The Anonymous Widower

Is This A Significant Move In The Rolling Stock Market?

This article in the Railway Gazette is entitled Bombardier-Hitachi joint venture to bid for New Tube for London.

I think it makes sense for several reasons.

  • The New Tube for London order is massive in that it will re-equip the some of the deep-level tube lines with state-of-the-art, air-conditioned and automated trains.
  • Bombardier have lots of experience with dealing with Transport for London, in recent years.
  • Hitachi haven’t built a complete train for London.
  • Both companies have large factories in the UK.
  • Over the next few years, if speculation is confirmed, Bombardier will be building a lot of Aventras for East Anglia, the Midland Main Line and Merseyside.
  • Hitachi will also be building a lot of Class 800/801 trains.
  • Hitachi have said, that both factories would produce the trains.
  • Financially, a joint bid is probably better.
  • As we are now in a post-Brexit world, accepting a bid from a European company would not be a good idea.

But I also feel that this could be a strategic partnership, where there is a good mix of experience, that combined with the UK’s undoubted skills in providing reliable and modern underground railways, could open up a world-wide market in the future, as other cities and regions in the world look to improve transportation in cities crowded with traffic.

I will finish this post with a little bit of speculation about what the New Tube for London will be like.

  • Walk-through like the S-Stock built by Bombardier.
  • More headroom for tall standees.
  • Air-conditioning and other passenger comforts.
  • Level access to all platforms.
  • Wi-fi and mobile phone signals.
  • USB ports in arm-rests.
  • Lots of passenger information.
  • Novel features, designed with the future in mind.
  • Automated, at least to the standard of the Victoria Line.
  • I doubt they will be driver-less like the Docklands Light Railway.
  • A limited battery capability to get trains to the next station on power failure and allow depots to have less electrification for safety.

As these trains will still be in service past 2050, I think that we’ll see the best designers wanting to be associated with this project and the New Tube for London will benefit.

Eventually identical trains will be running on all lines, although some lines might have extra cars inserted.

August 5, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

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