Written by IainB
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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

image for High Speed rail link hits its first problem
At least the tracks will get as far as the other side of Birmingham, and flatten a large section of Birmingham

The proposed high speed rail link between London and Manchester, with the shortest possible stay in Birmingham as is technically feasible, has been given the green light to be built, despite opposition.

However, protesters against the new rail line will be pleased to learn, there is a problem that may well never see a high speed train travel between London and Manchester.

"We've budgeted fifteen billion pounds and twenty-nine pence," said an embarrassed David Cameron. "However, even with the twenty-nine pence that came from a whip round in the cabinet meeting, it looks as though this money will only be enough to pay for the rails. Nobody really wants to leave London anyway, so why would we need trains on the track?"

After paying for legal challenges to be overlooked, and people to be evicted from their homes, and the land bought up from under their feet between London and Manchester, the allocated budget is just about enough to pay for this, and have enough left over to buy the steel for the tracks.

"Steel's expensive," said Cameron. "And we need a lot of it. Although we have plenty up in Sheffield, we'll be bringing it in from China."

The news that only the rails will be built has come as a shock to Bombardier, Britain's last remaining train manufacturer based in Bristol.

"We were told we were going to get the contract for the trains," said Tom Bardier, chief designer at the company. "Then we were told it was going to the German firm, because they were cheaper. Anyway the government couldn't afford the trains for the tracks. They're saving money by cancelling the deal with the Germans instead of us. At least that's what they said."

Even with the planned budget, things are going to be tight.

"We're right up against the wire on this one," said Cameron. "There is a chance the tracks might suddenly stop in a field near Stoke. We've definitely got enough to get us to Birmingham. And the twenty-seven pence we manage to scrounge will get us through Birmingham. As to how far the rest of the fifteen billion pounds gets us, we'll have to wait and see. Tally ho."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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