Friday, 25 September 2009
Telegrammed by Party Animal
Regular Eye readers will be aware already of the LibDem's decision to endorse 30 year franchises.
A slick piece of lobbying by new ATOC PR supremo Ed Welsh.
Ed's background is in local government, so presumably he had Baker and the rest of the 'gas and water' muesli munchers eating out of his hand.
Whilst ATOC congratulated itself on a spirited performance in Bournemouth the award for the biggest PR coup goes to Alstom!
The French train manufacturer sponsored the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group fringe event on Sunday night.
So delighted was Chairman Paul Rowen MP, that he made a passionate speech thanking Alstom, "the UK's last train manufacturer, based in Derby".
Brighton next week - see you there.
Telegrammed by Sir Humphrey Beeching
Have we another Mottram Moment in the making?
A furious email has been issued by HS2 containing a statement from Sir David Rowlands...
HS2's response to RAIL Magazine
“The insinuation that Scotland would not be included in our proposals for a high-speed rail network is frankly ludicrous. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh are on our list of primary destinations and will definitely feature in all of our proposed network options.
“In fact, on the day RAIL Magazine published its factually inaccurate article, I was in Scotland meeting with the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson to discuss, among other things, the work Scotland is doing to ensure a future high-speed link is integrated with its transport planning strategies."
Well that clears that up then.
Or does it?
Perhaps Sir David would be better directing his ire closer to home.
After all, RAIL was merely reporting non-attributable briefings given to several trade titles by Rowlands' own staff...
UPDATE: This just in from RAIL's Managing Editor. Nigel Harris...
RE The Scottish Question
Eye watchers will be interested to know that I am already in correspondence with my good friend Sir David's office regarding RAIL's HS2 report, in the last issue, by Business Editor Phil Haigh.
RAIL stands 100% behind Phil's entirely accurate, objective, prompt, thoroughly professional news story and I shall be inviting Sir David to withdraw his allegation of inaccuracy forthwith.
I'll be dealing with this in the next RAIL - including, maybe, further revelations from Phil's carefully noted, on-the-record briefing, which contained the controversial 'not for Scotland' opinions.
Wild horses wouldn't drag the name of the highly-placed source from our lips, but if HS2 thinks the Scottish comments were embarrassing, then other remarks lying (currently) unpublished in the detailed transcript I asked Phil to produce, from his contemporaneous notes, may indeed prompt the 'Mottram Moment' you so wittily allude to.
Bottom line: Phil's story is 100% accurate. Fact.
UPDATE: This from a Mr Saltaire...
Tut, you wait years for a Scotland scandal, and then two turn up at once!
UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic ( in serious mode for once)...
Several of us in the railway press have had the same story, with the same quotes from HS2L sources.
I didn't follow Phil into print for the simple reason that I have decided to write about HS rail only when there is something in print with hard numbers to crunch - such as the NR report.
Informed Sources has run for over a quarter of a century because the eponymous sources know I will never let them down.
But trust is bi-directional and I work on the basis that anyone is allowed to mislead me once.
Had I followed Phil with an item and then had a denial sent not to me or my editor in the first instance but to all the railway press I would wonder whether it represented a breach of trust.