Cost of off-leasing the class 175 fleet.

Currently waiting for a response from Transport for Wales Rail Limited, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Transport for Wales Rail Limited,

I am writing to request information regarding the expenses associated with the off-lease process of the Class 175 trains, which are being returned to Angel Trains at the end of their lease period.

Given the bailout received by Transport for Wales in 2023 and the public interest in understanding how taxpayer funds are utilised by Transport for Wales, I seek detailed breakdowns of all costs related to this specific programme.

Specifically, I request the following information:

Total approved budget for the offleasing of the 175's.

The total spent to date on the off-lease process of Class 175 trains to date. This should be the aggregate of any and all expenditure on the off-lease process since the start.

Lease Costs: Of the total budget, how much is attributed to rolling stock lease?

Technical support & materials: Of the total budget, how much is attributable to technical support and material costs. Please breakdown these costs into material and support.

Repair and Maintenance Costs: Of the total budget, how much is related to the maintenance, repair, and refurbishment of the trains.

Legal Costs: Any legal fees or costs incurred in relation to the off-lease process.

Transportation Costs: Are Transport for Wales drivers used to move trains between storage locations? If not, who is moving them on the network and at what cost?

Staff Costs: If not covered above, how much is related to expenses of staff involved in the off-lease process.

Other Relevant Costs: Any other costs directly related to the off-lease process of the Class 175 trains not covered by the categories above. Within this, please include the date and cost of the last refurbishment the trains went through.

If my request is too broad or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me to provide clarification. I remind you that under the Act, you are also required to advise and assist requesters.

Yours faithfully,

Evan Morgan

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

Diolch am eich e-bost yn gofyn am wybodaeth ynghylch Trafnidiaeth Cymru.
Mae eich cais wedi ei drosglwyddo i aelod mwyaf perthnasol y tîm i'w
weithredu.

Os bydd eich cais yn un dilys, byddwn yn cyhoeddi ymateb o fewn y cyfnod a
ganiateir dan Ddeddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth, sef 20 diwrnod gwaith o ddyddiad
derbyn y cais.

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth am ein proses Rhyddid Gwybodaeth, ewch i’n
gwefan: https://tfw.gov.wales/cy/rhyddid-gwyboda...

Thank you for your email requesting information from Transport for Wales.
Your request has been passed to a member of the team for action.

We will issue a response within the permitted deadline under Freedom of
Information Act, which is 20 working days from the day after receipt of
the request.

For more information on our Freedom of Information process, please see our
website: https://tfw.gov.wales/freedom-information

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Good Morning Mr Morgan,

Please see attached response to your information request.

Kind Regards

Katy

Katy Griffin
Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and Compliance Manager
Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales
3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH

Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig ac mae e'n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or disseminating it.

Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni 09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013. Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH

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Dear Transport for Wales Rail,

I am writing back to request an internal review as I am unhappy with your response.

Having spent time reviewing the response and comparing it to publicly available information, I do not believe you have adequately answered the requests and have omitted huge sections of the request with no justification.

To add clarity, the purpose of my request is to understand the costs associated with a fleet that is not in revenue service, therefore is a cost burden to the public purse.

Please see below my review of your feedback and my further requests for information:

Q1. In my original request, I made it clear the total budget should be the aggregate of all costs involved in the off-lease process. The request was clear in that, this should include all lease and maintenance costs. You have not included these. The lease cost of the unit, irrespective of budgetary allocation within the business, is an applicable cost burden for a fleet that is not earning revenue.
1.a. - Please include the cost of applicable lease for the period the units have been going through off-lease.

Q2 - Accepted and understood. Please revise this answer if required based on the further requests in this response.

Q3 - You have not included lease costs in your response as requested.
3.a - As stated above, irrespective of how you ringfence budgets, please state the lease cost of the fleet over the redelivery period.

Q4. Maintenance costs - Your public finance information, available here: https://tfw.wales/about-us/transparency/..., shows a monthly payment to Alstom Transport of (£2,043,153.01). On the basis the Class 175 fleet is the only Alstom built stock on lease to TFW, and that they were being maintained by CAF before off-lease, I assume this is costs for some form of service agreement associated with the fleet. If this is correct, you omitted to include this in the costs you replied with in your original response. According to public reports, the first units arrived at the depot in Swansea in June 2023, with all trains withdrawn from service in September 2023, but the payments continue. Over that period (Jun to April) , I total this to be £22,474,683.11 for the repeated cost, with a further £1,762,381.49 spent on Alstom costs.
4.a - Can you confirm these payments are for a service agreement or similar for the fleet?
4.b - Can you confirm my calculation is correct and over that period the total agreement cost was £24,237,064.60?

