This comes following a recent RIA report, The UK Rolling Stock Industry: Making 2023 the year of opportunity not crisis, which highlighted the risks to the UK supply chain if orders for new rolling stock were not forthcoming.
Both tenders highlight the need for flexible low carbon rolling stock which will enable the creativity of the supply chain to develop future proof designs, improving the railway’s offering both for environmental sustainability and passenger experience.
This fits with RIA’s #RailDecarb23 campaign, which urges the Government to accelerate plans for rail decarbonisation.
David Clarke, RIA’s Technical Director, said: “With a recent RIA report calling on the Government to take urgent decisions around rolling stock, we naturally welcome these two significant tenders of up to 520 low carbon multiple units.
“The industry and whole country will continue to benefit from these rolling stock orders as they will result not just in improved passenger experience, but also help to retain valuable jobs, generate economic growth, reduce emissions and improve air quality.
“These tenders demonstrate a strong commitment to the future of the supply chain, resulting in a significant strengthening of the pipeline of work which will deliver modern trains equipped with cleaner technologies.
However, it is important to recognise however that this volume of orders is needed annually for the supply chain to be able to permanently break out of the historic boom and bust cycle.”
One of the UK's largest private train operators, has launched a procurement process to acquire a fleet of low-emission multiple units. The operator is seeking proposals from established rolling stock manufacturers, owners and modifiers for the supply of between 20 and 70 new or converted low-emission rolling stock multiple units, and associated maintenance, infrastructure and depot upgrade services.
The new trains must achieve a meaningful reduction in the exhaust emissions and exterior noise levels compared to Chiltern's existing diesel multiple units, particularly in urban areas.
The operator is also looking for trains that are energy efficient and have a long range, so that they can operate on Chiltern's long-distance routes without the need to refuel or recharge.
It is anticipated that the successful company will offer new rolling stock with a minimum life of 35 years and be capable of being converted to become electric multiple units or battery multiple units, with future phases being electric / battery powered from new.
Northern Trains Detailed Tender details here