Photo by cooldudeandy01
The news that Bombardier are having to decimate their Derby workforce after the government awarded a train-building contract to German-based Siemens is, of course, shocking.
This row has been brewing for some time. With no new rail franchise awards for quite some time, and the ones that exist at the moment all having newish rolling stock already, orders had dried up in Britain. Couple this with the government's policy of pricing people off the rails rather than investing in more carriages, and the UK's last train manufacturer was fighting a losing battle.
Plus, anyone who has travelled any distance on a Voyager knows that Bombardier's product was, well, a bit shit.
Coming hot on the heels of Iain Duncan Smith calling for 'British jobs for British workers', this has been a spectacular own goal for the UK government. They're getting a deserved kicking for it.
But let me explode one myth being bandied about today: that you'll never see this kind of thing happening in other European countries. Last year, Eurostar - owned partly by French state railway SNCF - awarded a new train contract to German-based Siemens instead of the French firm Alstom which had built all it's previous trains. An almighty row erupted in France, much like the one today around Bombardier.
It's almost like Siemens are wooing companies with a decent product...