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Shipping Containers, the American company who owns the GNER operator franchise is claimed to be on the verge of applying for USA court protection from its debts. It is claimed that up to 300 GNER staff will have to be laid off in a massive cost cutting exercise.

No doubt there will be more on this in the news next week.

How all this will effect future model plans by Hornby who knows.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>I believe they also have a large stake in orient express hotels trains and cruises.
You are certainly correct about the orient express trains. If you do a search for railtours and orient express you end up on the Sea Containers site looking at some incredibly expensive short breaks.

David
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 14 Oct 2006, 13:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think the grand central railroad deal has hit GNER's financial predictioons pretty hard.
It was such a blatent fiddle i really dont know how they got away with it

GNER was already aware that Grand Central (GCT) (and any other company) could launch their own services throughout this franchise period, so their excuse is pretty lame
They already lose some of their income to Hull Trains and Virgin Trains, and TransPennine and Northern to a lesser degree

As for Sea Containers, its the holding company which has suffered financial problems and not GNER
If Sea Containers does indeed go bankrupt (very unlikely given the US market), then GNER will continue under its Ltd Company status in the UK
However, the UK creditors may get wary and pull their debts in, and that is when problems could begin
On the plus side, GNER has just started on various fleet investments, and I am quite sure if there was a financial problem these would have been postponed or renegotiated, but neither has happened

As for GCT, their launch plans for December look pretty doubtful
This hinges on getting a sub-lease for three HSTs from December 2006 to May 2007
Porterbrook will then by supplying three fully refurbed HSTs, and GCT will use these until their new 140mph DMUs are delivered
GCT have just submitted plans for 5 new routes (well one is amendment of a previous application, but its pretty much the same!)
I would expect that once these applications have progressed for May 2007, then an order will be placed for these DMUs, as they will then know how many they will need
 

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GNER were actually bounced into accepting the withdrawl of certain protection clauses in the franchise agreement at the eleventh hour before signature. Goes roughly along the lines of "sign this or we will start the franchising process all over again". As GNER has done so much to build up the franchise, they couldn't really afford to lose it, therefore agreed to it.

The terrorist attacks of 7/7/05 plus Grand Central being given paths on an already heavily congested ECML, have not helped their cause, and now there are the problems with the parent company. The refurbishment of the IC125 fleet is also a franchose commitment, as is the roll out of Wi-Fi across the whole of the Mallard fleet.

M8 INTERNET - 140mph DMU's? A little innaccurate as the Class 222 DEMU's being proposed are 125 mph limited, as are the highest speed sections of the ECML.

Regards,

Dan
 

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Grand Central is proposing 140mph DMUs, take a look at their Press Releases and you will see that is what they are ordering!

http://www.grandcentralrail.co.uk/news.html?id=news034
"Initially 125 mph HSTs will be used to start the service - with discussions currently on-going for the replacement new build 140 mph trains which it is expected will replace the HSTs and enter service in 2009/2010"

Several key people are now with GCT and they (the Directors) confirmed this commitment at the beginning of the year
 

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Well in that case they are wasting their money on leasing charges because the trains will be limited to 125 mph, unless ERTMS gets the go-ahead and money is found to upgrade the ECML...

The original plan was for Hull Trains to get the FGW Cl 180 Adelante's when they are taken off lease next year, their 222/1's would then go to Grand Central. I don't know what these 140 mph DMU's are; I can't think of any design cleared for UK use that is of such a high spec.

Regards,

Dan
 

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The design is for HST2, which will (under the current proposal) be a 140mph DMU
This will probably be the same as the Class 390 and restricted to 135mph in normal service

Ironically, the ECML maximum line speed has fallen behind that of the WCML, the last time was about 40 years ago and saw the ECML upgraded
Very unlikely this time though!
 

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As for how it might affect future plans for hornby it might mean a third livery for the class 91 and mk4 sets. From what I read GNER are about 34 million pounds behind where they predicted already for this financial year. I would consider that to be seriously in the dog do without any help from the parent company.
 

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The DfT are in already prepared in the event that the current East Coast Main Line franchisee falls into financial problems
Rather than end up in the same situation as happened with Connex then being handed over (back) to the SRA, there are arrangements in hand with Virgin Trains

Should this be required, then Virgin Trains will operate the franchise "at cost" for a period of about 6 to 9 months
The GNER logos would be removed from the trains (costs met by the DfT), but no replacement logos would be applied
The franchise would then be made up for offer again, taking about 9 months
 

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One point not touched on is that it is not GNER alone that has brought sea containers into chapter 11 they have a much larger business than that unfortunately all of their businesses are not performing well and they cannot pay off a bond due for redemption hence the chapter 11 protection

GNER does make money but not as much as it has in the past so I would imagine that either a renegotiation of their franchise or a sale of their business is more likely
 

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Hmm, last I heard was that HST2 was all but abandoned and that DfT Rail are talking about the Inter-city Express Project (IEP) instead. No guarantees that it will be diesel either, or limited to 140mph.

The operation of the 390's at 135mph is only a proposal and AFAIK has not been approved yet by HMRI.

Regards,

Dan
 

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QUOTE (spongebob @ 15 Oct 2006, 04:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As for how it might affect future plans for hornby it might mean a third livery for the class 91 and mk4 sets.
They certainly getting their moneys worth from these moulds.

Every time I read storys like this it pisses me off that we don't invest in our rail service like they do in France and Germany. The have the ICE3 and TGVs and what have we got? The HST and the Virgin Pendolino which is not able to go as fast as it could because no-one wants to pay for upgrading the infrastructure.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 15 Oct 2006, 00:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Every time I read storys like this it pisses me off that we don't invest in our rail service like they do in France and Germany. The have the ICE3 and TGVs and what have we got? The HST and the Virgin Pendolino which is not able to go as fast as it could because no-one wants to pay for upgrading the infrastructure.


Well said Neil,

Please, anyone correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know there is no efficient (such as SNCF/DB/NS) national rail system in the world that is not subsidised in some way or another ?

best regards
Brian
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 15 Oct 2006, 16:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well said Neil,

Please, anyone correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know there is no efficient (such as SNCF/DB/NS) national rail system in the world that is not subsidised in some way or another ?

best regards
Brian
....and if you don't subsidise you will end up with the crappy service they have here and in the States.
 
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