no doubt that steam locomotives were better at snow clearing work -- and keeping going in the snow, too. No sensitive traction motors and miscellaneous electrickery to be upset, for one thing, and better adhesion, I think, too -- which is one reason why leaves on the line were less of a problem in them good ole days as well.

Perhaps that would have been a better justification for maintaining a strategic steam reserve, rather than the usually-quoted one of nuclear attack?

UPDATE: Nigel Harris, for it is he, responds...

Snowball? - 'Snow way to react.....

Oh dear, Sim.

What a perverse interpretation of what I actually said!

Of course I wasn't yearning for the old days. Of COURSE BTF films were staged, but what was NOT staged was the spirit which said that the line must remain open, wherever possible, which SABG clearly portrayed - and which is what I actually said. And mostly, the lines DID remain open, with some determination.

The youtube clip which TFC portrayed illustrated the same point with even greater clarity.

As anyone not in point-scoring mode could see, the issue I was highlighting is that it was this SPIRIT which is too often missing today, and the example I gave was schools!

At no point did I even mention steam locomotives, let alone the utterly barmy notion of strategic reserves!

I do wish people would read what was said - and not what they think was said!

Anyway, this isn't a discussion group, so I shall get me coat, undaunted.

Topic closed. Ed


Telegrammed by Admiral Tojo
Sushi and Sake all round at Marsham Street on Monday night is the word on the tracks, with an announcement on Tuesday morning.

But only a small initial order.

Unless the Treasury bins it again.