Q5 - Understood that there is not a scheduled refurbishment scoped for the fleet. The ad-hoc repair costs equal £3.6m

Q6 - Understood and accepted

Q7 - Understood and accepted

Q8 - You stated "There were no additional TfWR staff costs used for the return of the Class 175 vehicles to the lessor. TfWR used existing resources to provide overall management of the suppliers used to perform the required work and services.".
8.a - Can you confirm all staff working on the project are permanent TFW staff and, as such, there is no additional costs to be factored for the work.
8.b - If 8.a is not the case, what is the total staff costs for the project. For the avoidance of doubt, include the cost of contractors employed by the project.

Q9. I requested "Other Relevant Costs: Any other costs directly related to the off-lease process of the Class 175 trains not covered by the categories above. Within this, please include the date and cost of the last refurbishment the trains went through. " and you stated "The relevant costs have been captured above. ". You failed to include the date and cost of the last overhaul. Your website states "TfW celebrate completion of £40m Class 175 refurbishment work" as the headline of an article in 2022. This should have been included in your response.

Factoring all of above, and not accounting for the unknown lease costs, I summise the following applies to the fleet. Could you please confirm this is correct?:

Maintenance and Service costs: £24,237,064.60
Off-Lease repair costs: £3.6m
Total (excluding lease): £27,837,064.60

Yours sincerely,

Evan Morgan

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Good Afternoon,

 

I write in relation to your recent Freedom of Information Request.

 

It is not possible to progress your request at this time as clarification
is required to enable us to locate the information you have asked for.

 

On your point, Factoring all of above, and not accounting for the unknown
lease costs, I summarise the following applies to the fleet. Could you
please confirm this is correct?:

 

Could you please further explain what you are seeking here?

 

 

In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 10(6), the 20
working day timescale will be suspended until the required clarification
has been received, restarting on the date when the information is received
by us.

 

If we do not receive a clarification from you, your request will be closed
20 working days from this email.

 

Katy Griffin

Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and
Compliance Manager

Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales  

3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH   

 

 

Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig
ac mae e’n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er
gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb
ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.  
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and
is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it
back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or
disseminating it.  
 
Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni
09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd,
Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH  
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013.
Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf,
CF37 4TH 

 

 

 

Dear Freedom Of Information,

As requested, please see further clarification below on the original request stating "Factoring all of above, and not accounting for the unknown lease costs, I summise the following applies to the fleet. Could you please confirm this is correct?:"

This is requesting Transport for Wales to confirm that the breakdown of costs listed immediately below that paragraph of the request are correct as written.

I am looking for confirmation that the 'Maintenance and Service costs' amount to £24,237,064.60, that the 'Off-Lease repair costs' amount to £3.6m and subsequently that the 'Total (excluding lease)' is £27,837,064.60.

Please note, this is one section of the request and not the total extent of the request. I expect all aspects of the request to be responded to in full.

Yours sincerely,

Evan Morgan

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Good Morning Mr Morgan,

Please see attached response to your information request.

Kind Regards

Katy Griffin
Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and Compliance Manager
Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales
3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH

Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig ac mae e'n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or disseminating it.

Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni 09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013. Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH

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Dear Transport for Wales Rail Limited,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an further internal review of Transport for Wales Rail Limited's handling of my FOI request 'Cost of off-leasing the class 175 fleet.'.

To be frank, i think you have incorrectly applied exemptions by drawing inferences to the requests that were not present in my last response, for example stating that I was requesting release of the full lease document when there was no such request made.

I would like you to re-review this, based on my actual requests, taking into consideration my further points below, and factoring how not releasing this basic information would look to the public in an organisation that needed £125m of additional tax payers funding in 2023, and is now, seemingly, spending well in excess of £30m in 12 months to dispose of a fleet of trains that could have been put to good use delivering TfW's wider strategy of rail reform within Wales.

In support of your re-review, please take into consideration the below points:

You state in your response that Section 43(2) is a class-based exemption. This is incorrect. Section 43(2) is for prejudice-based exemptions and as such, you MUST complete, and pass, the Prejudice test and the Public Interest test.

The very specific detail of the cost of the lease, without any detail around the items and particulars of the contract that are provided for that cost, does not constitute a ‘secret’. The ‘secret’ element of the information would be the particulars negotiated for that fee, not the fee itself. In the absence of the ‘secret’, Section 43(1) does not apply.

Regarding any Section 43(2) exemption –
My request did not ask for the full document to be released, but rather for you to confirm the total cost of the lease payments. This information alone, without the items and particulars of the lease contract being released, reduces the likelihood the organisation would face any prejudice as a result of releasing it as it will not be clear to any competitors what services, products or benefits Transport for Wales has gained for that sum.

The prejudice test requires you to decide how likely the prejudice is to occur. On the understanding that the particulars of the lease contract do not need to be made public, just the monthly cost of the lease, this removes the ‘Would cause prejudice’ defence, and only leaves the ‘would likely cause prejudice’ defence.

On the topic of "Likely", Mr Justice Munby states: “Likely connotes a degree of probability that there is a very significant and weighty chance of prejudice to the identified public interests. The degree of risk must be such that there ‘may very well’ be prejudice to those interests, even if the risk falls short of being more probable than not.”

