HS2 - A Passage Thru Parliament?

Mortal Mindy's picture

Of course HS2 started as a devious pre election Labour Party plot by Lord Adonis. In 2009 I was at Brighton at conference 'work shop' along with our then PPC, when Adonis presented his plans for a massive investment to improve the rail links between London and Brimingham, and further to Manchester, along the West Coast Mainline.   I remember wanting to ask then, what about the East Coast?  What has this got to do with us? So we left.   "Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed the announcement as 'most exciting'. But sceptics say the plan is an election ploy by Labour - linking London to key marginal seats and onwards to the party's northern Labour strongholds." lol.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257042/30billion-high-speed-rai... Gordon Brown knew how to invest, in people ;-) http://www.labour.org.uk/gordon-brown-speech-conference -  politics!

So has HS2 become a political hybrid project to promote to the nation that Britain is in 'need' or has it become a political 'noose'?  

Network Rail; 'If HS2 is not built, the West Coast Main Line would be full by the mid-2020s leaving many commuters into London and Birmingham unable to board their trains at the busiest times.' There is much said of capacity and reduction of journey times.   The increase of freight by rail and the decrease of freight by road.  in 2010 Greenpeace transport campaigner Anna Jones said "the line must connect to Heathrow in place of a third runway." But the Third Runway at Heathrow is still on the table albeit meeting some stiff competition from Gatwick:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/13/heathrow-third-runway... So any arguments about reducing CO2 and long term reductions to the costs to the enviroment are negated. http://hs2.org.uk/about-hs2/facts-figures/environmental-effects

With soundbites such as '10 million people more can fly out of Gatwick than Heathrow' and re HS2 'Parts of Britain’s ground-breaking Victorian railway network are facing complete saturation. Over the last decade passenger journeys have grown 50% to 1.46 billion a year, with long-distance journeys growing at the fastest rate. By 2020 a further 400 million journeys will be made.'  With the polulation of England circa 54 million it beggars the question, who are these people? Where are they all going? What do they do?  Are these journeys made by 'trackers' is there some emerging phenomenon of  'train junkies'.  Sure I can understand the need to get out Londopolis as fast as possible .... but a return ticket?  Are there some 'junketists' that simply need rounding up and left in a paddock to dry out? If only they had designed a giant circle line, (M25 style) these people would never need to get off ...    some sort of giant human hamster wheel or gerbil run should do it.

Anyhow I digress, this is serious business, £ 56 billion is not to be scoffed at. Claims that the economy will be boosted by £ 15 billion a year, again end in 18 trains will run per hour in each direction each carrying as many as 1,100 passengers - almost half a million 'junkets' over a 12 hr day ....  with a London population of 8.3 mil rising to 10 mil by 2030 an evacuation would take ten days unless of course via Gatwick ... 

See, I keep coming back to why?  Where is the 'need'?  What are the 'true'st costs;   http://hs2.org.uk/about-hs2/facts-figures/route-trains-cost  ? eh?

And more impertently, what has is to do with us?  The closest HS2 ever gets is to York at Phase II ' The line would head north, following the M1 corridor as it heads towards South Yorkshire. The station serving this region would be located at Meadowhall alongside the M1, between Sheffield and Rotherham. From here, the line would pass to the east of Barnsley and connect to the East Coast Main Line, nine miles south-west of York.': ... 'In addition, the Government supports creating a connection from this leg of the HS2 network onto the existing rail network to enable wider markets to access HS2 services. This would be: A connection onto the existing rail network near Church Fenton, approximately nine miles to the south-west of York, which would enable HS2 trains to run onto the East Coast Main Line to serve York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle, bringing significant benefits to North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and the wider North East.'   http://www.hs2.org.uk/phase-two/leeds . So people in Church Fenton are hoping to reap the benefits?  http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/features/villagers-taking-on-governm...

