ON APRIL 4 the Metronet consortium of WS Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, Seeboard and Thames Water achieved financial close on its two contracts for the London Underground Public-Private Partnership. Over the following weekend, 2585 LU staff at Infraco BCV and 2510 at Infraco SSL transferred to the private sector firms Metronet Rail BCV Ltd and Metronet Rail SSL Ltd.

The consortium plans to invest £7bn in the first 71/2 year contract review period, and a total of £17bn over the 30-year BCV and SSL contracts. Each of the Metronet shareholders has provided £70m in equity, with a further £1bn raised in loans, £1bn in bonds and a £600m loan from the European Investment Bank. In addition to contracting work, the shareholders expect to earn a return of 14% to 18%.

Bombardier has been awarded contracts worth £3·4bn over 15 years, and has subcontracted signalling work valued at £850m to Westinghouse Rail Systems. Balfour Beatty will be executing trackwork contracts worth £500m over 71/2 years. A £2bn package of station and civil engineering work for the first 71/2 years will be handled by Trans4m Ltd, formed equally by WS Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Seeboard and Thames Water to act as managing contractor.

Bombardier will deliver 1738 new cars over 15 years. Series deliveries of 47 eight-car trains for the Victoria line are scheduled for 2009-11. The company’s Ilford works is to start work this year on refurbishing the District line fleet of 75 six-car trains by the end of 2008. Delivery of 72 eight-car sets for the Metropolitan line starts in 2009, followed by 40 six-car sets for the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines in 2012-13 and 78 seven-car trains for the District in 2013-15. Beyond these confirmed orders, Metronet plans to introduce 42 new seven-car trains on the Bakerloo line by 2019.