Bombardier's Derby plant

Bombardier in fight for �1bn Crossrail project

Bombardier is up against Siemens, Hitachi and CAF to win a £1 billion contract for the London Crossrail project.

The Derby-based train-maker lost out to German company Siemens last year on a £1.4 billion contract for the Thameslink rail project. Bombardier, the last remaining train-maker in Britain, later announced it would be forced to axe 1,400 jobs after losing out on the contract.

The UK Government was heavily criticised when Bombardier lost out on the contract, prompting a review of the public procurement process.

Announcing the launch of the invitation to tender for the Crossrail project today, Transport Secretary Justine Greening said she was "keen to understand and communicate the benefit of this contract to the UK economy". She added that bidders would be asked to specify from where each element of the contract would be sourced and also "required to establish an appropriate local presence to manage the delivery of the contract".

Greening also said that, across the transport sector, the Government wanted "to improve dialogue with suppliers and increase the long-term visibility of forthcoming contracts in order to strengthen the capability of the UK supply chain".

"This is an important step in making Crossrail a reality for millions of passengers who will use it every week. Once these 60 trains are operational, they will carry an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of the heart of London, help the growth of the UK economy and create opportunities for new apprenticeships and jobs.

"A number of outcomes from the Government's review of public procurement have been reflected in this procurement, which could bring opportunities to UK businesses.

"This includes a 'responsible procurement' requirement that means bidders will need to set out how they will engage with the wider supply chain and provide opportunities for training, apprenticeships and for small and medium-size businesses within their procurement strategy," Greening said.

The Crossrail contract will be awarded in spring 2014. Crossrail, which will run from Maidenhead in Berkshire in the west to as far east as Shenfield in Essex, is due for completion in 2018. The contract will also include the building of a depot at Old Oak Common in west London. Each Crossrail train will be more than 600 yards long and be able to carry up to 1,500 passengers. They will be air-conditioned and have inter-connecting walk-through carriages.

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: "Procurement of the rolling stock and depot is crucial to the overall delivery of Crossrail, which will create a significant transformation of transport in London and south east England."

Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union, said: "We will be monitoring the Crossrail process closely for any repeat of the Thameslink fiasco.

"We expect engineering excellence and socio-economic factors to be top of the tendering criteria to give Bombardier a proper chance this time around, unlike the loaded Thameslink scandal."

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