Friday, 1 October 2010

"They shall not pass" claims Frenchies

This, surprisingly, from Generals Helmuth von Moltke (senior) and Alfred von Schlieffen...

Unser liebe Fact Compiler

Can we through Railway Eye pass on our congratulations to Herr Doktor Professor Wolmar on the timeliness of his latest book, Engines of War, on sale yesterday.

Today as the French try to prevent German trains running through the tunnel can we commend pages 71 to 88 and 133 to 159 of his meisterwerk detailing our respective rail strategies in 1870 and 1914 to your readers.

It would appear that having lost the competition to supply new trains for Eurostar, technically and commercially, the French have resorted to rule bending in an attempt to protect their archaic railway industry.

Nach St Pancras!

UPDATE: This from Our International Correspondent...

In their understandable resentment at the traditional intransigence of French Railways to be cowed by Die Bahn, the German generals overlook the historic fact that while their attempts to come this way have a poor sustainability record during the last century, plucky old Britain’s one attempt to go east past the Calais Up Starter on her own was more successful.

As part of a larger coalition of English-speaking nations on tour in 1944, the Walmington-On-Sea platoon used a pretty ramshackle collection of British and American kettles to run trains as far as the Rhine.

They then went on to Berlin using German kettles whose ownership had become a little confused following the total surrender of the Thousand Year Reich at Luneberg Heath.

Somehow, all this was done without EU Interoperability Regulations.

Perhaps the British Army Railway Squadron, soon to be disinvented by the spending review, could have one Last Hurrah nach Berlin!

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

Eurostar's new trains - did a cunning plan backfire?

Eurostar has run its procurement of 10 new trains in unprecedented secrecy.

The news came as a surprise to the most experienced industry watchers.

Eurostar avoided issuing an OJEU, which would have given the game away, by using the Link-up qualification system.


Could it be that the aim was to use Siemens as a stalking horse to cover up an order destined to go, naturellement, to Alstom?

After all, everyone in France knows that German trains could not match the commercial offer from the French champion.

But les sales boche cheated and put in a more attractive offer. A knock-out offer, in fact, which could not be refused.

And now Johny Crapaud is trying to rectify this unfortunate error.

One question remains.

Was Bombardier invited to bid?