You state in your response: “The figures would almost definitely give rivals a commercial advantage.”

On the basis that the disclosure is for the final figure only, without any detail as to the particulars within said contract, it is not possible for an interested third party to harm the commercial interests of Transport for Wales as they are not able to determine what terms and commercial favours Transport for Wales has obtained for that amount. This does not undermine or prejudice Transport for Wales, or any other third party organisations ability to negotiate in any current or future commercial discussions. Further to that, Transport for Wales is disposing of this fleet, so there is no longer any rival operations for the fleet on the Welsh network, therefore there is no longer a commercial defence for maintaining the cost of the lease.

On the Transport for Wales website, you already release the costs of the purchase orders you pay out to suppliers. This information is disclosable because, taken in isolation without the particular services or products rendered in the POs, the cost itself has a limited commercial impact and the need for transparency outweighs the limited possible negative impact. It is not clear why you think the lease costs for the fleet would be different to this, if you are not disclosing the particulars rendered for that cost.

When factoring all of this, I put it to you that you have not met the Prejudice Test as outlined by the Information Commissioners Office.

Following the Prejudice Test, assuming that you pass the test, you are then required to conduct the public interest test. The Freedom of Information Act requires you to consider whether “in all the circumstances of the case”, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

On the basis this is not a class-based exemption, and I do not believe you have not met the prejudice test, it is not possible to say that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing.

Further to that, the outright rejection of the request for information by incorrectly manipulating my requests to state I asked for a level of detail that I did not (namely the release of the whole lease document), after initially cooperating with the request outlines a potential concern for me of wrong doing, or cover-up, around the amount of public money used to dispose of this fleet. Especially as it comes after publicly available information on the Transport for Wales website was used to underpin the last request, all Transport for Wales had to do is confirm/deny and fill in the gaps. This now makes me believe that Transport for Wales has been presented with clear and overwhelming costs for this fleet, that are difficult to defend in the context of the wider strategy of rail improvement within Wales, and would not be held in high regard by the public.

I would encourage you to strongly reconsider Transport for Wales position on this. The majority of the costings are plain to see in the requests I have made, and the final cost that is missing is the lease cost. I think i have fairly outlined above that, taken in isolation, the cost alone is not exempt from disclosure and Transport for Wales reaction to my response demonstrates that there is clearly a public interest in this information being made public.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Evan Morgan

Freedom Of Information, Transport for Wales Rail Limited

Good Afternoon Mr Morgan,

I passed your request to our head of Engineering, Dean Fry.

He has asked if you would be willing to have a chat with him, either in person or over the phone.

If you are happy for me to pass on your contact details, could you please let me know?

In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 10(6), the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until the required clarification has been received, restarting on the date when the information is received by us.

If we do not receive a clarification from you, your request will be closed 20 working days from this email.

Kind Regards

Katy Griffin
Rheolwr Rhyddid Gwybodaeth a Cydymffurfio | Freedom of Information and Compliance Manager
Trafnidiaeth Cymru | Transport for Wales
3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH

Bwriedir yr e-bost yma (ac unrhyw atodiad) ar gyfer y dderbynnydd yn unig ac mae e'n gyfrinachol. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost yma er gamgymeriad, plîs hanfonwch yn ôl i ni ar unwaith a ddilëwch y neges heb ei ddarllen, copïo neu ledaenu.
This email (and any attachment) is intended solely for the addressee and is confidential. If you have received this email in error, please send it back to us immediately and delete it without reading, copying or disseminating it.

Cwmni Cyfyngedig drwy Warrant. Cofrestrwyd yng Nghymru. Rhif Cwmni 09476013. Cyfeiriad Swyddfa Gofrestredig: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH
A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Wales. Company No. 09476013. Registered Office Address: 3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, CF37 4TH

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Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thank you for your response.

I am not sure why this has been passed to your head of engineering when the questions being asked or of a financial basis, which could be easily answered by members of your finance team. I see no relevance between the questions being asked, and the involvement of engineering?

Transport for Wales' change from initial cooperation with the request, to filibustering, to manipulating/exaggerating requests to claim unwarranted exemptions and then attempts to take conversations off the public record and into meetings is, frankly, not acceptable.

This is a basic request for figures from a public body. No, I would not like to meet with a head of a department that has nothing to do with the requests being made. I would like Transport for Wales to answer the request, in line with the normal process, on the public record.

I have already established through the combination of the figures given in your initial response, and the figures published on your website, that the £3.6m figure you gave as a response to my first request is actually £27.8m without including the lease. That amount has been spent in 11 months and only just over 2 years after the end of a £40m refresh program on this fleet. There is no denying these are eye watering figures. The final request is to provide the lease cost for the fleet to allow the Welsh public to understand the total cost of disposing of this fleet, and to see what a portion of the £125m of additional public funding has been spent on.

Yours sincerely,

Evan Morgan