Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Mystic Wolmar on rolling stock procurement

This from Henry Hectare...

In the past Eye has been somewhat critical of a certain Mr Kipling's role in the procurement of new rolling stock.

The latest fleets for Thameslink, East Coast and Great Western were specified and procured by the DfT, often against the best advice of those who actually have to operate them, and not withstanding passenger (sorry - customer) fury about uncomfortable seating and the absence of wifi and sockets. 

No matter!

Surely this could all have been solved by simple recourse to the wise words of the World's Greatest Living Transport Correspondent?

But what do we find when we turn to an epistle from Mystic Wolmar, penned for the pages of RAIL Magazine in 2004, as Virgin Trains launched its first "tilting" Red Revolution timetable:

"It is obvious that the Voyagers or Pendolinos must not be used as the model for new rolling stock for inter-city services and let us hope the lessons from their failings are learned. The HSTs are going to need replacing, probably by the end of the decade, and the same mistake of having modern trains that are less pleasant than the ones they are replacing must not be repeated...

"The sensible option would be for the SRA – or, rather, its replacement – to commission a new design for the trains and insist that they be used on the Great Western franchise where most sets are required and for any other similar routes. Why should a franchisee design trains when they are but temporary holders of a management contract, especially given that when things go wrong, we all know who foots the bill."

Wise words indeed. If only Mr Kipling and his legions in the DfT had listened to Woemar's sage advice! (Is this right? Ed)