Bombardier wins £1bn Crossrail deal

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Bombardier has won a £1bn contract to provide trains for the London Crossrail project, the government has announced.

The company will provide 65 trains for the Crossrail service, which is set to open in 2018.

The trains will be manufactured and assembled at Bombardier's plant in Derby.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said Bombardier's contract would support 760 manufacturing jobs and 80 apprenticeships.

In total, up to 340 new jobs will be created, said a spokesperson for Bombardier.

The DfT also said that about 74% of the amount spent on the contract would stay in the UK economy.

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Manufacturing and engineering are in the city's DNA”

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Canada's Bombardier beat Japan's Hitachi and Spain's CAF to secure the deal.

'Great boost'

The Crossrail system is due to run from Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport in the west, to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

It will aim to provide faster journey times and up to 24 trains per hour between Paddington and Whitechapel during the peak.

A graphic of Crossrail's stations

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the decision gave the Midlands a "great boost" and represented a "real vote of confidence in British manufacturing".

He said: "The government has been working hard with industry to support the UK rail supply chain to maximise growth opportunities through contracts like this."

Crossrail tunnel The Crossrail line will feature more than 26 miles of new tunnels under London
Artist's impression of Whitechapel Crossrail station Whitechapel's new Crossrail station will share facilities with the current station
Artist's impression of new Canary Wharf Crossrail station Almost 100 million litres of water were pumped out of the Canary Wharf site
Skull found at one of the Crossrail excavation sites Digging the tunnels unearthed some key archaeological discoveries
'Relief'

The government said the network will boost London's rail capacity by 10%.

It also estimated the new service would support 55,000 full-time jobs around the country.

Analysis

When Bombardier lost out to Siemens for the £1.6bn Thameslink contract, it put the future of the Derby-based train maker in doubt and raised fundamental questions about the government's support for manufacturing.

Some claimed it was unthinkable that countries like Italy, France and Germany would award such a huge contract to a foreign firm and risk losing a fundamental capability like train manufacturing.

A review of government procurement followed. That has led to a wider interpretation of European Union state aid rules.

Contracts had tended to be awarded on a narrow value for money basis. Now broader issues are taken into account including the impact upon the supply chain, support for apprenticeships and the amount of the money to be spent in the UK.

It is understood Bombardier was a clear winner of the Crossrail contract. The government insists it offered the best trains at the best price.

Bombardier lost out to German firm Siemens to build new train carriages for the London-based Thameslink route in 2011.

Unite national officer Julia Long said: "This is great news for the workforce at Bombardier and for Derby.

"After the disastrous handling of the Thameslink contract this news must come as a massive relief for the skilled men and women at Bombardier."

She said the jobs would be "valuable" for young people wanting a future in manufacturing, and that the decision was a "tribute to the skills and dedication of the Derbyshire workforce".

Labour MP for Derby South, Margaret Beckett, said after Thameslink, Bombadier's workers were "very much put on their mettle".

She said: "Everybody was devastated by the Thameslink decision, but they have really got stuck in and proved that they are the right people to have this contract, which I have no doubt they are."

Each new train will be 200 metres long and be able to take up to 1,500 passengers. The trains will also be air-conditioned, with linked, walk-through carriages, and provide live travel information.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the trains would "revolutionise" rail travel in the capital and lead to economic growth in Derby and across the UK.

A tunnel boring machine being lowered into a site at East London Crossrail is expected to increase London's rail capacity by 10%

He said: "With a firm on board to deliver a fleet of 21st century trains and the tunnelling more than halfway complete, we're on track to deliver a truly world-class railway for the capital."

Bombardier has built, or has on order, 60% of the UK's rail fleet.

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