DfT confirms $2.4 billion train order with Siemens

LONDON Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:18pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - The Department for Transport (DfT) on Thursday confirmed it had awarded Germany's Siemens a $2.4 billion (1.5 billion pounds) contract to build 1,140 new carriages for use on the Thameslink rail line.

The trains, due to be introduced from 2016, will be used on the Thameslink commuter route that runs through London and connects Bedford with Brighton on the south coast of England.

It is confirmation of a decision made in 2011 to name the German industrial conglomerate as the preferred bidder.

The award was a blow to Bombardier, the train maker based in Derby, central England, which was shortlisted for the contract.

The decision to award the deal to Siemens has been widely criticised by UK unions who say Bombardier should have been given the contract to protect jobs in Derby and numerous local suppliers.

Siemens said the trains would be built in Germany but that many of the components for the new trains would be manufactured in Britain.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones, Editing by Brenda Goh)

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