UK rolling stock company Angel Trains has been
confirmed by London Midland as the preferred bidder for the
purchase of new trains.

The deal will see Angel Trains procure and
finance approximately 72 Class 350 Desiro vehicles from
manufacturer Siemens and lease the vehicles to both London Midland
and First TransPennine Express.

London Midland will initially lease the
vehicles and transfer around 40 of the electric multiple units
(EMU) to First TransPennine Express for use on the Manchester to
Scotland line.

Exclusive negotiations are yet to be finalised
between the train operating companies, Angel, and the Department
for Transport (DfT).

Kevin Tribley, chief operating officer for
Angel Trains, said: “This announcement is the culmination of over
18 months of hard work and we are delighted to be able to enter
into detailed discussions with London Midland and the DfT to expand
the Desiro EMUs in service.

He added combining the orders for London
Midland and First TransPennine Express with an existing train
specification will reduce the whole life cost of operating the
fleets in line with the recommendations from the recent McNulty
report into costs in UK rail.

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The DfT requested the procurement requirements
for the EU-wide tender included new electric rolling stock for use
on the Manchester to Scotland route.

While further work is required to finalise the
deal, Tribley said the arrangement is evidence of Angel Trains’
active roll in UK rail and demonstrates the value they bring to the

Should the deal go ahead under the expected
terms, Angel Trains will increase its Desiro fleet to 925.

Angel Trains owns and maintains more than
4,400 passenger and freight rail vehicles in the UK, about 37% of
the nation’s rolling stock.

The new trains should enter service by the
autumn of 2013.