* Penalty for late train delivery 460 mln Sfr-paper
* Further delay would push fine up to maximum of 708 mln Sfr -paper
* SBB spokesman does not confirm penalty, further delay
ZURICH, March 17 (Reuters) - Canada’s Bombardier will have to pay at least 460 million Swiss francs ($490.01 million) to Swiss railway group SBB for late delivery of 59 double-deck trains the SBB ordered three years ago, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday.
According to a source with knowledge of the matter quoted by “Der Sonntag”, the world’s largest train maker Bombardier would have to pay 7.8 million francs for each train it delivers with a delay of a year, adding up to a total of 460.2 million Swiss francs.
Spokespeople for Bombardier did not return calls seeking comment.
SBB spokesman Reto Schaerli said the company could not give any details on the contract with Bombardier.
“Der Sonntag” also quoted other unnamed sources saying the double-deck trains might be ready even later than previously announced, possibly not before 2017.
This would also push the penalties to be paid up further, the maximum contract penalty being 708 million francs, “Der Sonntag” said.
Schaerli said the SBB had no information regarding any further delay.
The SBB had ordered 59 double-deck trains for a total of 1.9 billion Swiss francs from Bombardier in May 2010, the biggest order in the company’s history.
The new trains should have taken up service from December 2013, but the SBB said last year they would be up to two years late, partly due to adjustments of the trains to better suit handicapped travellers.
Construction problems encountered by Bombardier also caused a delay of at least 12 months, SBB said at the time, adding negotiations about the costs arising from the delay and who would have to bear them were ongoing between SBB and Bombardier.