Leading train and plane manufacturer Bombardier has landed a £895m contract to supply and maintain 90 new trains for operation on the South Western franchise.
The deal, which will see Bombardier supply its AVENTRA rail cars to FirstGroup and MTR, is the largest ever single contract globally for AVENTRA trains.
The contract is valued at approximately £895m and will safeguard hundreds of high-skilled jobs at its plant in Debry.
Richard Hunter, UK managing director for Bombardier Transportation, said: “We are thrilled to have won this important contract.
“It demonstrates further confidence placed in this market leading rolling stock, designed and built in Britain.
“AVENTRA offers enhanced performance and increased passenger capacity, which will play an important part in helping First/MTR satisfy continued levels of passenger growth on the South Western network.
“The contract builds upon our strong credentials, following the selection of AVENTRA for Crossrail and LOTRAIN in London, as well as for the East Anglia franchise. We look forward to deepening our collaborative relationship with First/MTR.”
The FirstGroup and MTR partnership will take over the South Western franchise on 20 August. The new trains will operate on the Windsor, Reading and West London suburban routes and the new trains will start to come into service from mid-2019 and will all be in place by December 2020.
Steve Montgomery, First Rail managing director added: "We have exciting plans for the South Western rail franchise and these new trains are an important step on the way to delivering an improved journey experience for our passengers.
“We know from listening to passengers and stakeholders that alongside improved performance, what they want to see is additional seats and we will deliver this via these state-of-the-art trains."