Portuguese rail operator Comboios de Portugal (CP) has selected Alstom as the consortium leader for a large deal involving 117 locomotives.

The consortium group, which involves Alstom Transporte SAU, Alstom Ferroviaria Portugal, SA and Domingos da Silva Teixeira SA, will collaborate to improve CP’s network efficiency, comfort, and regularity.

The 117 locomotives are set to be deployed across the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, with some of the trains reportedly being operated on the Lisbon-Cascais route.

The tender was valued at over €800m ($875m) and calls for 62 urban service trains and 55 regional service trains. According to CP, this will demonstrate its commitment to maintaining growing demands across citizen’s needs.

CP made an official announcement emphasising its priority of developing Portugal’s economy: “The incorporation of these new trains into the CP fleet represents a significant advance in improving the efficiency, comfort and frequency of services offered, contributing decisively to sustainable mobility and reducing the ecological footprint in national transport.

“With this acquisition, CP reaffirms its role as a leader in promoting efficient and ecologically responsible land transport, at the service of Portugal’s socio-economic development”.

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The tender process, which began in 2021, featured bids from other European competitors including CAF and Stadler.

Experts in EU law have criticised CP’s tender procedure, claiming that it was “artificially narrow” owing to the obligation to construct the trains in Portugal.

According to Pedro Telles, a university lecturer in EU law, this violated EU non-discrimination standards as well as the legal idea of free movement of commodities.

Alstom made an official statement emphasising its new position in Portugal: “We are proud to have been selected by CP as the preferred bidder. We look forward to starting a new chapter in Portugal’s industrial and transport history.

“Alstom submitted to CP the best offer for the Portuguese market, fully compliant with all the conditions requested in the tender specifications, committed to local and industrial development and providing Portuguese passengers state-of-the-art trains”.  

Alstom intends to produce and deliver the first four-car trains 40 months after the deal is signed, with service beginning in 2029.