Hopes that the contract to build trains for the Crossrail project will remain in Britain have been given a boost after French train manufacturer Alstom pulls out of the bidding process. Derby-based Bombardier is now one of the four remaining companies which will be asked by the government to bid to supply carriages for the £16 billion project.
The scheme will see west London connected to the east via a rail link which runs from Heathrow to Canary Wharf. The rival bidders for the contract to build the trains are Siemens, Hitachi of Japan and CAF of Spain. Industry experts still believe that the German train builder is the frontrunner as the rolling stock required will be very similar to that being provided for the Thameslink project by Siemens.
The government is currently reviewing the process by which contracts are awarded for such projects after it was condemned for giving the Thameslink project to Germany rather than Derby-based Bombardier. The manufacturer has said that the project could have saved British jobs and that it will now have to axe around half of its workforce.
The Department for Transport has said that it will not review the Thameslink contract in favour of Bombardier as it would cause legal problems as well as delay the completion of the project.
Shadow transport secretary, Maria Eagle, said that if the government was capable of reviewing the tender process for Crossrail then it should be able to reassess the Thameslink project in favour of a British based manufacturer.