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Siemens to build 150 new carriages for South West Trains

South West Trains has revealed its intention to award a contract for 150 new train carriages to manufacturer Siemens and leasing company Angel Trains.

The 30 new five-carriage Desiro City trains are expected to boost capacity on services at South West Trains, providing for more than 18,000 extra peak-time passengers every day travelling into London Waterloo, the country’s busiest station.

It is expected the £210m order will also allow for a further 6,000 daily peak-time passengers once infrastructure upgrades are completed on the mainline and Hounslow loop.

Tim Shoveller, chief executive for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “These exciting plans will deliver the biggest step-change in capacity and service to our customers on the network in decades.”

The first of the 150 new carriages will start arriving in 2017 and all will be in service by early 2018.  All of the new trains will be maintained by South West Trains at Wimbledon depot, which has recently benefitted from a £6m investment to deliver improved maintenance facilities.  

The latest investment agreed with the Department for Transport comes as South West Trains continues the roll-out of a £65m investment in 108 additional refurbished carriages for the network.

Rail minister Claire Perry said: “This latest new train deal is proof not only of our determination to transform Britain’s railways but also the industry’s commitment to deliver a better journey for Britain’s passengers.”

It has also been forecast that the contract will create 140 new jobs, with employment opportunities opening up for engineers, drivers, guards and maintenance staff.

The new train order is part of a comprehensive five-year plan developed by the Alliance to transform services for passengers, including the full re-opening of four platforms at the former Waterloo International Terminal and then extending Platforms 1-4 to accommodate longer 10-carriage trains.  

The new second generation Desiro City trains being provided by Siemens are similar in style to the Class 700 units being produced for the Thameslink route.

Steve Scrimshaw, managing director at Siemens Rail Systems, said: “The new Desiro City trains will transform the lives of passengers travelling on south-western England’s rail network. Those passengers already benefit from some of the UK’s best-loved trains, the Desiro UK, but the Desiro City takes the best and makes it even better.

He added that “no other train in the UK is as technologically advanced and offers as many benefits in terms of passenger environment, capacity and reliability”.

In accordance with usual procurement practice, there will be a standstill period of 10 days before Stagecoach South Western Trains will be in a position to enter into, and complete, the formal contractual documentation and make the award to the successful tenderers. The process is expected to be finalised in the next two weeks.  

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