Bombardier, CAF to build trains for West Midlands

NEW train orders valued at £680 million have been announced for the next West Midlands franchise.

The present London Midland contract run by Govia will end on 10 December, and the following franchise has been awarded to a joint venture led by Abellio, with Japan East Railway Corporation and Mitsui as minority partners.

The new rolling stock, totalling 107 trains, will come from Bombardier and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles.

Bombardier will be supplying more batches of its successful Aventra series, which is already currently on order for Greater Anglia, London Overground, South Western Railway and Transport for London’s Elizabeth Line.

The latest tranches, to be built in Derby, will consist of 333 electric vehicles formed as 36 three-car trains with a maximum speed of 90mph (145km/h) for metro services and 45 five-car trains capable of 110mph (177km/h) for outer suburban and long distance services. Some of London Midland’s existing fleet of Class 350 Siemens Desiros was uprated to 110mph several years ago to increase capacity on the West Coast Main Line.

CAF, meanwhile, will build 80 diesel vehicles, formed as 12 x 2 car trains and 14 x 4 car trains for local services around Birmingham.

Abellio UK managing director Dominic Booth said: “We are delighted to award this work to Bombardier and CAF, which means we are now overseeing £3 billion of investment into 1700 new carriages across our franchises.

“It is great news that so many of these trains will be produced in the UK. As a company, we are committed to working with the government to strengthen the British economy and deliver thousands of high-quality jobs over the coming years.”

The new fleets will be leased from several finance houses, including Infracapital and Deutsche Asset Management.

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