With oppostion to the HS2 project said to be rising past 55% of those 'surveyed' along with objectors including the Council of Archbishops (http://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/national/now-church-joins-battl...), here on the Yorkshire Coast you may be asking what has it do do with us?

Well, for a start our MP Robert Goodwill as Transport Minister (aka Bingo Bob) has been tagged as one of those responsible ; http://stophs2.org/tag/robert-goodwill

03/06/14 'Yorkshire's raw deal on funding for major transport projects could be about to get worse, because of changes to the way central Govt. money is handed out .... the underfunding of transport schemes outside London in recent years “cannot be allowed to continue”. ..... a new emphasis on competition for funds, created to raise the quality of bids, could increase the disparity between the capital and regions such as Yorkshire and the Humber .... new arrangements introduced next year mean local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) will compete against each other for most of the money handed out for transport under the Local Growth Fund... with a focus on their ability to deliver economic growth... (LEPs) with more resources could be favoured under the new system and that a lot of money could be wasted on unsuccessful bids.  (eh?) The report said regional economies may be put at a disadvantage because they are not sufficiently well developed to allow the private sector to invest significant sums in local transport schemes' source: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/local-stories/worse-to-c... (no I didn't understand that either but I think the general gist was .  What about us?)  

Now this becomes relevant locally because of this little gem thrown up in the Whitby Gazette : http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/bid-to-get-local-mp-on-boar... "The county council is going to ask Robert Goodwill, now the transport minister, to lobby the government and ask it to support an increase in services on the Esk Valley line. The franchise for the line, which is held by the Esk Valley Railway Community Rail Partnership, is due for renewal in 2016 and invitations for tender are set to be invited from December."

Now, why would they do that?

Of course the danger with political hybrids is the Hamster Wheel Manifesto ...





Mortal Mindy's picture

The Future of Rail Services in the North

A few words from Bingo;  "Before the last election there were many saying that we were going to embark on a Beeching-style round of cuts and all these loss-making services in the north of England would be shut down and stations would be shut. We haven't done that. We've shown a commitment to keeping these local services going." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-28078437

and there follows an interesting consultation about Transpenine Express Services:


Will rail services to Scarborough terminate at York? Scarborough UK is asking the right question:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4x3jiTnZnM ;-)

Status Quo appearing at the OAT on 12th July x


Mortal Mindy's picture

Bing Bong ... its electrifying

Bob:  "there could be 'bi-modal' trains in operation, that are able to switch between electric and diesel"  http://www.yorkshirecoastradio.com/news/local-news/1328107/scarborough-m...

Now where will they get those from, Siemens or erm  ... ah yes Hitachi

"awarded a £5.8BN contract to finance, design, manufacture, maintain and service the next generation of intercity carriages to improve the UK’s mainline rail services"


ermm now where did it go;  http://www.hitachi.com/New/cnews/month/2014/06/140612/20140612_05e_RS_pr...

nope, there was some connection with Hitachi ... 

another cash cow? They will call the bluff.  But, hey diddle diddle ... the cow jumped over the moon


Mortal Mindy's picture

Platform Complete at Whitby


The construction of a second platform at Whitby Station has now been completed and is set to further increase tourism in the popular town.

Whitby Station originally had five platforms which were all closed, except one, in the 1970’s when the land was sold to Scarborough Council to be used for car parking space.

Since 1970 the station has operated with just one single line platform, which was adequate for the rural location. North Yorkshire Moor Railway however was eager to construct a second platform on the site in order to be able to transport more passengers to and from Whitby.

 no sign of Bingo on this one either, yet:


However, Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, said the contract was "an act of utter betrayal".

"The government has confirmed that it is bulldozing ahead with the re-privatisation of the East Coast Main Line despite all the figures showing that the current public sector operator is handing over a billion pounds back to the British people while delivering huge improvements in service and customer satisfaction."

