Crossrail delays train procurement pending buying review

30 August 2011

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30 August 2011 | Angeline Albert

Crossrail has postponed a tender for 60 new trains to save money and wait for the outcome of a government review into procurement.

The company, a subsidiary of Transport forLondon, said it would achieve “significant savings running into the tens of millions”, by waiting until 2012 to issue the tender documents, rather than publishing the notice this year. This means the contract will now not be awarded until 2014, as opposed to 2013 as previously planned.

Crossrail is a new rail link that will run from both Maidenhead and Heathrow airport in the west, through central London, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The line is set to open in 2018. The capital cost of new vehicles and depot is around £1 billion.

The savings will be achieved as the company will take delivery of the first trains a year later than scheduled.

“As a consequence of the shorter delivery timescales, contract award is not required until 2014 and therefore the issuing of tender documents can be deferred by allowing the conclusions of the government’s review of public procurement to be taken into account,” said a Crossrail statement.

The Department for Business Innovation andSkills is looking into public purchasing as part of its wider growth review. The study will examine whether the UK is making best use of the application of EU procurement rules, and the degree to which the government can set out requirements and evaluation criteria to support UK businesses.

The government repeated its intention to look into how it can support UK business through procurement in July, following the award of a deal for new trains for the Thameslink project to German firm Siemens.

Crossrail has confirmed Bombardier Transportation (UK), Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, Hitachi Rail Europe and Siemens will be invited to tender for the rolling stock and depot facilities contract.

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