Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has welcomed an order for more than 100 new electric train carriages while seeing the first of a British-built fleet being readied for use at a London depot today.
Following an open procurement competition Southern has signed a second contract with Derby-based train builders Bombardier, worth £180 million, for an additional 116 carriages, which will serve some of the capital’s busiest commuter routes from 2015.
Confirmation of the deal came as the Transport Secretary visited the Stewarts Lane Depot in Battersea where the train operator is currently preparing a new fleet of 130 carriages for use on its services from December. A further 40 vehicles will be delivered in the early part of next year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
London’s commuters deserve a first class rail network and comfortable modern trains, Southern is delivering that. This second order will also provide a further boost to the thousands of passengers who travel into London every day.
A successful rail network is vital for the economic prosperity of the country and its standing in the global race. The fact that these trains are made in Britain also protects jobs outside of the capital.
The 116 new carriages will initially be used on the Thameslink route allowing the release of existing rolling stock to newly electrified routes across the country.
Southern Managing Director Chris Burchell said:
We are delighted that the order we have signed today will help our industry grow. Southern has a great record in new train introduction and we are pleased to be able to offer our expertise in helping the Department for Transport deliver the benefits of the Thameslink programme.
Meanwhile, Southern is currently testing its new fleet of carriages ahead of their introduction on the network just 2 years after the deal with Bombardier was signed. This will allow up to 10 car trains to run on some of the operator’s busiest Metro routes, including trains via Norbury, Streatham Hill and Hackbridge, boosting capacity by 10%.
Southern Fleet Director Gerry McFadden said:
Getting the trains built, tested and in service within a 2 year time scale is setting a new record for train delivery, but we and Bombardier are determined to provide our passengers with the longer trains they have been promised.
The Commercial Director for Bombardier Transportation UK, Des McKeon, said:
It is great to see the first of Southern’s 130 new carriages being delivered here today. Production of the rest of the order is progressing on time in Derby. We are confident of delivering the rest of the fleet in line with Southern’s requirements and meeting their challenge of getting these units ready for passenger service later this year.
The order underlines the strength of the relationship Bombardier has with Southern and the DfT – a relationship born out of our strong performance on existing contracts. It reinforces the quality of our products and our ability to deliver on time to demanding schedules. It is further evidence of the dedication and skills of our people in the UK.
Paul Francis Managing Director of Porterbrook which financed the 130 carriages being introduced in December, said:
We’re delighted to have been appointed financier for the purchase of these new Electrostar trains which will operate with the other 792 Electrostar vehicles we have on lease with Southern. We reiterate our hope that this is only the start of ongoing investment opportunities in new and existing rolling stock over the coming years as franchises are re-let.
Notes to editors
In December 2011, Southern signed a deal worth £188 million with Bombardier for 130 carriages following an extensive procurement process which will see the trains delivered in 2013. An option for a further 40 vehicles was confirmed in December 2012. They will enter service in the early part of 2014 on the South London network.
The company ran a second open competition in December 2012 for 116 carriages, with the option of a further 140 if further investment opportunities can be identified. Bombardier was announced as the preferred bidder earlier this year, with the contract being agreed this month.
Southern will hold an open competition to finance the second order in due course.
The permanent rolling stock for the Thameslink project is being delivered by Siemens, who are building 1,140 carriages for the programme. The first trains will enter service in 2016, with the introduction of the full fleet by the end of 2018. Once the new Thameslink rolling stock has been delivered these 116 carriages will also transfer to operate on newly electrified roués elsewhere in England.
Ten-car Metro trains will be introduced on the following routes this December:
- Victoria to Dorking/Horsham via Hackbridge and Epsom
- Victoria to Epsom Downs via Norbury
- Victoria to West Croydon via Streatham Hill
- Victoria to London Bridge via Streatham Hill and Crystal Palace
- London Bridge to Epsom/Guildford via Norwood Junction
- London Bridge and Victoria to Caterham and Tattenham Corner (train divides Purley
See more images of the new Southern trains on Flickr