Wednesday, 27 July 2016
Not so long ago, the train building industry in the UK was in a parlous state. Alstom closed its plant at Washwood Heath in 2005, leaving Bombardier at Derby as the only builder of passenger trains in Britain. Bombardier itself almost halved its workforce 2011. But now the industry is back in growth. Bombardier is building trains for Gatwick Express and Crossrail, Hitachi is opening a new factory in Newton Aycliffe to produce IEP and class 385 trains, and now CAF has announced it is to open a new factory in the UK. The Spanish firm recently won an order from Northern to replace unpopular Pacer units with more comfortable, modern trains. With expansion and electrification of the railway network underway across the country, demand for new trains continues to grow. This is good news for the British manufacturing industry.