Honeywell Bull Ltd has taken to the open railway track to show off the latest additions to its range of computer-based solutions for the manufacturing industry. The Manufacturing Express, an elegant purple and green striped affair, complete with buffet car, was scheduled to leave Euston’s platform 11 last night, and will make day-long stops – excluding the weekend – at carefully selected ports of call – Birmingham Snow Hill, Manchester Victoria, Leeds City, Glasgow Central, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Cambridge Coalfield, Bristol Temple Meads – before completing its round trip by arriving at London Victoria on May 26. According to the company, it was able to choose both the itinerary and the dates, and British Rail met all its requirements. Honeywell anticipates some 1,500 passengers, and claims that the scheme has considerable time and cost advantages over the traditional hotel-based demonstration – although it wasn’t prepared to reveal how much it costs to hire your own train for 10 days. Once aboard, visitors can roam between the manufacturing carriages, where demonstrations include the MRP II Unix-based Management Resource Planning System – well that’s what Honeywell Bull likes MRP to stand for, although Manufacturing Requirements Planning, and the office automation and desk-top publishing wagons, and alight with a handful of brochures gleaned from a well-stocked information centre. Honeywell pronounces the scheme first class – Trade Minister Michael Grylls, certainly appeared to agree, but that was before he was forced to don peaked cap and whistle, and wave the green flag of inauguration.
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