Rail 649: Railway class will miss its star pupil

August 14th, 2010 Rail Magazine 1 comment
It’s time again for the annual assessment of the performance of the railway school which is about to undertake yet another massive change. Lord Adonis tried to turn the school into a freestanding academy, with oodles of extra money to bring it back up to speed and promises of expansion into new ventures. Now the new government is clearly wanting the school to become once again a bog standard comprehensive ...

Adonis in a hurry

April 16th, 2010 New Statesman 9 comments
This was supposed to be an interview with Theresa Villiers, the little known shadow transport spokeswoman but she proved to be an elusive character. After a dozen phone calls to her office which were answered by people called Giles and Phillipa who all seemed incapable of returning calls, the New Statesman was snubbed as, apparently Ms Villiers was not available for interview, as clearly she wants to remain an unknown ...

Rail 640: High speed line is a matter of faith – and I don’t have it

March 25th, 2010 Rail Magazine 6 comments
Despite my name, I have never been a religious person and therefore I find the concept of ‘faith' rather difficult. When I visit one of those majestic richly decorated cathedrals in Italy, I long to want to cast away my scepticism and join in with the hordes crossing themselves and kneeling in front of statues of Jesus being crucified. But I can't.  And for the same reason, I find it difficult ...

Rail 639: No regrets over demise of Intercity Express

March 12th, 2010 Rail Magazine 7 comments
There is something to be said for tightening our belts. Having lots of money swilling around inevitably leads to waste and the discipline of a smaller budget can often lead to better governance. This is well illustrated by the decision by Lord Adonis to postpone the Intercity Express Programme to replace the 125 HST sets. While this move has been forced on the Department for Transport by the continued banking ...

Franchise muddle persists

February 1st, 2010 TSSA Journal no comments
The day after Lord Adonis suggested that franchises might be as long as 22 years, he threatened First Capital Connect with taking away its contract if the company did not improve services. This followed hot on the heels of the announcement that the temporarily renationalised East Coast would offer an improved service, with amongst other goodies, at least one train daily service between London and Edinburgh in four hours and ...

Cinderella stations were forgotten

November 18th, 2009 Christian Says 6 comments
The ever busy Lord Adonis launched his stations initiative with yet another tour of the country. It all came about because of his experience with his previous tour at Easter when he could not get a cup of tea at Southampton station in the evening. It is all a clever bit of politics. He may be in the Lords and fooled one BBC interviewer I talked with yesterday into thinking he ...

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