Derby’s Bombardier has signed a contract worth over half a billion pounds to build and maintain hundreds of train carriages for West Midlands Trains.
Back in October, the Litchurch Lane firm was announced as the preferred bidder to build 333 electric carriages for the rail franchise, operated by a consortium made up of Dutch national operator Abellio, the East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui and Co.
Now, Bombardier has put pen to paper, signing a deal to supply and maintain the trains with West Midlands Trains and Corelink Rail Infrastructure, the latter of which is a joint venture between Deutsche Asset Management and Infracapital.
The deal also includes a maintenance and support services contract – and the overall value of the deal is £542 million.
The maintenance contract will run for the duration of the franchise, which started on December 10, with an option to extend in line with any franchise extensions.
The train that Bombardier will be supplying is the Aventra, which has been designed and developed in Derby.
Bombardier’s Aventra – designed, developed and built in Derby
The Aventra has so far proven extremely popular with customers. Bombardier is supplying the Aventra to Transport for London’s Elizabeth Line (formerly Crossrail), London Overground and the South Western Railway and Greater Anglia franchises.
For West Midlands Trains, Litchurch Lane factory will supply 36 90mph three-carriage trains for metro services and 45 110mph five-carriage trains for outer suburban and long distance configurations.
The new trains are expected to be delivered between 2020 and 2022.
Richard Hunter, UK managing director at Bombardier Transportation, said: “Our modern Aventra trains will be built in the Midlands for the Midlands, and will transform the travel experience for passengers on the new West Midlands Trains franchise by delivering more reliability, shorter journey times, and an exceptional travel experience through enhanced interior design.
Richard Hunter, UK managing director of Bombardier Transportation, said the deal was an ‘endorsement of the workforce’
“This important contract win again demonstrates Bombardier is the first choice when it comes to delivering high quality, integrated transportation products and services, and value-adding long-term solutions for our customers.
“It’s another huge endorsement of our workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer and manufacture in the UK.”
Dominic Booth, managing director of Abellio UK, said: “This is all part of the £1 billion investment we’re bringing to the West Midlands franchise.
“Customers will enjoy new trains and upgraded stations, along with a whole host of other benefits.
“At Abellio we’re committed to supporting the communities in which we operate as much as possible and getting these trains produced in the Midlands is a key part of this.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century.
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“West Midlands passengers will see longer, more frequent trains, faster journeys and a more reliable service for passengers.
“This is part of a huge investment happening up and down the country and will make a real difference to passengers.
“This investment reflects our commitment, and that of train operators, to put passengers at the heart of everything we do.”
Source: Derby Telegraph