UK: Crossrail Ltd announced on March 30 that it had shortlisted Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi and Siemens for the contract to supply rolling stock and depot facilities for the new east-west route across London. ‘Work continues to finalise our detailed requirements for the new trains and we expect that shortlisted companies will be invited to submit bids in late 2011 with a view to awarding a contract in late 2013’, said Crossrail Ltd Chief Executive Rob Holden.

It is expected that around 60 EMUs, to be designated Class 345, will be required for Crossrail. Each trainset will be around 200 m in length and able to carry up to 1 500 passengers, offering high capacity ‘to meet the needs of passengers joining and alighting in the central section while also accommodating those travelling from further afield’. Crossrail services will run for 118 km from Shenfield and Abbey Wood east of London to Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport in the west, calling at a total of 37 stations.

‘To ensure value for money’, Crossrail Ltd intends that the new fleet will be ‘based upon technology already developed by the worldwide rolling stock market for deployment on other railways’. The project promoter specifically states that ‘a revolutionary new train design is not required’.

Capital cost of the new fleet and depot facilities will be in the region of £1bn. ‘Arrangement of finance will be required as part of supplier bids’, says Crossrail Ltd.