• Germany's news in English

Alstom sues to block Eurostar purchase of Siemens trains

The Local · 20 Oct 2010, 18:47

Published: 20 Oct 2010 12:52 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Oct 2010 18:47 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Alstom lodged a complaint on Tuesday at the High Court in London to demand that the call for tender by Eurostar be suspended," the spokeswoman said.

Alstom, the pride of French engineering and currently the only company making trains to run in the Channel tunnel, says the high-speed trains made by Siemens do not meet safety regulations for the route.

The French company faces increasing competition as railways in the European Union are open up to competition under EU rules.

"This call for tender cannot be concluded since the train specifications set by Eurostar do not correspond to the regulations demanded for a train going in the Channel Tunnel," the spokeswoman said.

Eurostar, the cross-Channel rail monopoly jointly owned by France, Britain and Belgium, has ordered 10 of Siemens's new-generation high-speed Velaro trains.

France's transport minister Dominique Bussereau said last week: "Equipment other than that currently made by Alstom cannot go in the tunnel, so Eurostar's decision is null and void."

Alstom complains that Eurostar's call for tender anticipated a future change in safety regulations which allowed Siemens to bid.

Story continues below…

Siemens replied Wednesday to the legal challenge by saying it was confident of retaining the deal.

"Competent courts will rule if the procedure and attribution of the contract to Siemens was fair," a statement said. "We are confident that is the case."

"The complaint was not directed against Siemens," it added. "Siemens made an offer as part of a transparent process that conforms to European law, and which was deemed best by the client."

Both Siemens and the German railway Deutsche Bahn are counting on deal to advance cross-border rail competition in Europe.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:38 October 20, 2010 by William Thirteen
if you can't beat 'em, sue 'em!
14:07 October 20, 2010 by PearlandPeach
After the change in safely rules - then Siemens can run. If the rules now say NO, then just wait to the change is actaully made.
12:22 October 21, 2010 by mehta_p
If Siemens is fullfilling the Eurostar-requirements and finds it according to EU rule then Alstom is in big danger.

Lets see how long can Alstom stay the only company making trains to run in the Channel tunnel??

If there are any safety hurdle, Siemens can get rid of it or mitigate it.
15:51 October 26, 2010 by knganesan
Whichever company is coming in race, have to comply safety standards. I hope Siemens will come out of hurdle and prove that they are meeting all safety standards. Of course, competition in industry brings best product / service to all people
09:51 October 27, 2010 by eddmac
The alstom trains should be banned from using the tunnel. They left passengers stranded for days last winter when their trains could not cope with the cold weather.
23:23 May 18, 2012 by John Steed
Really? Perhaps British engineering should be used rather than the 20% Euro subsidy which Siemans enjoys. Siemans build crap trains and say they are "price efficient". There should be a compensation built into the Euro for non Euro EU curencies before the Germans get too far ahead of their own "efficiency" and start believing it.

If the Euro falls to bits, perhaps the Brits can buy Cogema and Framatome and the staff so that we don't have go back to burning sulpherous coal. Wasn't it West German smoke stacks that ruined the Eastern European forests?

Curious how short memories can get....
Today's headlines
Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd