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Alstom to close historic Preston rail site

Alstom is to close a historic site in Preston, and move a number of jobs to a new facility in Widnes. 

The Strand Road site, which has been a centre of rail production for 120 years, will close following the opening of its new Widnes site in June this year.

Operations will move to Alstom's new facility in Widnes, as the the Victorian Preston site will be vacated by July 2018. An Alstom spokesperson said: “Alstom has recently opened its new Transport Technology Centre in Widnes in the Liverpool City Region.

“This site is the natural home for Alstom’s increasingly digitally focussed business and as a result we plan to centralise our technologies and capabilities in this new world class facility - increasing our productivity and competitiveness.”

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Preston’s Labour MP, Mark Hendrick, said: “We keep hearing the hype about the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse,’ so why are aerospace and trade manufacturers in the north shedding jobs by hundreds?”

The news comes shortly after jobs losses at BAE, which Hendrick described as a “hammer blow.”
Prime minister Theresa May recognised the worry for the workers involved at this time, and indicated that they would receive the support they needed from the Department for Work and Pensions to find new employment.
It is understood that consultations regarding job transfers are ongoing with trade unions.


Andrew Gwilt   26/10/2017 at 21:43

Could CAF move into the former Alstom site in Preston as CAF are currently manufacturing the Class 195’s and Class 331’s for Northern and Class 397’s for Transpennine Express. And also to create new jobs there as well. Or what about Talgo. Could they occupy this building and to transform it into a new manufacturing plant so that they can produce new trains for HS2 and to create new jobs at the new site in Preston.

Jeremy   26/10/2017 at 22:29

Brexit, Andrew. Brexit.

PP   26/10/2017 at 22:42

Andrew, perhaps when class 800s take over on the East Coast Main Line, this factory could refurbish class 91s and Mark 4 coaches for the Far North line from Inverness to Wick. Or perhaps the Sudbury branch.

Andrew Gwilt   27/10/2017 at 02:25

@PP. Sudbury Line? No. Thats Stadler Class 755's Flirt Bi-Mode that is to operate on the Sudbury Line once these new trains are delivered for Greater Anglia.

Not A Parody, Honest   27/10/2017 at 11:52

Oh I didn't realise, thanks for the clarification. NOT.

Derek   27/10/2017 at 12:57

Alstom at Preston was a factory for propulsion system, control equipment and motor manufacture, the majority of this was closed in 2003 leaving a small service dept and parts store. The facility is not able to take full vehicles on site there are no rail lines.

Intheknow   27/10/2017 at 14:00

As someone affected I can clarify that the majority of staff are being transferred to the Widnes site and operations currently completed in Preston will continue on the new site. It is a consolidation exercise to reduce overhead costs. As Derek says above the site is not suitable for rolling stock production and is not rail linked.

David.Ward   27/10/2017 at 15:49

Preston loses again, what with BAE losing jobs,so much for the North. As our last two commentators have said Preston as a long and proud history in the manufacture of Electrical Equipment and this type of engineering which we should give thanks for. I as one with one side of my family going back a long way in the annals of Preston

John Webster   02/11/2017 at 17:07

Talgo, who are looking to get into the train building market in the U.K., have recently been looking at sites in the North West in which to site a production facility. One such was the old Parkside Colliery site near Newton-le-Willows, so who knows, we may yet get train building back in the North West - but don't hold your breath!

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