Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Netherlands to AnsaldoBreda: Get your gear

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Netherlands Railways has told AnsaldoBreda the Italian railcar manufacturer can pick up its 16 V250 Fyra high speed rail trains whenever it wants. NS has rejected the equipment due to what it cites as massive technical failure.

"We want to be rid of them," a Netherlands Railway spokesman told a Dutch television station. "It's a one-way ticket to Italy." Last June, backing up the railroad's wishes, the Dutch government canceled the AnsaldoBreda order, although NS had paid 120 million euros ($160 millon) to that point.

Netherlands Railways and AnsaldoBreda remain embroiled in litigation over the equipment. An NS spokesman says the damages claims will run into millions of euros. The equipment cost 200 million euros, or roughly $267 million.

Belgian Railways (SNCB) also is skirmishing with AnsaldoBreda, and in fact preceded Netherlands Railways's move last May by saying it was ending its contract with the Italian manufacturer, saying the V250 Fyra gear was "completely unreliable." SNCB had not accepted any Fyra equipment into service.

AnsaldoBreda, defending itself, asserts that Netherlands Railways failed to correctly implement a recovery plan for introduction of the fleet. 

Rome-based Finmeccanica is the parent company of AnsaldoBreda.