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2015-01-09 RMT-001


RMT exposes truth behind “new” trains for the North as the union ramps up campaigning and two other big local authorities oppose the franchise cuts plans

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RMT exposes truth behind “new” trains for the North as the union ramps up campaigning and two other big local authorities oppose the franchise cuts plans

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2015-01-08 New plan to secure rail services for the north (Department for Transport)


9 January 2015
source RMT
type Press release

RAIL UNION RMT today exposed the truth behind yesterday’s much-hyped “new trains for the North” spin from the Government as it unveiled a block of new campaigning events and welcomed the news that two more big local authorities, Lancaster and Newcastle, have passed motions condemning the cuts plans wrapped up in the franchise plans for both Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine Express.

The “new” trains story is pure Government spin. The 156 classed units being borrowed from Northern are 28 years old, and are replacing modern 170 classed units which are going south to Chiltern railways, because the rolling stock outfit Porterbrook can extract more money out of Chiltern than they can out of Trans-Pennine Express.

The extra capacity claims are also exposed as completely bogus, as the aging 156 units are going to run as two coupled together giving a capacity of just four carriages - whilst the 170 stock they are replacing are three cars that can be coupled as well, giving a six car set. The announcement coming out shortly for the Cumbrian coast, which the minister referred to yesterday, is also being spun to mislead the public as it will amount to nothing less than freight locomotives pulling what are in effect heritage carriage’s.

Against this background of smoke and mirrors being puffed up by the Government and their spin-doctors two more major local authorities have joined the growing list opposing the Northern and TPE franchise plans – Newcastle and Lancaster – a move welcomed by RMT as more evidence that its continued campaigning is winning top-level support in communities right across the North. RMT has expressed its surprise that Lib Dem’s in Newcastle abstained on the issue – showing again just why they are sinking without trace as a political force as they cling on to the bankrupt policies of their Tory coalition partners.

That RMT campaign is taking five key messages out to the travelling public:

*SAY NO to Driver Only Operated Trains
*Keep OUR Ticket Offices Open
*Keep OUR Stations Staffed and Safe
*STOP CUTS to the Transpennine Express Network
*OPPOSE Massive Fare Increases.

The list of new campaigning events is as follows –


Between 16.00 and 18.00
Meet outside Lancaster Railway Station

Between 16.00 -17.00
Meet outside Manchester Victoria Railway Station

Between 08.30 - 11.00
Meet outside Barrow-in-Furness Railway Station

Between 10.30 - 12.00
Meet outside Blackburn Railway Station

The government has been forced to confirm in writing that the Invitations to Tender (ITTs) for the new Northern and TransPennine franchises will be delayed into February at the earliest but there are now growing uncertainties at the DfT about the current TPE franchise extension and problems over the electrification in the Region that look like dragging on well into the new year.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“The bluster from the Government yesterday about “new trains for the north” has been exposed as a pack of spin, subterfuge and downright lies. The truth is that the more modern rolling stock is being shipped south with aging units, running reduced formations, dumped onto Trans-Pennine Express in yet another lashed-up measure which is an insult to the whole region.

“While George Osborne has been spouting a stream of rhetoric about a “Northern Powerhouse” the real truth is that the whole region can expect sub-standard, bodged-up services for many years to come. RMT activists and our supporters in the community will continue to be out in force across the region in this New Year with a renewal of our fight against the rail franchise carve up.

"RMT’s message is clear, the fight to stop the outrageous attack on jobs, safety and services under the Northern and TPE franchise plans continues in 2015 and the union is sending out the clearest possible signal to George Osborne, his Government and Rail North that they need to scrap this attack on transport operations and to cut the hot air about improving services when they are actually condemning the North to years of rail misery.


Geoff Martin - RMT Press Officer
07831 465 103
0207 255 9146

Railhub Archive ::: 2015-01-09 RMT-001


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