Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Would you Adam and Eve it?

Posted in Europe, High Speed by Chairman Pip on 11 November 2010

And so the Alstom/Eurostar spat takes yet another turn. Alstom have now brought a lawsuit against Eurostar in the High Court in London, the trial date for which has been scheduled for October 2011.

Alstom has proceeded with legal action at the High Court in London on the merits of the case questioning the fairness of the tender for Eurostar high speed trains. During the preliminary hearing on 10 November, the court set the calendar of the procedure, fixed the date of the trial for October 2011 and ordered Eurostar to disclose the documents relating to the evaluation of the offers, which it failed to hand over during the previous injunction proceedings.
Alstom press release, 11/11/10

Eurostar, having won the case against an injunction over the deal on 29th October, were ready to sign the contract with Siemens immenently. This decision means that any contract will likely now have to be put on hold until after the case is heard. Mr Justice Vos, in his decision to reject the injunction, said that, given that this involves Eurostar’s entire business, it would be “unjust” to freeze the tendering process for up to a year; Alstom on the other hand are not reliant on the Eurostar order, which makes the Alstom argument, that the company would suffer “serious and irreparable harm” if Siemens was awarded the contract, a bit much to take. But, this is what will now happen, given that the trial starts in a year’s time. Unless of course Eurostar opens up the tender process from scratch. Which I have no doubt is Alstom’s plan in all of this. Why on earth do people still invite this company to tender when it seems any losing bid is taken as an invitation to sue? It is turning out to be more trouble than it’s worth.

“Alstom says Eurostar tender hearing in Oct 2011”

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