Bombardier wins £106m work to maintain West Coast trains

Marion Dakers
CANADIAN train-maker Bombardier has won a £106m contract to maintain Virgin Trains’ Super Voyager fleet on the West Coast Main Line until March 2016.

Bombardier will maintain the trains at its Staffordshire depot. The contract extension is a boon for its UK staff, after the firm last year lost its bid for train work on the Thameslink project.

Virgin last week won a short-term extension to its West Coast Main Line franchise, and has the right to run the route until November 2014 while new bids are submitted.

The Department for Transport scrapped a decision to award the route to FirstGroup in October and pledged to rerun the contest in light of “serious flaws” in its franchising process.

Trains on UK franchised routes are typically operated by the franchisee, but owned by other companies and leased back.

“Winning this contract allows us to continue our strong relationship with Virgin, which has been in place since 1998,” said Bombardier Transportation’s UK representative Paul Roberts.

“It demonstrates Virgin’s trust in Bombardier to continue delivering an excellent and cost-effective service.”