Crossrail moves forward with major train and depot contract

The Crossrail project has reached a major milestone with the procurement process to purchase new trains got underway. The capital cost of new Crossrail rolling stock and depot facilities is in the region of £1bn.

New fleet of 60 trains will deliver Crossrail services, boost London’s rail capacity by ten per cent and deliver new journey opportunities and faster journey times.

Crossrail generic rolling stock image

To deliver Crossrail services to the 37 stations along the route, around 60 new trains will be required, bringing an additional 1.5 million people within a 45 minute commute of London’s key business and leisure districts.

Each train will be will be around 200 metres in length and able to carry up to 1,500 passengers.

Rob Holden, Crossrail Chief Executive, said: “With construction gathering pace it is now time to focus on the trains that will deliver the Crossrail service and transform the experience of commuters and rail users.

“Crossrail will be a high frequency metro system with up to 24 trains per hour between Paddington and Whitechapel during the peak. The rolling stock that will operate will need to be high capacity and accommodate the needs of passengers travelling from further afield as well as those joining and alighting in the central area. We aim to benefit from, and build upon, the existing capabilities of the rolling stock industry rather than requiring a wholly new concept or design.”

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said: “At a time of pressure on public spending, the Government has made a commitment to investing in more than 2,100 new carriages for Britain’s railways. Today procurement for around 600 of those carriages begins. They will help Crossrail boost rail capacity in London by 10 per cent and transform journeys across South East England. “The Government recognises how important it is to tackle overcrowding and improve reliability on the railways – Crossrail ticks both these boxes, and also has the potential to generate up to £50bn for the country’s GDP.”

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The importance of this project to London and the UK cannot be overstated. With the invitation now being made to companies to build our brand new trains and the Government throwing its full weight behind the project, all signals are showing green for Crossrail.”

To ensure value for money, Crossrail’s intention is that the new trains are based upon technology already developed by the worldwide rolling stock market for deployment on other railways. A revolutionary new train design is not required.

It is envisaged that new Crossrail rolling stock and depot facilities will be funded by private finance. Arrangement of finance will be required as part of supplier bids. The costs associated with the rolling stock and depot contract are planned to form part of the future cost of operation of Crossrail services.

The intention is for the operation of Crossrail services to be let as a concession by TfL London Rail, similar to the concession let by Transport for London for the London Overground.

Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, TfL London Rail, said: “The procurement of rolling stock will bring the Crossrail project to life for many Londoners and is a significant step forward. London needs additional transport capacity to relieve congestion on the existing Tube and National Rail networks and Crossrail will provide that much-needed boost. London Rail is looking forward to working with Crossrail to deliver the new rail service for London and the South East.”

Once complete, Crossrail will be the largest addition to the transport network in London and the South East for 50 years and will help an extra 1.5 million people to access London’s major employment centres.

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