Latest Rail News

01.06.12

Still no Thameslink trains deal – but IEP financing ‘close’

MPs and unions have attacked “ineptitude” at the DfT for the delays in getting a final Thameslink rolling stock contract signed with Siemens, nearly a year after it was picked as preferred bidder.

After a Parliamentary written answer by rail minister Theresa Villiers on May 17 revealed that “core project agreements” have still not been concluded, and finance is not yet in place, Derby North MP Chris Williamson has called again for Bombardier as reserve bidder to be brought “back into the fray”.

The Labour MP told the Derby Telegraph: “The Department for Transport is in a complete mess. It is losing control of Thameslink and someone needs to get a grip of the situation.”

He said he had previously been told by Villiers that the deal would be signed by the end of last year, following the ‘preferred bidder’ announcement in June.

The RMT union says the Eurozone financial crisis is behind the delays, saying that Villiers’ statement is a “clear admission that the deal has hit the buffers and that Siemens have no cash in place to build the Thameslink trains in a direct contradiction of everything we were told when the contract was awarded last June”.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow added: “This latest twist in the botched handling of the Thameslink contract nails once and for all the Government lie that it is too late to award of the work to Bombardier inDerbywhich is geared up and ready to go. It is Government ineptitude that has left thousands of jobs dangling by a thread and the whole future of train building in theUKon the critical list.”

This was shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle’s Parliamentary question: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons are for the time taken to finalise the Thameslink rolling stock contract; and when she expects the contract to be finalised.”

Villiers replied: “The Department expects to conclude the core project agreements with Siemens and Cross London Trains shortly, following which Cross London Trains and their lending banks then need to conclude the financing documentation required to secure the necessary equity and debt funding for the project.”

A DfT source told the Daily Mirror: “We remain confident that the preferred bidder will be able to raise the required finance.”

Delays are also hampering the sign-off of the IEP rolling stock deal with Hitachi-led consortium Agility Trains. Its chief executive Alistair Dormer told the Financial Times this week that it has secured a finance deal with lenders and is “close to financial close”.

He said this funding was for the first tranche of 330 carriages for the GWML, and that it would take another year to find the money for another 270 for the ECML.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Mike H   01/06/2012 at 14:19

These trains should be built in Derby its a farce . Why are we not buying British ?

Richard C   01/06/2012 at 23:20

Lets be honest here, if Bombardier were awarded the contract today it would take at least 12 months for them to raise the finance. Also don't forget Bombardier are Canadian owned, not British, and Siemens have a very well developed UK supply chain that is waiting to benefit from the Thameslink deal!

Andrew P   22/06/2012 at 21:50

What is wrong with more Mk3 carriages with retention toilets and automatic doors + electric or diesel locomotives? IEP isn't built to go faster than 125 mph, and locos + carriages are cheaper than EMU's. Buy a successful British design, if necessary with foreign locos.

Mikeb   20/07/2012 at 17:45

It is planned to cascade a number of Thameslink Class 319s to Northern for the Lancashire electrification project. However it now looking as if this project will be long finished before any EMUs are available and therefore, Class 156s, 150s and Pacers will be running under the wires for some time to come. Perhaps an additional order Class 350s for Northern should now be considered.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >