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14th June 2006

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1st June 2005

£250 Million Contract Signed for New High Speed Train Fleet for Kent

The Strategic Rail Authority announced today that contracts have been signed with Hitachi Europe Ltd for the delivery of 28 new high speed 'A' trains to operate domestic services on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) and local lines in Kent as part of the new Integrated Kent Franchise.

The SRA and its financier, HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd are pleased to confirm the conclusion of negotiations and the signing of the contract, worth£250 million, with Hitachi Europe Ltd earlier today.

The trains are expected to come into service in 2009 and will operate high speed commuter services capable of reaching speeds of 140 mph, further boosting Britain's Olympic credentials. The operator of the new Integrated Kent Franchise is expected to be announced later this year.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Transport Secretary named Hitachi Europe Ltd as preferred manufacturer on the 27 October 2004.
  2. The SRA issued a formal Invitation to Tender to the four pre-qualified bidders for the Integrated Kent Franchise on the 17 January 2005. At the same time, details of proposed changes to services resulting from the introduction of new high speed services were confirmed with the publication of a stakeholder briefing document.
  3. The Integrated Kent Franchise will include routes on the national rail network currently operated by South Eastern Trains throughout Kent, parts of Sussex and South East London, plus high speed services from the Medway towns, Ashford and East Kent to Ebbsfleet, and on to Stratford and St Pancras.

For further details please contact the SRA Press Office: 020 7654 6000

Hitachi Europe Ltd: 0207 970 2711 or HSBC Rail: 0207 380 5057