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August 31 2016
The British rail industry has received a boost with the announcement that Canada-based Bombardier has won an order to build 660 railway cars. The contract win will secure 1,000 jobs at the company’s UK facility in Derby.
Focused on the development of the East Anglia rail network, the government’s Department for Transport has announced the contract was awarded to Bombardier by the current railway operator Abellio. The new contact is part of a larger £1.4-billion effort to improve all rail service in the region, and has been called the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era.
“This is part of our plan to make an economy that works for everyone – not just the privileged few – by ensuring prosperity is spread throughout the country,” stated British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in speaking about the deal .
He is confident that the decision to award the work to Bombardier will ensure the market for rail industry jobs in Derby. It is the country’s only active rail manufacturing facility, and was acquired by Bombardier 15 years ago.
“We’re delighted to be chosen, pending final contract signing, as the preferred supplier for new trains for the East Anglia franchise,” said Des McKeon, the company’s UK commercial director. We look forward to working with our customer, Abellio UK, to support them in transforming rail services throughout the region.”
Abellio has the contract to operate the East Anglia rail franchise until 2025. Part of a larger Dutch state rail company, Abellio UK won the new deal over FirstGroup and National Express.
The Derby facility had been at risk after a failed bid for the Thameslink network in London in 2011. As a result, 1,200 railway jobs were shed at the time. Business perked up when the company won a £1 billion contract to lead the new Crossrail project in the capital. The company recently unveiled its newest trains for the Metro project.
Rail union leader Tony Murphy said the deal was great news for the industry.
“At this time of economic challenges, as ministers wrestle with what exactly Brexit means, the fact that 1,000 highly skilled jobs have been safeguarded is to be applauded,” Murphy said.
For more information on jobs in the rail sector, visit the railway recruitment page .