13 February 2009

More trains

LobbyDog and Christian Woolmer have provided further information on the Agility Trains saga.

1. Woolmar mainly deals with the technical issues and risk.  He flushes out why the concept is bad and why the deal is too complex;

2. Woolmar also deals with some of the commercial issues involved with the bidding.  They are correct but I was asked to keep these confidential as the contracts are not signed.

2. Lobbydog reports that Bombardier were awarded a smaller deal.  If this for the additional Thameslink trains, then this has been rumoured and expected;

3. Lobbydog gives information on some of the proposed maintenance sites where the permanent jobs will be.  I have checked the figure and it will be about 500 jobs.  As I posted yesterday, these are the only new long term jobs that the contract will provide, but they will not happen for sometime;

4. As an aside Woolmar comments that the UK does not have the capacity to build the new trains.  This is true and Bombardier did admit to this in the bidding process.  That is another reason why the job numbers should not have been quoted. 

Whichever way you look this contract has been badly conceived.  There will be major technical and commercial issues that will cause delay and increased cost.

How lucky for Labour that they will not be in power when most of these come to light.

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  1. "How lucky for Labour that they will not be in power when most of these come to light."

    Hope you are right in your prediction. But it is disgusting how Hoon has tried to spin this as a great deal for UK workers. I would love to that man lose his seat at the general election!

  2. I have heard that Hoon played no role in this decision.

  3. Good work on all of this Events. One of the Northcliffe newspapers I report for, the Derby Evening Telegraph, has launched a campaign to try and stop the deal. They're also starting a petition on the 10 downing street website. It's a long shot but ot impossible.
    This is one that will roll on so keep blogging on it.
    I have to say it feels like Adonis is giving it more of the political heave-ho than Hoon.

  4. LobbyDog,

    I will be interested to know how these petitions go. I doubt they will make much headway.

    Woolmar has done an interview with Adonis, http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/2009/02/lord-adonis-interview-the-line-manager

    Interesting stuff.

    The big issue over the next few months on the railways will be the drop of revenue and how this impacts on the finances of the operating companies.