Images Courtesy: CAF
Yesterday, CAF signed contracts to manufacture two train fleets based on CAF’s CIVITY platform with the operator Arriva UK and the finance services company Eversholt Rail Group, which are meant to run in Northern England. The Department of Transport recently awarded Arriva the Northern rail franchise to operate rail services in this region.
These projects include the supply of 43 electric trains of 3 and 4 carriages and 55 diesel trains of 2 and 3 carriages (a total of 281 passenger carriages) for commuter/regional services with a top speed of 100 mph. In addition to the supply of rolling stock, these contracts also encompass technical and logistic support services for both fleets. The value of both contracts combined stands at €740m which is the largest ever secured by CAF in Europe to date and increases the backlog amount up to approximately €5,500m.
Following on the trail of the Caledonian rail project between London and Scotland last year, this is the second order for the British version of the CIVITY platform products. CIVITY trains were recently supplied in Italy and Montenegro, and units are currently being manufactured for the NS project in the Netherlands. This order is strategically instrumental for the Company given the potential of the British market, where several other franchises have plans to renovate their fleets in the forthcoming years.
Furthermore, these contracts are a first for the Company with the Deutsche Bahn group (German Railways), owner of the Arriva company, which is the brand used by the German group to offer their services in several markets. Importantly, the Deutsche Bahn group operates more trains than any other operator in Europe, and is one of the world leading companies in the railway industry.
In the last few years, CAF has succeeded in expanding the company’s operations in the United Kingdom with a broad range of vehicles and services. In the 90s, the company delivered trains for the Northern Spirit line and the Heathrow Express link between the airport and Paddington station in London. Recently, the company has developed projects for NIR (Northern Ireland Railways) comprising both rolling stock manufacturing and maintenance services, having also supplied trams for Edinburgh and Birmingham. Last year, CAF signed the above mentioned contract for the Caledonian Sleeper coaches for a total of circa €200m. These trains cover the route between London and Glasgow-Edinburgh and deliveries are expected in 2018.
Also worthy of note, CAF is currently taking part in several competitive tenders for various operators, and has already pre-qualified, as announced this week, for the London Underground tender. Additionally, the company is resolved to bid for the first stage of the HS2 high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham, which is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe in the next few years. This is proof of the company’s ambition of expanding operations in the United Kingdom in the very near future.