CAF officially signs £680m deal for new West Midlands Trains stock

CAF has announced that it will officially be responsible for part of a £680m train manufacturing contract with the new West Midlands Trains franchise operator.

The deal includes a fleet of DMUs, consisting of a mix of 12x2-car trains and 14x4-car trains intended to begin to replace the existing stock.

The new franchise will be run by a JV consisting of Abellio, JR East and Mitsui. The operators announced in October that CAF and Bombardier would be responsible for manufacturing new stock as part of a wider £1bn investment into the network.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said the deal showed the operators and the government were making efforts to improve rail travel.

“West Midlands passengers will see longer, more frequent trains, faster journeys and a more reliable service for passengers,” he explained.

“This is part of a huge investment happening up and down the country and will make a real difference to passengers. This investment reflects our commitment, and that of train operators, to put passengers at the heart of everything we do.”

The first West Midlands services were launched over the weekend, with the franchise split between West Midlands Trains and London Northwestern – both covering different parts of the region.

Dominic Booth, managing director of Abellio UK, said: “Customers will enjoy new trains and upgraded stations, along with a whole host of other benefits.

“We’re delighted to be working with CAF to deliver many of these new trains, which will vastly improve journeys for those using our services in and around the West Midlands.”

Richard Garner, CAF’s business development director for UK and Ireland, added: “Combined with orders for Caledonian Sleeper, TransPennine Express and Northern, the signing of the contract further strengthens CAF’s position in the UK market as one of the leading manufacturers of trains and is a fabulous way to round off CAF’s centenary year.”

Top image: CAF

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Mmlred   12/12/2017 at 10:49

Let's hope CAF's stock looks less like a jaundiced tellytubby.

Andrew Gwilt   12/12/2017 at 11:01

I guarantee that the CAF Civity DMU stocks for WMR could be classified in the Class 180 category or Class 190 category (either Class 183, Class 186 or Class 187. Or Class 192, Class 194 or Class 196). The Bombardier Aventra EMU stocks for WMR and NLR could be classified in the Class 390 category (Class 392, Class 394 or Class 396) or Class 700 category (Class 703 or Class 708). Which we should hopefully find out next year.

Number Cruncher   12/12/2017 at 12:34

£680m for 80 vehicles = £8.5m per vehicle - nice work if you can get it but I suspect you've got the value of the CAF deal wrong by including the Bombardier fleet too, if not then Mr Garner will be getting a very nice Christmas bonus!

Isambard Jean-Jacques Brunel   12/12/2017 at 12:35

Andrew, congratulations on your appointment to the vacancy at the Rolling Stock Library. There is nothing whatsoever to stop these new DMUs being Class 173, 174, 176, 177.... need I go on?

Mark Sudbury   12/12/2017 at 13:07

He 'guarantees' it IJJ Brunel. Well, guarantees that they 'could' be.

Matt HB   12/12/2017 at 14:20

@Number Cruncher youre quite right, the £680m deal is for: CAF: 12 x 2 car DMUs 14 x 4 car DMUs Bombardier: 36 x 3 car EMUs 45 x 5 car EMUs Total = 413 cars = £1.65m per vehicle. A more reasonable figure.

Vivek   12/12/2017 at 16:11

How much does is cost India to manufacture the German LHB Stock...bearing in mind the factory has become much more professional in order to build the stock?

Richard   12/12/2017 at 16:21

Wonder if Abellio will get in the same financial mess with this as they have with their previous "successes", Scotrail and Anglia? Rash promises to gain more influence, even after their National Government (Netherlands) tells them to "reduce overseas activities"! They must be dreaming of fantastic profits? Well at least AJG can guarantee their new stock will have proper classifications, as if anybody is really interested?

Huguenot   12/12/2017 at 16:53

Wonder where the old stock will go? The Sprinters and Turbostars have plenty of life in them yet. There's probably no shortage of takers for the DMUs, but what about the EMUs, Classes 319 and 323? Without further electrification (e.g. the Welsh Valleys) will they end up on the scrapheap?

Andrew JG   12/12/2017 at 21:25

The Class 319's used on LNR including the Abbey Line would be transferred to Northern. And the Class 323's (both from WMR and Northern) could be cascaded to South Wales and could also operate on the Cardiff suburban routes. Once electrification is completed.

Mikeb   12/12/2017 at 22:45

@Hugenot. As far as I am concerned all 150 Sprinters should go to the nearest scrapdealers - horrible trains, nearly as bad as the Pacers.

David Winter   13/12/2017 at 03:58

Vivek. Before getting too excited about manufacture in India, ask Brisbane (Queensland) about Indian built trains.

Roger Capel, Sheffield & Glossop   13/12/2017 at 07:51

So Porterbrook decide to transfer all 17 Northern 323s from Longsight to Birmingham (Soho) because it saves them maintenance costs. Having peed off us Glossop line users (& our compatriots on Crewe & Stoke lines) we now have insult added to injury by being told they're set to be bounced from there not long after arrival. But then, Porterbrook's name in the north is mud anyway.

DP   13/12/2017 at 09:50

Mikeb - nearly as bad as the Pacers is still better than. I travelled from Newcastle to Carlisle on a Pacer with the old style bench seating a couple of weeks ago and I swear it was the worst train journey I’ve ever experienced. Uncomfortable “seats”, no heating, steamed up windows and screeching wheels for an hour and a half. It would have been a more pleasant journey on the back of a three legged camel and really makes you realise just how appalling local rail travel is in the north away from the main trunk lines. I’d have given my right leg for a 150.

David   13/12/2017 at 10:40

Roger, you're getting Class 331s as replacement. Not sure what the problem is?

Roger Capel, Sheffield & Glossop   13/12/2017 at 12:59

David, 331 is a totally unknown quantity. 323 set a whole new standard for the gradients on the remaining west third of the former Woodhead route. Its acceleration going UPHILL left us all very impressed the first time we left Broadbottom on one eastbound past the site of Mottram yard. OK, the seats aren't much to write home about but the ride is smooth & the braking as impressive as the acceleration. The occasional peak hour non-stop from Dinting to Guide Bridge was a great experience. There's also the little matter of what EMU bridges the gap. Back to a single motor coach - especially on wet rail???

Mikeb   13/12/2017 at 17:43

@DP. At least with a Pacer, you can see out of the window - wherever you sit.

Neville Hill   14/12/2017 at 15:10

Mikeb - I catch a Pacer every day (admittedly only for a short journey) and am bitterly disappointed if they send a 150 instead. Hardly any seats line up with a window, the 2+3 seating arrangement is cramped and the vestibules aren't big enough for rush hour standees. That's just the passenger experience though, I can't comment on technical reliability. DP - I actually prefer the Pacers with the 'bus seats' because the view is so good, a welcome contrast to the high-backed seating which makes modern trains seem so cramped to me. So there you go. Two good things about Pacers. I can't think of any more though...

David   15/12/2017 at 10:10

Roger, we at Network Rail have numbers and data. You don't think that the 331s won't be built to a similar specification, especially since the 333s are known to be quite rapid too.

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