Bombardier has faced some financially challenging months, but on November 24 it was announced that one of the world’s leading transportation manufacturers will be commissioned by SNCF to build 40 OMNEO double decker trains for passengers in Normandy, France. Bombardier’s OMNEO train is the first of its kind to be able to alternate between using single and double decker carriages. This design feature will improve capacity demand and passenger comfort. Normandy will be the first region to start using the latest version of the Bombardier OMNEO rolling stock for intercity travel with its main priority to improve passenger experience. On-board the carriages will provide Wi-Fi, wider seating with integrated lighting and power outlets. Passengers will travel at speeds of 200 km/h. This order is valued at approximately €585 million ($620 million) and is part of the contract signed in 2010 with SNCF to provide up to 860 double deck trains to the French Regions. The Normandy Region plans to roll out these new premium trains at the end of 2019 to improve comfort and capacity by over 20% on the frequently used Paris-Rouen-le Havre and Paris-Caen-Cherbourg lines, compared to the lines’ existing fleets.
“This is the first order for the newly-designed Premium version of our OMNEO double deck platform”, said Laurent Bouyer, President of Bombardier Transportation in France. “Passengers will benefit from over 100 additional seats and a new-level of rail travel comfort and style. Designed by our teams in France, the OMNEO product family, which includes the Regio 2N train, is currently the key structuring project for our Crespin site and for the French rail industry.”
To date, the French Regions have ordered a total of 253 trains under the 2010 framework contract. The latest OMNEO concept is suitable for commuter, regional and intercity services. It offers a range of lengths from 81 to 135 metres, with the ability to add intermediate cars at any point in time. Single decks are dedicated to access and services, featuring wide doors and interior equipment such as toilets and bicycle areas. All technical equipment is mounted on the roof of the single deck cars to increase passenger space and comfort inside the train. Whereas the double-decker coaches are designed for capacity and comfort. The lack of doors, toilets and traction equipment on these cars enhances thermal and acoustic comfort. Each pair of cars increases capacity from 120 to 160 seats. Depending on the type of operation, maximum speed ranges between 140 km/h and 200 km/h. Made from lighter materials combined with an effective weight distribution, the axle load is minimized, this creates flexibility for cross-border operation on all European networks.
The good news for Bombardier ( @Bombardier ) does not stop there after winning an eight year contract from Montréal's Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (AMT) worth $331 million. They will be commissioned for the Operations and Maintenance of the AMT commuter rail fleet on all of its six lines in the greater Montréal area. The new contract took effect on November 18, 2016 where a two year option was proposed. Bombardier has been providing Maintenance services for AMT since 2010. With this new contract, the scope of work will not only cover the maintenance of AMT’s entire fleet of 264 coaches and 41 locomotives, but will also extend to the Operations of AMT’s commuter rail services.
These new contracts were essential for the Canadian based company. Bombardier is renowned for being one of the global pioneers in the rail industry for their technological innovation. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 39,400 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries working in both the rail and aircraft sectors. However, the past few years have been difficult for the company. In its third quarterly review, revenue dropped 9.7% to $3.74 billion, while analysts predicted $3.95 billion.
However, Bombardier expected their revenues to fall after building and designing its two largest business jets to date. The higher operating cash flow and reduced investments meant that job cuts needed to be made last year in order to restore the company’s finances. In an article reported by Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare unveiled plans three weeks ago to cut 7,500 jobs, saying they were needed to ensure competitiveness and improve profit margins. The result of this news will save the company $500 million to $600 million a year by the end of 2018 according to company executives. Bombardier’s full-year revenue is estimated at around $16.5 billion - the low end of the company’s forecast range.
It is hoped that these new developments will improve the company’s cash flow. Last week it was announced that Bombardier flew its global 7000 business jet the first time, a breakthrough for the delayed aircraft that will hopefully realign the company and put them back on track to begin deliveries in 2018. The $72.8 million jet will make its commercial inauguration in the second half of 2018.
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