London Underground issues invitation to tender for the design and build of a new generation of deep level trains
The lucrative order for a new generation of 250 walk-through, air-cooled trains for London’s deep-level underground lines has come a step closer. London Underground has issues an invitation to tender for the design and build of rolling stock that will operate on the Piccadilly, Waterloo & City, Bakerloo and Central, as part of an improvement scheme known as the New Tube for London.

Five pre-qualified manufacturers – Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi and Siemens – are now proceeding to the next stage of the formal procurement process. The trains will come into service from the early 2020s.

The rolling stock is expected to boost capacity by 60% on the Piccadilly line, by 35% on the Waterloo & City line, 25% on the Bakerloo line and by 25% on the Central line, and will be the first air-cooled trains on the deep-level sections of the Tube. Future-proofed to include the capability for fully automatic operation, they will boast improved accessibility and safety features including walk-through carriages and wider doors.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “Over the last few years we have seen the completion of several major signalling upgrades on the Tube, as well as the delivery of 191 brand new air-conditioned walk-through trains. I am delighted that we are now able to launch the process to commission a fleet of new deep-level Tube trains that will transform journeys for the millions of passengers who use our Piccadilly, Waterloo & City, Bakerloo and Central lines.”

Proposals are due to be submitted to LU this summer and the contract to build the new trains will be awarded in autumn 2017.

Spanish manufacturer CAF is to supply new rolling stock to new Northern rail franchise
Contracts have been signed between Arriva Rail North, leasing company Eversholt Rail and Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF, to supply 281 new vehicles for the next Northern rail franchise.

The £490m order comprises 31 three car and 12 four car Electric Multiple Units and 25 two car and 30 three car Diesel Multiple Units, based on CAF’s Civity platform. All vehicles are scheduled to enter service by December 2018, and will run on commuter and regional services on the new Northern franchise. The contracts also include technical and logistic support services for both fleets. The new rolling stock will replace the outdated and unpopular Pacer trains.

Financed by Eversholt Rail Group, this is the largest order secured by CAF in Europe to date, and is the second order for the British version of the CIVITY. The first order was trialled on the Caledonian Sleeper service between London and Scotland last year.

Chris Burchell, managing director of Arriva’s UK trains division, said: “We are delighted to partner with CAF and Eversholt Rail to meet the high specification and demanding timetable for delivery of the new rolling stock.”

Shortlist of bidders for the manufacture of Merseyrail’s new trains is published
Merseyrail has announced the shortlist of bidders for the next stage of the procurement process for a new fleet of trains.

The five shortlisted bidders are:

  • Bombardier _ with headquarters in Canada and a British base in Derby, it is currently supplying the new fleet for Crossrail
  • CAF _ currently providing the new coaches for the Caledonian sleeper service
  • Mitsui _ teamed up with J-Trec and Alstom. UK projects include the Virgin Pendolinos
  • Siemens _ currently building the new Thameslink fleet
  • Stadler _ Swiss company that has provided trams for Croydon Tramlink.

The current fleet is approaching 40 years old, and amongst the oldest in the UK. New trains carrying more people with shorter journey times will help meet growing demand on the network, parts of which are already close to capacity at peak times.

The project is likely to cost around £400m and will include major infrastructure improvements at stations and depots, as well as major reinforcement of the power supply to the network.

Bids are due back by the end of April, and a preferred bidder is expected to the network.

Bids are due back by the end of April, and a preferred bidder is expected to be identified towards the end of 2016.

c2c lengthens peak evening trains ahead of delivery of new rolling stock
Ahead of delivery of 68 new trains, which begin arriving in 2019, National Express train operator c2c, has introduced changes to peak evening journeys on its Shoeburyness to Fenchurch street services to increase capacity for commuters.

Trains have been lengthened from 8 to 12 carriages on selected peak services between Shoeburyness and Fenchurch Street.

Some peak time services between Fenchurch Street and Leigh-on-Sea, Fenchurch Street to Grays and Fenchurch Street to Southend Central have also been increased from 4 to 8 carriages.

Meanwhile, c2c has reached agreement in principle with another train operator to lease additional carriages to provide further extra capacity at peak times. Subject to final contractual agreement and regulatory approval, these carriages are expected to be in service from late spring and will continue operating until the new trains begin arriving in 2019.