PASSENGERS TO BENEFIT FROM £210M TRAIN ORDER FOR UK’S BUSIEST COMMUTER NETWORK
·150 new train carriages will deliver major boost in capacity at South West Trains
·Investment will provide for more than 24,000 extra peak-time passengers
·Contract award agreed with Department for Transport, Siemens and Angel Trains
·140 new jobs created in boost for rail sector employment
·Comprehensive plans developed by South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance in response to the Department for Transport’s Rail Investment Strategy
·Plans to accommodate growth also include major infrastructure improvements
Plans for a £210m fleet of new trains to benefit passengers on the UK’s busiest commuter rail franchise moved forward today (3 September 2014) as South West Trains announced its intention to award the contract to manufacturer Siemens and leasing company Angel Trains.
The 30 new five-carriage Desiro City trains will boost capacity on services at South West Trains, providing for more than 18,000 extra peak-time passengers every day travelling into London Waterloo, the country’s busiest station. The train order will also allow for a further 6,000 daily peak-time passengers once infrastructure upgrades are completed on the mainline and Hounslow loop.
The first of the 150 new carriages will begin arriving in 2017 and all will be in service by early 2018.
Around 140 new jobs will also be created as a result of the new trains order. New employment opportunities will be available for engineers, drivers, guards and maintenance staff in a further boost for the rail sector.
The new trains will be maintained by South West Trains at Wimbledon depot, which has recently benefited from £6 million worth of investment to deliver improved maintenance facilities and with further investment planned.
The latest investment agreed with the Department for Transport comes as South West Trains continues the roll-out of a £65 million investment in 108 additional refurbished carriages for the network. Combined with the order for new trains, this will deliver a total peak-time capacity increase of around 30% by 2018.
Over the last two decades, the number of passengers using South West Trains services has increased by more than 100% and now over 222 million passenger journeys are made on the network every year. Services are particularly busy at peak times.
The new train order is part of a comprehensive five-year plan developed by the Alliance to transform services for passengers, incorporating longer platforms, full re-opening of platforms at the former Waterloo International Terminal and other associated infrastructure improvements.
Tim Shoveller, Chief Executive for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said:
“These exciting plans will deliver the biggest step-change in capacity and service to our customers on the network in decades.”
“As well as providing extra space for passengers using our services now, the combination of investment in the infrastructure and these new trains will create space at Waterloo that is the essential first step to allow an increase in capacity for our longer distance, mainline services. We will also continue to work with industry partners to develop options for the longer term.”
“The unique Alliance between South West Trains and Network Rail means that we have been able to work together to deliver an effective and value for money solution to a complex challenge that also involves major infrastructure improvements at the UK?s busiest station. This is a great example of one of the major benefits that can be offered by working in partnership and it will ultimately deliver capacity for over 24,000 additional peak-time passengers every day.”
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
“More passengers are travelling on our railways than ever before and to meet the demand for extra seats and services over £38 billion will be spent on the railways during the next five years. This latest new train deal is proof not only of our
determination to transform Britain’s railways but also the industry’s commitment to deliver a better journey for Britain’s passengers.”
“These new trains will not only deliver significant benefits to passengers by boosting capacity, it will also stimulate economic growth through better connections along some of Britain’s busiest routes and create 140 new jobs in the rail industry. This is good news for rail passengers and for the UK economy”
Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Angel Trains, said:
“We are delighted to be able to procure and lease the Siemens Desiro City Trains to Stagecoach South Western Trains. As well as complementing Angel Trains diverse portfolio of over 4,500 vehicles, the new EMUs will provide a value-for-money and flexible solution to enable South West Trains to improve rail services for its passengers.”
“Growth in passenger volume in the capital is expected to continue in the future and we are committed to working with train operators and the Department for Transport to find effective solutions. Investment in new carriages for South West Trains helps to alleviate further strain on the capital’s rail network for the next 10-15 years.”
Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director, Siemens Rail Systems, said:
“The new Desiro City trains will transform the lives of passengers travelling on south-western England’s rail network. Those passengers already benefit from some of the UK’s best-loved trains, the Desiro UK, but the Desiro City takes the best and makes it even better. No other train in the UK is as technologically advanced and offers as many benefits in terms of
passenger environment, capacity and reliability. This is a clear example of our country, the Department for Transport and the South West Trains”.
“Network Rail Alliance leading the way, responding to passenger needs and network growth and making a significant investment into the future.”
The new second generation Desiro City trains being provided by Siemens are similar in style to the Class 700 units being produced for the Thameslink route. They will be used to operate ten carriage trains on the busy Waterloo to
Windsor services, allowing a cascade of trains across the network to ultimately deliver significant extra capacity on other key routes into London Waterloo. Longer trains will run from Staines through to Bracknell, Ascot and Reading and on a number of mainline services from Basingstoke to London Waterloo.
Ten carriage services will be introduced on the main suburban network for the first time, benefiting passengers travelling to stations such as Kingston, Epsom, Hampton Court and Guildford via Cobham.
Major infrastructure improvements will first need to be completed at London Waterloo to enable the introduction of the new fleet of trains. The plans include bringing the remaining four platforms of the former Waterloo International Terminal back into full use and then extending Platforms 1-4 to accommodate longer 10-carriage trains. Track, signalling and electrical power improvements will also be carried out to maximise the benefits of the platform developments and further investment will be made in depot facilities to cater for the additional carriages.
The project is being managed by Stagecoach South Western Trains. In accordance with usual procurement practice, there will be a standstill period of 10 days before Stagecoach South Western Trains will be in a position to enter into, and complete, the formal contractual documentation and make the award to the successful tenderers and enter into an amendment to the current Franchise Agreement. The process is expected to be finalised in the next two weeks.