Good news for fans of Parliamentary scrutiny!
This from the DfT:
£4.5 billion investment in new trains creates new jobs
More than 900 jobs will be created and thousands more secured after Transport Secretary Justine Greening approved a £4.5bn contract to supply Britain with the next generation of intercity trains.
In a major boost to the UK’s manufacturing industry, 596 railway carriages will be built at a brand new train factory in the north east of England.
Agility Trains, a consortium made up of Hitachi and John Laing, has been awarded the contract to build and maintain the trains under the Intercity Express Programme (IEP), the project to replace Britain’s Intercity 125 trains with new higher capacity modern trains.
Hitachi will assemble an intercity fleet of 92 complete trains at a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, in the process creating 730 skilled jobs with a further 200 jobs during construction of the factory itself and securing thousands more in the UK supply chain. The company will also locate its European rail research and development capabilities on the site which will further enhance the factory’s ability to win rail contracts across Europe.
As well as building the new state-of-the-art assembly facility, Hitachi will construct maintenance depots in Bristol, Swansea, west London and Doncaster, and will upgrade existing maintenance depots throughout Britain.
The announcement comes on the eve of the Global Investment Conference in London where the Government will kick off the largest series of trade and investment events ever held in the UK involving more than 3,000 business leaders, policy-makers and ministers from around the world, and half the companies in the FTSE 100.
Putting to one side the enormous cost is there anyone outside Marsham Street and the Japanese Embassy that actually wants this hybrid monster?
Therefore, time for an exciting new Eye survey... (see right)
UPDATE: This unusually bullish statement from ATOC...
“This announcement is good news for passengers as it will mean faster, more comfortable journeys and many more seats.
“This DfT-led procurement, however, has been contentious. Some of the earlier scope of the project has been changed because of subsequent Government decisions to electrify parts of the rail network.
“Train companies believe that the key to delivering better value for money is to ensure that they play a bigger role in shaping rolling stock solutions through the competitive franchising process. It will help get things done more quickly and bring down costs, and we welcome the Government's support for this approach.”
UPDATE: This from a Mr Tony Miles...
You are right - we have yet to find anyone working on the railways who wants the IEP.
DfT says £200m saving over the life of the trains - forgets to mention "set against £75m a year extra that fare payers on Great Western will pay to have these trains rather than a more conventional design." (data from R. Ford) - which wipes out that £200m within the first three years....
Clearly that paragraph got missed from the DfT press release.....
As was the line from GW passenger groups saying "We welcome the opportunity to pay well above inflation fare increases to fund these trains which will deliver the lower levels of comfort we have been calling for for several years."
J. Greening assisted by Mr Kipling, and along with her predecessors Adonis and Hammond, has rightly earned her place in history alongside Beeching.
Alongside 'The Beeching Cuts' we now have 'The Greening order' - long may we rue this day...