Union also demands investigation into links between government and train operators after West Coast franchise fiasco


The RMT has demanded the government calls a halt to the 18-month saga of the Siemens/Thameslink fleet contract after it emerged it has been stitched together by the same group of ministers and officials responsible for the collapse of the West Coast main line franchising deal.

The union wants the contract handed to Bombardier in Derby instead – a move that would protect the future of the UK’s last train builder.

The union also called for the West Coast route to be handed to the publicly owned Directly Operated Railways and for an investigation into the relationship between the DFT, the train operators and other private rail companies.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “The game is up for rail privatisation, the casino should be closed and the multi-billion pound lottery that has brought Britain’s railways to their knees should now be shut down for good.

“RMT wants to see the current mess of individual franchises brought under one single, publicly-owned umbrella run in the public interest and not for private gain. We now have that opportunity. The re-nationalisation of West and East Coast’s should be just a part of that process.

“Meanwhile, the botched Thameslink deal should be the next fiasco called to a halt and that work should be redirected as a matter of urgency to Bombardier in Derby to protect the future of UK train building.

“An investigation into the relationship between all of these private companies and the DFT is also essential if we are going to clean out the stables. A starting point would be a forensic look at why everyone around the industry knew that First were going to get the West Coast deal well before the government even announced it. The whole sordid process stinks.”

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