Bombardier Transportation, headquartered in Berlin with a factory in Derby, has signed a contract with FirstGroup and MTR to supply and maintain 90 trains for operation on the South Western franchise in the UK.
The order comprises 750 Aventra carriages, the company’s largest ever order for this kind of train and valued at approximately £895 million ($1.1 billion US, 1 billion euro).
Bombardier will also provide maintenance services for the duration of the seven year franchise, with an option to extend for 11 periods in line with the existing franchise extension option. The UK-based rolling stock investment consortium Rock Rail will finance the multi-million pound procurement.
The FirstGroup and MTR partnership will take over the South Western franchise on 20 August 2017. The new trains will operate on the Windsor, Reading and West London suburban routes. The new trains will start to come into service from mid-2019 and will all be in place by December 2020.
Steve Montgomery, First Rail Managing Director, said: "We have exciting plans for the South Western rail franchise and these new trains are an important step on the way to delivering an improved journey experience for our passengers. We know from listening to passengers and stakeholders that alongside improved performance, what they want to see is additional seats and we will deliver this via these state-of-the-art trains."
Bombardier’s new Aventra electric multiple unit features wide-open gangways between carriages, air conditioning, WiFi, 2 2 seating, USB sockets at seat locations, universal toilets and an improved passenger information system. The new units will be supplied in both 5-car and 10-car configurations.
Richard Hunter, UK Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation, added: “We are thrilled to have won this important contract. It demonstrates further confidence placed in this market leading rolling stock, designed and built in Britain. Aventra offers enhanced performance and increased passenger capacity, which will play an important part in helping First/MTR satisfy continued levels of passenger growth on the South Western network. The contract builds upon our strong credentials, following the selection of Aventra for Crossrail and LOTRAIN in London, as well as for the East Anglia franchise. We look forward to deepening our collaborative relationship with First/MTR.”