By Marcus Leach

Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond has urged train maker Bombardier to bid for contracts for the London Crossrail project.

The Crossrail project, that will link east and west London, is worth £16 billion and will require in the region of 600 carriages.

Bombardier lost out on the contract for Thameslink, causing huge public outrage, as German-based firm Siemens won the government's vote.

That loss has forced the Derby-based firm to cut 1,400 jobs, and left the firm fighting for survival.

"There are a number of contracts the government would expect Bombardier to bid for, including the Crossrail project for the supply of around 600 carriages, for which Bombardier is already a pre-qualified bidder," Mr Hammond said.

"The tender for this contract is due to be issued in 2012. There are also potential future orders for the London Underground deep Tube line."

Despite a glimmer of hope for Bombardier a spokesperson for Unite clearly didn't think this was good enough.

"What the 3,000 workers in Derby need is certainty not ifs, buts or possibilities," he said.

"Any support for Bombardier is welcome but the real issue here is for the government to rethink its decision on Thameslink."

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