Bombardier has been awarded a three-year maintenance contract with ScotRail worth more than £15 million. This couldn’t have come at a better time for the manufacturer, which is due to let go about 1,000 workers after it lost billions for a government contract to German firm Siemens. In this new deal, ScotRail says that Bombardier will cover operational support and supplies for its fleet of 177 Class 170 Turbostar vehicles.
ScotRail engineering director Kenny Scott says that the deal underlines their continued investment in trains in order to meet rising demand for rail transport. They welcome the extension of their contract with Bombardier. The maintenance of its Turbostar fleet, he added, is a key measure in the company’s drive to persuade people to use public transport over personal vehicles. Ian Grindlay, the procurement and supplier management director for FirstGroup, the parent company of ScotRail, says that they are pleased to award this contract to Bombardier and continue their strategic relationship. This will provide a continuous supply and improved reliability for travellers.
Bombardier Transportation commercial director Des McKeon says that this contract is a huge victory for the company as it maintains its involvement in the maintenance of the Turbostar fleet at ScotRail. This is also significant as the firm builds the diverse portfolio it has with FirstGroup, one of their key strategic customers.
Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown says that an efficient rail network is key to the government’s purpose of raising sustainable economic growth. Their aim is to develop rail services focused on passengers, and fleet maintenance is an essential part of ensuring customers have a positive experience during their journeys between the nation’s key cities. This contract between Bombardier and ScotRail will help drive standards up for passengers, as well as benefit the country by supporting jobs.
The announcement of the agreement was made as Transport Minister Theresa Villiers visited the Derby-based facility to meet management and union officials, who are still campaigning for the controversial Thameslink contract decision to be reversed. Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Bob Crow says that the scandalous betrayal to Bombardier has been dragged out for months. They understand that Siemens’s bid for Thameslink is weighed down in the global economic crisis. This gives the government and Villiers a valuable opportunity to call an end to the fix and award Bombardier with the work, which would save thousands of jobs. That’s what their members will demand in the meeting with the minister, he added.
However, Villiers said during the meeting that re-tendering the Thameslink contract isn’t an option, as the rail investment programme would be delayed for several years. This would be too expensive for taxpayers and could risk action in court. An economic taskforce has been set up to help people affected by the job losses at Bombardier, she added.
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