Anorak News | Sign Of The Times

Sign Of The Times

by | 16th, January 2004

‘WHEN you do die, try not to travel to the low-rise cemetery by train lest you be late for your own funeral.

Live train cam

The rail network is in a mess. Trains run late, stations fall apart as if hit by an earthquake and the staff are the reincarnation of Hitler’s Herrenvolk.

But things are set to change. And they are to change for the better.

The Telegraph reports that John Conway, head of operational planning at Network Rail, has come up with a great scheme to ensure all trains run on time.

No, it does not involve making them leave on time and run at the designated speeds. No, it does not mean that the driver has to run red lights.

The plan is fiendish in its simplicity. You simply reissue a new timetable in which a couple of minutes have been added onto each journey time.

Graham Eccles, head of rail at Stagecoach, calls the idea “interesting”, although he concedes that it’s best to “wait for the detailed outputs from the timetable review” before making any judgement.

A senior figure in the rail industry simply says: “If the railways are going to improve their performances by changing the figures, God help us.”

It is indeed hard to fault the plan. If a train adheres to the old timetable, it might be early and, if it runs to the new, it is not late but bang on time.

It’s genius, but we’ve got an even better idea. Why not just replace the timetables with a sign saying, “We Will Get There When We Get There”.

That way everyone will be as happy as a train driver working to rule…’

Posted: 16th, January 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink