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Andy Capp
post Jul 21 2017, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jul 21 2017, 09:32 AM) *
Yep; and a sad reflection on our national skills and capability! Post Brexit; what hope?

This was in-place before Brexit, so with the anticipated lack of inward investment, I see things being even more unlikely.
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Andy Capp
post Jul 21 2017, 08:24 PM
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Meanwhile, Reading station continues to provide hours of confusion!
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Biker1
post Jul 22 2017, 07:48 AM
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The government has now back-tracked (sorry about pun) on many major electrification schemes since first being planned 5 years ago.
For example, the line from Cardiff to Swansea previously announced will now not be electrified.
The answer?
Bi-mode trains!! biggrin.gif
Link
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On the edge
post Jul 24 2017, 09:30 AM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jul 22 2017, 08:48 AM) *
The government has now back-tracked (sorry about pun) on many major electrification schemes since first being planned 5 years ago.
For example, the line from Cardiff to Swansea previously announced will now not be electrified.
The answer?
Bi-mode trains!! biggrin.gif
Link


The only real surprise is that stopping HS2 wasn't made in the same announcement. If we are brutally honest, its not the Government, or its investment policy at fault here, its simply gross incompetence by the railway managements who don't seem able to manage what is really a straightforward civil engineering task. Its not even ground breaking technology or unexplored ground conditions. Yet, time and time again, the estimates and project plans just don't work; by a vast difference. Ironic that during the big depression in the 1930's the old Southern Railway company managed a massive electrification programme; on time and to budget. The difference? We employed properly trained engineers and built our own trains. Demonstrably, we've lost these skills.


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On the edge
post Jul 24 2017, 09:33 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jul 21 2017, 09:24 PM) *
Meanwhile, Reading station continues to provide hours of confusion!


In many respects the previous station was actually better. Whatever the advertising spin says, this effort has all the charm of a 1970's concrete bus station. It really takes a special kind of genius to spend a massive amount of money to make things worse.


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SirWilliam
post Jul 24 2017, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jul 24 2017, 10:30 AM) *
The only real surprise is that stopping HS2 wasn't made in the same announcement. If we are brutally honest, its not the Government, or its investment policy at fault here, its simply gross incompetence by the railway managements who don't seem able to manage what is really a straightforward civil engineering task. Its not even ground breaking technology or unexplored ground conditions. Yet, time and time again, the estimates and project plans just don't work; by a vast difference. Ironic that during the big depression in the 1930's the old Southern Railway company managed a massive electrification programme; on time and to budget. The difference? We employed properly trained engineers and built our own trains. Demonstrably, we've lost these skills.


Unfortunately this affliction applies to most of what we do . Our education system has concentrated on rewarding the pen pusher as opposed to the pen maker. Maybe a bit of chicken or egg equation but if we don't encourage and reward those who can make/model/manipulate according to the present environment we will continue to struggle.
One of the principle benefits of leaving the EU was that entrepreneurial skills in manufacturing would return but as those in charge seem either reluctant, or simply blind, to encouraging such ventures which means we may well rue the day we stopped encouraging kids to get hands on with car engines etc.


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On the edge
post Jul 24 2017, 07:20 PM
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QUOTE (SirWilliam @ Jul 24 2017, 07:20 PM) *
Unfortunately this affliction applies to most of what we do . Our education system has concentrated on rewarding the pen pusher as opposed to the pen maker. Maybe a bit of chicken or egg equation but if we don't encourage and reward those who can make/model/manipulate according to the present environment we will continue to struggle.
One of the principle benefits of leaving the EU was that entrepreneurial skills in manufacturing would return but as those in charge seem either reluctant, or simply blind, to encouraging such ventures which means we may well rue the day we stopped encouraging kids to get hands on with car engines etc.


I must admit, I wholly agree with your comment about leaving the EU. Ironically, my only real doubt about leaving was our ability to stand on our own once we had left. Sadly, since then, from what I can deduce, it seems we really have lost the entrepreneurial and managerial skills to do this. Whilst educational failures and globalisation plays a part, we have simply let the high end strategic and design roles disappear to Europe. This is probably why children aren't encouraged to get their hands dirty - they'll never need to. The only jobs we'll have here are low grade service type tasks, where close supervision rather than good management is needed.


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blackdog
post Jul 24 2017, 11:56 PM
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QUOTE (SirWilliam @ Jul 24 2017, 07:20 PM) *
Unfortunately this affliction applies to most of what we do . Our education system has concentrated on rewarding the pen pusher as opposed to the pen maker. Maybe a bit of chicken or egg equation but if we don't encourage and reward those who can make/model/manipulate according to the present environment we will continue to struggle.
One of the principle benefits of leaving the EU was that entrepreneurial skills in manufacturing would return but as those in charge seem either reluctant, or simply blind, to encouraging such ventures which means we may well rue the day we stopped encouraging kids to get hands on with car engines etc.


Why on earth should leaving the EU make the slightest difference to entrepeneurial skills?
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On the edge
post Jul 25 2017, 06:56 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jul 25 2017, 12:56 AM) *
Why on earth should leaving the EU make the slightest difference to entrepeneurial skills?


Yes, quite right; in strictly logical terms it makes no difference. Forty years of being suckered by Germany and France have essentially ripped out such skills as we had. Our lead business people are interested only in making a quick buck, then clearing out as quickly as possible; the UK definition of 'market forces'. The founders of Europe played a much longer game and why they essentially control our strategic industries. We no longer own, so no longer control our basic utilities, airports, railways, energy etc. Similarly, much food processing and manufacture is in continental hands. We have no mass national car brand etc.etc.etc. This won't be corrected by leaving the EU or indeed by staying in. However if we come out, the future is very bleak; simply a subservient cheap labour provider. Staying in, much the same, but like the Greeks, at least we'll be thrown a few crusts.


