Hornby wins contract for High Speed Rail Link
Hornby has emerged as the winner of a £33bn contract to supply trains and infrastructure for ‘HS2′, a high speed rail link between London and the North of England. Previously known as the manufacturer of tiny little trains for the tabletop market the contract was awarded following Hornby’s assurances that they could build low cost accessible transport networks in 1:1 Gauge.
The government immediately praised Hornby for their efficiency and emphasised the enormous boost of the project to workers in the crucial plastic church and artificial lichen industries.
Hornby’s bid saw off the competition with its unique combination of electric power with convincing ‘chuffing’ noises, affordable pricing, if you actually look at the quality, and a model giraffe that ducks before tunnels. Most of the network is now in place after a couple of hours of reading instructions carefully and sticking new, brightly coloured decals on everything to stop it looking quite so ‘unrealistic’ or even ‘a bit boring’. However, some teething troubles remain: none of the doors on either the carriages or stations appear to open, disabled access is limited due to the wheelchairs being all glued up, and rail enthusiasts are opposing plans to scrap the original boxes the trains came in, which are taking up a large area of Surrey.
Services on the new line will be operated by a big, plastic dial in a period signal box in Birmingham and Ministers past a certain age are queuing up to have a go. ‘I let my nephew run the 8.03 service from Manchester to Euston,’ explained the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond. ‘He set a new speed record of 320 miles an hour, and the train only fell off twice. I think we might need to add a bit more folded-up card under that tricky corner at Watford.’
‘Ministers were also impressed by our plans for calming local opposition to the route,’ explained Malcolm Dent, Hornby’s head of Planning and Training. ‘Where we’ve been challenged we’ve replaced hundrum, modern locomotives with Thomas the Tank Engine, and villages are now actually campaigning to have the line moved closer to them. That shouldn’t be a problem: the glue hasn’t set yet.’
But ASLEF, the train driver’s union, remains criticical, and is demanding the return of neatly-uniformed, well-painted staff. Members were considering strike action, but have instead chosen to hide the big grey rubber needed to clean the tracks.
While the dispute remains unresolved, commuters are being offered a replacement Corgi bus service, but heavy congestion is still expected on Scalextric’s new motorway network which runs parallel to the new railway and goes through forests, villages and under a large armchair just outside Cropredy. ‘With hindsight, we should probably have fitted fewer chicanes,’ apologised Hammond. ‘And come to think of it, perhaps putting a lap counter on the M25 might have been a mistake, but that’s the joy of all this, we can always take it apart and lay it out differently for a while until everyone’s had enough and wants to change it again.’
Delicate negotiations are continuing between ministers and union leaders, but very quietly in case mum hears and takes their toys away.Click to send this story to a friend
Posted: Jul 1st, 2011 by waylandsmithy
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