National Express Group PLC
14 February 2002
14 February 2002
NATIONAL EXPRESS GROUP PLC
£160 MILLION ROLLING STOCK ORDER PLACED FOR MIDLAND MAINLINE
National Express Group PLC ('NEX') today announces it has signed a £160 million
order with Bombardier Transportation for the manufacture and supply of new
rolling stock for its Midland Mainline ('MML') franchise.
The new fleet, which will be financed by way of operating lease through HSBC
Rail, will be fully in service by 31st January 2005. The order has been placed
as part of MML's two year franchise extension, awarded in August 2000 by the
Strategic Rail Authority, which takes the franchise to 2008.
The twenty-three trains consisting of 127 carriages will double capacity on the
service where passenger growth of over 50% has been achieved since
privatisation. The new fleet will be called 'Meridian' and will replace the
current Turbostar fleet by January 2005. The new units will run alongside MML's
existing fleet of 13 high speed trains, which will undergo complete
refurbishment during the next two years.
The trains, which will be built by Bombardier at their plants in Wakefield in
Yorkshire and Brugge in Belgium, will create an additional 130 jobs at MML.
The new rolling stock will incorporate:
A modern buffet-style bar;
Powerpoints throughout the train for using laptops;
An electronic seat back reservation system; and
Provision for at-seat entertainment throughout the train.
Commenting on the order, Ian Buchan, Chief Executive of the NEX Trains Division
'We are delighted that as part of our franchise agreement we can now confirm
that this new fleet of trains is in the pipeline. The quality of the service
that MML can provide to customers will be greatly enhanced by this development.'
Richard Bowker, Chairman of the SRA, said:
'Launching the SRA's Strategic Plan last month, I said that there is real
enthusiasm from the private sector to invest in the railways. Today's
announcement confirms this commitment, and is great news for travellers on this
vital route between London, the Midlands and Yorkshire'.
- E ND S -
For further information, please contact:
National Express Group 020 7529 2000
Andrew Dowler/Ben Foster
Financial Dynamics 020 7831 3113
Notes for Editors:
1. MML is part of the National Express Group and operates train services
along the M1 corridor between South Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.
2. In August 2000 the shadow Strategic Rail Authority extended the
franchise by a further two years to 2008. This order was part of that
commitment. Other commitments include £22 million worth of improvements to
stations, construction of East Midlands Parkway and the establishment of a
Customer Service Academy in Derby.
3. Since the award of rail franchises at privatisation, in total the
National Express Group has ordered 198 trains for its Central Trains, c2c,
Gatwick Express and ScotRail franchises.
4. MML's fleet of 17 Turbostars will be used elsewhere in the National
5. The name Meridian means i) one of the imaginary lines joining the north
and south poles ii) the peak of achievement.
6. A detailed technical specification is available on request.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange