Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Fire up the…Javelin

Posted in Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 7 April 2010

So, there are now four weeks until the British electorate decides whether to have five more years of Labour, or to give the Conservatives a go. Whether the man living at Number 10 from the 7th May is The Rt Hon James Gordon Brown Phd MP or The Rt Hon David William Donald Cameron MP, it is entirely likely that the next government will see probably quite significant cuts in the transport budget, likely affecting rail badly, given the expense of building and maintaining rail infrastructure. Well, this was only to be expected I suppose. Of course, it’s always fun to see what the rest say they would do, safe in the knowledge that they’ll never get to power. We’ve had the Liberal Democrats stating that they would invest £3bn in expanding the network, beyond the focus on High Speed 2, by cutting the road budget. Any proposal that slows road expansion is to be welcomed in my view, but I do somehow think that this £3bn proposal is somewhat of a pipedream, given what they are proposing to do is likely to cost somewhere a long way north of £3bn. But like I say, the LibDems won’t take power (at least on their own), so it will remain merely a pipedream.

“LibDems plan major expansion of rail network”

Of course, with the election campaign starting, the leaders have to get in as much face time in the media and as much glad handing as they can. Thus it was that the PM arrived to catch a train at St Pancras by pulling up to the front entrance on the Euston Road, and then walking up to the upper level. However, he was actually there to catch a train to Rochester. Now, I know St Pancras very well, and I know that walking in the front entrance is not the easiest and quickest way to reach the Southeastern platforms, as there is certainly no direct way to reach Platforms 11-13 (on the eastern side of the station) from the upper level walkway (which is on the western side, and leads to Platforms 1-4, which are the East Midlands Trains platforms). However, it being a much longer walk to get to the eastern side gave the PM more opportunity to be followed by cameras and media types and entourages, shaking the hands of the electorate. I’m so glad I wasn’t there – being roughed up by some Labour Party goon for having the temerity to voice my displeasure at the man is not my idea of a fun Tuesday morning.

“Gordon Brown’s Benneton Walk At St Pancras Station”

The Prime Minister's Long March


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