Yesterday, I went to the meeting of the All Party Group for Rail in the North in the House of Commons. It also coincided with the publication of the cross party pamphlet entitled "The future of rail in the North", which features contributions from MPs, the Railways Minister, Simon Burns MP, representatives of Northern Rail and other interested commentators.
By chance, this event coincided with the publication of the interim Laidlaw report on the flawed modelling done for the bidding process of west coast mainline. As a result of the report the Transport Secretary did the decent thing and came to the House and gave a ministerial statement, whereby he answers questions on the issue from all sides.
The full report on that issue is here. I asked the last question: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2012-10-29a.40.0&s=speaker%3A24962#g48.5
The Brown report on the future of franchising will follow in less than 2 months.
Seaprately yesterday afternoon at the APG Meeting I had the chance to discuss long term upgrades and possible improvements to the railways around Newcastle, and along the Tyne Valley, with Northern's Performance and Planning Director, Rob Warnes. This was helpful in understanding the aims and objectives of Northern and also for letting me make the case for an improved service on the Tyne Valley Line. As always if any readers have specific recommendations that they wish me to put to the team at Northern please write in, care of the House of Commons address.