The Null Device

The Train You've Been Waiting For

A new rail company with a whiff of eccentricity is soon to start services in the UK. Grand Central Rail, founded by third-generation railwayman and former British Rail manager Ian Yeowart, who had been planning to run his own railway services since John Major privatised the railways. They will initially be running services from London to Sunderland, in refurbished InterCity 125s with Monopoly and Cluedo boards printed on the tables and Marilyn Monroe posters (part of their branding) at the ends of carriages. That is, assuming that they get their trains back from the refurbishers:
"The problem with the railway industry, particularly on the engineering side, is that it's agricultural," says Mr Yeowart - referring to the workshops where the trains are being refurbished. "It's like going back 50 years."
Despite the years of under-investment followed by a cack-handed privatisation process; despite the utilitarian, pile-'em-high ethos of many operators and the cattle-truck morning commutes; despite Paddington and Hatfield and Potters Bar, the romance of the railways remains hardwired into the national soul.

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