It has been revealed that tens of millions of pounds a year were being paid by Network Rail to Carillion employees to stand next to train tracks and not do anything.
The UK’s second largest construction firm, which went under last week, admit that the traditional sight of workers in hi-vis vests and hard hats hanging around on Bank Holidays doing sod all may be the reason the firm went tits up.
The findings will come as no surprise to commuters and passengers who already pay a frankly ludicrous amount of money on train travel. Passenger groups have condemned the news. “Many weekends and public holidays are marred by planned engineering works which result in reduced or even cancelled services,” says spokesman Colin Crannog of Rail Fail. “But last Sunday morning, as we were held at a red signal waiting for a platform at the next station to become available, I looked out of the window and counted 28 blokes standing around drinking tea whilst one of them poked the sub-ballast with a stick. Then a different bloke walked 40 yards to a siding where he spoke to some more men for a couple of minutes, walked the 40 yards back to the main group, and then everyone carried on doing nothing.”
An ex-employee of Carillion told us that emergency engineering wastes just as much time and money as the planned stuff. “No one actually knows what the emergency is when they turn up to site, or how to fix it. So 20 of them all stand there scratching their heads until one of them figures it out. This can take a couple of hours and always seems to happen during rush hour. It’s usually some loose Fastclips, though, and you can bet none of them thought to bring a hammer.”