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Biker1
post Jul 25 2017, 08:14 AM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jul 24 2017, 08:20 PM) *
I must admit, I wholly agree with your comment about leaving the EU. Ironically, my only real doubt about leaving was our ability to stand on our own once we had left. Sadly, since then, from what I can deduce, it seems we really have lost the entrepreneurial and managerial skills to do this. Whilst educational failures and globalisation plays a part, we have simply let the high end strategic and design roles disappear to Europe. This is probably why children aren't encouraged to get their hands dirty - they'll never need to. The only jobs we'll have here are low grade service type tasks, where close supervision rather than good management is needed.

Maybe that's why most European countries still manufacture their own trains but we have to import ours from Japan!?
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James_Trinder
post Jul 25 2017, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jul 25 2017, 09:14 AM) *
Maybe that's why most European countries still manufacture their own trains but we have to import ours from Japan!?


We do still manufacture our own trains:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derby_Carriage_and_Wagon_Works
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On the edge
post Jul 25 2017, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (James_Trinder @ Jul 25 2017, 01:21 PM) *


So we do; we just don't design them or direct the firm that does. You've proved the point. Both Bombadier Transportation and ADtranz are headquartered in Germany. To us in the UK 'manufacture' now means bolting components together and 'engineer' means someone who turns up to fix your washing machine.


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SirWilliam
post Jul 25 2017, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jul 25 2017, 02:47 PM) *
So we do; we just don't design them or direct the firm that does. You've proved the point. Both Bombadier Transportation and ADtranz are headquartered in Germany. To us in the UK 'manufacture' now means bolting components together and 'engineer' means someone who turns up to fix your washing machine.


Mend a washing machine ? And that is part of the problem , though a lot of products have a longer working life when they eventually breakdown it is just not economically viable to repair , assuming you can find someone to undertake the task.
Your euro hatchback will quite happily run for years before deciding that the sensor that the manufacture " thoughtfully "built into the middle of the engine packs up and it dies on the side of the M1. Repair by the AA ? Not a celluloid cats chance so it's either a hefty garage bill or off to the scrap yard . Now we all know the internal combustion engine has come a long way but it is still based on a four stroke principle that was built by hand and equally could be taken apart by hand , repaired and put back together . Indeed if you had a ford you could have a few bits left over at the end and it still would run .
So having established that the modern engineer is a Japanese robot and most of our graduates end up working in a fast food outlet the question is plain and simple

Who the "Hades home" is going create the wealth to offset the national debt ? Only £ 65,000 for every household in the Country and very little chance of reducing anytime soon.


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Andy Capp
post Jul 25 2017, 09:51 PM
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And no body has gone to gaol!
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Biker1
post Jul 26 2017, 07:36 AM
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QUOTE (James_Trinder @ Jul 25 2017, 01:21 PM) *

We do "assemble" trains here, many of the the Hitachi IEP's for GWR and Virgin will be assembled in the north east.
Not quite the same though is it? rolleyes.gif

"Bombardier Transportation is the rail equipment division of the Canadian firm Bombardier Inc. Bombardier Transportation is one of the world's largest companies in the rail vehicle and equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. The division is head-quartered in Berlin, Germany"

Hitachi claims their trains are "manufactured" here but the truth is it is effectively an assembly plant.

"The new manufacturing and assembly plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham is being developed to support the DfT-led Intercity Express Programme and future Hitachi Rail projects. The decision to manufacture and assemble rolling stock at these premises is a fundamental building block in Hitachi Rail Europe’s strategy for growth."

Also the class 802 trains that will run services through here to Devon and Cornwall are being manufactured by Hitachi in Italy.

The trains will be maintained by Hitachi leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs at the depots that currently maintain the HST's.
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James_Trinder
post Jul 26 2017, 12:26 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jul 26 2017, 08:36 AM) *
The trains will be maintained by Hitachi leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs at the depots that currently maintain the HST's.


I think that you are making the assumption that Hitachi would not take on any of these people at risk of redundancy, which is not an assumption that I would make.
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On the edge
post Jul 26 2017, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE (James_Trinder @ Jul 26 2017, 01:26 PM) *
I think that you are making the assumption that Hitachi would not take on any of these people at risk of redundancy, which is not an assumption that I would make.


Hitachi will be able to say that the trains are a totally different design and need totally different servicing regimes. Even so, past experience with similar takeover elsewhere makes pessimistic assumptions wholly justified.

The HST trains are a very good illustration of the first rate British engineering skills we used to have but have now completely lost.


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blackdog
post Jul 26 2017, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (James_Trinder @ Jul 26 2017, 01:26 PM) *
I think that you are making the assumption that Hitachi would not take on any of these people at risk of redundancy, which is not an assumption that I would make.


Even so, one would hope that newer trains would be dseigned so as to reduce the need for maintenance - any new generation should mean fewer maintenance jobs.

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On the edge
post Jul 27 2017, 07:01 AM
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We've gradually lost our understanding of what is meant by the words make and manufacture. The motor industry, or rather in the UK, motor trade, suffers from exactly the same problem. Rejoice, a Car plant in Oxford is going to 'make' the electric Mini - meaning jobs are safe. In reality, make really means assemble and then only bolt together big components. Conception and design and the new technical bit, the motors, all done in Germany. Righly so, it's a German firm and Germany trains and grows superb engineers. For us, simply to save the packaging costs, we'll just assemble a kit of parts. No issue with that, but not something we ought to be boasting about surely?




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Biker1
post Jul 27 2017, 09:13 AM
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Interesting that the government who have just announced the banning of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 for environmental reasons is the same government that has recently announced major cutbacks in the railway electrification programme that will mean the continuing use of diesel power for some time to come! rolleyes.gif
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