1,200 new trains ‘won’t just benefit’ London passengers


In response to the Government’s announcement on new train carriages, a spokesperson for the Association of Train Operating Companies, said:

“New carriages and more seats will be welcomed by passengers on routes where overcrowding is an issue at busy times of the day.

“The plans won’t just benefit passengers in London, as carriages released from the Thameslink route will help to tackle overcrowding outside of the capital.

“It’s good news that ministers recognise the importance of sustained and targeted investment in Britain’s railways at a time when public finances are under pressure. The railways are attracting record numbers of passengers, and demand is expected to double over the coming decades.”

The RMT however, say the order is a ‘massive kick in the teeth for Bombardier and called the contract a ‘betrayal’.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“Despite the way that this announcement has been dressed up it is a massive kick in the teeth for Bombardier and a total betrayal of the workforce in Derby who have the skills and capacity to build this stock.

“Instead we are being fobbed off with a deal which will only create a minimal number of component jobs in Tyne and Wear with the trains themselves built in Germany.

“This is another bitter blow for train building in the UK which will further erode this country’s manufacturing skills base.”



    While improving the UK’s rail and public-transport systems is an unassailable objective for UK industry and govt., part this should be putting in place the conditions required for expansion and diversification of of the UK’s existing ‘big business’ successes…

    Putting the best British minds to work- preferably in collaboration with overseas partners- on the designing of rail and public-transport-related products that eventually end up as as part of the UK’s rail systems ought to be an integral part of govt strategies to improve the UK’s economic foundations and rail/public transport systems…

    Ensuring that these products and their underlying technologies- if necessary in adapted formats- have significant potential for export- should be as well…

    In terms of long-term economic & industrial strategies, the establishment of facilities in the UK to construct and/or assemble new trains/rail-related hardware for the country is less than 1/2 of what industry leaders and govt officials ought to be aiming for…

    The creation of a self-sustaining rail & public transport technology research and development base in the UK is needed just as much…

    The likelihood of EU member nations (and places such as India) that are upgrading their rail systems buying from the UK will be greatly increased if products and systems marketed are perceived to be coming out of a creditable, cutting-edge technology joint-venture- with its own well resourced, demonstrably functional R & D centre….

    It could only make constructive sense for some of this and the next 4 fiscal year’s spending- perhaps collaboratively with overseas mega-corporations’ contributions- to be put towards the establishment and operations of a rail & public transport R & D technology centre/campus in the UK… if necessary with the UK govt as a temporary minor shareholder in the venture….

    Such a centre/campus comprising significant representation from a world-class rail technology leader such as Hitachi- http://www.hitachi.eu/products/business/public/index.html – along with a leading UK firm that has leading-edge complimentary technology expertise- such as VT or Rolls-Royce- would be one way of providing the new centre/campus with automatic positive world-recognition…

    A company like Rolls-Royce, BAE, or VT paired with an effervescent and competent international partner- such as Hitachi- and its Japan-based R & D resources- would immeasurably strengthen the viability and export-related potential of a UK based “world centre” for rail & public transport technology research & development…..

    A well resourced, efficient ‘World-Centre-of-excellence’ for rail-and-public-transport research and development’ type facility in the UK could only substantially increase the likelihood of contracts to design, manufacture and assemble rail and public-transport products (+ their components and related hardware) going to existing UK-based companies and UK factories…

    Roderick V. LouisVancouver, BC, Canada


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