The Prince of Wales visits Bombardier plant

Posted on 27 Feb 2012

Bombardier’s site in Derby welcomed His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales on Friday, during his tour of the region to show support for British manufacturing.

The plant is the UK’s only rolling stock manufacturing facility.

The Prince spent more than an hour at the site, where he met key members of staff, including engineers and project and manufacturing team members, as well as local officials.

He was hosted by Sir Neville Simms, non-executive chairman of Bombardier Transportation UK, and given a tour of the site by Dr Francis Paonessa, president of UK Rolling Stock, to view the full scope of the manufacturing process, including the design, construction and test areas. In addition to meeting engineers, The Prince was introduced to young apprentices who are part of the Bombardier Apprentice Scheme.

Sir Neville Simms said: “Our Derby plant is a key part of Bombardier’s UK operations. Here we produce world class, innovative and highly reliable transport technologies. We greatly appreciate The Prince of Wales visiting our site today to allow us to showcase this facility, our people and our strong pedigree in UK manufacturing.”

The Midlands based site produces trains like the Bombardier Electrostar and Bombardier Movia (for the London Underground).

The Prince had the opportunity to drive one of the underground trains being delivered for the Circle, District, Hammersmith and City, and Metropolitan lines.

Bombardier is supplying more than 1,770 of its metro cars as well as new signalling systems to London Underground – currently the biggest rail system upgrade in the world.

The visit of the Prince comes at a time when Government is preparing tender documents for a £1bn contract to build carriages for the new Crossrail project.

Last year, Bombardier lost a £1.4bn contract for the London Thameslink to Germany’s Siemens.

Prince Charles later visited the Rolls-Royce plant in Derby: