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New regional train handed over to British customer

11/04/2008 AT 08:29

The roll-out was celebrated jointly by the customer, the operator and the manufacturer in Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany, where Siemens operates a test center for rail vehicles of all kinds. There also the new train completed successfully its test trips.

Ordered by Porterbrook, a leasing company, the 37 new regional trains from the Desiro UK family are Class 350/2 vehicles and are to run on the West Coast Main Line between London and Birmingham. They are being manufactured in the Siemens factory in Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany, and achieve a maximum speed of 100 mph. The leasing company Porterbrook, which is the purchaser of the vehicles, will lease the four-unit trains to London Midland, the operator which holds the concession for the line. The first ten trains will commence passenger services on December 12. Once the entire Porterbrook fleet has been delivered in June 2009, there will be a total of 316 Desiros on the rails in Great Britain.

"The West Coast Main Line between London and Birmingham is a strategically very important route for our customers", said Jörn F. Sens, CEO of the Rolling Stock Business Unit of Siemens Mobility during his formal speech on the handover of the first train to the customer. "We are proud that we are able to supply yet another fleet to a customer in order to continue the success story of our Desiro UK, which has been operating very reliably in Great Britain for a period of five years now."

Steve Banaghan, Managing Director of London Midland, said: “We are looking forward to taking delivery of these new trains. They will transform the experience of passengers on our longer distance routes and combined with our new direct services between the London, Birmingham and the North West will provide new opportunities to travel with London Midland.”

This success story of the British version of the train began in 2003, when First Great Eastern (today: National Express East Anglia) put the first vehicles into service between London and East Anglia. This is why Siemens was able to celebrate the fifth birthday of the Desiro UK at the same time as the roll-out of the new fleet. Today, Desiros of the classes 185, 350, 360/1, 360/2, 444 und 450 are operating all over the entire island, in Weymouth on the south coast as well as in Glasgow in Scotland.

The order from Porterbrook was received in fiscal year 2007 and, including maintenance, is worth around 240 million euros (approximately 190 million pounds sterling). Recently, the Scottish transport office and the railway operator First ScotRail ordered 38 trains, which are to connect the cities of Ayr and Glasgow from the end of 2010 onwards. Other Desiro UK operators are South West Trains, Heathrow Express and First TransPennine Express.

The Desiro UK has already been the recipient of several awards, including the Golden Spanner Award from Modern Railways Magazine, which it has received three times for reliability, and the Rail Business Award of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). The British Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) also named the Class 185 and Class 360/2 Desiro UK as the most reliable trains that are currently running on the railways in the country.

First ScotRail invest over 300 million euros

Transport Scotland have placed an order with Siemens Mobility for the supply of 38 Desiro UK type electric multiple units. The order is worth over 300 million euros and also includes maintenance and spare parts service.

Siemens to supply 37 trains to Porterbrook

Porterbrook, one of the biggest companies on the British rail leasing market, has just placed an order with the Siemens Transportation Systems Group (TS) for 37 Class 350 Desiro electric multiple units.

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