Mortal Mindy's picture

Choo Choos: Hitachi, Wilton & NE LEP


Hitachi is currently in the process of building its Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Hitachi Rail Europe in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The plant, which represents an investment of around £82m, will be completed this, and production of the Intercity Express Programme Class 800 series trains is scheduled to begin in 2016.

In all, some 730 staff members are eventually expected to be hired, including research and development facilities staff.

Meanwhile, Wilton wants more local workers:  http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/heated-public-meeting-over-lack-8467404

Finally: North East LEP seeks Business representations...

Mortal Mindy's picture

Hitachi - Jobs Fair

The recruitment events are at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe on February 5 and 7.

To register for a place at the recruitment event, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hitachi-rail-europe-recruitment-event-sat...

All job roles will be posted on our careers website www.hitachirail-eu.com/careers in which you can register and apply for suitable job roles.

source Northern Echo via Jude Kirton Darling :-)


Mortal Mindy's picture

HS2 - Lords 'unconvinced'


The government has no convincing case for spending £50bn building the HS2 rail link between London and the North, a report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee says.

"There are less-expensive options than HS2, they said on Wednesday.

A government spokesman said HS2 would deliver big benefits.

Lord Hollick, chairman of the Lords' committee, said overcrowding on the West Coast Main Line was largely a problem on commuter trains and on long-distance services on Friday nights and some weekends.

"The Government have not carried out a proper assessment of whether alternative ways of increasing capacity are more cost-effective than HS2," he said.

"In terms of rebalancing, London is likely to be the main beneficiary from HS2. Investment in improving rail links in the North of England might deliver much greater economic benefit at a fraction of the cost."

Crikey ... wot you mean they haven't built it yet? not that we would notice ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzeOWnnSNjg :-)

Meanwhile, been watching the Indian Railway series "Rajeet the Nepalese smuggler?" what a gal,  can't find the link  hey ho:


Mortal Mindy's picture

Less Hitch more Hike

The Whitby Gazette have uncovered another little gem ... http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/unearthing-a-hidden-secret-...

"Since the viaduct was covered, probably in 1882 when the tunnel at Deepgrove would have been completed, it has disappeared from history.

In fact, no-one knows it is there."

Erm, they do now ... new boots :-))


Oh yeah, Potash : -)  http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/business/date-set-for-potash-mine-de...


Mortal Mindy's picture

Changes in China

Hmmm .... riots because they won't build a new high speed rail link near their town?

"Linshui has the feel of a town that's still waiting for better economic times.

Many of its mildew-speckled buildings weep with neglect.

At the entrance to the town a giant banner is attached to the wall.

It bears the face of this area's most famous son, Deng Xiaoping, the architect of economic reforms that helped pull millions out of poverty.

A proposed high-speed rail link was also supposed to help deliver that to this remote town of more than a million people.

But when the Sichuan provincial government appeared to change its mind, instead diverting the rail link to Guangan city, the hometown of Deng, tens of thousands of Linshui's people rose up."

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/asia/2015/05/violent-protest-unfolded-chi...

don't watch the vid ... pick up a book  the Man from Beijing ...  fact or fiction,  hey ho ... the forward arrow


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Crossrail to Wimbledon

FFS who wants to go to Wimbledon .... unless your a Womble:


"The NIC suggested improving the link’s affordability by delaying the north-western branch to New Southgate, which could reduce costs in the 2020s by about £4bn.

The report also recommends a funding plan to be created for Crossrail 2 in which London contributes more than half the money required.

There should also be a strategy to maximise private sector investment and ensure the construction of at least 200,000 homes along the route, the NIC said.

The scheme would complement the £14.8bn east-to-west Crossrail route, which is scheduled to open in phases from next year.

Adonis said: “By the 2030s London will be a megacity of more than 10 million people. Even allowing for planned investment and the imminent arrival of the east-west Crossrail line, the capital will grind to a halt unless significant further improvements are made.”

