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LETTERS


From: Charles Penny BSc C Eng FICE FIHT FCMI MIGEM Subject: Edinburgh tram crisis


Someone should investigate how the procurement process chose a twin block track system, which is highly labour intensive, over a slip formed concrete slab with an em- bedded rail which would be less costly, less time consuming and less obtrusive.


This was a fundamental error in the determination of the outturn cost. It would seem that there was no Value for Money analysis. The real shame is that this track sys- tem will now be an eyesore, an obstruction and a maintenance problem in a beautiful city for gen- erations to come.


The conclusion must be that Ed-


Where did it go wrong? On a recent visit to Edinburgh I saw piecemeal development, bits of track here and there, the odd structure and NO evidence of a coherent plan. Choosing the lowest price bid- der was not a wise decision. I am surprised that Mrs Merkel has not become involved – normally, she is good at rescuing desperate situ- ations.


From: Nigel Barnes Subject: Thameslink rolling stock


inburgh needs to overhaul its de- cision making process to one that delivers demonstrable best value for the city.


From: Chris Pritchard, Thales Subject: Edinburgh tram crisis


The solution to this is to sack all the non - essential sub contractors and consultants. Bring in the Chi- nese to finish the job but have the Europeans monitor for QC pur- poses. It happens in many parts of the world.


The Scots can’t afford the £600 an hour that a lot of the consult- ants are getting just to string the job out.


From: Professor Felix Schmid, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research


Subject: Edinburgh tram crisis Bilbao can build a (metre gauge) tram line in two years, Vitoria can build a small (metre gauge) tram network in three years (for a city of 200,000), Porto can build a large (standard gauge) network in just over five years: proof that the construction of high quality tram systems in historic centres is perfectly feasible, on time and to budget. Edinburgh and its con- tractors cannot build a single tram line, much of it across green fields and brownfield territory, despite an ever-increasing, mind-boggling budget.


16 | rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 11


Once again, low-life politicians try and tell us they are giving us something we deserve and it is the other party’s fault. Once again it is too little too late, assuming of course these carriages actu- ally materialize. Carriages built in Britain would be a bonus. What’s the betting though, that in 2019 these new carriages will barely cover renewals, let alone provide extra capacity. Government minis- ters aren’t bad people, they surely don’t lie knowingly, their igno- rant pontifications just prove that we are being led by donkeys who haven’t a grasp of the issues.


I shan’t be attending the Derby meeting but I would like to add my voice to those demanding a change of mind by the Government over the manufacture of new trains in Germany.


From: Nick Luckham-Down Subject: Thameslink rolling stock


As I am sure you are aware, OJEU rules must be abided by in these situations, which includes those who failed to win the Tender would have been advised as to why they lost the Bid and the scoring in good time to object.


From: Garry Dawson, Perthshire Subject: Thameslink rolling stock


I rarely if ever resort to ‘sending e-mails etc’ in order to show my disapproval – it generally goes


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