Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Osborne calls a halt to rolling stock deals?

This from Sir Roderick Orr-Watt...

I was delighted to see in this morning's FT that young Osborne has listened to the concerns of the Treasury Select Committee and the National Audit Office and is launching a 'fundamental review' of the way public projects are funded .

I can only concur with the view of Jesse Norman, a member of the Select committee, who told the FT: 'This is the end of PFI as we know it'.

With the financiers of the Thameslink rolling stock deal demanding high returns for the funding package one can only hope that Osborne will place Thameslink fleet procurement on immediate hold, as well as that for the even more expensive Intercity Express Programme. That is, if Justine Greening, who I mentored during her MBA at the London Business School and who is bringing a welcome breath of Yorkshire common sense to Marsham Street, doesn't do it off her own bat.

As a non-executive director of Angerholt Leasing I am confident that all the rolling stock companies are ready, willing and able to to provide the private funding and take on the risk through conventional operating leases, which have served the rolling stock market so well since privatisation.

Meanwhile, my colleagues and I will of course respond graciously when the new Transport Secretary initiates the long overdue rapprochement with the Roscos.

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Is Eye's contributor above the same as 'Bonkers' Orr-Watt, who as a young finance whiz was responsible for the 'Bidwatch' section in Modern Railways during the early days of passenger rail franchising?

If so, I am not surprised to see that he has subsequently flourished since he brought a refreshingly unstuffy and lightly worn expertise to the interminable pages of Informed Sources.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Tony Miles...

Oh dear.

This won't please politicos in the North West awaiting the wiring of the Manchester - Liverpool route. As they are already due to wait at least 2 years after the wires go live for cascaded rolling stock, a further delay on releasing exThameslink trains will have them up in arms.

Of course an initial fleet of 9 x 4-car Class 317/7 sets is due to become available in February 2012, released by Abellio Greater Anglia. Once these have been put through a heavy overhaul to make them PRM-TSI compliant they will be ready to start work in 2014 for Northern Rail.

As that franchise is 50% owned by Abellio does that mean the Cloggies have already developed their own Rolling Stock Strategy?