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DfT should ‘let market decide’ on East Coast – Eversholt

Eversholt Rail has criticised the DfT for ‘prescribing’ IEP rolling stock for the East Coast Mainline, and argued that Mk4 carriages would have been a better choice.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin confirmed the £1.2bn contract yesterday.

Agility Trains, the consortium formed to deliver the IEP, welcomed the commitment. Chief executive officer Martin Garrett said: “Agility Trains is delighted by the Secretary of State’s further commitment to the IEP, which will represent a step change in train performance and passenger experience on the East Coast Main Line.”

And Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “Clearly new jobs in an area suffering from high unemployment is really good news…We welcome the present government's decision to proceed but it comes after delays and a total shambles because of the decision not to award the Thameslink contract to Bombardier.”

But Eversholt Rail criticised the decision, stating that Mk4 carriages would have been a cheaper option.

A statement from the company said: “Eversholt Rail is disappointed that the Department for Transport has decided to proceed with IEP Phase 2 and prescribe what rolling stock will be used on the new East Coast Mainline franchise. We continue to believe that the best option would have been to let the market decide.

“On that basis we put forward a very compelling proposition to modernise the existing IC225 fleet with refurbished Mk IV carriages and new traction systems. This would have offered substantial cost savings, greatly improved levels of comfort and service for East Coast passengers and state-of-the-art on-board technology.

“We believe that refurbished Mk IV rolling stock remains an attractive option when other rail franchises are re-let, including Midland Mainline and Greater Anglia, and we look forward to discussing our offer with potential bidders in due course.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Kev Smith   19/07/2013 at 12:37

The mk4 "apt" package will soon be snapped up by another operator, I find it highly amusing that the DFT has specified the same criteria as the Original MK4 system - 140mph with 125 Max speed... Class 91 & her Mk4's have No worries, they will leased by someone who wants to use on the GWML when the string is all up and running, Virgin may even use them...

Nick Andrews   19/07/2013 at 22:04

Sounds like sour grapes to me from Eversholt. Surely the MK 4s will be offered as part of a stock cascade in normal fashion? Probably going to the poor cousin in the form of "Intercity Anglia"?

Ian   22/07/2013 at 15:15

The whole IEP concept is so flawed it has become something of a joke within some sectors of the industry, yet D(a)fT carry on wasting money. Hey ho, they have never understood railways and this proves it.

Martin   23/07/2013 at 00:22

To those who say IEP is flawed, the concept of a more generic fleet was proven with the IC125 decision many years ago. Of course their were lots of doom and gloom merchants who said it was all flawed and would never work / last. The economies of scale, consistent spare parts supply and common technical knowledge in itself are a large step forward. .. Now if only we can get common couplings on all the MUs

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