Hopes for UK jobs as Siemens quits its £1bn trains bid

Contract for 600 carriages could go to Bombardier of Derby

The UK’s last remaining train factory was given a boost yesterday when the German industrial giant Siemens pulled out of the race for a £1bn Crossrail contract.

Considered the favourite to win the contract to build 600 carriages for the railway, the withdrawal of Siemens raises the likelihood that the trains will be built at the Derby plant of Canadian-owned Bombardier.

Japan’s Hitachi and Spain’s CAF are the other bidders left in the process, and the former – which is building a factory in North Durham – has said it would put together the trains in the UK if successful.

Siemens said it was abandoning its bid because it had taken a number of other jobs since making its initial bid. “To pursue another project of this scale could impact our ability to deliver our current customer commitments – something we believe would not be a responsible course of action,” it said.

The withdrawal will come as a relief to the 1,600 employees at Bombardier’s Derby factory, with the company already having lost out to Siemens to a contract to provide trains for the Thameslink rail project.

The Department for Transport has come under attack for its decision to award the Thameslink contract to Siemens, which was confirmed last month, with critics saying the trains should be built in the UK and not Germany.

There has been considerable pressure for the decision not to be repeated with Crossrail. Last month Ken Usher, from the rail union RMT, said that if Bombardier did not win, “the future for Derby looks bleak, because there aren’t any major contracts coming up for a few years. We need that one to keep the business going.”

The RMT general secretary, Bob Crow, told the BBC: “This is basically Siemens running up the white flag and admitting that if the dice aren’t well and truly loaded in their favour, then they aren’t interested.”

“There is now no excuse for the Crossrail fleet not to be built in Britain, guaranteeing the future of train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world.”

Siemens said the decision to pull out of the race was purely “strategic”, adding that the Crossrail bid team “have conducted a fair and diligent process”.

Although the competition on pricing will be less with the number of bidders falling, Crossrail said it remained a “strong field”.

The project, which will cost £15bn, will connect east and west London, and run from Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex.

The tendering was originally scheduled for late 2013, but in 2011 Crossrail said it would push back the award to 2014 to try to save money. The remaining companies in contention are due to submit their bids next month.

The Government changed its procurement rules after the Thameslink row and now has to consider UK jobs.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sale...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer (Trainee) - City, London

£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Assistant - Financial Services Sector - London

£20400 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and highly reputable organisat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future