Bombardier Inc. has been awarded a £188-million ($300-million Canadian) contract to supply 130 train carriages to U.K. rail operator Southern.
The deal should help ease the pain caused by Britain’s decision earlier this year to award a key rail contract to Germany’s Siemens AG, leading incumbent Bombardier to cut hundreds of jobs at its plant in Derby, central England.
Canadian-owned Bombardier, whose British unit makes trains for use on the country’s railways, will build 130 of its new Electrostar rail carriages for Southern, which runs services in south London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent, Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) said on Wednesday.
“This deal for more than 100 new carriages is great news for rail passengers and brilliant news for Bombardier and Derby,” transport secretary Justine Greening said in a statement.
“It lands Bombardier with a crucial train order and I look forward to Bombardier workers in Derby being among the winners of this important deal.”
The DfT is providing £80-million towards the new deal, which will see new carriages enter service in December, 2013.
“This is a significant project which emphasizes the performance of Bombardier’s products in the U.K.,” said Paul Roberts, president of Bombardier Transportation, Services UK.
“The new trains will be manufactured in the U.K. with initial production commencing in the latter half of 2012.”
The DfT in June awarded a consortium led by Siemens a £1.4-billion contract to build and maintain 1,200 carriages for the Thameslink cross-London railway.
Earlier this month a committee of lawmakers said the process by which Britain reached that decision would be subject to an official review.