On a visit to Crossrail’s Tottenham Court Road station in central London, he said the capital needs Crossrail 2 as quickly as possible to relieve severe overcrowding at railway stations and ease congestion on underground and rail lines.

He said “proper value-for-money assessments” would be crucial because parliament would want to be satisfied that the cost of the project was justified.

Adonis added: “There is no good reason to delay. Crossrail 2 will help keep London moving, create hundreds of thousands of homes across the city … we should get on with it right away and have the line open by 2033.”



Benefitz Betty's picture

Northern Rail Mystery

Local MP 'Bob' & transport minister is propagating   the questionable Virgin 


"Virgin Trains East Coast has confirmed to The Scarborough News that it is looking to add the service from Scarborough to London, via Malton, when new routes come up for negotiation in 2018."

"Transport Minister and Scarborough MP Robert
 Goodwill said direct trains to the capital would be a great boost for the region.

He said: “This is very welcome news indeed." ..

How odd: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35841733

"Arriva Rail London has won a £1.5bn contract to operate the London Overground line, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

The firm, which is owned by German rail group Deutsche Bahn, will operate the line for the next seven-and-a-half years, with an option to extend the contract for a further two years."

Arriva returns?


FirstGroup? Mustav missed the connection ...


Bobs and Obbies ... wot no Steam?


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

HS2, HS3 ... Plan B - HSUK

An alternative route:


"HSUK had been designed from the outset as a fully integrated national network, offering direct high speed links between all of the UK’s principal regional cities and direct links from these cities to Heathrow (and Gatwick), and other principal regional airports...."

HS2 - Plan B : - https://hsnorthstart.wordpress.com/

HSUK - http://www.highspeeduk.co.uk/


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Hitachi Rolls On


"“Last September, we brought rail manufacturing back to its birthplace in the North-East, so it is entirely fitting our Newton Aycliffe facility is where these new trains will be built.

“Building on our contracts to deliver new trains for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines and commuter trains for Scotland, we are on track to transform rail travel for millions of customers throughout the UK.”

Leo Goodwin, TransPennine Express managing director designate, said the deal will give the new franchise a perfect start.

He added: “These trains will lead to significant improvements in seating, capacity and provide a more reliable and efficient service.

“They will be able to run at 125 miles per hour, but have the capability of running at 140 miles per hour if the network allows it in the future.

“Hitachi is a reliable train manufacturer with a great reputation and we are very pleased to be working together on these trains, which will help better connect the North and Scotland.”

Mr Goodwin added the deal, financed by Angel Trains, includes 19 five-car AT300 Hitachi models, which are capable of running on electric and diesel power.

He said TransPennine Express will lease the carriages from Angel Trains, with a separate agreement for another 25 trains expected to be finalised in the coming weeks ahead of use in 2018."

Angel Trains??

Oh, one of those one a day things : https://www.angeltrains.co.uk/

Benefitz Betty's picture

Gotthard - Cheese

"On 1 June 2016, 17 years after the first blast in the main shaft, the world’s longest railway tunnel will officially open. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Switzerland will invite guests of honour from Switzerland and abroad to the opening event and welcome the entire population for an unforgettable public festival. On Wednesday, 1 June, an opening ceremony befitting the grand scale of the project will present Swiss values such as innovation, precision and reliability to the world. During the following weekend on 4 and 5 June 2016, the anticipated 50,000 to 100,000 visitors will be offered a unique programme at the festival sites on either end of the 57-kilometre tunnel."



Benefitz Betty's picture

HS2 - Blind Ambitions


Riggers "Once again another article on railway future with no mention of Yorkshire's biggest port - Hull. Hull is currently undergoing re-invention as a city (which is already as big as Newcastle) and to deny it from future connectivity is sheer stupidity. The city NEEDS better connections to London, Leeds, York and Newcastle and needs them soon. To unlock the FULL potential of the north (and not just the Manchester to Leeds bit of it) HS/3 from Liverpool to Hull should have the same priority as HS/2."





