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Thameslink cascade contract awarded to Bombardier

Bombardier has been awarded a £180m contract to supply 116 new trains for Thameslink’s rolling stock cascade.

Southern announced that the trains would facilitate the release of existing trains to newly electrified routes from 2015. The contract includes the provision of an extra 140 vehicles, which could bring the total value up to £385m.

Southern managing director, Chris Burchell said: “We have worked extremely hard to be an effective delivery partner to the Department and we are very pleased to have reached this important milestone in the procurement of new rolling stock. This will provide essential capacity to allow our industry to grow.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Increasing the number of trains on the network not only benefits passengers but everyone, as the railways are an important engine for economic growth in our country.

“The Government has worked closely with Southern to enable this critical stage of the project to be reached and I look forward to these trains being delivered onto the network.”

(Library image shows Bombardier’s Derby facility, copyright Rue Vieira / PA Wire)

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Ricp   22/07/2013 at 10:53

Uckfield to Lewes is a relatively simple project, whereby the restoration of two routes into Lewes is ultimately possible. Initially the newly restored route would join the existing formation just north-west of Lewes. This is a relatively simple project, and this would help capacity by transferring Eastbourne, Newhaven or the section east of Hampden Park towards Hastings. Over the 2-hour peak window 12 trains run to and from London from either Victoria or London Bridge, and the potential capacity is 12 x 10 or 12 car trains. East Grinstead could be be served by detaching a 4 or 5-car set at Hurst Green. An 8-car set could be split again at Lewes or Eastbourne. There are many possibilities, the most important thing being that there is no loss of service on the Brighton Main Line. While some trains would provide additional capacity, such as 10-12-car trains replacing 4-6 or 8-car trains on the Uckfield line. The main issue is the Campaign for BML2, wher the existin service could be diverted North of Selsdon over the Tramlink route towards Elmers End and Lewisham. This is an interesting sideshow, but it is unlikely to bear fruit, as there are too many 'things in the way', Croydon Tramlink and the Hayes branch Time to get the priorities right. Restore double track an electrify the line throughout at 750Vdc. This can be undertaken using the high conductivity conductor, now the current standard on the Underground. Uckfield will have to be electrified as Southern is looking to run 10-car trains, and the Class 171 DMUs do not meet current emission levels. However they can be released for use elsewhere. 6x 377/6 series units would cover the basics. Meanwhile Network Rail completes its analysis of the two possible routes from Uckfield into Lewes. Both projects could be completed by the end of 2016! Meanwhile the more complex project, approaching Lewes from the east but without the cost of an expensive tunnel. If the various parties would campaign for phasing these works this, this scheme can be completed by the end of CP5, ie the spring 2019. The extension of all London to Uckfield onwards towards Lewes, the East Sussex branches and Coastway route to Hastings would be a start. The best option for operating into Brighton could then be worked up in the GRIP process by NR. The simple message is get started, stop arguing over a/c or d/c 3rd rail, get Uckfield electrified, and at least get to Lewes as soon as possible.

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