Latest News | 19 June 2024

Alstom pens £370m contract securing future of Derby factory

Derby City Council
Alstom (formerly Bombardier)
East Midlands Chamber
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Train manufacturer Alstom has signed a £370 million contract, which secures the future of its Derby factory.

The firm has penned a deal for 10 new nine-car Aventra trains for Transport for London’s Elizabeth Line.

Like the rest of the fleet, the additional trains will be built at Alstom’s Litchurch Lane works, which at one stage faced the threat of closure due to a gap in its order book.

A campaign orchestrated by Team Derby called ‘Save Our Trains – Do the Deal!’ helped put pressure on the Government to commit to ordering the extra trains – and keep the plant alive.

The new contract includes new trains which are funded by £220.5 million from the Department for Transport, with Transport for London also contracting for the provision of train maintenance on the units until 2046.

Nick Crossfield, Alstom’s managing director for UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to now have a confirmed workload for Derby Litchurch Lane and our supply chain across the UK.

“The UK remains one of Alstom’s most important global markets.”

Derby’s Litchurch Lane Works is Alstom’s largest manufacturing facility globally.

It is the only UK facility that designs, engineers, builds and tests trains for domestic and export markets.

It was opened by the Midland Railway in 1876 and the city of Derby has been building trains continually since 1839.

However, the future of train-building in the city was put under threat when Alstom identified a hole in its order book.

The Save Our Trains – Do the Deal campaign, spearheaded by Marketing Derby and Derby City Council was launched after Alstom announced it had restarted a redundancy consultation due to manufacturing work drying up at Litchurch Lane.

The shortfall of work meant that 1,300 jobs at the factory were at risk, and an estimated 15,000 in the supply chain.

The closure of the factory would have also brought an end to train manufacturing in Derby after 185 years.

The campaign urged the Government to commit to ordering 10 Aventra trains for the Elizabeth Line, enough to sustain Litchurch Lane until a contract to build trains for HS2 in 2026 kicked in.

More than 300 businesses and Bondholders signed up to the campaign, plus a further 200 from East Midlands Chamber.

The campaign distributed letters to the Government and Alstom, urging them to get the deal done as soon as possible.

Then, in April, the Government announced it had committed ‘in principle’ to order the extra trains.

Opened in 2022, the Elizabeth Line continues to experience passenger demand ahead of predictions.

Its current 70-strong fleet of Alstom-built Aventra Class 345 trains would be insufficient to meet demand later this decade and through the 2030s, which is why the extra trains have been ordered.

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