Bombardier gets £189m Southern rail contract


BOMBARDIER, BRITAIN’S last remaining train builder, has been awarded a £189 million contract to supply 130 carriages to United Kingdom rail operator Southern.

The deal should help ease the pain caused by Britain’s decision earlier this year to award a key rail contract to Germany’s Siemens AG, leading incumbent Bombardier to cut hundreds of jobs at its plant in Derby, central England.

Canadian-owned Bombardier, whose British unit makes trains for use on the country’s railways, will build 130 of its new Electrostar rail carriages for Southern,which runs services in south London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent, Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) announced yesterday.

“This deal for more than 100 new carriages is great news for rail passengers and brilliant news for Bombardier and Derby,” transport secretary Justine Greening said in a statement.

“It lands Bombardier with a crucial train order and I look forward to Bombardier workers in Derby being among the winners of this important deal.”

The Department for Transport is providing £80 million towards the new deal, which will see new carriages enter service in December 2013.

“This is a significant project which emphasises the performance of Bombardier’s products in the UK,” said Paul Roberts, president of Bombardier Transportation, Services UK.

“The new trains will be manufactured in the UK with initial production commencing in the latter half of 2012.”

The DfT in June awarded a consortium led by Siemens a £1.4 billion contract to build and maintain 1,200 carriages for the Thameslink cross-London railway.

Earlier this month a committee of lawmakers said the process by which Britain reached that decision would be subject to an official review.

Bombardier shares in Toronto, which have lost a fifth of their value in the course of this year, closed at 3.86 Canadian dollars on December 23rd, their most recent day of trading, valuing the group at about 6.8 billion Canadian dollars. – (Reuters)