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Bombardier signs £540m deal for new West Midlands Trains fleet

By Simon Penfold | Business | Published:

Engineering giant Bombardier has signed on the dotted line to supply more than 300 new train carriages to West Midlands Trains – the UK's newest rail franchise – in a deal worth £540 million.

The first of 333 Aventra electric-powered train carriages will be delivered to West Midlands Trains in 2020

And all the vehicles will be made in the UK.

West Midlands Trains took over this weekend after winning the franchise from London Midlands.

Its West Midlands Railway service operates around Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Shrewsbury and Telford.

It also operates the London Northwestern Railway service between London and Liverpool route, with Birmingham and the West Midlands at its heart.

The new fleet of 333 Aventra electric-powered train carriages is part of a promise from West Midlands Trains to increase frequency of services and reduce journey times.

The new trains are expected to be delivered between 2020 and 2022.

Bombardier has also signed an additional contract to provide the maintenance service teams to keep the vehicles reliable.

The deal was signed between Bombardier's Transportation business, Corelink Rail Infrastructure and West Midlands Trains.

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Corelink Rail Infrastructure is a joint venture between Deutsche Asset Management and Infracapital, and West Midlands Trains is a joint venture consisting of Abellio UK, East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and Mitsui.

The overall value of the rolling stock and maintenance contracts are valued at approximately £542 million. The maintenance contract will run for the duration of the franchise with an option to extend it if the franchise is extended..

The contract signing follows the announcement in October that Bombardier Transportation was the preferred bidder for the work.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century. West Midlands passengers will see longer, more frequent trains, faster journeys and a more reliable service for passengers.

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"This is part of a huge investment happening up and down the country and will make a real difference to passengers. This investment reflects our commitment, and that of train operators, to put passengers at the heart of everything we do."

Dominic Booth, MD of Abellio UK, said, "This is all part of the £1 billion investment we're bringing to the West Midlands franchise.

"Customers will enjoy new trains and upgraded stations, along with a whole host of other benefits. At Abellio we're committed to supporting the communities in which we operate as much as possible and getting these trains produced in the Midlands is a key part of this."

Richard Hunter, UK managing director of Bombardier Transportation, said: "Our modern Aventra trains will be built in the Midlands for the Midlands, and will transform the travel experience for passengers on the new West Midlands Trains franchise by delivering more reliability, shorter journey times, and an exceptional travel experience through enhanced interior design.

"his important contract win again demonstrates Bombardier is the first choice when it comes to delivering high quality, integrated transportation products and services, and value-adding long-term solutions for our customers. It's another huge endorsement of our workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer and manufacture in the UK."

Bombardier will produce and maintain 333 electric carriages made up of 36 90mph three-car trains for metro services and 45 110mph five-car trains for outer suburban and long distance configurations.

Built at Bombardier's facility in Derby, the Aventra complements the fleets that have already been ordered for Transport for London's Elizabeth line (Crossrail), London Overground's LOTrain, and the South Western Railway and Greater Anglia franchises.

Abellio, JR East and Mitsui were announced as the winners of the West Midlands franchise by the Department for Transport on August 10 and took over operating the franchise on Sunday, December 10.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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