Rolling stock

16.02.17

Merseytravel and Stadler sign new fleet deal, but legal challenge remains

Merseytravel has finally signed the contract with Stadler to build and maintain its new Merseyrail fleet in a deal worth up to £700m, but Bombardier’s legal challenge to the deal remains in place.

The contract, which Stadler won in December, will see the company build and maintain 52 trains for the Liverpool City Region from 2020.

However, as reported by RTM last month, Bombardier had put forward a legal challenge to the procurement. This challenge is still in place, but a Merseytravel spokesman told us: “The legal process is ongoing, however Bombardier have agreed to lift the ‘automatic stay’ which has prevented Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Stadler from signing the contracts.

“We remain fully confident in the integrity of our procurement process and, therefore, that we can robustly defend the challenge.”

Merseytravel Stadler Boarding

The transformational deal will see the Swiss firm replace the current Merseytravel fleet, which has an average age of almost 40 years, with trains that are able to carry up to 60% more passengers, while retaining the same number of seats – and will cut journey times by up to 10%.

The new four-car trains, which will all be in service by 2021, will have lower floors – only 960mm above rail level – and will be entirely walk-through, increasing their capacity to 486 people. Merseytravel also has the option, as part of the contract, to trigger the manufacture of a further 60 vehicles.

Following the contract signing, Frank Rogers, CEO of Merseytravel, said: “We are very much looking forward to working with Stadler. The fleet of new trains will provide the foundations of our city-region’s long-term rail strategy and we anticipate our relationship with Stadler developing into a strong, enduring partnership.” 

He added that Merseyrail is already a high-performing network and the new trains are “designed with local people in mind, will help support that for decades to come”.  

Merseytravel Stadler Interior

Through the maintenance contract, Stadler will undertake light and heavy maintenance of the units throughout their 35-year lifecycle. The company will transfer 155 maintenance workers from Merseyrail into its own operations, bringing its total number of employees in the UK to over 200 people by 2019.

Peter Jenelten, executive vice-president and head of marketing & sales of Stadler, said: “This contract with Merseytravel marks a very important milestone for Stadler in the UK. It will bring safer, more comfortable trains that can carry more people and will help provide the Liverpool City Region with the metro service it deserves.” 

Jenelten also highlighted the company’s recent success in several high-profile tenders, including the provision of 58 multiple units for the East Anglia franchise and the delivery of 17 metro trains for the Glasgow Subway. The company has also provided the vehicles for the delayed Sheffield tram-train project.

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Comments

Huguenot   16/02/2017 at 17:42

I trust that these new trains will all be Driver-Only Operation.

Andrew Gwilt   17/02/2017 at 00:41

Well let Stadler take over the bid to build the new trains for Merseyrail. Bombardier are still working on production line with the last ever Class 387's Electrostar for GWR and are currently working on manufacturing the new Class 345's Aventra EMU for the Elizabeth Line and soon to manufacture the Class 710's Aventra EMU for London Overground and new Bombardier Aventra EMU trains for Greater Anglia. Whilst Stadler are to manufacture the new Stadler Flirt Bi-Mode "EDMU" and EMU rolling stock for Greater Anglia.

Pdeaves   17/02/2017 at 13:16

I know that the new standards for lighting mean that yellow fronts aren't necessary, but what is the rationale for all artist's impressions (here and on other contracts) having *black* fronts? With freedom to make nice paint schemes, why not carry it around the front?

J.Smith   17/02/2017 at 13:46

And what are Stadler doing with regards manufacture, what local content will we see in the UK especially post Brexit ? As usual it will be minimal

Paulk   17/02/2017 at 14:08

I note these trains will be equipped for DOO but I note that modern metro/suburban systems overseas are opting for driverless trains with Automatic Train Operation (ATO). Surely in the UK we should now be moving towards the provision of ETCS with ATO or CBTC with ATO.

Andrew Jones   17/02/2017 at 14:11

new lighting does not shine round curves, but yellow fronts can be seen part side-on.

Andrew JG   17/02/2017 at 15:08

I do guarantee that Stadler will manufacture the brand new "Flirt" rolling stocks for Merseyrail and Greater Anglia. Plus they got competition with other foreign rail manufactures including Bombardier, Hitachi, Siemens, CAF and Alstom.

Mikeb   17/02/2017 at 16:06

With regard to driverless trains with ATO (Automatic Train Operation), these services are generally found on those totally new-build metro systems where there are no drivers and guards with whom to negotiate redundancy terms. Consequently, trying to convert classic rail services to operate with driverless trains is definitely not so easy

Jerry Alderson   17/02/2017 at 17:12

I do wish the rail industry (outside LUL) would drop the term driver-only-operation because the "only" implies only one menber of staff on board, which is not necessaririly the case, and (generally) will not be the case on Northern, for example. @Mikeb. You make a valid point about totally new-build metro systems but there are plenty of exceptions. The Glasgow Subway is intended to go UTO (i.e. GoA4) from 2020. I suggest that converting the Waterloo & City line to UTO would be very easy indeed from a technical perspective, and as it has few staff they could transfer to other lines. However, the business case for conversion usually involves running more trains (i.e. closer together), and that would not seem to be a deliverable if W&C were converted. The business case would, in my opinion, be testing the implementaiton and using it as a learning process. In Paris, where Lines 1 and 14 are already UTO, they are intending to convert a line to UTO. In Vienna the new U5 line will be UTO - their first. Half of it will be new and the other half the existing U2, which is being split so that the U2 can then be extended in a different direction. So, that half (originally an underground tram route converted to U-Bahn) will be a conversion to UTO.

Andrew Gwilt   18/02/2017 at 22:29

Was thinking of what if it could be classified in. Most likely to be numbered/classified in the Class 700 category. Class 700, Class 707 and Class 717 have been taken for the new EMU trains that are currently being built/due to be manufactured for train operators including Govia's Thameslink Great Northern (GTR+TSGN) and Stagecoach's South West Trains (SWT). The Merseyrail Stadler Flirt dual voltage+Battery operated EMU trains could be numbered in such as Class 701, Class 702, Class 703, Class 704, Class 705, Class 706, Class 708 or Class 709 or between Class 711-Class 719 that are not chosen depending on the TOC/DfT, Merseyrail and the train manufacturer Stadler that could choose to classify these new trains in as Stadler are planning to producing the new dual voltage trains. My guess is that it could be classified as Class 701, Class 703, Class 704 or Class 708.

Lutz   19/02/2017 at 00:00

"... designed with local people in mind ...". Does that mean that they will come without hub-caps? :]

Mikeb   19/02/2017 at 16:41

@Lutz. A typical inane comment from a typical Southerner.

Geordie   22/02/2017 at 17:41

@Mikeb Don't insult Southerners by linking them to that inanity.

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