UK train makers miss £1.5bn deal as Stagecoach opts for Siemens

UK train builders have missed out on a £1.5bn deal for new rolling stock, which has gone to German engineering giant Siemens.

Stagecoach, owner of South West Trains, is promising to spend £3.5bn on new trains and infrastructure improvements if the Strategic Rail Authority extends the railway operator’s franchise for 20 years.

But companies such as Alstom and Adtranz, which build trains in the UK and have supplied South West Trains in the past, look as though they will miss out on the lion’s share of the deal.

A spokeswoman for Stagecoach said the contract for new rolling stock was awarded to Siemens after a bidding process.

Tenders for the remaining £2bn worth of work, including refurbishment of old trains, will only be invited if the SRA extends the operator’s franchise.

Great North Eastern Railways is also competing for the South West Trains’ franchise. It plans a £4.5bn investment programme, including a tunnel under the Thames. UK passenger operator FirstGroup is also in the running, with a plan for a tunnel to accommodate double-decker trains.

Mike Grant, the SRA’s franchise director, will choose the winner within two months.