BR orders its last 41 trains

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The Independent Online
BRITISH RAIL's last order for new rolling stock will be 41 new sets of Networker trains for commuters in the South-east, the board announced yesterday, writes Christian Wolmar.

The trains, costing pounds 150m, are being obtained as a result of a leasing deal announced last autumn. The advantage for the Government compared with conventional purchases is that only the annual leasing payments on the 12- year deal will count against its borrowing requirement.

BR has chosen to allocate the money to Network SouthEast rather than InterCity which had been hoping for new stock on the London-to- Glasgow West Coast line, but that deal had to be dropped because not enough trains could be bought for pounds 150m.

ABB, which will make the trains, said without the order the works in York would almost certainly have had to close, with the loss of 1,000 jobs. BR said about 125,000 London commuters would benefit.