Bombardier has been selected by UK train operator Southern to supply 116 new electric trains at a cost of £180m for interim operation on the London Thameslink route.
The order includes an option for an additional 140 vehicles, bringing the potential value of the contract to £385m. Southern intends to sign the contract with Bombardier following the statutory ten-day standstill period.
Southern managing director Chris Burchell said: “We have worked extremely hard to be an effective delivery partner to the department and we are very pleased to have reached this important milestone in the procurement of new rolling stock.”
UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that the government has worked closely with Southern to allow this critical stage of the project to be reached.
“Increasing the number of trains on the network not only benefits passengers but everyone, as the railways are an important engine for economic growth in our country,” McLoughlin said.
Southern expects to take delivery of Bombardier’s new electric trains before the May 2015 timetable change, following which they will be initially run on the north-south, cross-London Thameslink route.
The new trains will allow existing trains to be transferred to newly electrified routes, before they in turn make way for the new Siemens-built Thameslink stock.
After the Siemens Desiro City units on order for Thameslink services are delivered, the new Bombardier trains will be deployed on other routes.
In June 2013, Siemens beat Bombardier to win the £1.6bn Thameslink rolling stock contract.
Under the deal, the Siemens-led Cross London Trains consortium will be responsible for the construction and maintenance of 1,140 new carriages to be used on London’s Thameslink commuter network.
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