The European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States, announced on Friday that it will support the development of the Crossrail project with the provision of a loan facility up to £500m for Transport for London (TfL).
Finance contracts were signed in London by European Investment Bank vice president Jonathan Taylor and Steve Allen, managing director Finance for TfL. This new corporate facility will reportedly be used to finance a fleet of new high-capacity air-conditioned trains. European Investment Bank financing will also support construction and operation of a new depot for the Crossrail train fleet.
The new Crossrail trains will be built with an emphasis on minimising weight and use of intelligent on-train energy management systems. Measuring approximately 200 metres in length, the new trains will be able to carry up to 1,500 passengers. Also real-time travel information will be provided on the trains, enabling passengers to plan their onward journeys.
TfL expects to award the rolling stock and depot contract in Spring next year. Delivery and testing of the new trains is scheduled to start in 2017, ready for the opening of the new Crossrail tunnels to passengers in late 2018.
London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, commented: “Crossrail is set to add vital new capacity to London’s transport network and is creating thousands of jobs all over the UK. We welcome the EIB’s commitment to Europe’s largest construction project which is delivering a brand new world class subterranean railway line on time and on budget.”
According to the European Investment Bank, it has provided £6.8bn to support investment in transport infrastructure across the Over the last decade. This financing support has included long-term loans for new Thames link, Intercity and Eurostar trains, upgrading the DLR and London Over ground, widening the M25 and investment in the London Gateway, Liverpool, Southampton and Hull ports. In addition, the HS1 line, new city tram networks in Manchester and Nottingham have received European Investment Bank financing.