Press releases

2020/05/04

CAF AGREES MAINTENANCE CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH THE NORTHERN IRELAND OPERATOR TRANSLINK

CAF has concluded an agreement to extend the maintenance contract that the Company has been performing on the Class 3000 diesel train fleet for Northern Ireland's public rail operator, Translink, for the past few years. This new contract came into effect this April, amounting to over €60 million.

 

CAF Rail UK, a subsidiary of the CAF Group which began operations in 2004, will continue rendering this service for a term of 15 years. Maintenance work will be performed on these units in the workshops in Belfast City, more specifically, in the workshops at York Road and Adelaide, which are owned by the Irish operator.

 

The units to be maintained under this contract consist of the entire Northern Ireland rail network, with the main lines being those that connect Belfast to other cities such as Derry/Londonderry, Portadown and Bangor, amongst others.

 

These trains are fitted with the Continuous Automatic Warning System (CAWS) which is used in the Republic of Ireland. Using this system means that the trains can be used for special cross-border support routes.

 

The number of Irish operator's passengers has been steadily growing 10% per year on average since the Class 3000 was commissioned in 2004. It now stands at 16,000,000 passengers per year, which represents an increase of almost 115% over 15 years.

 

It should be pointed out that CAF's first project for Translink started in 2002 with the supply of 69 Class 3000 diesel cars which were commissioned for revenue service in 2004 with CAF performing their maintenance from the onset. Later, CAF concluded a new contract in 2009 comprising the manufacture of a further 60 Class 4000 cars, and their maintenance for 15 years.

 

CAF is currently in the course of manufacturing an additional 56 intermediate cars. This option was provided for in the above mentioned contract dated 2009 and was enforced by Translink one year and a half ago. Consequently, this new agreement further confirms and extends the close relationship between both organizations in recent years.

 

The CAF Group remains fully committed to expanding its train maintenance business. It should also be noted that this department is currently managing over 100 maintenance contracts in 16 countries, providing maintenance for 7,500 railway vehicles, all realised by a workforce of over 4,000.

 

 

CAF’S ORDERS-IN-HAND PERFORMANCE ACROSS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

This health crisis came about just when the company boasts a record high backlog in excess of €9 billion in March 2020. This would secure the Company’s workload for more than 3 years in firm orders, exclusive of the future contract extensions which are provided for in a good number of these contracts.

 

In spite of the production freeze caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, all contracts continue to be in full force including those already in the course of implementation and backlog orders. Accordingly, following the return to production in the Company’s main factories on 20th April, the Company is focussed on performance and the catching up for any delays on orders which were in production when workshops had to stop operations.

 

We should underline that this interruption of operations did not affect all our spheres of activity. CAF was quick to deploy teleworking for all but production floor functions which enabled us to ensure the continuity of project management and other Company activities. CAF’s more than 1500 people upheld business as usual in Engineering, Purchases and Sales and other support functions.

 

In addition to the strength of CAF’s current orders-in-hand, the financial liquidity ratios of the Company are similar to those in 2019, and therefore adequate to address the financial pressure exerted by the present environment. By leveraging on its financial solvency, the Company could avoid a temporary labour force adjustment plan (ERTE) on the Company’s main operations, and agreed with the work force the continuity of salaries with an adjustment of the working hours calendar. The objective is to make up for lost time throughout this very year and the start of 2021.

 

These measures were taken with the aim of catching up on the delays from production downtime, and minimize in as much as possible any impact on the scheduled performance of our orders in hand during the current year.

 

 

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