Bombardier Wins an order for 130 class 377 Electrostar vehicles from Southern but controversy surrounds the holidaytime announcement.
Southern, the franchised commuter operator between London and the coast announced on December 28 last that they had agreed a deal with Derby based train builder, Bombardier for 130 new Electrostar carriages.
These are needed to cater for the ever growing amount of passengers travelling by trains. The contract is worth £189m and will join the existing class 377 fleet and lengthen commuter services on it’s south London Metro routes into Victoria from Gipsy Hill, Norbury and Hackbridge by the end of next year.
The Order was announced as a UK success by the Department for Transport but this was immediately denied by Southern and Bombardier in the media and both said it was a straight negotiation without Government subsidy.
Construction will start in the second half of 2012 and comprises of 26 class 377 five-car trains with roomy 2+2 seating. They can also be operated in tandem as 10-car trains.
Southern had to look for new trains after their trains leased to First Capital Connect for their Thameslink services would not be coming back once the as the longer trains commenced. This in turn meant that Southern was several units short of providing a full service as their franchise demanded.
Southern Managing Director, Chris Burchell said:
“Following a competitive tender process, we found that the Bombardier bid could meet our challenging delivery timetable, was affordable and also offered compatibility with our existing fleet.
“We are delighted that we have found a way forward that will enable us to provide vitally needed extra capacity for so many of our passengers.”
Bombardier said that “We are delighted to be awarded this contract by Southern. This is a significant project which emphasises the performance of Bombardier’s products in the UK,” said Paul Roberts, Chief Country Representative and President of Bombardier Transportation, Services UK and Passenger Fleet Management Service Line.
“These vehicles have a proven track record for their excellent reliability and environmental performance which will now benefit many additional passengers in London and the South East.
“The new trains will be manufactured in the UK with initial production commencing in the latter half of 2012.”
Chris Burchell, Southern Managing Director also said, “The contract with Bombardier supports our commitment to the Department for Transport’s High Level Output Specification for railways (HLOS) enabling us to provide additional capacity, performance and safety to all our passengers.”
Despite the uproar when Bombardier lost previous far larger contracts, suggesting that UK jobs were at risk as a result, Bombardier is not a UK company and the announcement was headed:
December 28, 2011 — Berlin.
This is where the Bombardier worldwide company headquarters is located.
Bombardier has a wealth of experience in aluminium train production in the UK, with almost 2,000 Electrostar electric multiple unit cars produced and in service. They are now reliable and in service with a variety of operators such as c2c, Southeastern and Southern.
In the UK’s rail transportation industry, Bombardier claims to be the leader in the manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock and is the only remaining train builder in the country. Bombardier Transportation has people at production facilities in Derby and Plymouth and 15 maintenance and overhaul centres across the UK. Bombardier is contracted to service 5,200 vehicles in Great Britain.