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Siemens to supply 37 trains to Porterbrook

When is the last time Amtrak purchased new rolling stock of any sort?

Here is the latest development on new fast trains in England.

oint press release by Siemens, Porterbrook and Govia

worth more than €240 million
End customer behind the order is the rail operator Govia

Erlangen, Germany – Porterbrook, one of the biggest companies on the British rail leasing market, has just placed an order with the Siemens Transportation Systems Group (TS) for 37 Class 350 Desiro electric multiple units. Porterbrook will lease these EMUs to the rail operator Govia, who was recently awarded the West Midlands franchise. The total order is worth over €240 million. The new vehicles will operate at speeds up to 160 km/h on the London to Birmingham route, the busy West Coast Main Line.

The Porterbrook order underscores the strong position held by Siemens TS in Great Britain and marks yet another success for the Desiro UK regional train platform, raising the number of these platform-based multiple units to more than 300. Delivery of the new Desiro trains is scheduled to start in October 2008. The 4-car units are to be built at the Siemens plant in Krefeld.

Hans M. Schabert, president of Siemens Transportation Systems, described the joint effort with Porterbrook and Govia “as an excellent basis to once again put the proven reliability of our Desiro trains to the test.” And he emphasized: “We are pleased to be able to offer the operators and passengers of the strategically important West Midlands franchise multiple-unit trains that combine economic efficiency and riding comfort to a high degree.”

Paul Francis, managing director of Porterbrook, said: “With this contract we have the opportunity to work with another proven manufacturer in Siemens to deliver a high quality train to enhance the traveling experience for the passengers of our associate Govia.”

Tom Smith, Managing Director Rail Development, said: “We are looking forward to taking delivery of these new trains. They will transform the traveling experience of passengers using the longer-distance routes on the new London Midland franchise and play a key part in enabling us to meet our targets for continuous improvement in punctuality and reliability.”

Rail Minister Tom Harris said: “Delivering new rolling stock was a key element of the new West Midlands franchise and I’m sure these new Desiros will prove very popular with passengers. The other benefit of this agreement is that it will free up existing rolling stock so that we can employ it elsewhere on the network, thereby boosting capacity across the country.”

The Transportation Systems Group (TS) of Siemens AG is one of the leading international suppliers to the railways industry. As single-source supplier and system integrator, the Group combines in its business segments Automation & Power, Rolling Stock, Turnkey Systems and Integrated Services all the expertise necessary to cover the spectrum from signaling and control systems to traction power supplies, as well as rolling stock for mass transit, regional and main line services. Extensive experience in project management and forward-looking service concepts complement our portfolio. In fiscal 2006 (ended September 30), TS generated sales of around €4.5 billion, according to U.S. GAAP, with around 18,800 employees worldwide. As part of Siemens in the UK, Siemens Transportation Systems employs around 1,000 people in the UK and firmly established itself as a reliable partner for the British railway companies. Further information on TS can be found at

Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited is a leading player in the rail leasing market. Porterbrook has a rolling stock fleet of over 5,500 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes about 4,000 passenger vehicles. These are supplied under operating leases to 17 of the 21 Train Operating Companies (TOCs) within the UK. The company also provides ongoing train maintenance services. Porterbrook has been highly successful in winning new train orders since privatization, investing in over 1,500 new passenger vehicles and over 1,200 new freight locomotives and wagons, and in the refurbishment of much of its in-fleet equipment. In April 2000, the Porterbrook group of companies was acquired by Abbey National (“Abbey”). Further information on Porterbrook is available at

Govia is a joint venture between the Go-Ahead Group (65%) and Keolis (35%) and operator of the Southern and Southeastern rail franchises. Govia was awarded the new West Midlands rail franchise by the Department for Transport in June. It will operate the business as London Midland from November 11. Further information on Govia is available at and

Filed under: International High Speed Rail

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