Steve Scrimshaw, managing director for Siemens’ rolling stock business in the UK, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Procurement Programme and we look forward to working with the Department for Transport to bring the programme to successful fruition. Siemens has participated in a rigorous tender process for over two years. Our selection as preferred bidder is a significant achievement not only for the rolling stock teams both in the UK and Germany but for Siemens overall. The announcement today is a credit to the hard work and dedication of those involved.”
The Siemens-led venture was selected against strict evaluation criteria with focus on deliverability, affordability and value for money. The Thameslink Rolling Stock Programme covers the delivery, maintenance and financing of around 1,200 vehicles and the construction and financing of two depots.
Scrimshaw continues: “Siemens proposals provide a highly reliable and deliverable rolling stock solution that achieves ‘best in class’ service and environmental performance on high density routes whilst minimising whole life, whole railway costs. The new and highly innovative Desiro City Train, designed specifically for the UK commuter market, will deliver significantly better reliability and energy efficiency, as well as vastly improved passenger access and comfort. We believe that the Desiro City train will transform the travelling experience of thousands of commuters in the UK. We are very pleased to have the chance to do so.”
Siemens envisages that as a direct result of the Thameslink Rolling Stock procurement project it will create up to 2,000 new jobs. Up to 600 highly skilled roles involved in the manufacture of train components will be created, including up to 300 at a Siemens’ factory in Hebburn, South Tyneside.
The remainder will be created within Siemens supply chain across the UK. These new jobs have the potential not only to leave a lasting and sustainable skills base in the UK supply chain, but should also assist in creating a critical mass to allow such businesses to compete on the world stage for projects of a similar nature. The remaining positions will be created in the construction and service industry involved in building the two new train maintenance depots and the ongoing maintenance of the fleet.
A dedicated Siemens team will now work closely with funders and the Department for Transport for several months to reach financial closure and conclusion of the multi billion pound contract, which will be the largest order in the commuter and regional market ever awarded to Siemens plc and the first for the Desiro City Platform.
Siemens has been present in the UK for 168 years and is now a major UK-wide employer, with around 16,000 UK employees, with 50% involved in UK manufacturing and engineering. In addition, 650 UK employees are involved in the service and maintenance of rolling stock. Siemens currently has 13 manufacturing sites in the UK, and is in the process of building a new factory in Hull which will manufacture wind turbines creating around 700 new jobs. In addition, Siemens announced in June that it would be establishing a new Renewable Energy Engineering Centre in Manchester opening in 2012, creating up to 340 new highly skilled electrical engineering jobs.
In a separate development, in response to the significant professional skills shortages predicted in the UK transportation industry, Siemens has committed to establishing a UK Rail Training Academy which will aim to support the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering as part of the National Skills Academy scheme.