Unite blames government for Hitachi job losses

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Darandio, 9 Jan 2020.

  1. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

    Messages:
    7,775
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2007
    Location:
    Redcar
    Whilst it's sad that people are losing jobs and I personally know several people who work there, i'm sure i'm not alone in seeing the irony in the below statement. The fact that the factory exists is because a contract for new trains was readily awarded to an overseas company in the first place.

    https://unitetheunion.org/news-even...s-a-result-of-government-purchasing-failures/

     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. achmelvic

    achmelvic Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    23 Dec 2014
    Aren't there loads of future orders for 80x models for Avanti, EMT etc or are these being built in Japan/Italy rather than County Durham?
     
  4. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Joined:
    25 Aug 2009
    Meanwhile Siemens' progress with a £200m 700 job (plus 250 construction jobs) plant in Goole continues apace while I know CAF were recently advertising for assemblers in Newport.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2020
  5. Domh245

    Domh245 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,848
    Joined:
    6 Apr 2013
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Those orders combined are 300 vehicles, but neither fleet is due until 2022. Both are due to be done at Newton Aycliffe (although maybe a handful of the EMR units will be done at Kasado, being non-standard) but they don't need the same sort of capacity as they've had until now doing the 385 and IEP orders.
     
  6. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

    Messages:
    13,958
    Joined:
    22 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Mold, Clwyd
    They are all being assembled in Co Durham, but in numerical terms they are rather small orders.
    What we are looking at is the end of the huge IEP programme with nothing similar to replace it.
    Hitachi also hoped to bring European orders to the UK, but bought Ansaldo Breda in Italy instead, with large Italian orders following.

    Apart from Hitachi, Alstom and Talgo are also hungry for orders for their UK operations.
    Bombardier can keep going with Aventras for a while, but will similarly need orders to keep going.
    Siemens is tooling up for their large TfL tube order in Goole.
    But all these operations will suck in major components from overseas, whatever the unions say.
    Meanwhile, the DfT does not have many projects up its sleeve that require large amounts of new stock, with procurement delays to South Eastern, XC and HS2.

    PS The union seems to think that losing the TfL and Nexus orders to "foreign" train builders is somehow different to awarding it to "UK" Hitachi.
    Siemens will be assembling the TfL trains in Goole, so it's Goole versus Newton Aycliffe, not "UK versus foreign". The contract was awarded by TfL, not DfT.
    The Nexus order is between CAF and Stadler, but will be awarded by Nexus, a regional public body, not the UK government.
    So it's hard to see what HMG could have done to force TfL/Nexus to order "British".
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2020
  7. dgl

    dgl Member

    Messages:
    1,128
    Joined:
    5 Oct 2014
    I suppose Siemens has another slight advantage that they make a lot of components for their trains in the UK.
     
  8. 43096

    43096 Established Member

    Messages:
    6,461
    Joined:
    23 Nov 2015
    All utterly predictable, unfortunately. There are too many train manufacturing sites in the UK with not enough workload to support them. With Bombardier, Hitachi, CAF and Siemens having, or opening sites and Talgo and Alstom announcing same (presumably if they get orders), it seems Stadler are the sane ones in not diving in head first with a UK assembly site.
     
  9. Edders23

    Edders23 Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    22 Sep 2018
    Assembly isn't the same as manufacture though it is merely a means of leverage to get the orders
     
  10. Shaw S Hunter

    Shaw S Hunter Established Member

    Messages:
    2,233
    Joined:
    21 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Sunny South Lancs
    It may not be all bad news. Apparently as part of Hitachi's review of the site's future they have decided to invest in additional equipment allowing the site to move beyond assembly towards genuine manufacture. Apologies for the lack of a link, the information is second hand courtesy of a family member.
     
  11. 3141

    3141 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Joined:
    1 Apr 2012
    Location:
    Overton, Hampshire
    We are coming to the end of a boom in new rolling stock. A substantial proportion of the recent orders have been or are being built in Britain, by Bombardier and Hitachi. There are no British-owned rolling stock builders. It's been obvious to all the manufacturers who are here, or are planning to open plants here, that some of them cannot survive by building trains for Britain. They might survive if they build trains here for export, but that may in turn mean the closure of a factory somewhere else, and Brexit may be a factor as well. Siemens will be in the strongest position with the future London Underground orders, which may keep them going for several years. Whoever gets the order for new trains for Southeastern will get a few years' work. Cross Country won't be a big order because it isn't a big operator, and neither is Chiltern. The Hitachi announcement presents the new government with an interesting dilemma.
     
  12. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

    Messages:
    417
    Joined:
    13 Nov 2019
    Location:
    North of London
    A call for protectionist policies is also ironic coming from a union whose July 2018 Brexit policy statement was "demanding that any Brexit deal must deliver barrier-free access to the Single Market".

    Ultimately the problem is that governments, companies and unions always sell new limited-term projects with a statement that "it will create XXX new jobs". Even if some of the included jobs are only for a few months during a specific phase of the project.
     
