Bombardier handed £188m Southern contract

Workers said they hoped the deal would help to keep Bombardier in Derby

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Derby trainmaker Bombardier has been awarded a £188m contract.

The deal, to build 130 carriages for rail company Southern, was part-funded with an £80m government subsidy.

The Department for Transport had been criticised for choosing German rival Siemens over Bombardier as preferred bidder for the £1.4bn Thameslink rail contract.

It is hoped the new contract will help secure the Canadian-owned company's future in Derby.

Bombardier announced 1,400 job cuts after losing out on the Thameslink deal in June.

'Crucial order'

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

"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.

"This deal, helped along by my department, shows my determination to invest in Britain's railways."

Paul Roberts, from Bombardier, said: "We are delighted to be awarded this contract by Southern.

"This is a significant project which emphasises the performance of Bombardier's products in the UK.

"The new trains will be manufactured in the UK, with initial production commencing in the latter half of 2012."

The firm did not say what impact the deal would have on jobs.

'Looming deal'

Bob Crow, general secretary of rail union RMT, said: "The Southern carriages order is both welcome and deserved and shows that Bombardier in Derby is geared up to deliver top-quality engineering.

"However the award of this contract does not let the government off the hook on either the unsigned Thameslink contract or the looming Crossrail deal.

"That's the work we need to secure the long-term future of train building in the UK."

Southern runs services in south London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

The new carriages will go into service from December 2013.

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