Friday, 14 May 2010

Hammond's Chrizzie Card list is already shorter

Telegrammed by the Raver
Sadly Mr Hammond’s little tete a tete yesterday was missing a couple of the more illustrious railway hacks.

Neither Wolmar nor Captain Deltic saw fit to join the Marsham Street love-in with the new Secretary of State.

Presumably both were, ah..., too busy?

Or perhaps they thought that being summoned to bathe in Hammond's glow with just two hours notice showed a little too much of the "old Tory" style?

Despite his busy diary Wolmar still found time to scribble a disparaging blogpost ridiculing Hammond's early surrender to the carbon hungry road lobby.

Eye fears that Christian's first invite to meet Hammond may already be his last.

The new improved DfT at a glance!

Philip Hammond's exciting and vibrant new team as below...

Theresa Villiers MP has been appointed Minister of State. Theresa Villiers is MP for Chipping Barnet.

Norman Baker MP has been appointed Parliamentary under Secretary. Norman Baker is MP for Lewes.

Mike Penning MP has been appointed Parliamentary under Secretary. Mike Penning is MP for Hemel Hempstead.

Errr... that's it.

Harris on Hammond

Nigel Harris of RAIL has the following to say about Philip Hammond's first exposure to the transport media yesterday:

You have to admire the brio and assertive approach of a brand new SoS who invites the specialist media into his department for an unplanned chat on an entirely new brief within 24 hours of his appointment in Downing Street and before he had even been to Buckingham Palace to ‘kiss hands’ and collect his seals of office from HM the Queen.

As expected Hammond's overall message on funding was bleak.

Good news, however, for those with "new and innovative ways of funding things".

Words that will no doubt delight the open access operators!

A word on Lord Adonis

Now that we have a new government it is time for a brief word on the former Secretary of State for Transport.

Eye subscribes to the view espoused in a recent edition of Railnews by Adrian Lyons, the former Director General of the Railway Forum:

Surviving and overcoming bad times means that getting the right message over is even more important.

The railway industry is not doing this.

To some extent this does not matter while Lord Adonis is Secretary of State as he is the most effective Railway Forum there has ever been.


Alas, he is now gone.

Eye hopes not for too long...

UPDATE: This just in
from Ithuriel...

Can we stop this mindless adulation of Lord Adonis.

Just because he was pro-railways and a bit of a crank doesn't mean that we should mourn his being cut off in his pomp.

Oblivious to an emerging economic crisis and his Deprtment's warning that at current costs the railway is unsustainable, he happily dumped over a billion on the Network Rail credit card for a long overdue but ill thought out politically driven electrification programme totally unrelated to the realities of resignalling and rolling stock availability.

Why Great Western and not the more straightforward and financially more attractive Midland Main Line?

On high speed, it could be said that his promotion of HS1 provided a beacon to see the industry through a grim decade ahead. And at the worst he imposed second thoughts on his department's Gadarene rush to IEP. At best, he binned it.

He was the right-minded man at the wrong time. In 1997 he would have been in his element.

Now we have a Transport Secretary in tune with the times.

Sweating the assets is the order of the day.

Farewell Prince Rupert, Hello Oliver Cromwell.