In a surprise move the Department for Transport has announced that the derailed East Coast mainline rail franchise will be taken over by a new consortium to be known as Northern Rock.
A spokesman explained that the title was carefully chosen for a number of reasons. ‘Firstly of course, although it’s the East Coast Line it does travel to the North. Secondly we felt we needed a title with universal appeal. We are always interested in attracting more young people onto the trains and Rock has a certain cool and groovy sound about it which should appeal to youngsters whose discriminatory powers haven’t developed to the point where they will be able to appreciate what they are getting into when they purchase a ticket’.
‘For the older generation, Northern Rock will summon up images of crowds of people queuing around the block to access a service which is on the verge of collapse. Just the sort of thing you would expect with a twenty first century British railway.’
‘Inevitably banks will be heavily involved in the setting up and running of this consortium and some of the bargain ticket offers will echo the practices of the original Northern Rock. For instance as an opening gambit they’ll be offering 125% loans to those wishing to purchase a ticket.’
A questioner pointed out that only the left hand side of the tracks went to the North while the right hand side travelled South and this should have been considered in the title.
Said the spokesman: ‘We had considered the title Southern Comfort for the southbound service but felt that this would unnecessarily complicate matters and raise unrealistic expectations about the availability of seating on the trains’.