Crossrail today said it is delaying the competition to supply trains for the project until 2012, after a procurement review is undertaken.
It is hoped that the review will ensure UK firms will not lose out to European rivals following the Thameslink contract that went to German firm Siemens instead of Bombardier, who have a site in Derby.
Crossrail said the review will allow them to ‘realise significant savings for the public purse, running into tens of millions, by introducing rolling stock to the rail network over a shorter period’.
As a consequence of the ‘shorter delivery timescales’, contract award is not required until 2014 and therefore the issuing of tender documents can be deferred, allowing the conclusions of the Government’s review of public procurement to be taken into account, Crossrail said.
Crossrail now expects tender documents to be issued in 2012 to ensure that the bid period ‘is not extended unnecessarily resulting in increased costs to bidders’.
Crossrail had previously indicated that the tender would be issued in late 2011 with contract award in late 2013.
The review of public procurement is examining whether the UK is ‘making best use of the application of EU procurement rules, as well as the degree to which the Government can set out requirements and evaluation criteria with a sharper focus on the UK’s strategic interest and how the Government can support businesses and ensure that when they compete for work they are doing it on an equal footing with their competitors’.
Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said:
“Crossrail has identified that significant operational cost savings, running into tens of millions, can be realised for taxpayers by introducing Crossrail rolling stock to the rail network over a shorter period of time.
“Continuing with the original procurement programme would have delivered the new train fleet earlier than was necessary.”
As a result, Crossrail will introduce rolling stock to the Great Eastern Main Line from May 2017, rather than December 2016, with the fleet progressively introduced to the existing rail network well in advance of services commencing through Crossrail’s central section.
Under the previous timescales much of the fleet would have been stored waiting for the Crossrail tunnels to be completed.
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