CROSSRAIL Rolling stock winner must prove UK benefit Mar 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- Tender documents have been issued to four companies shortlisted for Crossrail's biggest single contract - the £1 billion rolling stock and depot contract.
Four companies invited to negotiate
All four bidders have made it past the pre-qualification stage and will be receiving the Invitation to Negotiate.
• Bombardier Transportation (UK)
• Constucciones y Auxillar de Ferrocarriles
• Hitachi Rail Europe
- Ever since the four companies' participation was announced Germany-based Siemens has been considered the frontrunner on account of it having already won a £1.4 billion contract to provide similar carriages for Network Rail as well as its superior ability to raise private capital as a result of it having a banking arm.
- European procurement rules preclude open bias towards home-based firms, but the Government has come under pressure to look favourably on the bid by Derby-based Bombardier, now Canadian-owned.
- It is claimed that having already lost out to Siemens for last year's Network Rail rolling stock contract, and having already cut back its workforce, Bombardier's UK operations will be forced to close for good if it does not secure the Crossrail contract.
- Fears that Crossrail's procurement process actively favoured foreign firms prompted a Government review, and the introduction of a package of measures to reform the public procurement process.
60 new trains will be needed for Crossrail
- Announcing the shortlist to Parliament on Tuesday (28 April), Transport Secretary Justine Greening fell short of insisting on a "Made in Britain" clause but stressed that the winning contractor would have to prove how its bid would benefit the UK economy.
- She said: "In respect of Crossrail, reflecting its stage in the procurement process, this Invitation to Negotiate includes requirements for 'responsible procurement'. This means that bidders are required to set out how they will engage with the wider supply chain and provide opportunities for training, apprenticeships, and small and medium size businesses within their procurement strategy.
- Bidders are also required to establish an appropriate local presence to manage the delivery of the contract.
- "The Mayor and I are also keen to understand and communicate the benefit of this contract to the UK economy; bidders are being asked, in the Invitation to Negotiate, to specify from where each element of the contract will be sourced. This is not an assessment criterion in the decision process however the successful bidder will be required to report against their proposed estimates."
- The Ministers comments have also raised Hitachi's hopes of securing the contract. The Japanese company has permission to build a factory in the UK's north-east region from where it is planning to manufacture 100 trains as part of the £4.5 billion Inter City Express Programme.
- A Hitachi spokeswoman said the only alternative to building the 60 trains needed by Crossrail in the UK, would be to construct them in Japan. But she said: "It would clearly make more sense to manufacture trains for the UK in the UK.
Crossrail alignment under London
- "That would get rid of the logistical headache of transporting completed trains from one continent to another and also avoid problems with the exchange rate. We believe we have additional capacity in the north-east for the Crossrail trains, so there would be no problem manufacturing them both at the same factory, even with some overlap."
- The rolling stock contract is for 60 new trains, each of which will be around 200m long and able to carry up to 1,500 passengers plus construction of a depot at Old Oak Common. A key feature of the new Crossrail trains is air conditioning and inter-connecting walk-through carriages. The contract will be awarded in 2014.
Crossrail partner loses trains battle - TunnelTalk, December 2011
Delaying train delivery will save millions - TunnelTalk, September 2011
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