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Elizabeth Line train order could save Alstom jobs

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It is believed that a deal between the UK government and Alstom, over an order for new trains to be built at the company’s Derby factory, is close.

Yesterday (16 April), Transport secretary Mark Harper met Alstom’s chief executive Henri Poupart-Lafarge to discuss an order for 10 new Elizabeth Line trains for Transport for London (TfL) – although no agreement has yet been reached.

In a statement, the company said: “We are now in a period of intense discussions with the government and Transport for London… This could help secure the future of the [Derby] Litchurch Lane site.”

Alstom has previously warned the government of its plans to mothball the factory as the next trains on its order books arenot scheduled to be built until at least 2025.

With some employees having already accepted voluntary redundancy, a deal for new trains could save the jobs of much of the workforce.

Commenting on the developments, Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said: “Suppliers across the UK will hope current discussions between Ministers and all train manufacturers achieve a positive outcome. The future of rail businesses of all sizes, factories and jobs depends on the decisions taken by the Government now.

“Immediate solutions are clearly needed to mitigate short-term risks, and sustain jobs and UK capability. But the Government urgently needs to bring forward invitations to tender for new procurements in the medium term and listen to industry proposals which have called for a level playing field for manufacturers to bid for the £3.6 billion of upcoming work orders.”

Image credit: iStockphoto.com

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