Monday, 28 June 2010

Why new Thameslink fleet is essential

Today's FT explains the importance of ordering a new Thameslink fleet:

If he cancels the Thameslink order, Mr Hammond is likely to face criticism for failing to address the shortage of rolling stock on the Oxford route - one of the most heavily used in the country.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

UPDATE: This from the Raver...

I was amused to read the FT piece, in particular the reference to Wolmar 's 'Fire and Steam' sitting on Hammond's desk.

Apparently Wolmar had been to see the new Secretary of State earlier and the meeting did not go well!

When the 'transport expert' offered Hammond his tome he was curtly told "I know about railway history".

Showing his exhaustive knowledge Petrol-head then went into a rant demanding to know why trains received priority over cars at level crossings, even when it's just "a two coach train".

Sadly the FT is unclear whether cricket mad Wolmar managed to connect with the Sectretary of State when he bowled the book onto his desk...

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

Why does the Financial Times send people who know nothing about Transport in general and railway policy in particular to interview Transport Secretary Philip Hammond?

Does it matter that they confuse Thameslink with the residual orders of the HLOS 1300 extra vehicles?

Does it matter that that apparently don't know about the Foster Review let alone McNulty?

Well, yes, if you are a multinational bidding for railway business in the UK and your main board in Paris, Berlin or Montreal rely on the FT for their over-view.

Has Hammond really ''frozen an order for hundreds of carriages destined for Thameslink"?

If he has the FT has a genuine scoop. Or has he just frozen two minor contracts in the HLOS capacity requirement?

Still, when it comes to finance, the FT shows all its traditional expertise and insight.

A commitment to 33% cuts would mean 'shaving £5bn from the department's annual budget of just under £16bn'. No shit Sherlock! Nobel prizes for economics have been awarded for less penetrating analysis

Where is FT Transport Correspondent Robert Wright and his faithful 'railway veteran' companion when we need him?