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Profiteer rail companies are refitting clapped-out London Underground trains to operate on northern English networks, industry union RMT warned yesterday.
RMT said that the 30-year-old Tube trains were being converted to run on diesel in what it called “yet another rolling stock lash-up raising serious safety fears.”
The first of the veteran trains to be pulled from service in London has arrived at Vivarail’s base in Long Marston, Warwickshire, and is undergoing conversion to diesel.
At the same time newer rolling stock has been transferred from northern to southern England, meaning that “clapped-out, bodged-up Pacer units” currently operating in the north would continue in service for years to come.
“In New York they are dumping clapped-out subway trains in the sea,” said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.
“In Britain they are threatening to dump them on the railways of the north.”
RMT is campaigning across northern England against new franchises for two key rail operations — Northern Rail and TransPennine Express (TPE).
The union says the franchises will introduce driver-only operations, ticket office closures, station staff redundancies, cuts to services and huge increases in fares.
A day of action will be staged on February 13 at stations across northern England.
“The government’s whole franchise timetable for the Northern and TPE routes has descended into chaos,” said Mr Cash.
“Our message is clear: the fight to stop the outrageous attack on jobs, safety and services under the Northern and TPE franchise plans continues.”
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