Latest News | 16 April 2024

Trains campaign calls on Prime Minister to intervene

Alstom (formerly Bombardier)
Derby City Council
Derby County Football Club
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The campaign to save train building in Derby is calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to intervene.

Backed by Derby City Council, Marketing Derby and its hundreds of Bondholders, the Save Our Trains – Do the Deal! campaign has rapidly gained traction since its launch last week.

At Derby County’s home game against Leyton Orient at the weekend, the club carried the campaign logo on its advertising boards at Pride Park Stadium, which were seen by more than 30,000 fans.

An order of 10 more trains would be enough to secure Litchurch Lane’s future and save thousands of jobs.

This week, the campaign has sent letters to the Prime Minister, Transport Secretary Mark Harper and Alstom UK and Ireland managing director Nick Crossfield.

In his letter to Mr Sunak, Councillor Baggy Shanker, leader of Derby City Council, writes: “When you visited the area on 22 March you kindly committed to your government doing ‘everything it can’ to ensure new orders.

“Since then, whilst there has been plenty of talk, there has been no progress, and we are now looking at the imminent closure of a factory in operation since 1839.

“The procurement of ten trains saves the plant, saves thousands of jobs in the national supply chain, and will lead to Alstom making Derby a global HQ for their new commuter train, the Adessia. Derby is already the global HQ for monorail, having recently designed and built the system now in operation in Cairo.

“Derby is a proud railway city, home to Europe’s largest business rail cluster and soon to be HQ to Great British Railways, created by your government to bring a guiding mind to track and train – hopefully preventing pipeline cliff-edges like this.

“Prime Minister, so much to gain, so much to lose – all dependent on quick action on ten new trains.”

Alstom’s Litchurch Lane site is the UK’s largest train factory – in operation for 185 years – and is the only site in the country where trains are designed, developed, built and tested.

At risk are 1,300 direct jobs in Derby and a further 15,000 jobs in supply chains across the country.

John Forkin, managing director at Marketing Derby, said: “Over the past few days we have built a public-private-community campaign.

“Hundreds of businesses have given their backing and on Saturday 30,000 people saw the campaign at Pride Park Stadium.

“This week, we will hand in a letter to the Prime Minister asking for his intervention and requesting meetings with the Secretary of State for Transport and the CEO of Alstom.

“Standing between this disaster for UK plc and survival is the procurement of a mere five additional trains for the Elizabeth Line.”

Speaking in an extensive interview with railway industry podcast Green Signals last week, Mr Crossfield said: “We are not unequivocally beyond the point of no return. But we are in a very difficult position.

“We’re a global business – from a group perspective, if there’s no commitment from the UK, we’ll put the investment somewhere else.”

If you wish to join the campaign, please e-mail

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