Monday, 15 September 2008

Train of the day

This is the first of Southeast Trains' new Hitachi "Javelin" bullet trains on test a few weeks ago. Next year these will start running at 140mph from Dover, Ashford, Canterbury and Ramsgate into St Pancras via the Kent high-speed line.

I'm sure it is a very nice train, but can you believe that all this new hardware is being shipped all the way from Japan? How does this make economic sense? We have perfectly good train manufacturing plant in Birmingham Derby, and if they are too busy just now with the new rolling stock for the Victoria Line, there are very good railway factories just across the channel in Belgium and northern France, which (unlike Japan) are our EU partners. But then, that's yer globalisation, innit?

1 comment:

Tom said...

Derby, not Birmingham, and they're not just doing the Victoria Line, they're doing Overground and the 'S' stock too. Hitachi offered the best train, which is surely the point of the exercise? No one else has a non-tilting British gauge 140mph EMU design ready to go, so somewhere had to build it.

I suspect the shipping costs are fairly small in the context of the whole lifecycle of the train.