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West Midlands Trains Finalises £680m Deal For New Trains With Bombardier and CAF

Press Release   •   Dec 12, 2017 14:25 GMT

Abellio, JR East and Mitsui have today finalised their deal with Bombardier Trains and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) to manufacture 107 new trains for the new West Midlands franchise, which commenced this Sunday. The financing is being led by Corelink Rail Infrastructure, a joint venture between 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.

Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK said:

This is part of the £1 billion investment we’re bringing to the West Midlands franchise. Customers will enjoy new trains and upgraded stations, along with a whole host of other benefits. At Abellio we’re committed to supporting the communities in which we operate as much as possible. Getting so many of these trains produced in the Midlands is a key part of this.”

Richard Hunter, UK Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation said:

Our modern AVENTRA platform will transform the travel experience for passengers on the new West Midland Trains franchise by delivering more reliability, shorter journey times, and an exceptional travel experience through enhanced interior design.

“This important contract win again demonstrates Bombardier is the first choice when it comes to delivering high quality, integrated transportation products and services, and value-adding long-term solutions for our customers. It’s yet another huge endorsement of our workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer and manufacture in the UK.”

Richard Garner, Business Development Director for UK and Ireland at CAF said:

Combined with planned deliveries and orders for Caledonian Sleeper, TransPennine Express and Northern, the signing of the contract further strengthens CAF’s position in the UK market as one of the leading manufacturers of trains and is a fabulous way to round off CAF’s centenary year.”


Notes to editors

For further information please contact George Robinson at or on 07769 880205.

About the new West Midlands franchise

Abellio UK, JR East and Mitsui will be running the next West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6. Abellio has a 70.1% share of the company and JR East and Mitsui own the remaining 29.9% in a 50:50 split.

Nearly £1bn will be invested over the course of the franchise. This will go into the following areas:

  • £680m investment into new and refurbished trains with 413 new carriages manufactured by Bombardier and CAF, creating space for an extra 85,000 passengers on rush hour services in Birmingham and London;
  • £70m invested in new and existing depots to improve train reliability;
  • Over £60m invested in station improvements delivering over 1,000 new car parking spaces and over 2,500 cycle parking spaces. This is alongside new and refurbished waiting rooms, more seats at stations and feasibility studies into developing new stations in the West Midlands;
  • A greater choice of travel options for passengers thanks to the introduction of new Sunday services by 2021. This includes services from Birmingham to Shrewsbury and between Bedford and Bletchley;
  • Greater provision of passenger information with audio visual displays on all trains by the end of 2019 as well as 800 new digital screens across the network;
  • Free Wi-Fi on all trains by the end of December 2019;
  • The creation of over 900 new apprenticeships over the course of the franchise, with staff benefitting from an £18m investment in staff training and development; and
  • An investment of £1.25m into community rail initiatives.

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation is a global leader in rail technology and offers the broadest portfolio in the industry. It covers the full spectrum of rail solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling. The company also provides complete transport systems, e-mobility technology and maintenance services. As an innovation driver, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility. It provides integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 37,150 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.

About Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF)

CAF, created in 1917, is a global manufacturer of specialist railway product, components and systems headquartered in Beasain, close to Bilbao, Spain. CAF Group revenue is over €1.3bn, and an order backlog of €6bn as at 30 June 2017. CAF employs more than 8,000 people in the design, manufacture and maintenance of subsystems for the global rail market. It has production facilities throughout Spain and in France, Mexico, USA and Brazil. Recently awarded contracts to CAF include supplying 10 three-section 100% low-floor Urbos trams for the Seattle streetcar contract, 8 High Speed Oaris trains to Norwegian operator Flytoget, to link Oslo airport to the city centre; 62 trams to run in Utrecht in The Netherlands, 12 dual-mode electric locomotives to operate for RATP of Paris; 9 Light Rail Vehicles for Zweckverband Schönbuchbahn (Germany) and 8 trams for the transport network in Stockholm, Sweden. CAF is also delivering new trams for Luxembourg. CAF is currently constructing a new factory in the UK at Newport, South Wales. This will be over 46,000 square metres in area, and employ 200 people when it opens in autumn 2018, rising to 300 in 2019. It is being designed so that CAF can build a range of different trains there, including trams; suburban and metro trains and high-speed trains.

About Deutsche Asset Management - Infrastructure

Deutsche Asset Management’s infrastructure investment business has been investing in infrastructure assets since 1992. The global platform, which covers private equity infrastructure, listed infrastructure and infrastructure debt, provides access to such economic sectors as transportation, utilities, telecommunications, and other service sectors critical to the basic functioning of local and global economies. As part of the Alternatives platform, the company’s infrastructure business has €19.5 billion in assets under management (as of 30 June 2017).

About Infracapital

Infracapital is a leading European infrastructure investor, and a business unit of M&G, the European investment management arm of Prudential plc. Infracapital has raised and managed over £3 billion across four European infrastructure funds to date, comprising a team of over 30 professionals with investment, management and operational expertise. Infracapital’s approach to investment offers long-term value through the acquisition and active management of a diversified portfolio of core European infrastructure assets in both the operating and greenfield space. Target sectors include essential transportation, utilities, renewables and communications infrastructure. Further information about Infracapital is available on its website at:

About West Midlands Trains
West Midlands Trains Ltd. will be running the West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6. Abellio has a 70.1% share of the company, East Japan Railway Company (JRE) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) own the remaining 29.9% in a 50:50 split.

About Abellio
Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. Every day our people provide rail, bus and tram services to 1.7m customers across the UK, Germany and in the Netherlands. In the UK we operate buses through Abellio London, as well as ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, and Merseyrail in a joint venture with Serco. In Germany we operate Abellio Deutschland, serving communities in North Rhine Westfalia, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Hesse and Thuringia. Our role in transport extends beyond the journey from a-to-b. With our international heritage and our policy of sharing best practice, not just amongst ourselves, but across the wider transport industry, we provide thought leadership and truly innovative ideas which make a positive contribution to the communities we serve. For more information on Abellio visit

About Mitsui
Mitsui is one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment and service enterprises in the world with 139 offices in 66 countries as of March, 2017. Utilising our global operating locations, network and information resources, we are multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Integrated Transportation Systems, Chemicals, Energy, Food Resources, Food Products & Services, Consumer Services, IT & Communication, and Corporate Development Business. Mitsui is actively taking on challenges for global business innovation around the world. For more information, visit

About JR East
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) was established in 1987, when Japanese National Railways was divided as part of a package of railway reforms. JR East’s railway business covers a 7,500 km (approx. 4,660 miles) network in the eastern part of the Japanese main island, including Tokyo Metropolitan area, and provides transportation services, comprising urban, suburban and high speed operations, for 17 million passengers on a daily basis. JR East also undertakes non‐transport commercial activities, which account for more than 30% of the total revenue of JR East Group. JR East contributes to passengers and communities it serves by delivering high degrees of punctuality, reliability and comfort and also continues to pursue higher levels of safety and service quality through technical innovation. For more information, visit