EU will not block Thameslink tender being relaunched

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by jcollins, 10 Nov 2011.

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  1. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    The European Commission has confirmed it would not punish the UK government if it restarted the tendering process for the £1.4bn Thameslink contract.

    Derby trainmaker Bombardier is cutting 1,400 jobs after German firm Siemens was named as the government's preferred bidder for the deal in June.

    Campaigners have since urged the government to reverse its decision to help save British jobs.

    The commission said it only required the process to be fair and open.

    A high-profile campaign featuring politicians, unions and workers started after Bombardier was denied the contract to build train carriages for the government's new Thameslink route.

    The government has always stated that under EU procurement rules it was obliged to choose the bid which offered British taxpayers the best value for money.

    'Privileged position'
    The commission's response followed a letter from East Midlands Labour MEP Glenis Willmott asking whether the government would face censure under EU law if it revisited the decision.

    In a written reply, it said: "EU public procurement legislation allows contracting authorities to choose the best offer in the context of a tendering procedure, as long as their decisions are taken on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis.

    "In this context, the EU public procurement rules do not prevent a contracting authority from relaunching the tendering procedure for the award of a contract."

    Mrs Willmott said: "Thousands of highly skilled workers could lose their jobs at Bombardier, and the transport secretary [Justine Greening] is in a privileged position to save them, and the answer from the EU Commission gives her the green light to do so"

    However the government has now said it had no intention of restarting the tendering process as it could delay the project by several years and leave it open to legal action from Siemens.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-15660649
     
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  3. Via Bank

    Via Bank Member

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    A high-profile populist PR campaign started after Bombardier failed to win the contract to build train carriages for the existing-but-heavily-upgraded Thameslink route.

    'nuff said.

    The loss of the jobs at the Bombardier plant is lamentable, yes, but a lot of the furore over this is sneaky. The Great British* Bombardier were going to cut the bulk of the jobs anyway.

    If the Government gave the contract to Siemens, does it not imply that, perhaps, just maybe, Siemens were offering better trains for a better price?

    (*headquartered in Munich)
     
  4. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    We need more trains being ordered then they'd have less to complain about. They weren't exactly making the same fuss when they lost the TPE order to Siemens as they had a larger order of 377s to fulfil.
     
  5. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    It sounds very much like the Government has now regretted the European Commission making this new clarification, as at the time of the contract being awarded to Siemens, it had quoted from the original European Commission rules as an obligation, from which it was bound to follow.
     
  6. Martin222002

    Martin222002 Member

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    Exactly! Bombardier was going to cut 1,200 jobs even if they had won Thameslink, so all this talk of 1,400 jobs going is just spin from Bombardier.
     
  7. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    If Bombardier re-tendered and if Bombardier then won...

    Is there a cast iron guarantee that they would actually build the trains in the UK?
     
  8. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Precisely - its dissapointing that an organisation like the BBC falls for this "spin"

    No - after all the Voyagers and Meridians were built in Belgium.

    And even "building" the trains in the UK may mean mainly "assembling imported parts" (rather than building every component locally)
     
  9. Bedpan

    Bedpan Member

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    Does anybody know how far Siemens have got with building them. On one hand, I fear that if they habve been getting on with thye job over the last 5 months, there will be millions to pay in panalties if the order is now taken away from them. On the other hand, if not much work has been done so far due to all the hiatus, the delivery will be signifacantly late and they will have a perfect excuse. And all this for 200 jobs! Its not as though we have a surplus of rolling stock in this country - if the govenment are going to invest billions into the ecompomy as they say they will (quantative easing) what better way of spending some of the money than to put a separate order to Bombardier for some extra units to ease overcrowding - and also increasing platform lengths around the country so that money is injected into all regions. After all, passenger levels are said to be back to 1920s levels, but the network was substantially bigger back in those days.
     
  10. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Seeing as the contract has actually to be signed with Siemens yet (not far off a 1,000 days since the last rolling stock order) I doubt they're doing anything at all in terms of building the trains other than planning their production line and perhaps looking at ordering any long lead items that need to be ordered.

    As for ordering stock for Bombardier, firstly you can't just ring up and say "Bombardier, build us x number of 172s and x number of 379s" as that would be illegal under European procurement laws. You have to put it out to competitive tender. Now you can weight it so that Bombardier are the more likely to win the contract but that brings me onto my second point which is namely what makes you think Bombardier would build the stock here or that they even want to keep Derby open?
     
  11. Eagle

    Eagle Established Member

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    Anyone who thinks Bombardier is at all British has clearly never heard its name spoken aloud.

    "bom-BAR-dee-ay"

    (The parent company is based in Montréal, it's a French name. The transportation arm of the company is based in Berlin.)
     
