Wednesday, 9 June 2010

NRM exhibits the best of rail PR

Much delight amongst the enthusiast press!

This sorry missive from the National Railway Museum press office dribbled into hacks' inboxes today...

Although we will be too late for all deadlines apart from online publication, here is some information about a competition the NRM is currently running to win the chance to ride on Mallard’s footplate as she is pulled up to Shildon by Tornado.

Please let me know if you would like any images to accompany this story, and if you are interested in entering please come and visit!

As the print titles that this would have appealed to have a collective readership in six figures this appears somewhat of a missed opportunity.

As Kevin Kettle from Steam Heritage Magazine commented:

This is surely an offer that editorial teams would have given their right arm for as a competition prize. How can they miss our deadlines? Was the NRM asleep?

No matter.

Eye notes the unapologetic email was issued by a 'returning press officer'.

Perhaps the return was not soon enough.

Hammond moans about lost opportunities

Well that didn't take long!

A mere month into his new role ruining Britain's transport sector (shurely 'running'? Ed) Petrol-head Hammond is already whinging to the Spectator that he should have had the Chief Secretary to the Treasury job.

This from Politics Home:

In an interview to published in tomorrow’s Spectator, the transport secretary talks about missing out as chief secretary to the treasury.

He says of David Law’s resignation: “If I had been a Liberal Democrat I would have been there before him.”

Perhaps a novel way to inspire confidence in a sector that has already been hit disproportionately hard by the first tranche of budget cuts.

Well Phil, you weren't our first choice either...

Ellman retains leadership of TSC

This from Louise Ellman MP, via Twitter...

Very pleased to still be the Chair of the Transport ctte

Eye congratulates Louise.

The role of the Transport Select Committee will be very important in holding the executive to account over coming months.

What with the Shadow Transport team being just one person and all.

Hitachi offends everyone with IEP comments

This cheeky nonsense via Yahoo News...

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese high-tech giant Hitachi said Wednesday that a multi-billion-dollar deal in Britain to build railway cars could be partially cancelled due to a spending squeeze by a new government in London.

A Hitachi spokesman said the company is waiting for Britain's decision after a review of the project, which the company expects to receive in a matter of days.

"It's possible that there may be changes in the British transport ministry's plans," the official said. "But I don't think that our deal will be completely annulled because it's about replacing decrepit railway cars," he added.

Look here sunshine.

At least our British built, so called 'decrepit', HST's stop when required.

Unlike your crappy cars!

'Nuff said.

UPDATE: This from Tokyo Rose...

The Imperial High Command has already prepared a strategy to handle the publication of the Foster Review.

The Emperor and Takashi Kawamura, Chairman of Hitachi, will simultaneously broadcast that the IEP situation "has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage".

UPDATE: This from the late T C B Miller MBE...

Far from being "decrepit", my High Speed Diesel Trains are in such fine fettle that the Minister of Transport is currently seeking bids from Messrs Angel Trains and Porterbrook Leasing for life extension to 2025 or 2035.

Lookalike: The Furzels

The onward march of old technology

Exciting news from

I would like to introduce you to RailTours live.

Its a totally new concept, keeping people informed about railtours, whether you are line side or on the tour.

We launched the system on the 7th June and are receiving a lot of very good feedback.

It's 100% free to sign up and send messages to the system via SMS Text messaging, your current service plan may charge you however to send texts from your mobile phone.

It will cost you 12p to receive texts.

Haven't these people heard of Twitter, which is free?

First for shuffling the deck chairs


FirstGroup plc ("The Group"), the leading transport operator in the UK and North America, announces the following Board changes.

Tim O'Toole will become Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive with effect from 14 June 2010.

Tim joined the Board of FirstGroup as Independent Non-Executive Director on 7 May 2009. He has a wealth of international transport management experience most recently as Managing Director of London Underground. He joined Transport for London in 2003 prior to which he was President and Chief Executive of Consolidated Rail Corporation, one of America 's most successful rail networks.

Commenting, Martin Gilbert, Chairman said:
"I am delighted to welcome Tim to the role of Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of FirstGroup. He brings considerable UK and US experience together with a strong track record of achievement. I am confident that he will make a significant contribution to the Group and the shaping of its continued successful development."

Commenting, Tim O'Toole said:
"This is an exciting opportunity to build on the considerable success that FirstGroup has already achieved. I look forward to joining the executive team as we work to deliver the Group's priorities and create further long term value for shareholders."

Nicola Shaw has announced her intention to step down from the Board to pursue alternative business interests outside the Group. Nicola will step down from her role as Director UK Bus, Ireland and Germany with effect from 30 June 2010.

She will continue to provide on-going strategic advice to the Chief Executive in relation to the UK Bus business.

Mary Grant, Managing Director of the Group's Rail division, will extend her current role and assume responsibility for the Group's Bus division on an interim basis.

Commenting, Sir Moir Lockhead, Chief Executive said:
"I would like to thank Nicola for her substantial contribution to the growth of FirstGroup over the last five years, initially as Managing Director UK Bus and more recently as Director Bus UK , Ireland and Germany . We wish her every success for the future."

Commenting, Nicola Shaw said:
"After five years at FirstGroup and following the successful development of the Group's Bus division, I believe that the time is right to move on to new challenges".

Enquiries FirstGroup plc

Hopefully Eye's 'Exciting new brain teaser' of the 4th May is now becoming clearer...