Unions calls for end to Siemens fiasco


The RMT has demanded the government call a halt to the 18-month saga of the Siemens/Thameslink fleet contract and hand the work to Bombardier in Derby.

The move comes after it emerged that officials are now looking at an alternative as the deal is no closer to sign-off and is clearly riddled with serious contamination.

In a response to questions asked by Derby MP and RMT Parliamentary Group Member Chris Williamson, the DFT said it was actively “assessing options were it not possible to secure financial close”. RMT believes the only alternative option is the UK train-building plant at Bombardier in Derby.

RMT general secretary Bob Cow said: “The game is clearly up for the Siemens/Thameslink deal which is riddled with the same contamination and incompetence as the West Coast main line fiasco. The Government should now be forced to hand this work over to Bombardier in Derby saving thousands of key manufacturing jobs and calling a halt to this 18 months of shame.”

The answers also suggest the timetable for the delivery of the rolling stock has slipped (the original ministerial statement last year said the first new train would be on the network by the start of 2015 and the “order complete by the middle of 2017”). The new answers say “We expect the first trains to be delivered for testing on the network in summer 2015 and deployment of the full fleet to be completed towards the end of 2018.”

As a result of the continuing chaos – which mirrors the West Coast fiasco and involves the same DFT officials – RMT is calling for the Thameslink contract, 18 months after it was awarded in principle to German outfit Siemens, to be handed to Bombardier in Derby, protecting the future of the last train builder in the nation that gave the railways to the world.



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