Why do railway companies talk like this?

There are lots of great things about the railway, but the industry’s use of language is not one of them. I have often been amazed by the linguistic tangles conductors often find themselves in when they try to “talk posh” during announcements. Clearly they are not trained about the importance of plain English. This problem […]

The Edinburgh Twestival

I had a great time yesterday at the Edinburgh Twestival, an opportunity to meet other local users of Twitter while at the same time raising money for charity: water. A comment I heard a lot from other people was that the event wasn’t quite what they expected. It certainly wasn’t a total geekfest as some […]

What the Foulkes?

As a fairly heavy user of trains, I was interested to hear on the radio this morning that Scotland’s trains are all going to be re-painted in a standardised Scotland-wide livery. It sounds reasonably sensible to me. I never got why trains from the west used that old-fashioned maroon and beige colour scheme, particularly when […]

End of a GNERa

On Saturday evening the last GNER train departed from London Kings Cross on its journey to Newcastle. They had to give up the East Coast franchise after their parent company ran out of cash to pay the government. Reading about the company’s history on Wikipedia, I find it difficult to believe that it had only […]

Jinx!

It seemed to be going so well too. In 2006, Scotland’s rail service was pretty good from my perspective. The route I take — Fife to Edinburgh — is meant to be one of the worst in the country, but I think it is fine. Granted, I no longer have to go at peak time […]

Shouldering the blame

I reckon I must be getting softer as I get older or something. Over the past couple of weeks First ScotRail have been bending over backwards to apologise for the sub-standard service commuters from Fife to Edinburgh have apparently been experiencing. Apparently this is due to weather damage and suchlike, coupled with the ongoing revamp […]

Cancelled

Wow, is Haymarket station crumbling or something? I went to the station at just before 9am to find out that there was a signal failure at Haymarket which meant that no trains were going into or coming out of Edinburgh. Apparently the trains are only starting up again around about now (after 11am). Too late […]

Immigration: who is trying to avoid competitive wages?

Immigration seems to be a big issue in America at the moment. Many economists from many points of the political spectrum have signed an open letter on immigration, outlining “the hard-won consensus that economists have come to” on the issue. While it might be a hot topic in America right now, here in Britain it […]

Yawn, another post about my sleeping patterns. Sorry

I’ve just bought a new alarm clock. Every alarm clock I’ve ever owned has broken. I did have one of those really cheap ones you get out of Argos, but one day the hands stopped moving. Eventually they also began to droop down, leaving gravity to dictate the time. It was permanently 6:30. Useless. So […]