6 Feb 2014

UK jobs boost as Bombardier wins £1bn Crossrail contract

A £1bn contract to supply trains to London’s Crossrail scheme is awarded to Bombardier, creating more than 1,000 UK manufacturing and construction jobs.

Bombardier wins Crossrail contract

The Department of Transport announced on Thursday that Bombardier, which is headquartered in Canada but has a major production facility in Derby, had won the contract.

Bombardier will supply 65 trains for the £14.8bn Crossrail scheme, as well as the construction of a train depot at Old Oak Common in west London.

The train production will create 760 jobs and 80 apprenticeships, and the construction work will create 244 jobs and 16 apprenticeships, the Department of Transport said. It added that an estimated 74 per cent of the value of the contract will stay in the UK.

It will be welcome news to Bombardier after losing out on a £1.6bn contract to build trains for Thameslink three years ago.

‘Vote of confidence’

Prime Minister David Cameron said the contract was “great news for Bombardier and Derby” while Business Secretary Vince Cable said it was “a real vote of confidence in British manufacturing”.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The manufacture of these new trains will not only revolutionise rail travel in London, they will deliver jobs and economic growth in their birthplace in Derby and across the UK.

“With a firm on board to deliver a fleet of 21st century trains and the tunnelling more than halfway complete, we’re on track to deliver a truly world-class railway for the capital.”

Bombardier beat Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), and Hitachi Rail Europe, the European subsidiary of the Japanese engineering and electronics conglomerate.

Lighter and greener

Each Crossrail train will be 200 metres long and able to carry up to 1,500 passengers.

Bombadier has spent £20m developing the Aventra design. Managing Director Francis Paonessa said:

“We are absolutely delighted with the news, which is a real endorsement of the hard work the team has put in. We have been working on the design for the past year.

“The train has wider gangways, is much lighter and more energy efficient.”

The contract was also welcomed by union leaders. Julia Long, national officer of the Unite union said:

“This is great news for the workforce at Bombardier and for Derby, after the disastrous handling of the Thameslink contract.”