UK train operator Govia Thameslink orders 108 additional Bombardier Electrostar cars
Bombardier Transportation has signed a contract to deliver 27 new four-car trains for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), for operation on the Gatwick Express. The contract for 108 cars has a total value of approximately GBP 145 million GBP (182 million euro, $227 million US).
Under the contract, Bombardier will supply GTR with the latest version of the Bombardier Electrostar family of electrical multiple units, with additional features for the rail-air route. These features include easier access for passengers with luggage, improved storage space, two by two seating and WiFi. The new Class 387/2 trains will be designed and manufactured at Bombardier's Derby facility.
Charles Horton, CEO of GTR and Managing Director of Southern, said, "This is great news for our Gatwick passengers, but also for those travelling from Brighton as in the off-peak season, some of these trains will be extended to there, while still maintaining the fast connection between Victoria and Gatwick."
The new order comes as GTR celebrates the arrival of another fleet of Bombardier's latest technology trains, the Class 387/1. In July 2013, Bombardier won a contract to deliver 116 new air-conditioned carriages for GTR, which are scheduled to enter service early in the next year. The new trains will improve services on the Bedford to Brighton line as they replace the 27-year old Class 319 vehicles currently in operation on that route. This latest order for 108 additional cars formed an option within the original 2013 contract.
Mr Horton added, "We took over the operation of the Thameslink route in September and we are already introducing new trains that will transform our passengers' journeys on services between Bedford and Brighton."
Rail minister Claire Perry welcomed the announcement that Bombardier would be providing the new Gatwick Express trains, which will be built as a run on to the existing 116 carriage order, saying, "These new British built trains are great news for passengers and a boost for the economy. They will transform journeys on the Gatwick Express and Thameslink routes and safeguard jobs at Bombardier's Derby factory.
"As part of our long term economic plan over GBP 38 billion is being invested in improving our railways over the next five years and it's great to see companies like GTR investing in the service it provides for its customers."
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