Scotland could welcome back train building

Posted on 12 Nov 2017 and read 620 times
Scotland could welcome back train building Train building could return to Scotland for the first time in decades, with Spanish firm Talgo (ww.talgo.com) looking at possible UK sites for a factory.

Officials met the Scottish government’s Transport Scotland agency and Scottish Enterprise at the end of October to discuss the plans.

At least 600 jobs are expected to be created, with the factory scheduled to open around 2020. Talgo said that possible sites include Hunterston on the Ayrshire coast or the former Longannet Power Station site in Fife — both near deep-water ports for the import of materials and the export of completed trains.

ScotRail is about to introduce two new fleets, so any trains built by Talgo are likely to be for other parts of the UK or for Europe — at least initially.

The company is also considering other UK locations for its factory, but Jon Veitch, its UK and Ireland account manager, said that the availability of skilled staff would count in Scotland’s favour.

Talgo specialises in high-speed trains, which operate in countries such as Spain and Saudi Arabia. The trains for HS2 are due to be built in the UK, but the company is also looking for opportunities to build other types of trains, and to get involved in associated work — such as the refurbishment of rolling stock.

The last passenger trains built in Scotland were made more than 30 years ago by Walter Alexander in Falkirk (with some locomotives made by Andrew Barclay Sons & Co in Kilmarnock until the 1990s), but volume production (at the St Rollox works in Glasgow) ended in 1923.

Hitachi has opened a factory at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, which is building Class 385 electric trains for ScotRail and Azumas for Virgin Trains East Coast.

In addition, Bombardier has a plant in Derby, and CAF is opening one at Newport in Wales.

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