Crossrail’s £1bn rolling stock programme will be the first beneficiary of the government’s £40bn loan guarantee scheme, treasury secretary Danny Alexander said yesterday.
In a speech at the Liberal Democrat party conference, Alexander confirmed the privately financed contract to supply trains to Crossrail will be underwritten by a government guarantee to ensure there are no delays in its delivery. The guarantee removes some of the risk to train manufacturer’s lenders, it is hoped that this will speed up finance negotiations.
“Difficulties raising the necessary private funding in the market could delay their delivery,” said Alexander. “So I can announce to you today that the train contract for Crossrail will be the very first project to be offered a new government guarantee.”
Four train makers were shortlisted to deliver the 60 train contract in February - Bombardier, Caf, Hitachi and Siemens. Each Crossrail train will be about 200m long, and carry up to 1,500 passengers. Crossrail expects to award the contact in 2014.