Latest Rail News

07.01.13

Thameslink delays hitting wider fleet replacement, warns RMT

The railway is facing “chronic overcrowding”, union RMT has warned, as the Thameslink contract over-runs threaten to delay the national rail fleet replacement programme.

The shortage of rolling stock comes during significant increases in passenger numbers, and parliamentary answers before Christmas confirmed that there is a three year delay in the programme of replacement for the Thameslink fleet.

This could hold up the cascading of rolling stock to other key services, including newly electrified lines. The Lancashire Triangle may have to run with diesel trains when it comes on stream over the next three years, the RMT suggested – though the recent deal between the DfT, Southern and Bombardier for more Electrostars will mitigate this assuming they are cascaded.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “We now know the real cost of the Government’s Thameslink fiasco, thousands of jobs threatened in the East Midlands and massive delays and hold ups to key electrification projects and the release and cascading of desperately needed rolling stock throughout the network.

“Those delays will leave passengers paying through the nose for years to come to travel on shabby, overcrowded trains while the train operators are exploiting the crisis and are laughing all the way to the bank.

“This madness, cooked up by the same ministers and officials responsible for the West Coast shambles, has got to stop and Bombardier should be given the essential fleet replacement work rather than continuing this debacle into yet another year.

“There should also be no repeat of this shambles on Crossrail and the other rail projects looming large in this new year.”

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

Comments

Mikeyb   07/01/2013 at 19:27

It is understood that Northern are getting so perturbed by the Thameslink delays, that they are being compelled into hiring loco-hauled stock for some of their longer-distant routes, in order to release DMUs to strengthen crowded commuter services.

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