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Who says that having a child changes your life? London mayor and recent father Ken Livingstone, it seems, remains committed to his first love - the capital's transport network. Ken was an enthusiastic attendee of anti-natal classes with his partner Emma and has continued to be in touch with the group. However, some of the mothers have noted that, although clearly a doting father, Ken prefers to chat about congestion charging and Tube timetables rather than nappies and cures for wind.

Trackside safety on the West Coast Main Line is excellent a senior rail engineer tells me after a visit. There was a look-out stationed up and down line of the site, both of which were in touch with a chap at a remote base, whose sole job was to relay on any warning they raised. The inspecting engineer was hugely impressed by the resource thrown at preserving life and limb, but felt it was undermined by his white knuckle, 95mph motorway ride to site in the contractor's van.

On the subject of safety, a cautionary tale from one of my colleagues who should have known better. Visiting the Domovinski Bridge project in Zagreb, our portly technical editor Dave Parker failed to protest strongly enough as several large Slavs followed him into the flimsy dinghy that was to transport him across the River Sava. The overloaded craft - with some of the passengers standing and water lapping the gunwales - zoomed across the river and thumped into the landing stage on the far side. Marvelling at his survival, our reporter stepped ashore on unsteady legs, an operation that involved ducking under a guardrail. But as he attempted this simple feat, the boat heeled sharply and the guardrail and the bridge of his nose met at considerable velocity.

Blood poured down his face throughout the rest of his visit. On the way back over the river, he made sure there were only two other passengers in the boat - the smallest ones.

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