UK: Bombardier Transportation and CAF have been selected to supply rolling stock for the next West Midlands franchise, the West Midlands Trains Ltd consortium of Abellio, East Japan Railway and Mitsui & Co announced on October 17.

Totalling 413 vehicles, the orders are worth £680m, with financing being led by Infracapital and Deutsche Asset Management.

Bombardier Transportation’s Derby plant to supply three types of Aventra 25 kV 50 Hz electric multiple-unit. There will be 36 three-car high-capacity ‘metro’ units with a maximum speed of 145 km/h for use on Cross-City inner suburban services in Birmingham from 2020. There will also be 29 five-car units with a maximum speed of 175 km/h for deployment on outer suburban services from London and Birmingham from 2021, and 16 five-car 175 km/h units for use on longer distance services on the London – Birmingham route from 2021.

‘Being selected for this important order is another huge endorsement of our workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer and manufacture here in the UK’, said Richard Hunter, UK Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation. ‘Our modern Aventra trains will be built in the Midlands for the Midlands, and provide passengers with greater connectivity, reliability and shorter journey times.’

CAF is to supply 12 two-car and 14 four-car diesel multiple-units for regional and rural services around Birmingham from 2020. The manufacturer was unable to confirm where they would be produced.

Winning the order ‘builds upon recent success in securing contracts to supply new trains for the Northern and TransPennine franchises’, said Richard Garner, CAF Business Development Director for UK & Ireland. ‘This opportunity consolidates CAF’s position as one of the leading manufacturers of trains in the UK market’.

West Midlands Trains Ltd was selected in August as the winner of the next West Midlands franchise, which runs from December 10 2017 until March 2026. Abellio said the new trains would be essential to provide the increased capacity and improved journey times required under the contract, with the number of vehicles expected to increase by 25% during the life of the franchise. They will be fitted with free wi-fi, air-conditioning and at-seat power sockets.