Bombardier was competing against CAF and Hitachi Rail Europe for the contract which includes an option for an extra 18 trains. The nine-car trains, which will have wide inter-car gangways, will be able to carry up to 1500 passengers. The trains will be lightweight and have an intelligent energy management system, while passengers will be provided with real-time information.

Bombardier will build the trains at its factory in Derby, and will maintain the fleet for 32 years at a new depot to be constructed at Old Oak Common west of London.

The Crossrail fleet will be introduced on existing lines initially, starting with the London Liverpool Street – Shenfield route in May 2017 and the London Paddington – Heathrow Airport line in May 2018. The first section of the new Crossrail network will open between Paddington, central London, and Abbey Wood in December 2018. The Shenfield line will be connected to the Crossrail tunnels in May 2019 and the full route from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east to Heathrow and Maidenhead in the west will be completed in December 2019.

"Procurement of the rolling stock and depot is just one more step in delivering this new railway and making it a reality for millions of passengers," says Crossrail's CEO Mr Andrew Wolstenholme. "Crossrail Limited has conducted this procurement in a fair, objective and transparent manner and in full compliance with the regulatory framework."

TfL plans to award the contract to operate Crossrail at the end of this year, with the new operator taking over control of Liverpool Street – Shenfield services from Greater Anglia in May 2015.