Derby train-maker Bombardier is set to make more trains than originally planned for London’s Elizabeth Line.
The Litchurch Lane firm is currently busy delivering 66 trains for the capital’s new rail network. But this week, Transport for London (TfL) released details of the services that will run on the new line – and they are more extensive and frequent than originally envisaged.
To enable the additional services, TfL said that it will be increasing the number of trains that will operate on the Elizabeth Line from 66 to 70 trains. This means that Bombardier will be asked to make four extra trains as part of the order – providing yet another boost for the Derby factory, which in the past 12 months has landed two major deals that have secured the future of its workforce into the 2020s.
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The Elizabeth Line will not become fully operational until December, 2019. But the first Elizabeth Line trains have already been put into service and will continue to be phased into the network while work on the multi-billion project, which has involved creating several miles of new tunnels under London, is completed.
Each train that Bombardier is delivering will be 200 metres long and feature nine ‘walk-through’ carriages, air conditioning, CCTV and real-time travel information. Last month, the first train started passenger services on the TfL Rail-operated Liverpool Street to Shenfield line.
The reason why TfL is ordering more trains than originally anticipated is because it wants to increase the number of services. For example, between Paddington and Whitechapel it wants to up this from 16 trains an hour, as was previously planned, to 20 trains per hour.
And it wants to double the number of services from Reading and increase services to Maidenhead, Ealing Broadway, Southall and Hayes and Harlington. The improved frequency of trains has been announced following collaboration with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the train operating companies on a final timetable for services.
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And while this is good news for the passengers who will use the Elizabeth Line – it is also good news for Bombardier. The firm originally won the £1 billion deal to build trains for the Elizabeth Line (formerly known as Crossrail) back in February 2014. Winning the work was a crucial boost for Litchurch Lane after it lost out on major deals like the InterCity Express Programme and Thameslink.
Since then the company has gone from strength-to-strength. Last year, the company secured the £1 billion East Anglia contract and this year the firm won a £900 million contract to build trains for South West Trains.
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For all the deals – Elizabeth Line, East Anglia and South West Trains – Bombardier is supplying its Aventra train – which has been designed, developed and is now being built in Derby. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The Elizabeth Line will transform travel across London, with new state-of-the-art trains moving passengers quickly across key parts of London and the South East.
“I am delighted that services will be more frequent than originally planned, making journeys even more convenient for people travelling in and out of London, and helping ease pressure on other parts of our busy transport network.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “It’s great news there will be more services on the Elizabeth line, meaning more passengers can travel with greater convenience across London and beyond on trains which are an example of British engineering at its best.”
Source: Derby Telegraph