ALSTOM has won a £370m order for 10 additional nine-car class 345 Aventra EMUs for London’s Elizabeth Line. The deal includes maintenance until 2046.

Production of the trains will follow on from the existing fleet of 70 EMUs built at Alstom’s factory in Derby between 2015-19. Confirmation of the order comes after Alstom CEO, Mr Henri Poupart-Lafarge, met with British transport secretary, Mr Mark Harper, on April 16 to discuss the future of the train manufacturer’s Derby plant.

Harper posted later on social media that there had been “a good constructive meeting on the future of train manufacturing in the UK. Intensive discussions are taking place to conclude no later than the end of May.”

The deal will come as welcome relief for the Derby workforce. Around 1300 jobs of those employed directly at the site, plus up to 15,000 in the wider supply chain, were in jeopardy as the Derby factory had no orders before the assembly of high-speed trains for HS2 is due to start next year.

“We are delighted to now have a confirmed workload for Derby Litchurch Lane and our supply chain across the UK,” says Mr Nick Crossfield, Alstom’s UK and Ireland manging director.

The contract includes the new trains, which are funded by £220.5m from the Department for Transport (DfT), with Transport for London (TfL) meeting the cost of maintaining the new EMUs until 2046.

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