Tweet Check

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

Wel­come to RAIL’s new fact-check­ing ser­vice, which aims to an­swer your ques­tions, de­bunk the myths, and get to the un­var­nished truth be­hind some of the most com­mon claims and queries we spot on so­cial me­dia. Storm in a teacup

RAIL’s ver­dict: This tweet from Grand Cen­tral di­rec­tor Sean English man­aged to pro­voke a fu­ri­ous re­ac­tion from ASLEF Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Mick Whe­lan, who slammed GC for us­ing “un­paid vol­un­teers to pro­vide the ser­vices for pas­sen­gers which it is un­will­ing to pro­vide it­self”.

He added: “There are im­por­tant safety and se­cu­rity is­sues here. Mr English wants un­paid slaves to man his gal­ley.”

RAIL put this ac­cu­sa­tion to GC Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Richard McClean. He de­fended the award-win­ning scheme, which has run for eight years and “does not re­place any paid staff in safety roles or any other ca­pac­ity” at this oth­er­wise un­manned sta­tion.

The fi­nal word on the mat­ter goes to RAIL con­trib­u­tor, As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mu­nity Rail Part­ner­ships (ACoRP) awards judge, and reg­u­lar Grand Cen­tral user Paul Bigland, who re­minds us that ev­ery year hun­dreds of peo­ple vol­un­tar­ily put in tens of thou­sands of hours of their free time to make life bet­ter for pas­sen­gers. These in­clude Bri­tain in Bloom groups, lo­cal busi­nesses, rail staff, sta­tion Friends’ groups and in­di­vid­ual sta­tion adopters.

He said: “The GC Am­bas­sador scheme is just one ex­am­ple of many. That ASLEF sin­gles them out as some­how dif­fer­ent is bizarre.”

High­way to Hull

RAIL’s ver­dict: Jeremy Cor­byn is ab­so­lutely right that plans first mooted by Hull Trains in 2013 to elec­trify the 36-mile route from the East Coast Main Line at Tem­ple Hirst Junc­tion to Hull Paragon via Selby were fi­nally re­jected by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron’s ad­min­is­tra­tion in Novem­ber 2016.

With the project pro­gress­ing to Net­work Rail’s GRIP Stage 3 (op­tion se­lec­tion) in 2014, govern­ment sup­port for the par­tially pri­vately funded scheme even­tu­ally crum­bled af­ter costs more than dou­bled to £200 mil­lion, and a wider pol­icy was adopted by the De­part­ment for Trans­port to pro­cure large num­bers of bi-mode trains as a less dis­rup­tive al­ter­na­tive to elec­tri­fi­ca­tion.

It’s worth not­ing that Hull Trains’ pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion was not jour­ney time re­duc­tions, which were not thought to ma­te­ri­ally change as a re­sult of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, but strong en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, re­duced op­er­at­ing costs, and a need to re­place un­re­li­able Class 180s.

If you see any­thing on Twit­ter that you think we should fact-check, de­bunk or ex­plain, please get in touch at rail@bauer­me­dia.co.uk

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