German manufacturing giant Siemens has beaten Bombardier to be contracted to build 1,140 train carriages for the cross-London Thameslink route.
The deal in the region of £1.4bn was confirmed more than three years behind schedule, and comes two years after Siemens was chosen ahead of Derby-based Bombardier to supply new rolling stock, resulting in 1,000 job losses.
Both the government and Siemens say the contract will create up to 2,000 jobs for in the supply chain, construction of depots and maintenance.
With fears the move could spell the end of the UK’s last remaining train making factory, the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, hailed the deal as a major investment.
He said: “This contract is a boost for UK Plc, delivering jobs and injecting crucial investment into the rail industry.”
Steve Scrimshaw, UK managing director at Siemens Rail Systems, said the deal reaffirms the company’s commitment to the UK rail industry.
“The finalisation of the Thameslink contract reaffirms Siemens’ commitment to ongoing development and continued innovation in the UK rail industry,” he said.
“The introduction of the new Desiro City will offer a much improved passenger travel experience and a step change in capacity and reliability.
“It’s a technologically advanced train that has been designed with UK travellers in mind, incorporating proven technology and using the expertise, skills and feedback of highly experienced UK operators, train crew, cleaners and maintenance staff at every stage of the process.”
Bombardier hopes now rest with the impending contract for the £1bn Crossrail project, which is seen as key to the factory’s survival.