Canadian firm may get big French rail contract

24th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 24, 2006 (AFP) - France hinted strongly on Tuesday that Canadian group Bombardier is well placed to win a four-billion-euro contract to build trains for the Paris region, the home market of high-speed-train builder Alstom.

PARIS, Oct 24, 2006 (AFP) - France hinted strongly on Tuesday that Canadian group Bombardier is well placed to win a four-billion-euro contract to build trains for the Paris region, the home market of high-speed-train builder Alstom.

Bombardier is in competition with Alstom and with Siemens of Germany for the contract worth US $5 billion, for up to 330 motorised railcars, and Transport Minister Dominique Perben said he "hoped" that Bombardier would sub-contract part of the work.

Bombardier said on Monday that it had high hopes of winning the order, and last week trades unions at Alstom said that Bombardier seemed to be well on the way to sealing the deal.

However, Perben also said on French RMC radio that the board of the French state railway operator SNCF had not yet announced a decision, which is expected on Wednesday.

Press reports which said that Bombardier had won the contract were rather quick off the mark, he said.

Then he added: "But this is what is being said. It is a public market, and the price factor counts for a lot.

"I hope that there can be industrial cooperation between Bombardier and Alstom because it is a very big order and Bombardier would be pressed to sub-contract part of the production."

Perben said he wanted the sub-contracting "to be done to the maximum benefit of French workers, French factories.

"I hope that there will be some for one and some for the other."

The rolling stock is required for trains running on local lines in the suburban area around Paris called Ile-de-France.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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