Monday, 6 December 2010

Barbielino - Petrol-head unlashes the attack dogs!

This from the Birmingham Post...

Virgin, which runs West Coast Main Line services from London to Birmingham and Manchester, is refusing to use the trains or carriages....

A spokesman for the department said: “We would like any train company to come forward and use it.

We would like Virgin to use it, but Virgin has said they wouldn’t want to do so unless they get a franchise extension.

Blam! Splat! Kerpow!

UPDATE: This from the Mad Hatter...

The new train is in Virgin colours but without Virgin logos.

Will Beardie Rail cry ‘breach of intellectual copyright’ if anyone else tries to use it?

UPDATE: This from SN Barnes...

So the DfT would like "any train company to come forward and use it"?

Can it be long before Yoghurt Rail comes knocking at Marsham Street's door?

UPDATE: This from a Mr Tony Miles...

Theresa Villiers in Alstom's press release (06/12/10 re. the delivery of 11-car Pendolino 390054) said:

“From April 2012 it will form part of the rolling stock for the new West Coast Main Line franchise."

The Birmingham Post article to which Eye links says:

“ a result, the train has been delivered - but will not be used. Instead, the Department for Transport has told other rail companies they are welcome to borrow the Pendolino for the next 18 months if they want it."

Alstom explained, as the train was being delivered to Edge Hill depot for commissioning, that it will take until the end of May or early June 2011 for the set to be fully tested and commissioned.

So that makes it available for only 10 or 11 months maximum.

Factor in testing on any route other than the WCML, signaling immunization, driver training etc. etc. and that might just give a new operator six months 'quiet enjoyment' with a good headwind!

An awful lot of money would need to be spent for such a short loan, a bill no doubt that will be picked up by the taxpayer.

Welcome to the Age of Austerity!