John Bull Profile picture
Digital Strategist. Tech and Transport Journalist. Editor of @lonrec. Historian. Grand strategy game streamer. Made Neil Gaiman cry. Twice. He/Him
Jay Jernigan Profile picture 1 subscribed
Oct 5, 2018 23 tweets 9 min read
Okay. History time!

You've probably seen photos of Commonwealth war cemeteries, with rows of white graves. They're heartbreaking images.

What you DON'T see are the thousands of small, tragic stories on each gravestone.

So I'm going to share some with you here. /1 #history #WW1 These stories exist because although every stone is similar, family members were able to pay to have a small, custom inscription made on each stone.

Which is why on Pvt J Low's grave you'll find this desperately sad inscription:

"Until we meet again. Mother." /2
Sep 18, 2018 22 tweets 4 min read
Nah. Because there's something ELSE the original Predator got right and which pretty much every sequel has screwed up.

HUMAN DRAMA isn't the core plot of original Predator. THE HUNT is. /1 Predator is very cleverly written to SUGGEST that human drama is the plot (the rescue, Dillon's actions, Anna's capture) but actually they're all micro-plots.

That is, they're narrative devices that combine to further the ACTUAL plot - which is 'the Predator is on a hunt'/2
Aug 31, 2018 18 tweets 4 min read
So continuing last night's brief historical diversion, let's talk Admiral Bertram Ramsay. Logistical genius, Naval commander of both Dunkirk and Normandy and the most important British naval hero you've probably never heard of /1 Ramsay was a Londoner (paging @LondonHistorian) who had been a solid destroyer captain in the Dover patrol in WW1. By 1938 he'd retired, but the rapid expansion of the Admiralty in 1938 meant they needed (command) bums on seats, so they started asking old officers to help out /2
Aug 15, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read

Drink if you have "set up an enquiry" on your card. Drink if you have "it was only a small amount of routes"
Jul 22, 2018 51 tweets 15 min read
Okay kids, it's time! The Conservative prospects have ALL done their ConHome interviews. So our last chance to see their (often) weird views on transport before the party spin machine tells them to focus on dogwhistle racism.

SO LETS GO ON A MONORAIL HUNT! /1 Now I know it's not yet 11am, but that DOESN'T mean this isn't a drinking game. So the normal rules apply. Even if all you have to hand is tea, you have to drink when someone says:

1) financial blackhole
2) driverless
3) strikes
4) something about how they love driving /2
Jul 5, 2018 15 tweets 5 min read
Okay. Scanning through mentions. Lots of questions about the "15th July Timetable"

So let's take a look at what that really means (vs how it's being 'sold' in some quarters) #thameslink #rail #london /1 So let's get one thing straight up front:

The July timetable ISN'T about providing more services overall.

It's about formalising one that frees up GTR to resume driver training again, with the LEAST risk of disruption. /2
Jul 5, 2018 17 tweets 5 min read
Okay. This needs a thread. It relies on a mis-understanding of the causes of the issues. BUT ALSO gives a fascinating bit of insight into Grayling himself.

Let's talk about how Grayling's weird obsession with never being wrong is screwing the DfT... #thameslink #rail #london /1 So firstly: the practicalities. This is the thread that triggered this. Read it first: short version is that DfT blew their chance to revoke GTR on performance back in April. By trying to be clever and fucking it up. /2
Jul 4, 2018 27 tweets 8 min read
Okay people. Repeat after me:


Why? Because the DfT tried to be clever back in 2017 and shot themselves in the foot. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Read on... #rail #london #thameslinkfail /1 So. Important thing to remember: The GTR Franchise ISN'T just Thameslink. It's Southern (and bits) as well, all coming together in what was meant to be a super-franchise. /2
Jul 3, 2018 15 tweets 4 min read
My favourite example of how 'leaky' the railways are actually dates back to the 1920s.

Let me tell you the story of the Flying Scotsman's top secret (or rather NOT so top secret) tender... /1 So its the twenties, and the 'great race' to the north has once again broken out between @LNER and its rivals. The key goal: make the public use YOUR trains to get to Scotland, by making them seem faster and more glamorous. /2
Jun 26, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
CITIZENS OF WATFORD: I wish to complain about this Tube extension, what I was promised not half a decade ago by this very council.
HERTS: Ah yes. The Metropolitan Line extension. What's wrong with it?
CoW: I'll tell you what's wrong with it! It's dead! /1 HERTS: No, no, the workers are uh,...they're resting.
CoW: Look, matey, I know a dead extension when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
HERTS: No no it's not dead, it's, it's being reviewed! Look mockups!
CoW: The mockups don't enter into it. It's stone dead. /2
Jun 2, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read
Hokay. People asking about how train drivers are trained, when they rest, why they can't be hired quicker etc. so here's a VERY GENERAL primer on that (disclaimer: it varies greatly across the network) 1/ So think of train drivers as being across between school teachers and footballers: the ROLE requires a very specific general skillset which only a finite number of people can do well (the footballer bit) and each JOB also requires very specific knowledge (the teacher bit) /2
Jun 1, 2018 22 tweets 5 min read
Right. So Northern is WELL outside our London beat. Which is why we're not covering it on our timetable pieces on LR. People keep asking about it though, so here's a basic overview of the issues up there (as we understand it). /1 #NorthernFail #NorthernRail One of the big issues is similar to Thameslink (although Northern have been more open about it): Drivers. Again, don't just assume that because a person can DRIVE a train they're CLEARED for every route or EVERY TYPE of train. That's not how it works. /2
Jan 2, 2018 18 tweets 3 min read
So let's talk rail franchising and nationalization, and DfT vs TfL etc. Because I'm not QUITE sadistic enough to want to punch myself repeatedly in the face yet instead. Let's get one thing clear: running a railway is fucking complex. It requires an insane level of expertise. THIS is the most critical factor that affects success, NOT whether the man at the top is a CEO or a Minister.