THE proposed award of a £1.5 billion Transport for London contract to Siemens to build 94 trains for the Piccadilly Line has been challenged by two losing bidders.
Bombardier and Hitachi were understood to have lodged papers with the High Court over the weekend of 21-22 July.
TfL said: “We have been notified by Hitachi Rail Europe Limited and Bombardier Transportation UK Limited that they have issued claim forms in the High Court in relation to the decision to award the Deep Tube Upgrade Programme contract to Siemens Mobility Limited. We will review these claims and will respond to them. We see no good basis for these claims to be issued and are disappointed that these companies have chosen to take this step. We are unable to make any further comment at this point.”
Bombardier has also confirmed that legal action has started, but gave no further details.
TfL had announced the award in June and the ten-day ‘standstill’ order should have ended on 25 June, but there was an unexplained delay. On 29 June, after two enquiries from Railnews, TfL admitted that the proposed award was still on hold, ‘to allow the unsuccessful bidders time to review our feedback on our evaluation of the bid. We intend to award Siemens the contract shortly.’
Behind the scenes, Bombardier and Hitachi had presumably already given notice to TfL that they were discontent, and while the Siemens award remained frozen the objectors went on to prepare their case in detail.
TfL had included an unusual comment when making the award that the winner of the Piccadilly Line contract would be in line for the following contracts to build more tube trains for the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City Lines.
It had said: “While this order is for an initial 94 trains, the contract will be awarded on the expectation of a single manufacturer building the trains for all four Deep Tube lines. Creating a single train design will allow TfL to maximise cost savings through greater standardisation of train operations, staff training, equipment, spares and maintenance.”