Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has confirmed today (27 June 2013) that Siemens Plc with Cross London Trains have been awarded a contract of around £1.6 billion to build 1,140 state-of-the-art carriages for use on the Thameslink rail line.
Siemens expects the award of the rolling stock contract will create up to 2,000 jobs across the UK supply chain in component manufacturing, assembly, construction of new depots and subsequent maintenance.
The deal is part of a £6 billion infrastructure and rolling stock upgrade to radically increase capacity on one of Europe’s busiest stretches of railway improving connectivity and reliability across the capital and the south east.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
This contract is a boost for UK Plc, delivering jobs and injecting crucial investment into the rail industry.
It will also vastly improve train travel into the capital providing fast, frequent services carrying more passengers than ever before.
This is just one of many rolling stock orders in the pipeline which is both great news for other suppliers and the wider economy.
The deal is expected to see the first new train running on to the network by the start of 2016. The introduction of the full fleet by the end of 2018 will enable a 24-trains per hour service to operate through the capital at peak times. A new interchange at Farringdon will also give Thameslink passengers access to the future Crossrail line for east-west journeys across London.
The new generation of electric commuter carriages will release existing carriages for use elsewhere on the network, particularly as further routes are electrified, for example in the north west of England and the Thames Valley commuter lines.
Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director UK, Siemens Rail Systems said:
The finalisation of the Thameslink contract reaffirms Siemens’ commitment to ongoing development and continued innovation in the UK rail industry.
The introduction of the new Desiro City will offer a much improved passenger travel experience and a step change in capacity and reliability. It’s a technologically advanced train that has been designed with UK travellers in mind, incorporating proven technology and using the expertise, skills and feedback of highly experienced UK operators, train crew, cleaners and maintenance staff at every stage of the process.
Importantly, the contract will support the creation of up to 2,000 jobs. This includes some 600 highly skilled roles involved in the manufacture of hi-tech electrical components to help secure sustainable rail industry skills, as well as broader supply industry benefits and jobs associated with the depot construction and ongoing train maintenance requirements in Crawley and Hornsey.
The jobs created by the rolling stock project are in addition to those created by the Thameslink infrastructure works which are currently underway, together known as the Thameslink programme.
At the peak of construction activity it is expected that around 3,000 people will be directly employed on the Thameslink programme infrastructure works with as many again employed in related jobs in the wider community.
David Statham, Managing Director for current franchisee First Capital Connect, said:
Through our work on the Thameslink programme we have already introduced new trains, new stations, the route’s first 12-carriage trains and 29% more seats at our busiest times of the day.
These new trains will now further transform our passengers’ experience on the Bedford to Brighton and Great Northern routes, connecting new communities north and south of London and providing many longer services.
Notes to editors
The competition to supply trains and maintenance services for the Thameslink programme was designed and launched under the previous administration in 2008, in accordance with EU procurement procedures.
In October 2009 the previous government announced that the 2 remaining short-listed bidders were Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd with VeloCity and Siemens Plc with Cross London Trains, comprising of Siemens Project Ventures, Innisfree Ltd and 3i Infrastructure Plc. In June 2011 the Siemens-led consortium was announced as the preferred bidder for the project.
The Department for Transport has now appointed Siemens Plc and Cross London Trains - a consortium comprising Siemens Project Ventures GmbH, Innisfree Ltd and 3i Infrastructure Plc - to provide the new trains, depots and maintenance services for the Thameslink programme.
The consortium is also responsible for arranging financing for the contract.
Siemens was established in the UK 170 years ago. The company employs around 13,500 people in the UK, including about 5,000 in the manufacturing sector.
Siemens currently has more than 1,500 rail carriages with 7 mainline rail operators in the UK and employs just over 700 people dedicated to train maintenance at 6 train depots across the UK.
The first stage of the Thameslink programme is now operationally complete. Work continues to finalise building work at Farringdon and Blackfriars stations, and platform extension work has been completed at many locations including Luton Airport Parkway and St Albans. This first stage has enabled some longer 12 carriage trains to operate on the Bedford to Brighton route. The platforms at Blackfriars station have been extended across the river to make it the first station to span the width of the Thames.
The second stage is underway and involves the reconstruction of London Bridge station and its approaches and a new connection to the East Coast Main Line just to the north of St Pancras.
The Thameslink programme of works sits in a wider context of other enhancements to the transport system in London. Thameslink will provide for improved north / south journeys, supporting access to London Bridge, Luton and Gatwick airports. This will be complemented by the future Crossrail service, which will provide improved east / west journeys to Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf and the West End. At Farringdon, there will be an interchange between Crossrail and Thameslink services.