Posted 4th December 2023 | 1 Comment

London demonstration planned in bid to save Alstom at Derby

Efforts to save the train-building works at Litchurch Lane in Derby are being stepped up, following Alstom’s warning that work will soon run out. If the works close 2000 jobs will be lost, while many more will be at risk in the East Midlands supply chain.

Councillors and business leaders in the region are planning to lobby Parliament in two days from now. The demonstration on 6 December will coincide with a Transport Select Committee evidence session about rolling stock policy. One of the witnesses will be Nick Crossfield, managing director of Alstom UK & Ireland.

There are very few fleets being built or set to be ordered for the National Rail network at the moment, while the order of trains for HS2 will now be smaller because the Prime Minister has scrapped the high speed line north of Birmingham to Crewe and Manchester.

Derby city council leader Baggy Shanker said: ‘There will be dreadful consequences for the city, the East Midlands and the country as a whole, if train production in Derby is lost. The hundreds of jobs that will disappear at Alstom will be mirrored by thousands more in the supply chain and when the nation does want to order new trains in the future, it will struggle to find anyone in the UK to build them.

‘This is simply unthinkable for a country which gave railways to the world and the Government has to find the political will to resolve this crisis. It is deeply ironic that only months after Westminster recognised the importance of the rail sector in Derby by making it the headquarters of newly formed Great British Railways, that we should now have to fight to save a vital part of the industry.’

The campaign to avoid the closure is being supported by the managing director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin. He added: ‘The threat to the future of train building is a clear and present danger and the civic, business and wider community will not stand by and watch it happen. A solution is in the hands of Government and we expect that our collective voice will be heard in Parliament.

‘We are a world leader in rolling stock manufacturing and, as a city and country, we should be investing in that skills and talent pool to help grow the economy.’

The works at Litchurch Lane belonged to Bombardier until 2021, which chose Derby as its global centre for the manufacture of aluminium bodies for rolling stock. Clients included leasing companies on behalf of Southern, Transport for London, LTS (now c2c) and Southeastern.

Reader Comments:

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  • Andrew Gwilt, Thundersley Essex

    I think it should be saved because Southeastern wants to order new trains to replace the Class 465 and Class 466 Networkers. And South Western Railway who ordered the Class 701 Arterios that is expected to enter service by the end of 2023. That they are replacing the Class 456, Class 458 and the Class 707 which the rest of the Class 707s have been transferred to Southeastern.