Tuesday, 22 January 2013

You couldn't make it up

The imaginary board of the imaginary "Failtrack" is in session.

MD: "Well, how is the project for new signalling from Ely to Norwich progressing?"

Chief Engineer: "We've paid £15 million pounds to the contractors to hand the system over to us."

MD: "Yes, and how is the new system working?"

CE: "Well. You remember the bullet point targets?"

MD: "Of course! This innovative project has been piloting numerous new design aspects with the intention of “modularising” the process and achieving significant cost savings. These include applying standard designs and constructs for interlocking, use of “plug and play” cables and components, lightweight signals obviating the need for associated civil engineering work and maximising the use of off-site pre-assembly and test – this providing additional benefits in the area of health and safety. Which is our main concern. Are the trains running faster now?"

CE: "Not exactly. The manual system is slowing the signalling down a bit".

MD: "Manual system? But the whole idea was to get rid of the manual system? These frightful little chaps in their cosy signal boxes working their levers was just so 19th Century. They were costing thousands of pounds a year and all they were doing was opening and closing the gates and working signals. And keeping an eye on the line. And clearing snow when it fell on the crossing."

CE: "Ah but the ground radar system that is now supposed to check the crossing for people before the lights are cleared for the train isn't working"

MD: "Well how are the lights operated now that we've sacked or re-deployed all the signalmen?"

CE: "We have men stationed in cars and vans on a shift system. They sit in them with the engine running as it's so cold. When they see the barriers come down they get out of their cars, walk over to the control box and manually set the signal to green for the approaching train."

MD: "Well that sounds much more sensible. I think we all deserve another bonus".


Mike and Ann said...

I hate to say it Rog, but I have no difficulty in believing all of that.

Nota Bene said...

In fairness, and taking an overall strategic view of the ongoing developmental aspects, balanced with the localised operational issues, we should undertake a positive and constructive approach to the investment in the infrastructural aspects of everything in toto such that we can retrospectively all come to an agreement that all aspects and elements of the modernisation project have, with due consideration, and put into context with the right level of historical perspective, worked at a level that none of us could have contemplated at the outset of this undertaking.

Rog said...

Mike: It's really far fetched. Like the picture of the chap in his van.

Nota: OK that's a bit TOOO realistic. You must be one of THEM!

Roses said...

I'm now officially freaked out.

It's like being back working in The Council.

*runs off screaming*

Martin said...

Oh, this brings back memories. Higher Education doesn't escape, I'm afraid.

Scarlet Blue said...

I am also looking at Mr Bene suspiciously.

mig bardsley said...

Oh I haven't got my glasses on. I read that as "We have men stationed in cars and vans on a shit system".

Macy said...

Two words: Edinburgh and Trams.

Puts it all in perspective Rog

Damien said...

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Sir Bruin said...

I would love to see the advert that is contextually matched to the sort of stuff that Rog puts on here.

Rog said...

Roses: Local Government couldn't run a railroad! Oh, hang on....

Martin: We are au fait with the niceties of HE round these parts!

Scarlet: I think he's bene to this website

Mig: I think you were right the first time

Macy: "Edinburgh and Trams" is three words.

Damien: I would love to see the advert that is contextually matched to the sort of stuff that goes on here.

Sir B: Oh, I see....

dinahmow said...

I should get Nota Bene to draft a reply to Damien's spam. Or ask Tim.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be easier then to built some structures for those freezing men in vans, put in a good coal stove, and they could operate the signals and have a look at the line too ... am I entitled to a bonus now?

Rog said...

Di: it's life imitating art!

Mago: that is a WONDERFUL idea! I will suggest it to the men in cars.