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Engineering - Alstom Derby at risk

Aventra multiple unit at Alstoms Derby factory. Photo Alstom.

Britain’s only train factory able to design, engineer, build and test new trains, the Alstom plant at Litchurch Lane, Derby, is once again at risk,  with no confirmed workload beyond next March. Thousands of skilled jobs are threatened at the factory, and in the supply chain.

Alstom and its main union Unite have suggested that before the company is forced to dismantle its production line, more Elizabeth Line trains are ordered, given that the growth in passengers on the new line is way beyond that forecast.

The government has insisted on withdrawing many older trains with no replacements. Yet passenger numbers continue to rise, leading to overcrowding on many services.

Cross Country trains are now so full that it has felt it necessary to ban staff and former staff using discounted and free tickets on many of its services.

Yet the government refuses to put in place a planned procurement strategy that will safeguard a vital British industrial asset and ensure that Britain’s trains are steadily replaced or modernised.