Captain Qahn's picture

Gotham & Gollum to Gotthard


"The 57km (35-mile) twin-bore Gotthard base tunnel will provide a high-speed rail link under the Swiss Alps between northern and southern Europe.

Switzerland says it will revolutionise European freight transport.

Goods currently carried on the route by a million lorries a year will go by train instead."

Cheeze on the lines ...



Captain Qahn's picture

H3 - Northern Powerhouse - In da City

Captain Qahn's picture

Southern Comfort

The Southern Rail dispute:

It's Complicated:

"Charles Horton, chief executive of Govia Thameslink Railway, told the Financial Times that the union’s decision “to step away from representing their members in a reasonable way” has left the company “with little choice than to proceed with doing it directly”...

"The shortage of train crew is causing about 250 train cancellations each day on Southern routes. The disruption has led to calls for government intervention...

"GTR’s franchise, which also includes Great Northern services and is the largest in the UK, has an unusual contract structure through which the government keeps ticket revenue and pays the company a management fee to operate services.

The contract was designed to minimise revenue risk while the network is being upgraded, but critics say the guaranteed income is encouraging the company’s “bullish” approach towards the unions.

The DfT charged Govia just over £2m in fines for cancellations between the start of the franchise in September 2014 and June 13 this year. Govia predicted it would receive about £1.45bn in franchise payments from the department in the same period...."


It's Surrey: 





Captain Qahn's picture

HS2 to Sink Middle Earth

"...the service be run through the city’s main railway station instead of the Meadowhall shopping centre, resulting in the demolition of a £30m estate of 212 family homes in Mexborough, between Rotherham and Doncaster. The company said the decision had been made to achieve reductions in costs, the number of homes it would need to demolish and the noise impact..."

"Politicians in Wakefield, Doncaster and Rotherham have been opposed to the line going through Sheffield and argue that bringing it through the Meadowhall shopping centre, which lies three miles north-east of Sheffield city centre and two miles from the centre of Rotherham, would provide more benefits to the wider region.

Pile said: “If Sheffield council was allowed to object to the Meadowhall station location and obtain a new route recommendation, surely natural justice says Wakefield, Doncaster and Rotherham have the similar right to object and that a consensus route needs to be devised that gains agreement from all councils in the region.”

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “We believe our proposals for a new South Yorkshire route are the best solution for the region. HS2 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in our infrastructure. It will improve connectivity, capacity and journey times right across the country. As a result of the changes we have put forward, we expect there to be fewer properties affected.

“The secretary of state is expected to make a decision on the whole of the high-speed rail route between Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds later this year. In order to aid that decision, HS2 will continue to develop all of our plans to ensure that the secretary of state will be able to make an informed decision on the route.

“Following the decision, all of this information will be released as part of a consultation that will enable affected communities to have their say, including information on noise and demolitions.”

The new proposed HS2 route will use existing railway lines to get into and out of Sheffield via Chesterfield to the south and Rotherham to the north. The main north-south HS2 line to Leeds will be repositioned to the east from Rotherham to follow the M1 and M18, travelling straight through Conisbrough, Mexborough in Doncaster and Grimethorpe in Barnsley....

"Colin Elliff, a railway civil engineer from the campaign High Speed UK, which has developed an alternative “different, better and cheaper” plan for a high-speed rail network, said the cost of the second route would probably be very similar to the old route.

“The demolitions have got to be more because there’s no equivalent of the Shimmer housing estate on the old route,” said Elliff. The new Shimmer esate in Mexborough which has about 400 residents, faces demolition if the plans go ahead. The £30m estate of 212 family homes has been under construction since 2011 and is expected to be finished next June.."

