Thursday, 19 March 2009


Telegrammed by Ithuriel
Lord Adonis may know more about railways than the average transport minister - and we have had some outstandingly average transport ministers in recent years, but not enough to spot when his officials are embroidering the truth.

In a letter to an MP whose constituent had asked the Walmsley Question (why not loco haulage for IEP?) the noble Lord rehearses all the old canards and as a clincher concludes:

"The French railways have recognised these arguments and so the next generation of the TGV, the AGV, will operate as distributed traction with all vehicles carrying passengers."

So there!

Except that French Railways have nothing to do with AGV, which is an Alstom private venture.

And French Railways are still ordering TGV Duplex with power cars at each end.

They have noted the AGV development, but really want double deck trains for capacity. Fitting traction packages underneath double deck coaches would be un peu difficile

When anyone tries to drag in the French to support a technical argument, it's a sure sign they know they've met their Waterloo.