Delaying train delivery will save millions Sep 2011
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- Crossrail has announced a decision to introduce rolling stock six months later than planned in a move which it says will save British taxpayers "tens of millions of pounds".
- A contract to build around 60 new trains and associated depot facilities was scheduled to have been awarded in late 2013, with tender documents being issued later this year. Delivery had been expected in December 2016.
Sixty new trains will be needed for Crossrail
- But Crossrail says it will save money by delaying delivery of the trains, which would largely have sat redundant anyway in sidings waiting to go into service, until May 2017.
- This decision means the contract award has now been deferred until 2014, and the issue of tender documents to next year rather than later this year. This will allow the conclusions of the Government's review of public procurement to be taken into account – a move which might improve the chances of Derby-based bidder Bombadier, the last British-based train manufacturer in the UK.
- It has been argued that the current procurement rules favour foreign bidders, and this situation was blamed for Canadian-owned Bombadier losing out earlier to Siemens of Germany for a seperate £1.4 billion contract to build 1,200 carriages for train operator Thameslink.
- Both companies are on the list of bidders for the Crossrail contract – which is worth approximately £1 billion. French company Alstom, which was also in the running, pulled out of the contract race following Crossrail's announcement.
- Earlier this year Bombadier shed 1,400 jobs after losing the Thameslink contract, and according to Derbyshire North MP Chris Williamson the company only has enough current work to keep 300 people in employment. Winning the Crossrail contract is seen as crucial to the survival of train building in the UK.
- Williamson said: "The company has already announced a review of its UK operations, and a final decision will be made by its board of directors in Montreal, which could decide to pull out of the UK. Bombardier has large factories on the continent and could simply bid for future UK rail contracts from its French and German bases."
- A Crossrail spokesman said: "The review of public procurement is examining whether the UK is making best use of the application of European Union procurement rules, as well as the degree to which the Government can set out requirements and evaluation criteria with a sharper focus on the UK's strategic interest and how the Government can support businesses and ensure that when they compete for work they are doing it on an equal footing with their competitors."
Map of the tunnelling drives under London
- Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: "Crossrail has identified that significant operational cost savings, running into tens of millions, can be realised for taxpayers by introducing Crossrail rolling stock to the rail network over a shorter period of time. Continuing with the original procurement programme would have delivered the new train fleet earlier than was necessary."
- As a result, Crossrail will introduce rolling stock to the Great Eastern Main Line from May 2017, rather than December 2016, with the fleet progressively introduced to the existing rail network well in advance of services commencing through Crossrail's central section. Under the previous timescales much of the fleet would have been stored waiting for the Crossrail tunnels to be completed."
An OJEU notice for Crossrail rolling stock and depot facilities was published in November 2010. On 30 March 2011, Crossrail confirmed that the following organisations would be invited to tender for rolling stock and depot facilities:
• Alstom Transport (withdrawn);
• Bombardier Transportation (UK) Limited.;
• Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles SA (CAF);
• Hitachi Rail Europe Limited; and
• Siemens plc.
- Each Crossrail train will be around 200 metres in length and able to carry up to 1,500 passengers. To ensure value for money, Crossrail's intention is that the new trains are based upon technology already developed by the worldwide rolling stock market for deployment on other railways. A new train design is not required.
- The £14.5 billion Crossrail project is scheduled to open in 2018, although the 21km of tunnels under London are expected to be excavated by 2014. When complete it will join Maidenhead to the west with Abbey Wood to the east via a 116km long direct line.
Scheduling for success at Crossrail - TunnelTalk, Apr 2011
Crossrail management mobilized - TunnelTalk, May 2009
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