Monday, 10 September 2012

Sumner's Olympian memo tells it like it is!

This from Hugh Sumner, Director Transport, ODA...

Dear staff,

The nation’s toughest task, your moment in the global spotlight, millions of smiling spectators.

You grasped the task with both hands and I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of you.

Some seven years ago Britain won the honour of hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The nation held its breath in excitement; for many, from the journalists to members of the International Olympic Committee, grave concern existed in our ability to hold such an important and significant world event. They said it couldn’t be done. You did it.

Together you’ve been at the heart of the most successful Games of the modern era. From Weymouth to Glasgow and from Cardiff to Hadleigh, you’ve served people from all over the world irrespective of who they are or where they come from.

You’ve done things better than they’ve ever been done before. Your customer service has been terrific and the spectators noticed and loved you for it; your attention to the operational detail has been excellent and it’s made a real difference. Your desire to work together and find the solutions that work for everyone has made the greatest challenges surmountable.

In all of it you lived the values of safety, service and fun. None of that happened through luck or by chance. You worked hard to get here and in your planning, building and preparations you set the foundations for success. Look back now on a glorious summer of operations and ask yourself: what have we done that’s made all this possible? Don’t wait to take hold of the things that have made you so successful, take hold of them now and put them into practice for your future life.

Walk tall, push your chest out a little further, you deserve to feel yourself fill with pride; carry this pride with you always. The greatest show on earth, our nation’s greatest peace time challenge: you have made it an unparalleled success. Take that pride with you and put it to work in everything you do: every one of you is the true legacy of London 2012.

All the best for the future, wherever it may be and whatever you may do.


Hugh Sumner
Director of Transport, Olympic Delivery Authority

Good effort. That is all.

Virgin launches new route to Scotland

This from Virginia Water...

With DOR set to run both East Coast and West Coast InterCity franchises the state will have an effective monopoly over the London - Scotland rail market.  

Happily this will put them in an excellent position to compete with short haul air services, including, and in particular, the new flights to be operated between Scotland and Heathrow from next summer by Virgin Atlantic.

Judicial review anyone?

Bob Crow talks sense, for a fleeting moment

This from the RMT...

TRANSPORT UNION RMT today paid tribute to the thousands of public transport staff in London and beyond who have been central to the delivery of the successful Olympics and Paralympics which drew to a close last night.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“This has been a fantastic summer of sport for Britain and as well as the success in the medals tables we have also delivered on the biggest transport challenge that London has ever faced.

“The successful transportation of the millions of extra passenger journeys each day is a testament to the skill and dedication of the workforce and has been achieved through increasing staffing levels and through ensuring a proper recognition and reward for the extra pressure carried by the transport team over the past two months.

“The lesson that has been learnt is that where staff are given the opportunity and the resources, in a spirit of co-operation rather than confrontation, they can deliver gold-standard services that are the envy of the world."

So far so good and quite right too.

But what's this? 

After praising the spirit of 'co-operation' Crow Bar reverts to type:

“It would now be a travesty if TfL and the train operators were allowed to slide back to their old position of hacking away at jobs and standards in the drive for cuts and with the Games now successfully delivered RMT is demanding that there is no return to the bad old ways that undermined transport services prior to the Olympics and Paralympics.”

Eye congratulates Bob for being the first to "return to the bad old ways" that undermine transport services!

Tom Clift - funeral arrangements

The funeral of Tom Clift will be held at St Martin's church, Caerphilly at 13:15 on Monday 24th September.

The service will be followed by a private cremation for family and close friends only

All are welcome afterwards at Caerphilly Rugby Club.

Family flowers only please, donations to the Railway Mission.

Railway unbothy - Tamworth

This from Captain W E Johns...

This is one of two 'open plan' waiting rooms at Tamworth station. 

The old waiting rooms were scheduled for replacement last winter. 

Now, following weeks of inactivity, it looks like punters will be treated to the al fresco experience through the winter as the contractors are not to be seen. 

What has happened? I think that we should be told!

UPDATE: This from London Midland...

Just fancy that! 

Railway Garden Competition - Shipley

This from Barrett Homes...

Three from Shipley.

Here the entrance subway off Station Road

And here the former platform opposite the current platform 5.

And finally the station building.

Not so much a Railway Garden as a Railway Garden Centre?

Pointless signs - Cardiff Bay

This from a Dr Gloucester...

I thought Eye readers might like the following example of a multilingual pointless sign.

Note the cunning reference to a footbridge on one of the traditional "Passengers must not..." signs.

Not sure why the English line is worthy of a circumflex on the 'e' in "Passengers", however, that's not the real point of this entry.

The sign is located at the end of the platform at Cardiff Bay, which has but one platform (and no footbridge).

DfT prepares to activate DOR on West Coast

As Beardie and ToT gear up for this afternoon's barnstorming performance at the TSC, the DfT is turning up the heat on Virgin.

In yesterday's Sunday Times Karl West reported that Marsham Street is considering renationalising the InterCity West Coast franchise if there are delays to the start of the new franchise (due to commence on the 9th December).

A DfT spokesman said "In view of the legal challenge from Virgin Trains, we are looking at our responsibilities under Section 30 of the Railways Act and it is only prudent to increase our focus on contingency planning."

On the plus side, taking over the ICWC franchise for a short time this year will help Directly Operated Railways prepare for a longer custodianship in 2019. (Shurely shome mishtake? Ed)