Abellio, JR East and Mitsui have today announced that Bombardier Trains and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) have been selected to manufacture 107 new trains for the next West Midlands franchise, the financing of which is being led by Infracapital and Deutsche Asset Management.
These trains will be made up of 413 carriages and cost £680m; part of the near £1bn investment into the franchise that Abellio, JR East and Mitsui will be overseeing in the coming years.
The new trains will provide space for an extra 85,000 passengers on rush hour services into Birmingham and London. Journeys will be faster and more comfortable, with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and in-seat power sockets provided as standard.
Bombardier will produce 333 electric carriages made up of 90mph 36 x 3 car trains for metro services and 110mph 45 x 5 car trains for outer suburban and long distance configurations. They will be built at Bombardier's facility in Derby.
CAF will produce 80 diesel carriages made up of 12 x 2 car trains and 14 x 4 car trains which will provide dedicated services for journeys to the towns and cities around Birmingham.
The new trains will be essential for delivery of the increased capacity and improved journey times required on the franchise. By the end of the franchise there will be 25% more train carriages available than at the start.
The trains will be leased to the new West Midlands rail franchise, as is standard practice.
Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport said:
"We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century. West Midlands passengers will see longer, more frequent trains, faster journeys and a more reliable service for passengers. This is part of a huge investment happening up and down the country and will make a real difference to passengers.
"This investment reflects our commitment, and that of train operators, to put passengers at the heart of everything we do."
Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK said:
"We are delighted to award this work to Bombardier and CAF, which means we are now overseeing £3bn of investment into 1700 new carriages across all 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."
Richard Hunter, UK Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation said:
"Being selected for this important order is another huge endorsement of our workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer and manufacture here in the UK. Our modern Aventra trains will be built in the Midlands for the Midlands, and provide passengers with greater connectivity, reliability and shorter journey times."
Richard Garner, Business Development Director for UK and Ireland at CAF said:
"This is fantastic news and builds upon recent success in securing contracts to supply new trains for the Northern and TransPennine franchises. This opportunity consolidates CAF's position as one of the leading manufacturers of trains in the UK market and is a fabulous achievement in CAF's centenary year."