  12. ChrisCooper

    ChrisCooper Established Member

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    I bet Derby will only stay open until the Turbostar and Electrostar are finished. They both have some life in them, afterall both are currently being delivered and there is good chance that more will be built. Once the desision is taken to move to a new design though, I am sure it will be built abroad and Derby will close. Surprised the London Underground stock is built in Derby. Of cource whilst the Nottingham Trams were Derby built, the Blackpool ones are built in Austria, and I'm sure the same will be true for other tram orders (including if Nottingham chooses Bombardier for it's next batch, yet if it doesn't it will be accused of hurting it's neighbouring city).
     
  13. Hydro

    Hydro Established Member

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    Everyone in Derby pronounces it as "Bom-BAR-dee-er". It's apparently the correct way for the company.

    "dee-ay" is correct, as it's a French word, but company names can shun all ideas of language (Qinetiq? Really?).
     
  14. OMGitsDAVE

    OMGitsDAVE Member

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    Not meaning to make it sound bad... but surely restarting the tender just means more time... and thus everywhere else in the country suffers yet again by the late cascades?
     
  15. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Nowt wrong witn QinetiQ (Kin-Et-Ick) although the likes of Roke Mannor or Marlbrough Communications Ltd are easyer to say...
     
  16. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    Yes we know a few members on this forum have mentioned this. Personally I think they should just get on with it and allow siemens to start building the new trains. Bombardier are still in the running for the crossrail contracts and southern etc are looking at new electrostars so there should still be some work.

    However as others have also said Bombardier are not doing themselves any favours
     
  17. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    Personally I think that the Government should provide orders for Derby to complete so to keep it open, much in the way BREL kept so many works open thanks to the proper timing of orders. As such, I welcome the potential order for new Electrostars for Southern. I would like to see 172s replace Pacers.

    I wouldn't though like to see them get Thameslink, especially not now. Siemens won fair and square with a better product. The way the Unions, Local Government, Bombardier and Derby workers have distorted & ignored facts and moaned like sore losers has been both embarrassing and disappointing.

    So here's hoping for a long and successful future for Derby Carriage Works and it's workers, but please, move on from Thameslink...
     
  18. snail

    snail Established Member

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    That's not how a friend of mine working for them on a contract in the US/Canada pronounces it. He uses the French version. Someone should also tell their marketing people, their YouTube channel is full of videos with people doing the same.
     
  19. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    I am placing my money on the crossrail contract going to Hitachi although I think some new 172's should be ordered to replace the pacers, maybe 1 or 2 extra from Chiltern to provide extra capacity
     
  20. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    I actually hope Siemens will get the Crossrail order, as it makes more sense to have a larger fleet of City Desiros. I seem to remember that linking the Thameslink and Crossrail orders was the plan at one point, though sadly with the stink that has been kicked up, I can't see Siemens getting Crossrail too now.
     
  21. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    No, strictly it's "dee-ay" as it's a company founded in Quebec au Canada. The bosses at Derby aren't likely to follow that for their fine British company, as quoted in the media.
     
  22. cyclebytrain

    cyclebytrain Member

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    My personal favourite (and this was a discussion with someone surprisingly high up in Qinetiq) was "we're not called Kinetic, we're called Quin-tech-Cue". But I can't ever see the name without thinking about that now! :)
     
  23. Dennis

    Dennis Established Member

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    I understand that is untrue, the deciding factor was finance not product quality.
     
  24. Eagle

    Eagle Established Member

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    Founded in the 1940s by Joseph Armand Bombardier from Valcourt, who'd just invented this nifty little thing called the snowmobile, and set up a company called Autoneige Bombardier to sell it.
     
  25. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    From what I've heard from the likes of Tony Miles the Bombardier were some way behind Siemens technically as well as financially.
     
  26. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Yes, its been stated that Siemens didnt win on value for money alone. The company itself also never contested losing out on prefered bidder status which is telling. Only the unions and the local council have objected.
     
  27. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

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    They'll be built by Alstom, who own a stake in the company that starts operating NET shortly.
     
  28. junglejames

    junglejames Established Member

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    Easy. Dont just weight it in favour of Bombardier. You actually weight it in favour of a British site. (your not allowed to name Derby specifically). Its allowed to be done. Thats what the French always do. Then Bombardier will have to build them in Derby if they want to win the contract. Also, if Bombardier dont want to keep Derby, it may make someone else keen on taking Derby over if they thought the government would keep weighting the bidding process in favour of the UK builders.

    Of course, there is the chance that the only bidder you get is 'Bobs' Train Builders' in deepest Cornwall!!!
     
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