Wednesday, 14 September 2011

DfT feels Derby pain and awards new train order!

Finally some good news for Derby!

Clearly stung into action by the national campaign to save the UK's last train manufacturing plant the Department for Transfer has decided that a contract for up to 120 new vehicles will be awarded to the hard pressed Dusseldorf factory of Siemens (Is this right!?! Ed).

This from London Midland's website:

London Midland is pleased to announce today that it has selected preferred bidders for the manufacture, maintenance and financing of new rolling stock. This is intended for both London Midland and the Manchester to Scotland services operated by First TransPennine Express, which would result in significant additional capacity, making travel easier, more reliable and less crowded on some of the busiest sections of the rail network.

The preferred bidders are Siemens Plc for manufacture and maintenance of the new rolling stock, which are expected to be Desiro EMUs, and Angel Trains Limited for the necessary financing. We are now entering a period of exclusive negotiations with those companies. If those negotiations are brought to a successful conclusion, and parallel discussions with the Department for Transport confirm the business case and the necessary amendments to the London Midland franchise agreement, then a firm order is likely to be placed by early 2012.

Nice of London Midland take the heat off DfT by ordering the TPE vehicles as well. After all, what are franchises for? (Wolmar ibid)

No doubt Derby was unable to offer a suitable Electrostar product or had too much work on - what with losing the Thameslink order and all?

UPDATE: This from M'Duck...

This announcement is a little rich on the back of iDave's word's at PMQ's today:

A 'bright future' for Derby indeed!

UPDATE: This from Sir William A Stanier FRS...

Whilst applauding Railway Eye's continued support for our other Works in Derby, perhaps The Fact Compiler could advise whether Messrs Bombardier of Canada actually bid for this contract?

According to my successors, who are experts on the new twitterphone device, "You have to be in it - to win it!".

UPDATE: This from The Archer...

Sir Bill is right: You do have to be in it, to win it!

And maybe the Canuks didn't bid for the LM contract, LM after all already operate Siemens EMUs so Derby would have had little chance of success.

The real question though is whether Bombardier would have bid if they had known that LM would front a (larger) order for TPE on the back of LM's bid?

TPE don't currently operate any EMUs so Bombardier vs Siemens would have been a level playing field - perhaps that's what DfT were worried about.

  • Thameslink = Siemens because of credit ratings.
  • LM = Siemens because of the existing LM fleet.
  • TPE = Siemens because ?
Anyone know?

UPDATE: This from a Mr Tony Miles...

TPE - because:

1) the sets will be based/maintained at the Siemens depot in Ardwick, Manchester.
2) and at the Scottish end the sets will looked after overnight by people who service other Siemens (class 380) sets and, more importantly,
3) it is thought probable that the TPE sets will eventually return to the LM franchise when more of the network in the NW is electrified and the TP franchise orders a much bigger fleet - so the 10 sets have to be compatible with the LM sets.

Does that answer the question?

UPDATE: This from Howard Wade...

What are the DfT (under the non de guerre of London Midland) going on about?

Bombardier did not bid, or, rather pulled out after pre-qualification, because of the small quantity and because a repeat order for Class 350/1 was the blindingly obvious solution - even to competitive procurment crazed civil servants.

Siemens has been the formally confirmed sole/preferred bidder for over a year.

All the stuff about European wide procurement is pure spin.

Pointless signs - St Pancras

First TPE triumphs

Eye congratulates Vernon 'Smooth' Barker!

The uber-slick MD of First TransPennine Express is to be the new MD of First Group's UK Rail Division.

In the words of one gnarled operator "a well deserved appointment".

High praise indeed!

An apology to all Eye readers

The Fact Compiler offer his humble apologies to readers for the temporary cessation of hostilities.

Convinced that Eye's brand of satire and humour was at risk of subjecting the industry to ridicule he was minded to hang up his bowler.

Happily the recent bravura series of performances by the Secretary of State for Transport reveals that in today's railway satire is the new reality!

And while Eye would not pretend to be in the same league as that occupied by our beloved Petrol-head, the least it can do its bring his wit, wisdom and general gaffe prone urbanity to a wider audience, the while offering a platform to our many contributors and supporters.

And so to business!

How the Tory Party has progressed

Back in the 1990's then Transport Minister Roger Freeman suggested privatisation would deliver separate train services for businessmen and their office staff - for 'toffs and typists' in tabloid shorthand...

Happily swingeing fares increases, compounded by Hammond’s desire to increase regulated fares by 8%, has priced poor Doreen and Babs off our railways, leaving it fit only to be what Petrol-head terms 'a rich man's toy'.

How multi-millionaire Hammond would know this to be the case is of course anyone's guess.

Philip Hammond - Eye salutes you. An inspiration to satirists everywhere.