Select Committee on Transport Written Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by Bombardier Transportation (FOR 107B)


  With reference to the letter dated 10 December 2003 we can respond as follows:

Question 1:   What were Bombardier's profits arising from its UK orders for trains in financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04? (Q 789)

  See footnote to question in oral evidence.

Question 2:   What is the "Value Improvement Programme" to which reference was made, what areas does it cover, who is involved? (Q 802)

  In short the Value Improvement Programme (VIP) is a programme of workshops based on tried and tested techniques designed to identify and root out inefficiencies and waste within the railway supply chain.

  The process invites to open a frank relationship throughout the supply chain and has already been applied with success.

  There is no reason why the VIP programme cannot also be applied to administrative processes within the industry.

  The industry wide programme is sponsored by the Rail Industry Association and a summary note and a full information pack is enclosed for your information.

Question 3:   What measures have reduced the costs of rolling stock, and rolling stock maintenance? (Q 822)

  The main contributor to the reduction in costs for new vehicles is the development of "product platforms" ie the standardization of vehicles by extensive use of common systems and components.

  Examples are our "Turbostars" where several different customers have bought the "standard vehicle" but in different colours and with different interiors.

  We enclose our presentation on Improvements to existing Rail Traction Equipment as an example of how we have delivered real cost reductions to the industry of 25 to 30% since privatisation.

  The last page in the presentation gives the cash values of the cost reduction per item.

Question 4:   What safety processes would you like to see changed? (Q 822)

  The key process for our company is vehicle certification. This process has been analysed by the NAO and the SRA in connection with the MK I replacement vehicles and the process chart looks like a "route to eternity" and makes you wonder how anybody ever got a vehicle approved and how much money was wasted.

  What we need is a clear process with well defined pass/fail criteria and not a subjective ALARP (as low as reasonable practical risk) evaluation scheme.

  Please also see section 8, pages 46 to 50 in our enclosed White paper on UK Rail dated July 2003.

  If you would like copies of the SRA process chart or the NAO process chart you should contact David Bailey at the Strategic Rail Authority and / or Keith Holden from the National Audit Office.

Question 5:   Can you provide the Committee will examples of safety concerns leading to risk aversion; have these proved detrimental to the industry; and if so, how? (Q 823)

  One example is the continuing request by safety case assessors for a reduction in electromagnetic interference levels from our new Electrostars during testing in the South East.

  Due to "ALARP" being a "subjective judgement" the risk assessors put forward unrealistic demands and it felt as if we were in a never ending "spiral of tests", wasting money and losing time.

  Also we believe that the financial case for the decision to introduce TPWS can be questioned.

  I do hope that the above answers your questions but please revert if we can be of further assistance.

Per Staehr

Chief Country Representative, UK

12 January 2004

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