Oh: http://www.highspeeduk.co.uk/


"The project itself goes back to 1982, when a group of managers from the nationalised British Rail visited the new TGV railway in France. They returned boggle-eyed at the sight of a train racing at 270kmph (150mph) down its own track, crossing France, from Paris to Lyon, in two hours. Among the visitors was a 35-year-old civil engineer, Jim Steer. He was captivated by speed and, as he told me recently, dismayed by the conviction of his colleagues that “in Britain we would never be allowed to do it.."

"HS2 was always a project born of political vanity. Like several other unstoppable megaprojects, it was not rooted in commercial reality or value for money – and it has therefore not been halted by accusations that it is not needed and not worth the cost. It may have been a noble idea, but one that could only fly with huge amounts of public money, and that now is in short supply. Osborne joked recently that his favourite diet was “eating my own words”. He may have a feast ahead of him."

Oh well. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/may-and-brexit-trigger-debate-over-s...


Benefitz Betty's picture

HS2 - Quitting Season


"The boss of the controversial HS2 rail link is leaving to take up a senior post at Rolls-Royce, the aerospace and engineering group has said.

Simon Kirby will take up the role of chief operating officer, reporting to chief executive Warren East.

Mr Kirby has earned a reported £750,000 salary at HS2, which will link London with the Midlands and northern England.

He said it had been a "huge honour" to work on the project, which critics say threatens swathes of countryside.


HS2 Ltd said it would miss Mr Kirby's "experience and leadership", while Rolls-Royce boss Mr East said the appointment would "strengthen management capability ahead of a period of significant expansion".

But Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin accused Mr Kirby of "getting out before the true scale of the mess he has presided over is realised".

"The departure of Simon Kirby will be a serious blow to those who champion HS2, though many of us are at a complete loss to see just exactly what it is he has done to justify his three-quarter of a million pay packet."

Blow winds blow ...

Captain Qahn's picture

HS3 to Speed past HS2 ?

Captain Qahn's picture


Loopings:  https://hyperloop-one.com/   Ooops

"The Tesla founder has sent analysts and investors into a frenzy of speculation after he posted a single, two-sentence tweet late last night.

Benefitz Betty's picture

HS2 & NHS - Yorkshire Sense


"I SUGGEST the first act of Mark Thurston, the newly-recruited £650,000 a year chief executive of HS2, is to hire a team of jargon-busters who can spare Britain’s high speed rail project from ridicule.

Even though Mr Thurston will earn £100,000-a-year less than his predecessor Simon Kirby, the man who presided over route changes that could necessitate the demolition of new housing estates in Mexborough, HS2 chiefs still have money to burn after launching a £280,000 contract to brainwash children about the benefits of the £55.7bn scheme.

I refer to a newly-tendered contract which says “HS2 Ltd is developing its products, services, brand and people and wishes to understand how experiences are developing within a global context”.

The gobbledegook continues: “This includes, mega, macro and micro trends related to accessibility, food/drink consumption and use of amenities within communities, catering, including seating and the digital offering on the train and at stations.”

This is clearer – what would you like to eat or drink in 20 years time if you’re on one of these trains? I bet you hadn’t thought of that one – there’s nothing mega, macro or micro about this particular nugget. Tea – milk, no sugar – for this prospective passenger please..."

Fantastic stuff from Tom.

"Forgive me if I’m wrong, but this is all about paperless tickets – the very point of superfast trains is people won’t have time for five-star haute cuisine."

"I later found out that Ms Cole is assistant procurement manager. Yet, if HS2 Ltd’s switchboard operators can’t transfer phone calls, would you put them in charge of the train set?"

"LIKE you, I thought the NHS’s finances had become so desperate that I was half expecting an emergency appeal on TV.

Just like HS2, it can also find money for consultants – £1m has been spent on outside advisers on how best to implement cuts here in Yorkshire – and £10,000 for an initiative in the East Riding to “to turn down the noise” about the impact on patients.

