Latest Rail News

06.08.12

Thameslink contract sign-off delayed until autumn

The Thameslink rolling stock deal will be subject to further delays, Siemens has admitted. 

The £1.4bn deal to make 1,200 carriages for the route was subject to fierce criticism when Siemens was named preferred bidder over Derby-based Bombardier, back in 2011.

The company is currently completing commercial contracts to underpin the order, including setting the performance obligations, compensation payments and grounds for termination. 

Once this process is finished, the deal will move to the financing contracts, which must be approved by individual banks’ finance committees. 

The deal should be completely sealed by this autumn, the Government has stated. 

Steve Scrimshaw, head of Siemens’ UK train division, told the Guardian: “We are making good progress on Thameslink. But there is a lot of contractual stuff that has to be sorted out. We have got a relatively strong banking group and we are quite confident of getting to financial closure. That will be end of summer, early autumn. 

“It’s a complex process dealing with lots of stakeholders and many banks. It's about getting everyone into the same position.” 

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We are making progress with Siemens and their consortium and expect to reach financial close by early autumn.” 

But the RMT union has criticised the delay, labelling it “ineptitude”. 

General secretary Bob Crow said: “For Siemens to fob this catalogue of chaos off as ‘contractual stuff’ is nothing short of a kick in the teeth for UK manufacturing as a whole and the UK train builders at Bombardier specifically.” 

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