Bombardier to supply, maintain 750 rail carriages for UK's South Western

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 20, 2017

A £900m train order that once looked destined for Germany has been won by the Bombardier plant in Derby.

An order for 90 new trains has been signed by the new operators of one of the country's busiest rail franchises.

FirstGroup and MTR have placed the £895 million deal, which is created to provide 46% additional capacity at peak time.

The trains will replace German-made carriages ordered by the outgoing franchise holder, Stagecoach.

An Aventra train. Credit: First Group.

"That agreement also holds good regardless of the new fleet procurement and the announcement on the new trains by the company today".

All of the trains will feature free Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points, real-time information screens and air conditioning.

They will start to come into service from mid-2019 and all will be in place by December 2020.

The change of direction for South West highlights a transformation in the rolling stock market, with new trains becoming cheaper to buy than leasing older ones from the banks that own them.

FirstGroup and MTR Corp will use the coaches to operate South Western franchise, starting from August 20, 2017, it said on Tuesday. "This investment reflects our commitment, and that of train operators, to put passengers at the heart of everything we do, and will improve journeys and target congestion".

Transport Minister Paul Maynard said: "We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century and this franchise will provide more frequent trains, faster journeys and a more reliable service that passengers across the South Western network expect".

Bombardier Transportation's United Kingdom managing director, Richard Hunter, said: "We are thrilled to have won this important contract".

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