Crossrail train bids put back as Alstom pulls out

THE awarding of a contract to supply trains for the £15bn Crossrail project has been pushed back – raising hopes that a UK-based firm can seal the deal.

The Crossrail scheme to build a new railway link under central London said it had deferred the tendering for 60 new carriages from late 2013 to 2014 .

The move means that a decision will not be made until a government review of public procurement has been completed. That review is aimed at ensuring that UK based companies are better placed to win contracts against European rivals.

It was announced in the wake of a controversial decision in June to award a consortium led by Germany’s Siemens a £1.4bn contract to build 1,200 Thameslink train carriages, triggering 1,500 job losses at the Derby-based plant of rival Bombardier.

Bombardier, Siemens, Spain’s CAF and Japan’s Hitachi are competing for the Crossrail contract but it was yesterday announced that France’s Alstom had pulled out of the race.

Crossrail’s programme director Andy Mitchell said: “Crossrail had identified that significant operational cost savings, running into tens of millions, can be realised for taxpayers by introducing rolling stock to the rail network over a shorter period of time.”