Four bidders have been shortlisted for a £1bn Crossrail rolling stock and depot procurement project at Old Oak Common in west London, UK.
The four bidders are Bombardier Transportation (UK), Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, Hitachi Rail Europe and Siemens.
The successful bidder will deliver a fleet of 60 200m-long trains to Crossrail with each capable of carrying up to 1,500 passengers.
Other key features of the trains include air conditioning and inter-connecting walk-through carriages.
The final contract will be awarded in 2014 and the trains are expected to be introduced to the Great Eastern Main Line from May 2017.
UK Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening said: "This is an important step in making Crossrail a reality for millions of passengers who will use it every week."
"Once these 60 trains are operational they will carry an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of the heart of London, help the growth of the UK economy and create opportunities for new apprenticeships and jobs," Greening said.
"A number of outcomes from the government's review of public procurement have been reflected in this procurement, which could bring opportunities to UK businesses."
"This includes a 'responsible procurement' requirement that means bidders will need to set out how they will engage with the wider supply chain and provide opportunities for training, apprenticeships and for small and medium size businesses within their procurement strategy."
Crossrail will manage the procurement, while a pre-determined process will be followed and the tender documents set out the criteria that will be used to select the successful bidder.
Crossrail CEO Andrew Wolstenholme said: "Procurement of the rolling stock and depot is crucial to the overall delivery of Crossrail, which will create a significant transformation of transport in London and the southeast."
"Over the past year Crossrail has successfully procured some of the largest value contracts in recent UK construction history - creating major employment opportunities and providing a much needed boost to the UK economy," Wolstenholme said.
The company said that it has been working with the government to ensure that appropriate recommendations from the recent Growth Review are reflected in their rolling stock and depot procurement.
The intention is for the future operation of Crossrail services to be let as a concession by Transport for London (TfL) so the contract for rolling stock and depot will be between the successful bidder and TfL.
Crossrail will create a new transport infrastructure to support economic growth, which will increase London's rail-based capacity by 10% and up to 24 trains per hour between Paddington and Whitechapel during the peak.
Image: Final contract will be awarded in 2014 and the trains will roll out to the Great Eastern Main Line from May 2017. Photo: Crossrail.