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Richard Bell

Merseytravel puts out nine-figure tender for new fleet and depot

In a bid to improve its services and deal with increasing passenger numbers, Merseyside-based transport executive Merseytravel has launched a multi-million pound tender to update its decades-old fleet of trains.

The organisatioon is looking for a manufacturer to replace its 59 three-carriage Class 507/508 EMUs, which form one of the oldest fleets still in operation in the UK, with 50 new units.

According to Rail Technology Magazine, the public transport operator’s tender comprises four principal agreements that range in value from £200m to £700m, covering both an up-to-date fleet and a new maintenance depot.

The first agreement is for the creation and delivery of the new trains, while the second covers heavy maintenance and cleaning services. The third agreement of the tender is a maintenance sub-contract that includes repair work and in-depot servicing, with the fourth calling for the design and construction of depot facilities.

In a Rail Technology Magazine report, Merseytravel chair Cllr Liam Robinson was quoted as saying: “Giving the procurement process the green light to proceed is a decision taken both out of practicality and ambition for the Merseyrail network, the people who use it and the city region economy. We can’t stand still.

“Now it’s up to the bidders to help shape our vision. This isn’t about new trains because we simply want a new train set, it’s because we recognise that a new fleet, and the associated works, is essential for providing services that people and business can rely on, as well as being a stimulus for further economic growth.”

Successful contractors in the procurement process will be shortlisted in January 2016, with the contract likely to be awarded to a single firm later that year in November.

The transport operator hopes to have the new trains in operation by the early 2020s, as it predicts a 40% increase in passenger levels by 2028.

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