Crossrail Rolling Stock Tender is Issued

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Crossrail have issued a tender notice for the line’s Rolling Stock, depot and maintenance facilities.

Published in the OJEU today, the notice covers the provision of rolling stock for the line, as well as on-board signalling installation, ongoing maintenance and the creation of the new Crossrail depot at Old Oak Common.

A basic Rolling Stock concept image, issued by Crossrail alongside today’s tender announcement.

Some details about the rolling stock and service patterns can be gleaned from the notice. Approximately 57 daily diagrams are anticipated and the figure of 24 trains per hour in the central section is once again mentioned. Train length is a nominal 200m, although interestingly the notice makes clear that a limited number of diagrams will require 160m nominal length when the line initially opens.

In signalling terms, the notice indicates that the central section of Crossrail may not be ETCS (European Train Control System) with ATO (Automatic Train Operation) from launch, but may still be CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) with an upgrade path to ECTS/ATO planned. Either way, the Rolling Stock will obviously need to support these.

As indicated above, this contract also includes the construction of the new maintenance depot as well as maintenance services for 35 years (which is also the nominal design life of the units). It doesn’t include the operation of the rolling stock – Crossrail plan to put in place a snappily-named CTOC (Crossrail Train Operating Company) for this.

The “possible options” section of tender documents always makes interesting reading, and that is true here. The option for depot facilities and services to support an additional 15 diagrams is included, as is the possibility of additional power supply equipment and work to allow operation on 3rd rail routes. The possibility of ordering further units of stock should they prove viable for use elsewhere on the TfL network is also, unsurprisingly, included in the small print.

Overall, the entire contract is estimated to fall somewhere between £1-1.9bn in 2010 prices, with the annual maintenance bill for the new rolling stock somewhere in the region of £25-50m. That may sound like quite a wide margin, but it is worth remembering that there is still plenty to pin down in terms of the exact nature of the Rolling Stock at this stage – things should become clearer over the coming months, especially after this tender closes at the end of January.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.