Bombardier to build record number of trains in 2019

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Bondholder Bombardier is predicting it will build a record number of trains at its Derby factory next year.

The Litchurch Lane firm has said it will start work soon on a number of new contracts that will see the factory churn out hundreds of carriages throughout 2019.

In recent years, the company has won a number of sizeable new deals for its Aventra train. They include contracts to supply trains to London Overground, Greater Anglia, South Western and West Midlands. Now, many of these contracts are starting to come on-stream.

In a statement, Bombardier said: "Litchurch Lane is on track to produce a record number of vehicles in 2019.

"In the next few weeks production will accelerate on both the ‘Lotrain’ Aventra order of 222 carriages for London Overground and the order of 665 Aventra carriages for Greater Anglia.

"This autumn we will be introducing another order into full production, the 750-carriage Aventra order for South Western Railway.”

Meanwhile, the firm has confirmed it is reducing production levels on its £1 billion Elizabeth Line contract, which involves delivering 630 carriages for a new rail network in London.

It is understood that the decision to slow production has resulted in the loss of some agency staff.

The firm said that it has so far built more than 400 carriages out of the 630 it will be delivering to the Elizabeth Line (formerly Crossrail). It is expected to deliver the last carriage by June next year.

Bombardier said: "Progress on the order means that we had always planned to reduce production levels this summer.

"Our mix of permanent and temporary staff means we are able to optimise production levels to match customer demand and to prepare the factory for increased future output."

Bombardier landed the Elizabeth Line contract back in 2014. At the time, it was a major boost for Litchurch Lane after Bombardier had previously missed out of the InterCity Express Programme contract and Thameslink.

The Elizabeth Line is due to open in December. Initially, three separate services will operate: Paddington to Abbey Wood, Paddington to Heathrow and Liverpool Street to Shenfield.

It is expected that the full Elizabeth Line network will be operational by December, 2019.