Calendars

One of the minor foibles of engineering is the insistence of many clients on using different calendars. This has recently been a quite hilarious issue on a job where a large water scheme must cross the railways.

Network Rail use a calendar where weeks start on the personal tax year, the 6th of April, while the Water companies have a ‘water year’ that runs September to September (that way their annual rain data will catch the whole of winter). Of course both organisations also have financial years  that run from the 1st of April, the dates they used when they were still state owned and occasionally throw in references to the actual calendar year.

All this is fine, until someone starts talking about ‘Week 40’ and you have absolutely no idea which of the various calendars they are using.

Fortunately Network Rail have a built-in system to protect from such mistakes; ludicrous delays giving everyone time to think things through carefully. On trying to book some time on track to put in some monitoring our liaison chap was told we could get access “Next August”. “August 2011?” he asked. “August 2012”  came the reply.

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