20 October 2015
RMT Press Office
RMT says “no excuse” for not modifying new GWR trains for guards and catering as it emerges they will have to be fitted with diesel engines due to electrification shambles.
RAIL UNION RMT said today that there is no excuse whatsoever for not modifying the new Hitachi Inter-City trains on Great Western Railways to accommodate guards door operation and catering facilities as it emerged that the same trains will have to be retro-fitted with diesel engines due to the rail electrification shambles.
The issues of the door operation and despatch, along with catering and the threat to fleet jobs, are at the heart of a long-running and on-going RMT dispute which has led to a succession of rock-solid strikes across the franchise.
The project to electrify the Great Western Mainline has been mired by delays and cost increases to such an extent that it has become clear this week that the government is likely to have to ask the Japanese train maker Hitachi to fit at least 21 trains with diesel as well as electric engines or face the embarrassment of leaving them standing idle.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It is outrageous that the Government are prepared to retro-fit diesel engines to the new GWR fleet to hide their own embarrassment at their electrification shambles but they aren’t prepared to make some simple modifications to door operation and catering to protect safety, jobs and passenger services.
“RMT’s dispute continues on these issues and will be fuelled by the news that the protests from the company and the government that the fleet cannot be modified is clearly a pack of lies. RMT will be feeding these issues into our discussions as we look at ramping up our campaign of public, political and industrial action over the GWR fleet.”
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Tagged with: gwr, great western railways, hitachi, inter-city trains
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