Now Leeds-based NHS Digital, tasked with making the most of new technology, is advertising for a director of communications. The job spec says the successful applicant “will lead our integrated communications team of c.50 professionals”....


"GIVEN that cash-strapped local authorities can no longer afford to maintain public parks due to funding cuts, and that obesity is compounding the pressures on the NHS, how about part of the public health budget being used for the upkeep of the great outdoors? Proper maintenance, and patrols, means people could walk, or exercise, in safety and become healthier as a result. This ‘win, win’ situation is called joined-up government. Ministers should give it a go one day – it might be one remedy 
that does work."

Ah, so  ... Alternative Medicine.



"A drone that can carry people will begin "regular operations" in Dubai from July, the head of the city's Roads and Transportation Agency has announced at the World Government Summit.

The vehicle can carry one passenger weighing up to 100kg (220lbs).

The passenger selects a destination on a touch screen but there are no other controls inside the craft."


Benefitz Betty's picture

Dragon Launch


"Private rocket firm SpaceX has successfully launched a rocket carrying a cargo ship for the International Space Station following the postponement of take-off on Saturday because of technical problems.

Witnesses said the rocket was only briefly visible before making its way into the clouds.

The launch was made from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The rocket successfully landed on the ground nine minutes after taking off.

"The Dragon is now making its way to the International Space Station, and is expected to arrive on Wednesday.

Last month SpaceX resumed flights by launching a Falcon 9 vehicle from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast.

It was the first mission by the company since one of its vehicles exploded on the launch pad in September.

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, wants his company to be at the forefront of the race involving several companies to deploy satellite-based internet services over the next few years.

The company also has a long queue of customers all waiting for a ride to orbit - including America's civil space agency (Nasa), the US military and multiple outfits in the commercial sector.

But September's launch pad mishap was a spectacular reminder of just how unpredictable rockets can be sometimes."

"The touchdown is part of the company's strategy of returning rockets to earth so they can reused rather than jettisoning them in the ocean after a single launch.

Moments after the rocket landed, the SpaceX Dragon supply ship successfully reached orbit, prompting cheers inside the SpaceX Mission Control room."

Don't spose they'll be carrying any Marmite !!


"Kraft Heinz "amicably" agrees to withdraw plans to merge with Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever"

Benefitz Betty's picture

A Long Launch

Benefitz Betty's picture

HS2 - Royal Assent

Final Hurdles ...



About 10 years actually...

"Transport Secretary Chris Grayling described the process of getting the legislation through Parliament as 'long and arduous', and said getting the go-ahead to start construction is a 'massive boost' to the UK's future economic prosperity."

Captain Black's picture




"It is no good shaving hours off of a trip to the other side of the world if we cannot get across the Pennines in decent time. The distance between Leeds and Manchester is less than that of the Central Line on the London Underground."







Captain Black's picture

HS2 & H20

"HS2 is a once-in-two-century chance to rebalance the UK economy. It isn’t just about creating links to London. There are over 25 stops from Scotland to the south-east. It increases desperately needed capacity on existing lines, creating more space for extra commuter trains. It takes lorries off the road as freight moves to rail, creating more space for the driver on our motorways. There is something in HS2 for every traveller..."



"A Scarborough firm has been awarded £472,000 to establish England's first commercial seaweed hatchery.

Seagrown says it wants to put Scarborough at the heart of the English Seaweed Industry. 

It's received the money from the Government's Coastal Communities Fund...

Other grants awarded today include £24,000 for the Lighting up the Stephen Joseph Theatre project to restore the neon art deco lighting on the building.

Scarborough Borough Council have been awarded £50,000 to develop an art trail in the historic seaside town called the 'West Cliff Illusion Art trail'.."


'Seaweed on the Tracks'

Ah, so ...


Ohm Ohm

"A spokesperson for the Tory party said, “We worked jolly hard on this, you know.

“You try making a picture of Jean-Claude Juncker entirely out of pasta. We had to send out for more glue.”