Bombardier Transportation was awarded a contract by FirstGroup and MTR for 750 BOMBARDIER AVENTRA vehicles that will be used on the South Western franchise in the UK. The contract, valued at US$1.1 billion, includes the maintenance of the vehicles for operation.
FirstGroup and MTR will take over the South Western franchise on August 20, 2017. Bombardier will execute a Technical Services and Spares Supply Agreement for the duration of the seven year franchise, with an option to extend for 11 periods with the existing franchise extension option.
The AVENTRA electric multiple unit features regenerative braking, open gangways between carriages, air conditioning, WiFi, 2 + 2 seating, USB sockets at seat locations, and universal toilets. The units will be supplied in both 5-car and 10-car configurations.
"We have exciting plans for the South Western rail franchise and these new trains are an important step on the way to delivering an improved journey experience for our passengers,” said Steve Montgomery, First Rail managing director. “We know from listening to passengers and stakeholders that alongside improved performance, what they want to see is additional seats and we will deliver this via these state-of-the-art trains."
“We are thrilled to have won this important contract,” remarked Richard Hunter, UK managing director, Bombardier Transportation. “It demonstrates further confidence placed in this market leading rolling stock, designed and built in Britain. AVENTRA offers enhanced performance and increased passenger capacity, which will play an important part in helping First/MTR satisfy continued levels of passenger growth on the South Western network.”
“The contract builds upon our strong credentials, following the selection of AVENTRA for Crossrail and LOTRAIN in London, as well as for the East Anglia franchise,” added Hunter. “We look forward to deepening our collaborative relationship with First/MTR.”
The new trains will operate on the Windsor, Reading and West London suburban routes beginning in mid-2019. All trains will be in place by December 2020.