Siemens’ managing director has said that he remains confident that the company will finalise the £1.4 billion Thameslink rolling stock contract.
Responding to a parliamentary question, transport minister Simon Burns said that the Department for Transport (DfT) was “assessing options were it not possible to secure financial close” on the deal.
Steve Scrimshaw, managing director of Siemens Rail, responded earlier today (October 31) saying: “The Thameslink negotiations are ongoing and although we are disappointed that they have taken longer than anticipated, we are making good progress and we remain confident that we will achieve closure of this important deal.
“Our project team is in detailed negotiations with the Department for Transport and in daily contact with them and other key stakeholders.
“Depending on progress over the next month or so, we hope to achieve commercial close by Christmas with financial closure in the new year.
“We have been forging ahead with the manufacturing planning of our Desiro City train for Thameslink, the second generation commuter train based on the very successful Desiro UK train. We are already well advanced with our plans for the start of vehicle testing at our dedicated test track later this year.
“Having already invested well over 50 million euros – at our own risk – in its development, I look forward to the Desiro City train taking pride of place on the UK rail network.”
RMT general secretary Bob Cow said: “The game is clearly up for the Siemens/Thameslink deal which is riddled with the same contamination and incompetence as the West Coast Main Line fiasco. The Government should now be forced to hand this work over to Bombardier in Derby saving thousands of key manufacturing jobs and calling a halt to this 18 months of shame.”