Bombardier, Alstom team up for $3.6-deal with Belgian rail for coaches

A consortium comprising Canadian aerospace and transport giant Bombardier Inc and French rail specialist Alstom SA have jointly bagged a $3.6-billion order from state-owned National Railway Co of Belgium for the supply of advanced double-decker rail cars over a period of three years beginning 2018.

Montreal-based Bombardier's share of the contract is valued at $2.3-billion, while the French manufacturer will supply equipment worth about $1.3 billion.

The deal involves supply of up to1,362 double-decker coaches. Delivery of the first 445 cars will begin in 2018, with options for 917 additional cars.

Bombardier and Alstom said the deal confirms Belgium rail's trust in their rail products and technology.

''The rail market is a dynamic market with a strong potential,'' tied to urbanization and mobility, Alstom chief executive officer Patrick Kron told at a meeting on Friday.

Of the initial 445 cars, Bombardier will manufacture 65 steering cars and 290 trailer cars at its plant in Belgium, while Alstom will supply the remaining 90 trailer cars and control systems from its facilities in France and Belgium.

The trains will have a maximum speed of 200 kmph, and will increase the Belgian rail capacity by 145,000 seats.

The redesigned and flexible double-decker cars feature new interior, improved passenger information system, wheel chair access, space for bicycles and superior passenger comfort.

Earlier in June, Bombardier signed a $226-million deal with Delhi Metro for the supply of state-of-the-art rail coaches, as a continuation of its earlier $1.5-billion supply contract with the Indian company. (See: Bombardier inks 1,500 crore deal with Delhi Metro for 'Movia' coaches)

Recently, it also won a $165-million order from China Railway Corp for rail coaches.

Separately, Bombardier received yesterday certification from Canada's transportation regulator for its C-Series 110-seater aircraft for commercial service.

Last month, Bombardier sold a 30-per cent stake in its rail business to a Canadian pension fund for $1.5 billion, shifting away from its earlier plan for an initial public offering of the business. It is expected that the company will invest the amount in the manufacture of its delayed C-Series airplanes.

Paris-based Alstom has recently sold its power and grid business to US giant General Electric Co for $10.3 billion to focus more on its rail business.

Bombardier, reported revenue of $20.1 billion last year, while Alstom generated $6.2 billion.

Further to the positive news flow, Bombardier stock shot up 16 per cent yesterday in Toronto, while Alstom rose 1 per cent in Euronext Paris.