Back On Track: £189m Order For Bombardier
The British-based train manufacturer Bombardier has won a new £189m contract - just six months after losing out to a German rival for a Thameslink contract.
From its factory in Derby, Bombardier will supply 130 rail carriages for use on Southern's routes in London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
Southern's managing director Chris Burchell said Bombardier had triumphed in a competitive bidding process as its offer was affordable, compatible with existing trains and promised delivery within a tight time schedule.
The new order follows an eventful year for the last train manufacturer operating in Britain.
In July the firm announced 1,400 job losses after the Department for Transport picked Siemens rather than Bombardier to build a new fleet of trains for the Thameslink service.
The ensuing row prompted the Government to order a report into the process of rail procurement.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening welcomed the new order, saying it was "brilliant news for Bombardier and Derby".
She added: "This deal, helped along by my department, shows my determination to invest in Britain's railways: our support for Southern will boost capacity while helping British jobs."
However, union leaders who criticised the Department for Transport during the Siemens-Bombardier battle said they still want to see proof of the Government's long-term commitment to British engineering.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: "The Southern carriages order is both welcome and deserved and shows that Bombardier in Derby is geared up to deliver top-quality engineering.
"However, the award of this contract does not let the Government off the hook on either the unsigned Thameslink contract or the looming (cross-London project) Crossrail deal.
"That's the work we need to secure the long-term future of train building in the UK."