  13. td97

    td97 Member

    Messages:
    672
    Joined:
    26 Jul 2017
    This sham of a union didn't give 2 hoots about the Co Durham jobs when EMR announced Hitachi would be building their new bimodes at Aycliffe, and were up in arms that Derby (Bombardier) lost out. Effectively implying the Hitachi employees were 2nd rate to Bombardier's, despite the latter having a solid order book for 3+ years.

    https://unitetheunion.org/news-even...ses-165-railway-carriage-contract-says-unite/
     
  14. 158756

    158756 Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    12 Aug 2014
    What is there to export though? There isn't any real value added in these plants, they're only sustainable as long as demand for trains in the UK is high and companies believe having a site in the UK is necessary to get orders here. It'd be crazy for e.g. Siemens to import trains from Germany only to send them back again after assembly.
     
  15. RealTrains07

    RealTrains07 On Moderation

    Messages:
    1,439
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2019
    Sorry but what did Hitachi expect, we are not gonna need factories to keep sending out brand new trains forever. Soon their will be no new trains needed at all considering the majority of trains in the uk are going to end up being brand new soon and wont need replacing for another 30 or so years at least.

    Train production isnt like car production. You cant make new platforms of train (e.g aventra or desiro city) every year or so and expect them to be ordered year on year and to be busy building 24/7. Demand doesn’t exist like that.

    One day the need for brand new trains to be built will be gone for possibly a long time until the next time comes around in which loads of trains
    (which at least rate we wont be having strong “demand” for new trains like this again for another 20 - 40 years)
    will need replacing. Only then can new platforms of train and high orders can be taken unlike the car industry which has a consist demand every single year cause their is a bigger much different market. Train industry is just not like that. Hitachi you think would have known that.
     
  16. w1bbl3

    w1bbl3 Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    6 Mar 2011
    The press release Hitachi rail put out highlights that as part of the streamlining they're investing in adding both welding and painting facilities.
    TBH I expect the EMR, WC and First Scotland orders will have the bodyshells produced at Newton Aycliffe rather than Kasado.
     
  17. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

    Messages:
    1,109
    Joined:
    17 Aug 2018
    If when we finish a batch of trains then the factories all close down, so the next time we need to build a new batch of trains we have to build new factories, will inevitably mean that the trains will be very expensive. Or we import from overseas.

    BR used to maintain a fairly constant flow of work through its workshops, to ensure that this kind of thing didn't happen. It likewise used to maintain a constant flow of work to its signalling suppliers (the "allocated contract" scheme), to ensure that it never became reliant on just one supplier. Unfortunately this requires a more long-term vision than our political masters are prepared to countenance these days.
     
  18. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    11 May 2008
    The ultimate reason why we need a UK wide rolling stock strategy. Exactly the same argument as the electrification engineers getting a big project, then having nothing to do in 5 years time. It’s clearly insanity to build the high costs of a new factory into building a new train, then 3 years later close it, with all the environmental and social impact that has, then 2 years later realise you need some more. Network growth is considerable and ongoing, there is still a lot of very old rolling stock kicking around.

    A national rolling stock strategy should include:

    A rural metro product (electric / bi-mode)
    An urban metro product (electric / bi-mode)
    A rural mid distance product (electric / Bi-mode)
    An urban mid distance product (electric /bi-mode)
    An intercity product (electric / bi-mode)

    small interoperable variants thereof.

    Dft should put out a contract for X minimum number of each to be produced per year for 10 years, every 10 years. Operators bid for X number of each for their franchise from the pool. DfT/the ROSCOs adjust the demand for 3/4 years time on a running production line accordingly. Testing / certification / product familiarity is all hugely simplified.

    Different product lines spread across different manufacturers from different parts of the UK in the interests of competitive advantage.

    I fail to see the advantages creating dozens of incompatible micro fleets which will be looking for new homes when the next short term franchise is looking to include something new and shiny in their bid in 5 years time.

    Something like the Sprinter project, with great interoperability and hundreds of similar compatible units running the length and breadth of the country, was surely far more sensible ?
     
  19. class26

    class26 Member

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    ...............to which i would add a rolling programme of electrification so the skills , painfully learnt on the Western region are not lost and we have to start all again.
    Do we ever learn ?
     
  20. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

    Messages:
    23,702
    Joined:
    12 Oct 2010
    Location:
    Work - Fenny Stratford(MK) Home - Darlington
    you are right. I am sure that Hitachi had not idea about this. None at all.........................
     
  21. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

    Messages:
    1,397
    Joined:
    21 Jun 2013
    This is part of the boom and bust of train buying that franchising has brought. The old BR days of gradual building of very versatile stock are a thing of the past and won't be back but they avoided this boom and bust and avoided small fleets that were not interoperable and not cleared for many routes.
     
