Bombardier wins $296 million British trains deal

Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:50pm EST
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By Rhys Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - Bombardier (BBDb.TO: Quote), Britain's last remaining train builder, has been awarded a 189-million-pound ($296 million) contract to supply 130 carriages to UK rail operator Southern.

The deal should help ease the pain caused by Britain's decision earlier this year to award a key rail contract to Germany's Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE: Quote), leading incumbent Bombardier to cut hundreds of jobs at its plant in Derby, central England.

Shares in Canadian-owned Bombardier rose as much as 2 percent on a generally weaker Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday to C$3.94, a welcome lift for the stock, which is down about 23 percent this year.

Bombardier, whose British unit makes trains for use on the country's railways, will build 130 of its new Electrostar rail carriages for Southern, which runs services in south London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent, Britain's Department for Transport (DfT) said on Wednesday.

"This deal for more than 100 new carriages is great news for rail passengers and brilliant news for Bombardier and Derby," Transport Secretary Justine Greening said in a statement.

"It lands Bombardier with a crucial train order and I look forward to Bombardier workers in Derby being among the winners of this important deal."

The DfT is providing 80 million pounds towards the new deal, which will see new carriages enter service in December 2013.

"This is a significant project which emphasizes the performance of Bombardier's products in the UK," said Paul Roberts, president of Bombardier Transportation, Services UK.   Continued...