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Manchester transport group: Impending collapse of train maker Bombardier could have been avoided

By Joshua Powling, Political Correspondent

Hard working men and women could lose their jobs at Derby train makers Bombardier in part due to lack of investment on new carriages in the North West and Manchester.

Britain’s last locomotive maker ran into financial trouble when they were passed over for a lucrative carriage building contract early this summer.  

Last week Northern Rail announced the provision of 22 carriages for the North West, well short of the 200 new trains Tony Fawthrop, chairman of the Greater Manchester Transport Campaign says were originally planned.

He said: “We are always at the end of the queue getting the worst trains.”

Lack of investment on the country’s railways has dried up orders for train building.

Politicians on both sides have been haggling over the all important £1.4bn Thameslink contract, which is destined for a German company. Both David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince Cable have ruled out a u-turn.

Under the terms of the contract, Siemens would build a total of 1,400 carriages for the London train line.

Meanwhile Mr Fawthrop said that to his knowledge the electrification plans for Lancashire and Manchester were the first to not also include provisions for new trains.

He also expressed his sadness that operations at Bombardier could be completely shut down, with the potential loss of around 3,000 jobs.

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