  22. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

    Messages:
    1,526
    Joined:
    10 Nov 2015
    Location:
    Hope Valley
    Hmm. You’re obviously thinking way back into the pre-sector era. Even then there was loads of ‘regional’ variation. There was also great technical and design inertia. Even discounting the first seven years of continuing with steam things like ‘Eastleigh’ slam-door designs for newly electrified Eastern Region lines were hardly very inspiring, for example.
    Dr Beeching discovered that he had a huge range of legacy issues to sort out with ‘works’ that had been largely fudged ever since pre-grouping days.
     
  23. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Joined:
    25 Aug 2009
    Yeah, and in diesel days, one of the number of reasons 56s were initially fudged together in Romania was because Brush had shut down loco building in Loughborough due to previous lack of demand.
     
  24. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

    Messages:
    3,106
    Joined:
    11 Feb 2013
    In terms of express trains we DO have a strategy of sorts, seeing that the IET design has become the default option for 125mph Bimodes, gaining subsequent orders from TPE, Hull trains, EMR and Avanti, with only the CAF 397s and Mk5s being non standard

    Boring for the enthusiast, but sensible standardisation
     
  25. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

    Messages:
    646
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2016
    Interesting to see Unison complaining that the UK government are obeying EU procurement law regarding tendering of large scale contracts.....

    Whilst we've been in the EU the government can't simply award contracts to UK companies because they are based in the UK unless it's defence related and for reasons of national security (ie warships), it just doesn't work like that.

    Whether the government changes how it does procurement once we leave remains to be seen.
     
  26. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,902
    Joined:
    16 Dec 2008
    Location:
    Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
    We need to get away from this cycle of boom and bust and go back to the nice steady stable environment of BR days... even though the "boom" that Hitatchi have benefited from is due to the fact that BR built hundreds of HSTs within a short period of time, which are now all becoming life expired at the same time! Same old story.

    I can appreciate the idea of a regular drip feed of new trains, it sounds great, but then there's the problem that standards would change, we'd end up with more different sub-classes etc.

    That winds me up too - some of those jobs may be long term but some will only be temporary ones in the construction of a factory (e.g. the Architects), yet all are rounded up together to make what sounds like a huge number... and then counted again in a few years time when production re-starts after a hiatus!

    For some reason, Derby jobs seem to be sacred... look at how people complain about Newton Aycliffe only being an "assembly" place... as if the work in Derby was hand-crafting the trains from scratch or something.

    Agreed. A shame that First decided they needed their three small fleets in operation so soon, since there's now plenty of capacity at Newton Aycliffe (and there wasn't the urgency to replace all of the 185s, in the way that there was an urgency for Northern to replace all Pacers). Water under the bridge now, I know, but a shame.
     
  27. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

    Messages:
    13,958
    Joined:
    22 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Mold, Clwyd
    BR's manufacturing arm (BREL) was privatised well before BR itself was broken up.
    There was then GEC (MetCamm) to provide an alternative supplier, but it vanished after the Pendolinos were produced because of poor product quality and lack of orders.
    The Hitachi plant was an attempt to build a second domestic supplier to replace GEC (now Alstom).
    All the global manufacturers, except possibly the Chinese, are struggling to match capacity and capability to demand, worldwide.
    All the majors are in near-crisis mode and are attempting to spread the risk with joint ventures or mergers.
    The idea that the UK, with its relatively small and erratic market for new trains, can have a nice cosy setup with local manufacturers for a rolling programme is nonsense.
    No government, particularly this one, is going to import the manufacturing risk back into public policy.
    You only have to look at the history of Swindon works, where a final batch of Westerns was ordered simply to keep the factory busy, without any operational demand, to realise where a production-led policy leads.
    It didn't even save the works.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2020
  28. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

    Messages:
    1,397
    Joined:
    21 Jun 2013
    Are we approaching the point where no one will want (many) new trains for a good while? Replace the Sprinters but beyond that? Even that brings us back to the who wants DMUs now question.
     
  29. JamesT

    JamesT Member

    Messages:
    540
    Joined:
    25 Feb 2015
    The class 165/166 would presumably come after the Sprinters, on the electric side are there replacement plans for all of the 31x and 32x EMUs? (Plus whatever is contemporary in the 4xx series).
    I'd imagine over the next decade there will be replacement of pretty much everything BR-era as it gets to 30-40 years old. There's then the famous gap in rolling stock orders at the end of BR before the first orders by the new TOCs which could result in a new lull of orders.
     
  30. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Joined:
    25 Aug 2009
    Probably won't be too long until some starts to look at replacing the Voyagers with a bi-mode too.
     
  31. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

    Messages:
    3,106
    Joined:
    11 Feb 2013
    The Networkers are meant to be replaced in the next franchise (if it ever happens!). Hitachi were front runners for that. Chiltern will need new stock, both additional and indeed to replace the 165s. East West rail will need trains from somewhere.

    Then there are the trains for HS2 as well...
     

Share This Page