Bombardier’s recent Southern deal brings hope for Derby jobs

UK manufacturing industry has received a welcome year-end boost after UK’s last remaining train-making facility providers, Derby train-maker Bombardier won a £188 million order to supply carriages to rail operator Southern.

Bombardier came out successfully in a bid and awarded the contract to supply 130 Electrostar train carriages to the Southern train company, bringing hope of a reprieve for more than 1,000 employees in Derby who are facing possible termination.

Earlier this year, Bombardier had lost the Thameslink train contract valuing £1.4 billion to Siemens of Germany. This had prompted Bombardier to review Derby facility’s future and warn half of its 3,000 local employees for a probable unemployment.

Now the recent success has also brought a hope that Bombardier could win two more upcoming UK rail contracts. Bombardier has shown its delight over the Southern deal, while Transport Secretary, Justine Greening has said that the contract proved to be a good news for rail passengers and “brilliant news for Derby and Bombardier”.

The Government is providing £80 million for the Southern deal from money made available following Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.

Southern runs its services in south London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent. According to the plan, Bombardier will start producing the trains in the second half of 2012 and hoped well that they will be in service by December 2013.

There was also criticism of the decision by the House of Commons Transport Committee which called for an independent review of the process.

General Secretary of the RMT transport union, Bob Crow has stated: “The Southern carriages order is both welcome and deserved and shows that Bombardier in Derby is geared up to deliver top-quality engineering.”

Co-chair of the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party committee on transport, Julian Huppert has said that this new deal was very crucial to Derby and improved the confidence in UK manufacturing.

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