Hope was growing for a stronger future of the nation's last trainmaker today after the government admitted it was looking at other options for the £1.4 billion Thameslink trains contract
The Department for Transport is worried about the long delay by German multinational Siemens to sign the contract's dotted line, giving optimism for Derby-based Bombardier.
It lost out to Siemens last year to become preferred bidder for Thameslink and has already had to shed 1,000 jobs. If there is no reversal, hopes will rest on the £1bn Crossrail trains contract, which received formal bids this week.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the government should call a halt to the 18-month Thameslink saga as the deal is no closer to sign-off and is "clearly riddled with serious contamination."
He added: "The game is clearly up for the deal which is riddled with the same contamination and incompetence as the West Coast main line fiasco.
"The government should now be forced to hand this work over to Bombardier in Derby saving thousands of key manufacturing jobs and calling a halt to this 18 months of shame."
Government concerns came to light after a parliamentary question by Labour MP for Derby North Chris Williamson.
Transport Minister Simon Burns indicated alternatives were being considered.
The Thameslink route runs through London from Bedford to Brighton and the new Thameslink Programme is a £5.5bn scheme to extend the service to a further 100 stations. It's scheduled for completion by 2018.