Hitachi tweet confirms axing of buffet cars on new IEP train

Hitachi tweet confirms axing of buffet cars on new IEP train

8 January 2015

RMT Press Office

A tweet from train builder Hitachi has confirmed that Britain’s new Inter-City fleet will be stripped of their buffet cars – leaving them with a trolley-only service in standard class with hot meals restricted only to those who can afford to pay eye-watering sums to travel first class.

The tweet has been sent as Hitachi load up the first of the trains prior to shipping from Japan, the units will be shipped over and will then be bolted back together flat-pack style on arrival in Britain, nailing the other big lie that they will be “built” in the UK.

The tweet trail is confirmed below:

IEP tweet


RMT this week stepped up the campaign to fight plans that would lead to the axing of buffet cars, on-board staff and maintenance workers on First Great Western and East Coast when the new trains arrive, with a series of events on Monday morning  in response to the  moves which the union has blasted as “ushering in an “Upstairs-Downstairs” service on Inter-City services while British passengers pay the highest fares in Europe.”
 RMT has been battling against proposals for driver only operation and the removal of buffet cars and their replacement by a trolley service only catering facility, the sacking and reducing of the safety critical operational role of train guards /conductors as well as station de-staffing and ticket office closures. The union has also objected to proposals that could see the loss of skilled safety critical train maintenance jobs as part of the deal.
 RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said ;‎
“It is an extraordinary reflection of the way things work these days that the axing of buffet cars on the new trains being built for both the Great Western and East Coast routes has not been confirmed in a meeting with unions but through social media.
“This Government of the rich, for the rich and by the rich now intend to introduce an “Upstairs-Downstairs” service on Britain’s long haul rail services which would condemn the vast majority to pay through the nose to travel in rammed-out carriages where the catering trolley is jammed at one end while the elite glide through the country like extras from Downton Abbey . This move has got the stamp of Cameron, Osborne and the posh boys from the Bullingdon Club plastered all over it. RMT believes that all rail users deserve a high quality service and that means employing the staff to deliver that rather than cutting corners to maximise profits and targeting what’s left at the rich.
“RMT is throwing it’s full resources and industrial and political clout in 2015 behind the fight to stop this attack on jobs, services and safety arising from the introduction of the Inter-City fleet on both the East Coast and the Great Western routes. These new Hitachi trains have been explicitly commissioned by the Government to allow the sacking of on-board staff, the axing of buffet cars and have left a question mark hanging over the future of the existing maintenance depots. Today’s tweet proves that conclusively.

 “RMT’s campaign will point out the public that they have a massive stake in this drive to milk the Inter-City routes for every penny the private companies can extract. They would be forced to pay higher fares to travel on crowded and unsafe trains where they will struggle to even get a drink of water on a long haul journey. We will be calling on the passengers to join us in piling pressure on their MP’s to reverse this latest assault on rail services and jobs in the name of private greed.”


Click HERE for more on the RMT campaign

That this House notes with concern that government and train operating company plans for implementing the multibillion pound Intercity Express rolling stock programme which will ultimately be funded by the taxpayer and fare-payer could see significant staffing cuts on East Coast and Great Western services; is dismayed that new rolling stock being introduced from 2017 could have the buffet car removed, meaning that hot food and meals will only be available in first class whilst other passengers will be forced to rely on a trolley-only service for long, often crowded, journeys so more seats can be crammed onto inter-city services, and perturbed that this upstairs-downstairs catering service is under consideration when passengers already pay the highest rail fares in Europe; is alarmed that driver only operation is also proposed for this rolling stock which would downgrade the train guard's safety operational role and increase risks to passengers by restricting responsibility for safe operation of the train to the driver; further notes that passenger safety and service will be further jeopardised if the new rolling stock is used as cover for de-staffing stations, particularly train dispatch staff; further notes the threat to skilled maintenance workers' jobs in these proposals which would further impact on passenger safety and service and exacerbate the rail industry skills crisis; and calls on the Government to reject any contracts for East Coast and Great Western services which propose any such cuts to rail staff.

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Tagged with: intercity, iep, first great western, fgw, east coast