Important note: the usual caveat - this is a spoof posting, and nothing here is genuine. It is satire, not fact.
The Referendum Line
A new railway is coming to Jersey - the Referendum line. But there are several operators all wanting to take over the operation. Bids will be taking place later this month. The public will have a say. Here are the different options available:
Option A - The Hi-Speed Modern Train which is going places fast, but unfortunately may have to tear through some of the countryside to do so. But if the railways are to survive, they must modernise, and if it means cutting a swathe through historic landscape and beauty spots, so be it, say the promoters.
The train hasn't yet got a name, but the Mezec Express is a favourite. It would leave at Crowcroft Central, passing rapidly by Tadier Halt on its way out to St John's where it would come to a shuddering halt at Pitman's Folly. Passengers can alight there and watch the rather noisy Trevor the Traction Engine going through its paces and letting off steam.
Option B - This runs diesel trains out to the branch lines, and from there the much smaller steam locomotives take over. You can imagine it. The rural landscape, the train chugging along, the plume of white smoke. It's like a scene out of Constable.
The late John Betjeman has written a poem about the rural lines, which is in his collection "The Slow Train to Trinity":
Constable's country, along the tracks
The scenery not reduced to barest facts
How can one count the hidden cost
Of this heritage, of what would be lost?
Oh, let it not be lost, and let us pray
Lest tracks be all broken up this way!
This goes along the Shenton line out into the countryside, where James the Steam Engine takes over, ending at Rondel's End, a distant part of the Island which is, as yet, sadly bereft of main drains.
It has been suggested that a mixed line contravenes the ECHR - European Controller of High-speed Railways. This has not been tested in the courts however. The Option A camp are of the opinion that the steam trains should be removed from the main network and operated on a voluntary basis, or paid for by Parishioners if they want to keep the service.
Option C - this is the current system. It has an Island wide network of high-speed trains driven by high powered Ferguson engines, slower diesel trains in the Parishes, and each Parish also has its own steam locomotive. The whole network is called the Lyndon Line.
The Referendum is to determine which kind of train will be most suitable for the Island's future, and was presided over by Sir Philip Beeching, a former ICI magnate from Axe Minster, brought in by the Government..
Meanwhile all groups say that lower passenger numbers on the lines should not effect the result. This is because they have heard young railway spotter Jeremy Macon, who says that he has been counting trains to make sure they are full enough, and he doesn't think they are.
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