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Siemens confirmed for £1.6bn Thameslink contract

The DfT has finally confirmed the Thameslink deal with Siemens, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced.

The £1.6bn deal will see a consortium of Siemens Plc and Cross London Trains, comprising Siemens Project Ventures GmbH, Innisfree Ltd and 3i Infrastructure plc, supply 1,140 new Desiro carriages and long-term maintenance at two new depots.


The fleets will be maintained at Three Bridges and Hornsey. The trains will come into service from 2016, with the full 24 trains an hour service in effect at the end of 2018.

Electrical components will be manufactured at Siemen’s factory at Hebburn, South Tyneside and the rolling stock will be tested in Germany. The contract will create up to 2,000 jobs across the UK’s supply chain.

A new interchange at Farringdon will also give Thameslink passengers access to the future Crossrail line for east-west journeys across London.

The news follows a legal requirement, known as the Alcatel standstill period, before the contract could be formally awarded.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This contract is a boost for UK Plc, delivering jobs and injecting crucial investment into the rail industry.

“It will also vastly improve train travel into the capital providing fast, frequent services carrying more passengers than ever before.

“This is just one of many rolling stock orders in the pipeline which is both great news for other suppliers and the wider economy.”

Steve Scrimshaw, UK managing director at Siemens Rail Systems, said: “The finalisation of the Thameslink contract reaffirms Siemens’ commitment to ongoing development and continued innovation in the UK rail industry.

“The introduction of the new Desiro City will offer a much improved passenger travel experience and a step change in capacity and reliability. It’s a technologically advanced train that has been designed with UK travellers in mind, incorporating proven technology and using the expertise, skills and feedback of highly experienced UK operators, train crew, cleaners and maintenance staff at every stage of the process.”

David Statham, managing director for current franchisee First Capital Connect, said: “Through our work on the Thameslink programme we have already introduced new trains, new stations, the route’s first 12-carriage trains and 29% more seats at our busiest times of the day.

“These new trains will now further transform our passengers’ experience on the Bedford to Brighton and Great Northern routes, connecting new communities north and south of London and providing many longer services.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


Tony Lloyd   28/06/2013 at 15:49

How many jobs would have been created in the UK if Bombardier had been the preferred bidder, once again the only UK train builder has lost out for whatever reason. Is this going to be the trend for rolling stock for the new High Speed link?

Pedr Jarvis   28/06/2013 at 17:26

I hope the Siemens trains work better than the one from Koln to Brussels which breaks down at Aachen

Clive Hawkins   28/06/2013 at 19:18

If the DfT are ordering these trains, what exactly is the function of the Rolling Stock Leasing Companies? Indeed, what was the purpose of privatisation? Who is in charge of the railways?

Mikeyb   30/06/2013 at 17:43

At least Siemens has promised that the UK supply chain will be well represented, including traction equipment from their factory at Hebburn on Tyneside and other high-tech components from UK suppliers, which will secure many skilled British jobs. With regard to the notion about Bombardier being the only UK train builder, this is indeed true in asmuch as they have the only assembly plant in the country but they are an Canadian multinational (with transportation headquarters in Germany) and can never be totally British. Also, do not forget that Hitachi will soon become a UK train builder!

Alan   30/06/2013 at 20:45

Considering we had our own railway companies and once was a worldwide supplier to other countries, am apauled that they have gone to German companies to supply when we once had many train manufacturers in this country, which have been shut down due to awarding contracts abroad. No wonder Britain has now a unemployment problem .when they dont trust us anymore to build our own. Also what is the point of privatization when you provide trains for private companies, and the profit goes to them We had metro cammel,(now bombider) BR at Crewe ,Derby and York providing thousands of staff to the industry, and now mostly closed down, Come on Government, buy British

Mikeyb   25/07/2013 at 21:53

Alan. The rot began following rail privatisation and the long period of no new train orders. Bombardier Transportation, based in Germany, bought Derby and Crewe Works (the latter now repairs bogies only) and other works such as Swindon and York also closed. Metro-Cammell at Washwood Heath was bought by Alstom (also now closed). So basically, there are now no British companies building trains and so we have to rely upon German, French or Japanese firms.

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