Bombardier signs £117m Avanti contract

Bombardier Transportation has signed a new Train Services Agreement (TSA) with FirstGroup and Trenitalia for its new joint venture Avanti West Coast franchise, which started operations on December 8.

Under the new agreement, which lasts until December 11, 2022, Bombardier will maintain a fleet of 20 Bombardier class 221 diesel-electric multiple unit (DEMU) trains for use on Avanti West Coast mainline services. Each of the five-car trainsets will receive a comprehensive interior refresh and be fitted with an upgraded WiFi system.

The new agreement follows Bombardier’s previous role in maintaining the 125 mile per hour trains for the former Virgin Trains franchise. The contract is valued at £117 million.

Matt Byrne, President, UK, Bombardier Transportation said: “We are delighted that we have reached agreement to maintain the Class 221 Super Voyager fleet for Avanti West Coast’s mainline services.

“This important contract win is a reflection of our excellent relationships with both FirstGroup and Trenitalia, our leading position in the UK services market, and to the hard work and commitment of our Central Rivers team who deliver one of the highest performing and most reliable Intercity fleet day in, day out.”

Phil Whittingham, Managing Director, Avanti West Coast said: “We’ve always had a good working relationship with Bombardier and look forward to continuing that for another three years. The Super Voyagers are a vital part of our fleet and our customers will value the interior refresh and upgrades.”

Under the Train Services Agreement, maintenance of the 20-strong fleet of Class 221 trains will take place at Central Rivers depot, with heavy component maintenance taking place at Bombardier Crewe, and the refresh programme taking place at Bombardier Ilford.