Thousands of manufacturing jobs ‘safe’ through train commission

Posted on 12 Feb 2009 by The Manufacturer

Government has today announced that 12,500 UK manufacturing jobs will be created or protected by the £7.5bn commission for production of a fleet of super-express trains to replace outdated models on UK railways.

The project has been awarded by the Department for Transport (DfT) to a consortium called Agility Trains, a group made up of Japanese manufacturer Hitachi, banking firm Barclays and project management group John Laing. Agility will build a new manufacturing base in the UK along with new depots in Bristol, Reading, Doncaster, Leeds and London.

It is thought the contract will be for around 1400 trains.

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon said: “This announcement demonstrates this government is prepared to invest, even in difficult economic times, by improving our national infrastructure.

“It is good news for the British economy that over 12,500 jobs will be created and safeguarded, good news for the regions that the government is supporting significant inward investment, and good news for passengers that we are taking the steps necessary to improve their rail journeys.”

The trains will be used on the Great Western and East Coast main lines and will enter service from 2013.

Agility defeated a rival consortium – the Express Rail Alliance – made up of Bombardier, Siemens, Angel Trains and Babcock & Brown. They will now be held in reserve in case terms cannot be agreed with Agility.