The Anonymous Widower

Good News For Cornwall

Cornwall is not where you would go, if you want to drive there in an hour and it is unlikely you’ll ever be able to get an electric high speed train to the county. I drove back once at a very busy time in my Lotus and reported it here. It took six hours to Cambridge if I cut out the delay due to accidents. Why bother?

But today, it is reported on the BBC, that the government has announced a £146million package of measures to upgrade the rail system in Cornwall, by resignalling the Cornish Main Line from Totnes to Penzance and refurbishing the sleeper trains.

I’ve only taken the train as far as Plymouth a couple of times, but on one memorable trip, the train was several minutes late at Totnes and the driver had recovered most of the time by Plymouth, by showing how an Inter City 125 can perform, if it is needed.

The BBC article doesn’t say if Network Rail are going to raise the speed limits on the line, but surely when the signalling upgrade is complete, the current journey time of five and a half hours could be reduced and the frequency increased to half-hourly, even if they still run the same amazing trains designed in the 1960s. But I travel in these trains and Mark 3 coaches regularly and you rarely hear a complaint about the trains, as they ride so well on their air bag suspension. Read about the construction of the coaches here. It is true to say that they don’t build coaches like that any more.

As it currently takes two hours from Plymouth to Penzance and a couple of years ago, First Great Western did Plymouth to London in under three hours, it would seem to be a possibility, that when the updating is complete, we could see trains from Paddington to Penzance taking under five hours. The tourism business in Cornwall will be licking its lips in anticipation of a service like this.

So will we still be seeing these trains going at full speed to Cornwall in twenty or even thirty years time? With these trains you never say never, as clever engineers always find some way to prolong their lives for another few years.

July 3, 2014 Posted by | News, Transport | , , | 3 Comments

More Money Than Sense

That is all you can say about this story in the Standard. Here’s the first couple of paragraphs.

A multi-millionaire gambling addict who lost £2m in one evening is suing The Ritz casino for allegedly “taking advantage” of her gambling addiction.

Nora Al-Daher, 50, frittered away her millions on the club’s punto banco table in just a few hours in April 2012,

But the glamorous Omani politician’s wife says it was all the club’s fault for failing to stop her playing and wants her money back.

The lawyers must be laughing at her like crazy, as they trouser expensive fees for a case that she will probably lose.

I can certainly hear C laughing and hinting that a fool and their money are soon parted.

July 3, 2014 Posted by | News | , | 1 Comment

Crossrail To Start Construction At Maidenhead

I think we’ll be seeing lots of little articles like this one from the Maidenhead Advertiser in the next few months. This is the guts of the report.

The first visible phase of building work to prepare Maidenhead Station for the arrival of Crossrail is set to begin.
Network Rail contractors are due to arrive at the site in Braywick Road on Saturday and will be a permanent fixture throughout the summer.
Changes to the station including lengthened platforms to make room for 10-car Crossrail trains, a new lift, enhanced station information facilities, security systems and CCTV equipment.

The article goes on to say that 10,000 people will be working on Crossrail  on 40 sites before the line opens in 2019.

It is a very large project.



July 3, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Violence In The Middle East

David Aaronovitch in his piece in The Times today entitled, Moderate Muslims – It’s Time To Be Outraged, makes some very good points.

But this fact is telling.

In the Israel-Palestine conflict 10,000 have been killed in the past 25 years, compared to 100,000 in Syria in just three.

All are one too many!

But where are the moderate Muslims trying to sort this violent mess out?

July 3, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Are Tomatoes Addictive?

The picture shows a punnet of cherry tomatoes in my fridge door.

Are Tomatoes Addictive?

Are Tomatoes Addictive?

I tend to snack on them and eat them how some might eat sweets!

They may be addictive to me, but I doubt they’ll do me too much harm!

July 3, 2014 Posted by | Food | 3 Comments

Is Google Burying The Truth?

In this blog, I do occasionally criticise individuals, but my comments are always fair and based on fact, unless it is something like fair comment on a design. As a supporter of the Libel Reform Campaign, and as someone who lived with a barrister for forty years, who did her first pupillage in Libel Chambers, I hope I know the difference between libel and fair comment.

But I am worried by the story of Robert Peston and his reporting of the banking troubles of the last decade, where Google has been asked to remove a story from their searches, he wrote in 2007. It’s all reported here on the BBC web site.

This morning the story is on the front page of The Times, and their report names the individual, who asked to be forgotten.

But they are also saying Google’s action might have backfired, as the story of the forgetting has been retweeted and commented on hundreds of times.

The story has been picked up by numerous newspapers including this story in the Mirror.

July 3, 2014 Posted by | Computing, News | , , , , | Leave a comment