Sunday, 12 July 2009

Countering the passenger downturn

***Boriswatch offers a neat suggestion***

The Kraken Wakes

And not before time!

This from tomorrow's Daily Telegraph...

Network Rail's much-criticised corporate governance will be challenged formally later this month when a dozen of the company's members seek a major overhaul.

Interesting that this challenge is taking place so early in the tenure of Rick Haythornthwaite, NR's new chairman.

Apparently the passenger and freight operators expect great things of Rick.

The Eye watches with interest.

Caption competition

This extra-ordinary image reaches Eye from an 'Anonymous' reader.

It purports to show Paul Bigland, the Pictographer Royal, attending the unveiling of some slightly soiled PPE in Indonesia in 1992.

Paul is on the far left, and is that a youthful Iain Coucher we spy on the far right? (no it's bloody well not! Eye's Legal Dept.)

Eye readers are invited to supply slightly wittier captions at the usual address:

UPDATE: This from Dave over at Railtalkmagazine...

How about "New NXEC uniforms reveal depth of crisis."


"New east coast franchise to be stripped to basics."

UPDATE: This from a Mr Boyd

"The Village People preview their latest hit, 'In a Pendo!' "

Or maybe Bigland does a Rod Stewart, "If you want my body and you think I'm sexy!"

Pointless signs #1

NR launches new level crossing lights

This just in from a Mr Snow...

I wonder if Eye readers might have chanced on this natty little graduate brochure from NR.

If you turn to page 13, you will see a nice picture of a most unusual set of wigwag lights.

Could this be a new standard pioneered by one of NR's recent trainees and now being rolled out nationally?

If so, perhaps it accounts for some of the crossing abuse that we see so much of these days.

Perhaps time NR had a quiet word with the graphic designers.

Readers letters

Hello 'fact' compiler,

You will probably find this totally humourless and stick it on your blog so you can take the piss out of it, but here goes anyway.

It's about your response to my email of a week ago concerning the car on the line on the ECML, I know it's a bit late but I've only just seen it.

First, where did I sign myself "concerned" NR employee?

I realise it was meant as a joke and was responding in similar vein, hence the reference to the hard hat which certainly wasn't meant seriously.

Secondly, I was also making a reasonable (I thought) point about not doing potentially dangerous things.

When you work in a signalbox and have safety drummed into you every day, yet have to watch others doing daft things, you become a bit sensitive on the subject.

Anyway sorry to be po faced but if you are going to put people up for ridicule you might take the trouble to actually read what they write.

I will still say keep up the good work though.

Ivan (unconcerned NR employee).

Who let the dogs out?

Good news for the people of Kenilworth!

This from a Network Rail press release:


Good news indeed.

No doubt the burghers of Kenilworth* will rejoice to see ever faster and more reliable trains pass through their town without stopping.

*Kenilworth is a town of 24,000 souls and has no station.

NXEC takes the biscuit!

This just in from '20 year commuter'...

The service deterioration on National Express East Coast has been well documented by Eye.

But now it looks like hand-back mode has really kicked in as 'Adonis-Dunkers’ have now started gracing first class tables.

In recent months hard-working but weary travellers on the East Coast have been treated to 25g of tasty biscuit delight, courtesy of Walkers (the biccie people not the crisp purveyors).

The normal twin biscuit bonanza offered passengers such sumptuous flavours as Belgian chocolate, oat crunch, stem ginger and the classic shortbread.

Alas, this week they seem to be getting fewer and further between as the cheaper Walkers ‘shortbread mini round’ (at a very mini 11g) takes over.

Woe is me – not enough biccie to dunk in the tea!

UPDATE: The Major crumbles:

Some passengers may be seeing smaller biscuits, others are seeing none whatsoever.

Here's hoping Elaine does biscuits...