Alstom announces details of Belfort rescue deal

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Alstom and the French government have provided more information about a rescue package announced in October to protect the future of the manufacturer’s site in Belfort.

An order for 20 new TET trains and six TGV units is expected to be registered with SNCF’s board next month. This will be followed by an order for a further 15 TGV trainsets for the Bordeaux to Mairseille line in January and another for 20 locomotives in March – the site’s first locomotive order for more than a decade.

The details were announced by Christophe Sirugue, Secretary of State for Industry, and Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom’s chief executive, at the first meeting of a new national monitoring committee – a group made up of representatives from the state and regional governments, Alstom and the trade unions.

The investment package was announced in October following confirmation from Alstom that the site, which employs almost 500 people, faced closure after 2018 because of a lack of orders.

Part of the strategy for Belfort involves a focus on TGV maintenance. Alstom said the diversification of Belfort was already underway and that €1 million had been invested in developing the site’s facilities.

In addition, the government has said investment in project’s like TGV of the Future will directly benefit Belfort.

Henri Poupart-Lafarge said in a statement: “The commitments made by Alstom on 4 October have made good progress. Investments have begun both for new service infrastructure and development programmes for the rail vehicles of the future.

“We note with interest the clarifications made regarding the order schedule, also announced on 4 October, which should ensure the continuity of industrial production on the sites of Belfort, La Rochelle and Reichshoffen.”

Christophe Sirugue said the announcement demonstrated how the government was defending the “knowhow and expertise of the French railway industry”.

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