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Railwatch 069 - October 1996

A feast and a famine

By Michael Weinberg

As the privatisation of Britain's railways drags its weary way towards completion, we can hear some of our politicians extolling the benefits already apparent.

They cite the proposed order by Chiltern Railways for four sprinter diesel multiple units. National Express plans for extra diesel multiple units to run a semi-fast service on the Midland main line. And Stagecoach has announced that it will spend £90 million on unspecified trains for South West Trains.

Policians seize on these three examples to show that the new policy is working. In the words of one of our former leaders, "Let us rejoice!" But do not forget that no order has been placed for rolling stock for British Rail for more than 1,000 days! And before getting too carried away, the following is a list of rolling stock for German Railways (DB) currently being built or on order.

  • 145 class 101 electric express Bo-Bo locos
  • 80 class145 electric mixed traffic Bo-Bo locos
  • 195 class 152 electric heavy freight Bo-Bo locos with options for 100 more
  • 400 replacement diesel shunters

Other unspecified diesel locos are also on order.

  • 44 Inter City 2 high-speed eight-car trains
  • 50 Inter City 2/2 next generation high-speed eight-car trains
  • 43 Inter City high-speed electric tilting trains
  • 20 Inter City VT l high speed diesel tilting trains
  • 50 VT611 two-car diesel multiple units for regional services
  • 50 two-car VT612 diesel multiple units for regional services with options for 100 more
  • 100 ET423 suburban electric trains with options for 90 more
  • 239 ET424/5/6 suburban electric trains for Hanover, Mannheim, Leipzig and Dresden.
  • 103 ET474 suburban electric trains for Hamburg
  • 250 ET481/2 suburban electric trains for Berlin
  • 225 RVT2/2 lightweight aluminium railcars
  • 30 EBO/LINT units
  • 28 VT670 double-deck railbuses
  • 250 double-deck coaches

In addition, work is going on building FIVE new High-speed lines, driverless freight trains are being developed and are already in operation, as are freight multiple units and automated freight yards.

Now, THAT is investment!!

German information from Railway Gazette International.

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