Citing the lack of balanced investment in the North of England.
In a ferocious attack upon his handling of Network Rail, he pulled no punches when he exclaimed, “People didn’t care about it. There was no groundswell of anger. It was unjust and unfair. There should have been an outcry.” (Though he might have been talking about the Olympics at the time, who cared? It sounded pretty apt to me.)
Wearing a sackcloth and beating himself with a fistful of brambles, he then went on to mumble that it was “just like the Olympics” – only different, because one was a successful enterprise that joined the country together and the other wasn’t going to be and wouldn’t join anything, well not any-time soon.
“We insist on a huge amount of money going into commuter services” he added. Southern commuter services was what he meant, after all who cares a stuff whether business in the North grinds to a halt? Oh… Northern workers? Everyone forgets about them… down South they tend to forget there’s anything past Birmingham.
“So it was actually the Government’s fault surely? If there was a lack of investment the buck stopped on the desk of the Transport Minister, we suggested.
“It isn’t as if the Northern Railways didn’t get anything, they did get all the old rolling stock that the Southern Railways didn’t need any-more”, parried Digger, taking a pop at the bloke that gave him his job was one step too far it seemed. Like getting your brother’s old hand-me-downs, I supposed. You wouldn’t go to a party in ’em, but at least you had something to wear, as long as you didn’t have any self-respect it was fine. Admittedly, you took the back alley to school and sat at the back of the class hoping no-one would notice you, but you weren’t actually naked.
“What really bothers me…” wailed Digger, “…is that the buggers will expect too much”.
What? Finish on time? Within a budget set a decade before? It did sound rather ridiculous, but it sounded very British… like Concorde, only that was a bit French.
There wasn’t much to add to the conversation, so I walked away while Digger sobbed uncontrollably and flailed himself again. After all, he would know more about the failings of Network Rail than I would.
Further Reading: Old crappy trains on poor railway lines – Guardian Newspaper