Dawlish: Get a GRIP!

It seems you can’t trust the BBC these days!

I was a little sceptical when I read this article on the BBC website, but gave it the benefit of the doubt. Silly me. So it was left to that other world-renowned organ of record, the Plymouth Herald, to put the record straight:

Network Rail last night denied BBC reports that it was only considering the Okehampton route.

A spokeswoman said: “No firm decision has been made at this point.”

The wheels grind very slowly where rail investment is concerned; every project has to go through an eight-phase process called Governance for Railway Investment Projects, or GRIP. Does this sound like it might be a bit bureaucratic? Does it? Here are the phases:

1. Output definition
What are we trying to achieve?
2. Feasibility
Can it be done?
3. Option selection
What’s the best way of doing it? This would be the point where they chose the best route.
4. Single option development
Outline design
5. Detailed design
Um… detailed design
6. Construction test and commission
Well I think we’ve got the hang of this now
7. Scheme hand back
Phew, nearly done
8. Project close out
Who left this shovel here?

If you want more detail, NR/L1/INI/PM/GRIP/100 is yer man.

Any road up, as far as improving the resilience of rail links to the South West peninsula, I think it’s fair to say we’re at GRIP 0.

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