Trains manufacturer Bombardier has won a £188m contract to supply 130 new rail carriages to Southern Railway which runs services in London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
The Department for Transport was condemned earlier this year for choosing Germany-based Siemens over Derby-based Bombardier for the Thameslink contract, and is now putting up £80m for the new deal with the Southern train company.
It would seem the Chancellor is now trying to make up for the decision, having announced, in addition to the £80m, further funding for the contract in last months’s autumn statement. Details of this are yet to emerge.
The new carriages built by Bombardier are expected to enter service in December 2013.
Speaking about the contract, transport secretary Justine Greening said: “This deal for more than 100 new carriages is great news for rail passengers and brilliant news for Bombardier and Derby.
“It lands Bombardier with a crucial train order and I look forward to Bombardier workers in Derby being among the winners of this important deal.
“This deal, helped along by my department, shows my determination to invest in Britain’s railways: our support for Southern will boost capacity while helping British jobs. I can’t think of a better outcome.”
Derby North MP Chris Williamson said the order was “extremely good news”.
“This is good news but it shouldn’t deflect us from continuing to campaign to get the Thameslink deal reversed or to make sure changes in the contracting regime are made to ensure Bombardier gets the major Crossrail job.”
Tony Tinley, regional officer for the Unite union said that the deal signals the government’s “commitment to manufacturing that is long overdue.”