Bombardier battles three firms for £1bn Crossrail contract


British train manufacturer Bombardier will battle three international companies to win the £1bn Crossrail contract, it has been announced.

The tender for the project to build 60 trains for Crossrail was announced by transport secretary Justine Greening, who said she was “keen to understand and communicate the benefit of this contract to the UK economy”.

Greening said the bidders would need to disclose where each element of the contract would be sourced and also “required to establish an appropriate local presence to manage the delivery of the contract”.

The government wants “to improve dialogue with suppliers and increase the long-term visibility of forthcoming contracts in order to strengthen the capability of the UK supply chain”, she said.

Bombardier will face competition from Hitachi of Japan and CAF of Spain, as well as German engineering giant Siemens, which beat the Derby-based company to the lucrative Thameslink contract last year.

The government was criticised for awarding the £1.6bn Thameslink rail project to Siemens and a review of the public procurement process took place as a result.

Bombardier will find out if it has been successful when the contract is awarded in spring 2014. Crossrail is due to be completed in 2018 and will run from Maidenhead in Berkshire in the west to as far east as Shenfield in Essex. A depot will be built in Old Oak Common in west London

Bruce Graham, chairman of London-based The Hireman, which supplies tools and services to the rail industry, believes the depot in west London will benefit businesses in London.

Graham said: “We have already benefited from Crossrail by supplying subcontractors to the main contractors, so yes this project is very important to London’s business and work is filtering down to small companies such as ours.

“If the contract for trains is awarded to Bombardier, business in London would benefit from the construction of the proposed depot in west London.”

The 60 new Crossrail trains will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of the heart of London.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Crossrail provides London with a multitude of benefits including a huge economic boost for our city. Thousands of jobs are being created through the construction of the railway, many of which will be through the manufacture of trains and depots.

“When up and running, Crossrail will single-handedly increase the rail capacity in our great city by a whopping 10 per cent and support regeneration across the whole of the capital.”