* Alstom legally challenges fairness of Eurostar tender
* Court date set for October 2011
PARIS, Nov 11 (Reuters) - French engineer Alstom’s (ALSO.PA) said its London lawsuit challenging the fairness of a 600 million euro ($827 million) fast-speed Eurostar train tender won by Germany’s Siemens (SIEGn.DE) has been set for October 2011.
“The court ... ordered Eurostar to disclose the documents relating to the evaluation of the offers, which it failed to hand over during the previous injunction proceedings,” Alstom said in a statement on Thursday.
On Oct. 29, a British court turned down Alstom’s request to block Eurostar from finalising the Eurostar train order with Siemens (SIEGn.DE). Alstom said then it would pursue legal alternatives.
Alstom had asked the court to issue an injunction against the order, arguing Eurostar had breached procurement laws and that the 10 trains it was ordering from Siemens would not comply with safety rules.
Eurostar, the sole operator of passenger trains through the Channel Tunnel, has traditionally relied on Alstom for its rolling stock. Its decision to order trains from Siemens threatens to drag France and Germany into a protectionist row.
The French government has said the proposed Siemens trains were not long enough if passengers needed to be evacuated, and that their engine and power-supply layout posed a safety risk in the event of a fire.
On Nov. 4, the European Commission opened an investigation into the Eurostar contract with Siemens after receiving Alstom’s objections.
Deutsche Bahn, which also plans to run services through the Channel Tunnel in a bid to link London directly to Frankfurt and Amsterdam, has a 500 million euro order with Siemens for 15 ICE 3 trains similar to those ordered by Eurostar. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.7253 Euro)