Siemens wins $2 bln contract to build new London Tube trains

A man takes a picture of the cockpit of a Desiro City passenger train by Siemens Mobility at the InnoTrans railway technology trade fair in Berlin, September 25, 2014. (Reuters)
Updated 16 June 2018
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Siemens wins $2 bln contract to build new London Tube trains

  • Siemens Mobility Limited is Siemens’s British subsidiary for its trains and transport technology business
  • The Piccadilly Line is the first of the four Deep Tube lines to receive a much-needed upgrade

LONDON: A division of Germany’s Siemens has been awarded a contract worth about 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) to design and build 94 new trains for the Piccadilly Line on London’s metropolitan train network, known as the Tube.
Transport for London (TfL), the public body in charge of the Tube, said the award of the contract would allow Siemens Mobility Limited to push ahead with its plan to build a new factory in Goole, east Yorkshire, in northern England.
“The Siemens Mobility Limited factory would employ up to 700 people in skilled engineering and manufacturing roles, plus up to an additional 250 people during the construction phase of the factory,” TfL said in a statement.
“As a result, around 1,700 indirect jobs would be created throughout the UK supply chain,” it said.
Siemens said in March it had leased 67 acres (27 hectares) of land in Goole with a view to building a 200-million-pound ($266-million) train factory. The plans were subject to the company’s success in securing major future orders, it said at the time.
Siemens Mobility Limited is Siemens’s British subsidiary for its trains and transport technology business.
TfL said it had also received bids from a joint venture of Canada’s Bombardier and Japan’s Hitachi and from France’s Alstom when the bidding process began in 2016.
Subsequently, Siemens and Alstom announced that their rail businesses were due to be merged.
While the order is for an initial 94 trains for the Piccadilly Line, TfL said the contract was being awarded on the expectation that the manufacturer would also build trains of the same design for three other so-called Deep Tube lines.
The Piccadilly Line, which carries more than 700,000 passengers per day, is the first of the four Deep Tube lines to receive a much-needed upgrade.
The new trains, expected to be delivered from 2023, will be 6 meters (yards) longer than the existing ones and will be designed to optimize space within the constraints of the narrow Deep Tube tunnels.
The 86 trains currently running on the Piccadilly Line were introduced in 1975 and had a design life of 40 years. They are now one of the oldest train fleets in passenger service in Britain.
The aging trains and signalling system restrict the current rush hour service on the Piccadilly Line to 24 trains per hour. That will go up to 27 trains at peak times by the end of 2026, after the new trains are brought into service, TfL said.
Combined with a signalling upgrade and the purchase of additional trains, peak period capacity on the busiest central sections of the Piccadilly Line will increase by more than half by the end of the 2020s, meaning an additional 21,000 customers will be able to board trains every hour at rush hour.
“This long-term sustainable investment will support London’s growing population, which is set to increase to 10.8 million by 2041, supporting new jobs, homes and growth,” it said.
Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility, said the company was thrilled by the announcement.
“We can drive down lifecycle costs and significantly improve the passenger experience,” she was quoted as saying by TfL.
A Siemens spokesman in Germany declined to comment.
($1 = 0.7528 pounds)


Barclays payments to Qatar would have been ‘unacceptable’ to market, London court hears

Updated 19 February 2019
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Barclays payments to Qatar would have been ‘unacceptable’ to market, London court hears

  • The UK Serious Fraud Office alleges that four bankers agreed to pay £322 million in secret fees to Qatar
  • It is claimed that Barclays agreed to pay Qatar more than double the standard 1.5 percent investment commission and hid this from other investors

LONDON: Former Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius could not remember if he was told the bank was paying higher fees to Qatar than other investors during an £11.2 billion ($14.6 billion) fundraising in the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, a London court heard on Tuesday.

However he said that paying such commission to one set of underwriters and not the other would have been “unacceptable to the market.” Agius is not accused of any wrongdoing.

He was the first witness to testify in the trial of four former Barclays executives, who include the then CEO John Varley.

“I would have wanted to understand why it would’ve been necessary,” he told the court.

The UK Serious Fraud Office alleges that the four bankers agreed to pay £322 million in secret fees to Qatar.

During the fraud trial — which began in January — the prosecution told the court that the then Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim demanded a personal fee for investing in Barclays.

It is claimed that Barclays agreed to pay Qatar more than double the standard 1.5 percent investment commission and hid this from other investors by making the payments through what prosecutors alleged were bogus Advisory Services Agreements, or ASAs, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Agius also told the court that he feared resignations from the board in 2008.

“Any one of them might have said, ‘This wasn’t what I signed up for, how do I get out of here?,’” he said.

“I’m clear that in June 2008 we at Barclays did not anticipate how much worse things were going to get. I don’t think we thought it was going to go as badly as it ultimately did.”