Reasons to be cheerful – part two

Back in Christmas 2008, Crossrail funding had just been agreed, with London Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis persuading the City of London and Heathrow Airport to chip in to this ‘£10 billion plus’ project. Plus nearly another £10 billion, as it turned out. Our mantra of a ‘rolling programme of electrification’ went on but the Department for Transport slogged on buying bi-mode trains in the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) and panic-bought 200 DMUs Golden Spanners were handed out, with buddies Simon Lomax and the recently retired Nigel Yule proudly sporting the Gold for HSTs. Network Rail basked in the reflected glory of passenger journeys rising from 700 million in 1995 to 1.3 billion in 2007. Growth was a ‘given’, a t-shirt of the time was Fatboy Slim’s ‘I’m No 1 so why try harder’, which pretty much summed up the DfT’s opinion of itself.

Fine sight: Nos 43055/046 power Locomotive Services Ltd’s Midland Pullman HST at Dordon on the West Coast main line on 12 December 2020; a yellow panel was later added to the power cars for safety reasons.
John Whitehouse


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