Another step towards new
Merseyrail trains as bidder shortlist announced
THE shortlist of bidders that will
go through to the next stage of procurement for new Merseyrail trains was announced Monday, 11 January
The initial tender process, launched in October 2015, saw bidders assessed
in areas such as their capacity to deliver the work, their expertise and
track record. The next stage of the process will see them make submissions
specific to details of the Merseyrail project.
The 5 shortlisted bidders are (in alphabetical order):-
► Bombardier - With headquarters in Canada and a British base in
Derby, they have been a leading provider in the UK market for many years and
are currently supplying the new fleet for Crossrail
► CAF - A Spanish company who have been active in the UK market since
the introduction of the Heathrow Express fleet. They are currently providing
the new coaches for the Caledonian sleeper service.
► Mitsui - A major Japanese company who have teamed up with J-Trec, a
Japanese train builder and France's Alstom. This team's UK work projects
includes the Virgin Pendolinos.
► Siemens - A German company, they have provided numerous fleets in
the UK and have built up a sizeable British presence. They are currently
building the new Thameslink fleet.
► Stadler: - Based in Switzerland, they have provided trams for Croydon
Said Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel:- "We are extremely
pleased that our project has attracted the interest of leading names in the
All of our 5 candidates have extensive experience of providing trains,
maintenance services and depots. They all have a strong international
pedigree as well as a good track record here in the UK.
This announcement marks an important next step in the project; keeping up
the momentum and moving another step forward towards new trains on the
Now we want the bidders to use their expertise to help shape our vision,
demonstrating innovation and a real understanding of the importance of the
network to the Liverpool City Region.
A new fleet, and the associated works, is essential for providing services
that people and business can rely on, as well as being a stimulus for
further economic growth.
As part of the process we'll be interested in how the bidders may be able to
tap into the local labour market and make the most of UK based
The tender documents are due to be released on 22 January 2016, with bids due back
by the end of April 2016.
It is expected that a preferred bidder will be identified towards the end of
2016 and it will be at this point that City Region, along with the rest of
Merseyside, leaders, through the
Combined Authority, will be asked to commit to the project going ahead.
New trains by the early 2020's are considered the best option in meeting
growing demand on the network and in supporting the City Region's economic
ambitions, while also presenting the best value for the public purse.
It follows the development of a detailed business case over many months
which looked at all options from refurbished stock to new stock now or in
The current fleet is approaching 40 years old, is amongst the oldest in the
UK and is close to the end of its operational life. While still achieving
high levels of performance and customer satisfaction, it is recognised that
this will prove increasingly challenging and costly as the existing fleet
In addition, new trains that can carry more people and with shorter journey
times will help meet growing demand on the network, of which parts are
already close to capacity at peak times.
Demand is increasing by 2.5% each year,
with an overall 40% increase in passenger numbers expected by 2028. Some
parts of the Merseyrail network are predicted to be way over capacity; 160% filled, by 2043.
A new set of trains is also considered the best option to support the
delivery of the City Region's Long Term Rail Strategy (LTRS) by providing a
fleet that could carry significantly more passengers and run on a
potentially extended network within the next 30 years to places such as
Warrington and Crewe.
The faster journey times and increased capacity would present a significant
economic boost to the City Region, worth an estimated £70m per year and
would stimulate the creation of around 1,000 jobs.
The project is likely to cost around £400m and will include major
infrastructure improvements at stations and depots, as well as major
reinforcement of the power supply to the network.
The plans have been developed to ensure that there will be no additional
costs to local Tax Payers, with costs recovered over the operational life of
the new trains by leasing them to the commercial operator responsible for
the Merseyrail network, currently Merseyrail Electrics. Merseytravel's
initial investment will use a variety of funding mechanisms, including a
rail reserve already established for this purpose.