Department for Transport and Siemens seal Thameslink deal

Posted: 27 June 2013 | | No comments yet

The Department for Transport has awarded a contract worth circa £1.6 billion for 1,140 new Desiro City commuter rail carriages…


The Department for Transport has awarded a contract worth circa £1.6 billion for 1,140 new Desiro City commuter rail carriages for the Thameslink route to Siemens Plc and Cross London Trains, a consortium comprising Siemens Project Ventures GmbH, Innisfree Limited and 3i Infrastructure plc.

This is the largest contract ever awarded to Siemens plc, covering the capital cost of the trains and associated depot infrastructure and will boost Siemens’ UK rail portfolio to over 2,800 carriages. In addition, the consortium will be responsible for financing the deal, with Siemens also looking after the long-term maintenance of the trains.

Siemens has invested around 50 million Euros to develop the Desiro City train – the platform that has been selected for the Thameslink Programme – specifically for the UK. The second-generation, evolutionary Desiro City combines the latest technology with the proven Siemens Desiro platform, one of the country’s most reliable train designs, which travels more than 50 million passenger miles nationwide each year.

The Desiro City has been developed to offer a metro-style service, with a spacious and airy design that maximises capacity and significantly increases passenger comfort levels. The Desiro City Thameslink fleet will be maintained at two new traincare depots at Three Bridges (Crawley) and Hornsey (London Borough of Haringey) providing outstanding facilities. The trains will be introduced into service from early 2016 with the full 24 trains per hour service coming into effect at the end of 2018.

Steve Scrimshaw, UK Managing Director at Siemens Rail Systems, said: “The finalisation of the Thameslink contract reaffirms Siemens’ commitment to ongoing development and continued inno-vation in the UK rail industry.

“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.”

Established in the UK 170 years ago, Siemens is a very significant employer (13,520 UK employ-ees) and supporter of British manufacturing. The company has sought to include locally sourced train components in the Desiro City design to further support the rail supply chain and offer addi-tional employment opportunities. Siemens anticipates the creation of up to 2,000 jobs across the UK in component manufacturing and assembly, as well as in the construction of the new depots and subsequent train maintenance.

Siemens will be manufacturing hi-tech electrical components for the Desiro City train at its facility in Hebburn, South Tyneside – one of 13 manufacturing plants Siemens owns in the UK. This will help to develop a legacy of sustainable rail manufacturing skills in the North East. Further components sourced from the UK include, amongst others, train pantographs manufactured in Somerset; cab radios in Dorset; flooring in Hertfordshire; exterior lighting in the West Midlands; train protection and warning systems in Cheshire; and, CCTV in Tyne and Wear. The train bodyshells will be man-ufactured in Krefeld, Germany, with the trains tested to the latest standards at Siemens’ unique test track in Wildenrath, Germany, minimising disruption to the UK network.