The move to delay the competition for Crossrail's £16bn project indicates the train manufacturing part of the new contract may be awarded to Bombardier.
Crossrail announced that the competition was to be delayed from late 2013 to 2014 in order to “save costs”. The rail operator admitted that the delay would also allow the government to make recommendations according to the new review of public procurement that was announced in the wake of the Bombardier decision.
Under EU rules companies are forbidden from showing bias towards contractors located in their own country, but Crossrail said that it was delaying the competition so as to determine whether the UK “is making best use of the application of EU procurement rules.”
Cross rail also said in a statement that it is examining “the degree to which the government can set out requirements and evaluation criteria with a sharper focus on the UK’s strategic interest,” and how the government can “support businesses and ensure that when they compete for work they are doing it on an equal footing with their competitors.”
After being forced to cut 1,400 jobs at Bombardier’s plant in Derby, there seems to be a glimmer of hope. One industry expert said that although a UK-based train manufacturer has a good chance of winning the Crossrail contract, Siemens is still firmly in the race because of the fact the Thameslink rolling stock will be very similar to Crossrail’s.