Hitachi

Jim Pickard

There is something curious in the way that several key transport decisions were left out of the CSR on Wednesday. The four missing announcements were: the big order for Intercity Express trains from the Hitachi-led Agility consortium, the electrification of the Great Western line, another order for about a thousand train carriages and the Thameslink upgrade.

Sources in the Department for Transport insist that these interconnected upgrades are genuinely going to the wire. They depend, for example, on Agility’s ability to reduce its original £7.5bn cost by a significant margin. Read more

Jim Pickard

I revealed last month that there were growing concerns within the rail industry that the £7.5bn order for new Hitachi trains to replace the ageing Inter-City fleet could be put on hold or cancelled.

Andrew Foster, former head of the Audit Commission, was asked in February (by Lord Adonis) to examine the case for the contract. Read more