Diary: The GNER trains are strained and the passengers are mainly pained

Last week’s Great North Eastern Railway partial derailment threatened to scupper a tea party held by Tony Blair at No 10 for a delegation of Labour Party press officers from the Yorkshire region. Blair invited the workers as a belated thank you for their efforts during last year’s election.

Last week’s Great North Eastern Railway partial derailment

threatened to scupper a tea party held by Tony Blair at No 10 for a

delegation of Labour Party press officers from the Yorkshire region.

Blair invited the workers as a belated thank you for their efforts

during last year’s election.



After carefully timing the event to avoid the strike by London’s Tube

drivers and action later last week by RMT workers, the derailment of the

GNER train in Bedfordshire last Tuesday threw a spanner in the works for

the timetables for the next day.



Garry Cochrane, who before becoming PR officer at Leeds-based Privilege

Insurance, helped on the press effort behind Labour’s campaign, says he

decided to risk a train from Leeds station: ’I got to the station and

they advised me to go to London via Manchester but I finally got a train

to York and found a train going to London.’



Cochrane says conditions on the train weren’t ideal preparation for his

stroll down the corridors of power: ’There were people sitting in the

luggage rack,’ he tells me. However, by chance he met a press officer

from union GMB who procured him a seat.



After a fraught few hours Cochrane finally made it to Number Ten.

Despite concerns over the state of the transport system he’s still

backing Blair.



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