CAF has been selected by West Midlands Trains Ltd, a joint venture of Abellio, Japan East Railway Company, and Mitsui & Co Ltd, for the manufacture, supply and maintenance of new trains for the recently awarded West Midlands franchise. This win forms part of a near £1bn investment into the franchise which will roll out over the coming years.
This circa €200m order is for the manufacture and supply of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), consisting of 12 x 2 car trains and 14 x 4 car trains to support replacement of the existing fleet and the expected growth of passenger journeys to the towns and cities around Birmingham.
The new trains will provide passengers with a much improved travelling environment, with air conditioning, free WiFi and in-seat power sockets provided as standard.
Richard Garner, CAF’s Business Development Director for UK and Ireland said:
“This is fantastic news and builds upon recent success in securing contracts to supply new trains for the Northern and TransPennine franchises. This opportunity consolidates CAF’s position as one of the leading manufacturers of trains in the UK market and is a fabulous achievement in CAF’s centenary year”
Financing of the new trains is being led by Infracapital and Deutsche Asset Management. The trains will be leased to the new West Midlands rail franchise, as is standard practice.
Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport said:
“We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century. West Midlands passengers will see longer, more frequent trains, faster journeys and a more reliable service for passengers. This is part of a huge investment happening up and down the country and will make a real difference to passengers. This investment reflects our commitment, and that of train operators, to put passengers at the heart of everything we do.”
Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK said:
“We are delighted to award this work to CAF, which means we are now overseeing £3bn of investment into 1700 new carriages across all our franchises. It is great news that so many of these trains will be produced in the UK. As a company, we are committed to working with the government to strengthen the British economy and deliver thousands of high-quality jobs over the coming years.”