KfW-Ipex and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have led the £1.6bn funding for the London Thameslink project.

The loan will pay for 1,140 train carriages and two depots and the borrower is Siemens for the rolling stock portion of the overall £6bn rail initiative.

KfW-Ipex has provided €150mn and has acted as modelling bank and structuring bank. It joins 20 other banks in the syndicate, including the EIB and Siemens Financial Services. The names of the other lenders have not been disclosed.

Christian Murach, of KfW-Ipex’s management board, says: “The project is of vital interest for commuter traffic in London. It will help shift personal motorised transport to rail, thus reducing harmful emissions. By helping to finance this deal we are financing exports of one of our main core clients from Germany.”

The project has run unto much controversy in recent weeks, with UK politicians and trade unionists criticising the government’s decision to award the contract to Siemens. Bombardier was also in the running and since losing out, the company has suggested it may close a manufacturing plant in Derby, UK, with the loss of 1,600 jobs.