Bombardier has been selected to supply 116 new EMUs for train operator Southern.

The new carriages, which are worth £180 million, will operate on the Thameslink route to allow current vehicles to be distributed to newly-electrified lines before themselves making way for the new Siemens-built Thameslink stock.

The order includes an option for 140 more vehicles, giving the contract a potential value of £385 million.

Southern managing director Chris Burchell said: “We have worked extremely hard to be an effective delivery partner to the Department and we are very pleased to have reached this important milestone in the procurement of new rolling stock. This will provide essential capacity to allow our industry to grow.”

The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin said: “Increasing the number of trains on the network not only benefits passengers but everyone, as the railways are an important engine for economic growth in our country.

“The Government has worked closely with Southern to enable this critical stage of the project to be reached and I look forward to these trains being delivered onto the network.”

There will now be a 10-day cooling off period before the order can be confirmed.


  1. Why is it that the north is saddled with 20 metre EMUs cast-off from the south when our stations can accommodate 23 metre ones? Cannot we have new units and let the south keep their trains with which they are familiar?

    • Excellent thought Taurus but sadly, we Northerners have to face the fact that, whilst both the Government and HQs of major businesses are located around London, the South East will always get the new trains and we will always get the cast-offs. I can even imagine that when the refurbished Class 319s are finally withdrawn we will just get cascaded Desiro Cities or Electrostars from Thameslink,

      • People forget that the trains in the north are cheaper to run. To get brand new stock they rental cost will quadruple meaning an overnight fares increase of around 25-30% just to pay for new trains. That separate to the general cost increases of actual service improvements like new stations, ie Salford Crescent.

        Don’t also forget that the oldest trains are serving London and South Coast not the North West.

        The reason for the cast off is because there isn’t a business case for electrifying and new trains at the same time. A rebuilt 319 will be miles better than the pacers currently running around and allow for more doubling up of diesels on routes that aren’t getting the wires.